Samsung UR59C 4K Curved Monitor Review: Premium Image, Budget Price

Grayscale, Gamma and Color

The UR59C comes out of the box set to its Custom picture mode. It’s lacking in shadow and highlight detail, so you’ll want to make a few changes to achieve an optimal image. Fortunately, the OSD provides everything you need for a professional-level calibration (see our settings in the Setup and Calibration section above).

Grayscale and Gamma Tracking

We describe our grayscale and gamma tests in detail here.

Grayscale tracking runs a bit blue at 40-90% max brightness, but the errors aren’t too grievous. What is of greater concern is the gamma tracking, which is too dark in the shadow areas and too bright in the highlights. While this may give the initial impression of greater contrast, it hides fine detail and makes most images look flat. It’s not what you want for gaming or any other task. Fixing this will also improve color saturation, which we’ll demonstrate in the gamut tests below.

The second graph shows results with the HDMI Black Level setting set to Normal, the gamma preset to Mode 2 and adjusting the precise RGB sliders (as detailed in the Setup and Calibration section above). This calibration gave us superb grayscale and gamma tracking. Many professional screens would be jealous of these results. Aside from a tiny dip in gamma at the 90% level, these charts are essentially perfect.

Comparisons

The UR59C is unimpressive out of the box with an average grayscale Delta E (dE) error of 3.18 and default gamma of 1.90. The picture lacked depth, as highlight and shadow detail were hard to see.

A few tweaks led to a much better image. Grayscale improved to a reference-level (and class-winning) 0.81dE with an average gamma of 2.18, just 0.9% off the mark. And that test is spoiled only by a slightly high luminance reading at the 90% brightness level. All other points are right on the 2.2 line. This is excellent performance, especially given the Samsung’s price.

Color Gamut Accuracy

For details on our color gamut testing and volume calculations, click here.

The importance of gamma accuracy can be dramatically seen in our color gamut tests. Before any calibrating, the color points were reasonably close to their targets, but with an average error of 4.28dE there was visible room for improvement.

After our calibration settings, that error dropped to an impressive 0.90dE. Remember, that’s the average of 36 measurements. Few monitors can boast such accurate color gamut results. While our RGB adjustments contributed to that score, fixing the gamma issues had the most impact on gamut accuracy.

Comparisons

The UR59C’s 0.90dE color gamut error is better than most of the monitors we’ve tested, even expensive professional displays. This Samsung produces excellent sRGB color, making it well-suited for gaming, photo editing, movie-watching and general tasks.

Since it hits all the 100% color saturation points perfectly, the UR59C also fills the sRGB volume spec to the tune of 104.41%. That’s thanks to a slight amount of extra red and green. For ultimate precision, we suggest using a custom monitor profile. But most will find this display more than qualified for any content or task.

MORE: Best Gaming Monitors

MORE: How We Test Monitors

MORE: All Monitor Content

4 comments
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  • AlistairAB
    An entire review that doesn't mention the existing flat version? The UJ59 for $350? Weird... just get the same monitor for less and without a curve? Been on sale for 1-2 years already.
  • DookieDraws
    Christian, under the large monitor image on the first page, where the specs are located, you have the screen size listed as 35 inches.
  • truerock
    I prefer my video monitors not have speakers, audio ports, floppy disk drives, can openers... etc.

    I would like to see DisplayPort and HDMI ports replaced with USB-C ports.
  • mjtartist
    I just received this monitor yesterday. The clarity is great and color without any adjustments is very good. Since I do color specific work in Photoshop for many clients, after setting up the monitor I looked for 2 files:

    A driver for the monitor, and, a color profile provided by Samsung. I found nothing. Samsung's website shows no driver/color profile for the monitor. I contacted support via chat. The support tech sent me a executable file that supposedly was the driver/color profile for this monitor. Just the title of the file aroused my suspicion. Today I called Samsung support and was told that the file I received yesterday was for an entirely different model. I was also told that no driver/color profile for this monitor is available from Samsung. Really?

    My question to the reviewer of this product is did you use the default driver/color profile that Windows installs when the monitor is attached?

    I also asked the tech at Samsung about profiling the monitor with a colorimeter and 3rd party profiling software. That confused him. I doubt that he had ever heard of a colorimeter, and, even implied that this monitor could even be profiled. For me....end of conversation!

    I plan to keep this monitor was at least a few more days. I will then make a decision about returning it.