Samsung has announced its first OLED gaming monitor, the 34-inch Odyssey OLED G8. It’s also one of the company’s first gaming monitors we’ve seen that includes Samsung’s Gaming Hub, which lets people stream games from services like Nvidia’s GeForce Now, Google Stadia, or Xbox Game Pass without the need for a console or PC. (The feature, which also lets you stream movies from services like Amazon Prime, Netflix, and the recently upgraded Samsung TV Plus, has been available on Samsung’s Smart Monitor line, but those aren’t really built for gaming.) But while it seems like a totally reasonable display in its own right, there are a few confusing things about it, as well as some important unknowns.
Let’s put those to the side for just a second, though, and look at the OLED G8’s specs — its 3,440 x 1,440 panel can run at a 175Hz refresh rate, and it has a 1800R curve (which is relatively flat when compared to monitors like the 1000R-curved Odyssey G9 and LG’s OLED gaming monitor, the UltraGear 45GR95QE). It also supports AMD FreeSync Premium, which helps reduce stuttering or tearing while gaming by dynamically adjusting the monitor’s refresh rate to keep up with what your GPU is putting out. The monitor also comes with a height and tilt-adjustable stand and has a 5W stereo speaker built in.
In addition to its game and video streaming hub, the OLED G8 can also talk to and control IoT devices using Samsung’s SmartThings app. The company also says the monitor has an upgraded version of its Core Lighting Plus system, which uses lights on the back of the monitor to splash your wall with colors that match what’s on your screen. In terms of ports, the monitor has Micro HDMI 2.1, Mini DisplayPort 1.4, and USB-C.
Using the micro and mini variants of the display connectors on such a big monitor is a bit odd, but there are a lot of slightly strange things about the Odyssey OLED G8. First is the name — I assumed that this monitor would be just an OLED version of Samsung’s existing Odyssey Neo G8, but the two monitors aren’t really all that similar. They have different sizes, refresh rates, resolutions, and curvature.
Stranger still is the display tech itself. Samsung has been leading the charge on quantum dot OLED, or QD-OLED, which has produced some very impressive results when put into gaming monitors like the Alienware AW3423DW. But Samsung isn’t quite clear whether it’s using one of its QD-OLED panels in the G8 OLED — the press release says the OLED panel is “partnered with Quantum Dot Technology.” The company did not immediately respond to The Verge‘s request for clarification on what panel the monitor is using. Given that Samsung’s showing the display off at the IFA tech show, we’re hoping to get an in-person look at it and maybe some more info to boot.
Depending on the price, it could be a more-than-decent monitor. Samsung hasn’t released details on that yet, but we should find out relatively soon — the company says it’ll be “available globally from Q4 2022.” It seems likely that a few of its features, such as the upgraded lighting system and Gaming Hub, will make their way into the company’s 2023 lineup of gaming monitors, so if this the G8 OLED isn’t exactly what you’re looking for, it might be worth waiting to see what else Samsung has in the works.