Curved screens were very popular among leading TV manufacturers a few years ago, as was once the case with 3D. However, the latter has practically ceased to exist in the consumer segment, but bent screens are much luckier, as they are still actively used in the creation of new models of monitors.
One of the leaders in the production of such devices can be called without exaggeration the company Samsung. Her line of gaming monitors Odyssey almost entirely consists of such displays.
Today we will talk about one of them – the Samsung Odyssey G5 34 (LC34G55TWWIXCI) with a 21:9 cinema ratio and Ultra WQHD resolution. This monitor is sold at the official price of 449$, and the Samsung online store gives you a SAMSUNG 970 EVO Plus MZ-V7S500BW SSD M2 storage for 500 GB when you buy it.
Packaging, appearance and connections
The monitor is packaged in a large, thick cardboard box with black printing. There are notches on the sides for easy carrying of the device. The box opens in the middle on the front side. Inside, the disassembled monitor is stacked in two thin pieces of formatted foam.
The package includes a two-piece leg, DisplayPort cable, external power supply, power cable, documentation and warranty card.
Despite its gaming focus, the Odyssey line has a fairly austere design, and the Odyssey G5 34 is no exception. It has only small triangular-shaped protrusions on the edges of the bottom of the display, which here did not get backlighting like the variant from the Odyssey G7. Moreover, in G5 the manufacturer refused any backlighting at all. Most likely, it was caused by the desire to release a more affordable model, so we had to make compromises.
The desire to make the device more accessible is also evident in the foot. It consists of two parts – a short stand and a wide boomerang-shaped base, which is attached by a special built-in screw with a handle for easy screwing without a screwdriver. The stand is attached very rigidly to the display. Together with the base it is made of matt plastic and is very lightweight. It looks pretty cheap but the monitor is very stable on the stand.
The stand allows you to adjust the screen tilt only 2 degrees forward and 18 degrees backward. There are no other adjustment options, but the manufacturer did not forget to put a clip for the wires on the back.
The body of the monitor seems thick, but this is due to the curved screen. The rounded shape of the rear panel makes it 65 mm thick from the middle to the leg attachment point. Though on the edges the thickness of the case is only 1 cm. With the stand the model has maximum dimensions of 806.6 x 475.3 x 272.6 mm. Weight – 5.6 kg with the stand and 5.2 kg without it.
The case is made of black matte plastic, and the back is dotted with chain-like embossing that rays from the center toward the edges of the monitor. In the round center, the manufacturer has placed four holes for mounting the monitor on a VESA 75 by 75 mm bracket.
All interfaces look down and are in a special recess. If you mount it on the wall, access to them can be limited. There the manufacturer has placed an external power adapter jack, one HDMI 2.0, one DisplayPort 1.4, 3.5 mm audio jack for headphones and one USB-A jack for service, that is firmware upgrade.
The LCD monitor under consideration has a diagonal of 34 inches (86.4 cm) and uses an 8-bit VA matrix from Samsung with a maximum refresh rate of 165 Hz and Ultra WQHD resolution (3440 by 1440 pixels). The screen surface is matte and has an anti-reflective coating, which does a good job when exposed to bright light from the window.
Typical brightness value of the matrix is 250 cd/m2, peak – 330 cd/m2. Static contrast ratio is 2500:1. The color gamut is 99% sRGB and 72% NTSC. The manufacturer announced support for HDR10. Viewing angles are 178 degrees vertically and as much horizontally.
To synchronize the refresh rate of the graphics card and monitor, and therefore prevent tearing and distortion in dynamic scenes in the monitor uses AMD FreeSync Premium. In addition, the Samsung Odyssey G5 34 (LC34G55TWWIXCI) supports the quite popular Flicker-free technology to completely prevent screen flicker.
Controls and settings
The control is realized by a small joystick, which is located in the middle at the bottom of the screen – under the Samsung logo and behind the blue status indicator. After turning the monitor on and pressing it, you get to the quick menu, where depending on the direction you can go to the desired settings: left – sources, up – menu, right – picture next to picture and picture-in-picture modes, down – turning off the monitor, second press – exit the quick menu. If you don’t enter the quick menu, you get to three more sections: to the right and to the left – signal source selection, down – volume control, up – picture settings (brightness, contrast, sharpness).
The main menu in Odyssey is designed in the gaming style, which the developers from Samsung called Super Arena Gaming UX. The main advantage of this menu is that the top always displays useful data about the current settings of the monitor. Thanks to them you can find out at what level the black equalizer is set, the setting of response time, sweep frequency, whether the frame synchronization is on and what the status of the response delay reduction mode is. Also underneath the indicators you can see the currently selected picture mode.
It is worth praising the manufacturer for the responsiveness of the controls in the OSD. The joystick is very fast, and navigation is lightning fast, also because of the smooth animation in the menu itself.
As for the main sections, there are six in total:
“Game” – in this section there are various parameters related directly to games. Here you can adjust the refresh rate, the brightness of dark areas (i.e. increasing the brightness in dark areas without overlighting bright areas), display response time (four modes are available: from standard to MBR) and minimize input lag, and enable FreeSync frame synchronization to prevent screen tearing. In addition, you can adjust the size of the display screen (various diagonals are available, from 17 to 29 inches) and enable the screen sight, which you can choose from six options, and adjust its position on the screen.
“Picture” – Display picture settings are available in this section. Here you can select several available profiles, including user, 3 game and 3 other profiles (Auto Contrast, Film and AOS). There are also standard settings for brightness, contrast, sharpness, color, black level (only when connected via HDMI), blue filter, and screen position.
PIP/PBP – in this section you can turn on the Picture Near Picture or Picture-in-Picture functions when you connect two signal sources to the monitor at the same time. Besides window position and size (in case of PIP), you can also switch between picture and sound sources, adjust the screen format (automatic, where the picture from the source is displayed according to its aspect ratio, and wide, where the working space is completely filled with the source picture regardless of the aspect ratio) and contrast.
“Screen Display” – in this section only the interface language settings and the time of displaying the OSD menu are available.
“System” – Here the manufacturer has collected the system functions of the device. Available is the volume control (when you connect it by audio jack for headphones or speakers), dynamic brightness function, PC/AV mode (to increase the image from the AV-source when you connect it to the screen), DP slot version control, as well as auto-switching source, joystick button press response and power indicator. The last one allows you to turn off the blue indicator when the monitor is in standby mode, so it won’t annoy you at night with its blinking.
“Support” – In this section, the manufacturer has placed service commands for the monitor. Here you can not only reset to factory settings, but also perform display diagnostics, update the firmware (via USB flash drive) and get information about the current monitor settings.
Tests and games
We were able to test the Samsung Odyssey G5 34 (LC34G55TWWIXCI) in conjunction with PC, Xbox Series X and PS5 in projects such as Red Dead Redemption 2 (PC), Death Stranding (PC), Forza Horizon 4 (XSeX), Microsoft Flight Simulator (XSeX), Persona 5 Royal (PS5) and Control (PS5).
The PS5 was able to produce a maximum 4K 60Hz resolution and offered HDR setup and screen edge adjustment. On the Xbox Series X it was possible to set the maximum resolution of 4K at 60 Hz, but the FreeSync function in this case was not available. This is due to the fact that in the monitor itself this function is blocked when you connect via HDMI and is only available with DisplayPort. At the same time, in terms of aspect ratio in both cases were offered a stretched 16:9, because neither the console from Sony, nor from Microsoft do not support ultra wide-screen displays. If you want, you can change the aspect ratio in the monitor settings, but there will be black bars on the sides. On the PC, this image format feels great, expanding the field of view and adding wow-effect of what is happening on the screen.
|Aspect Ratio||21:9 (UltraWide)|
|Response Time (GtG)||Not specified|
|Response Time (MBR)||1ms (MPRT)|
|Ports||DisplayPort 1.4, HDMI 2.0|
|Other Ports||Headphone Jack, USB 2.0 (service-only)|
|Contrast Ratio||2500:1 (static)|
|Colors||1.07 billion (8-bit + FRC)
As for performance, the monitor is able to deliver the maximum advertised refresh rate of 165 Hz only on DisplayPort and on HDMI there is a limit of 100 Hz. The minimal response time of the matrix when it switches brightness from minimum to maximum is about 4 ms, and by MPRT – only 1 ms. There were no complaints about the viewing angles during the tests. The backlight is uneven. When tested on a black screen there is a Glow effect, which is clearly visible to the eye only at extreme viewing angles.
As we said above, the claimed brightness of the display is 330 cd/m2, and the static contrast ratio is 2500:1. The 8-bit matrix also supports the FRC anti-aliasing technology, which improves the display of the missing colors of the 10-bit content with the available palette. The brightness in HDR became higher than in SDR, but it is clearly not enough to display the content as it is intended. In addition, due to the lack of local dimming, particularly dark scenes lose detail.
Samsung Odyssey G5 34 (LC34G55TWWIXCI) is not a bad monitor for content consumption, productive work with lots of windows, as well as for gaming, but only on PC, because the main features are only available when you connect via DisplayPort.
You can connect this monitor to consoles if you are a fan of black bars on the sides or disproportionate objects. It has good contrast ratios that allow you to achieve deeper blacks than on IPS models.
From the disadvantages it is worth noting the low-function foot, the lack of FreeSync on HDMI and HDR mode, which is clearly here for the tick. If this is not a problem for you, the Samsung Odyssey G5 34 (LC34G55TWWIXCI) is a good option. Before us is the most affordable monitor in an ultra-wide 21:9 format with a refresh rate of 165 Hz.