The curved 49-inch Samsung CHG90 — with its 32:9 aspect ratio — is a beast. Everyone has the same first reaction: WOW, that thing is huge. We first saw the monitor at Adobe MAX from 100 feet away, and we could tell this was a big, big monitor. When the review unit showed up, it arrived on a pallet. That said, Samsung hasn’t just made a huge desktop monitor. It’s large, yes, but also very capable.
Now, before you can say it, yes, this is a gaming monitor. In fact, the box prominently features “QLED Gaming Monitor” in large print. However, the specs make it a great double duty candidate for editing during the day and gaming at night. With a vertical alignment (VA) panel, the CHG90 has a 32:9 aspect ratio and a resolution of 3840 x 1080. That’s full UHD wide, but only half UHD tall. It has a 3000:1 static contrast ratio with a 1 millisecond (ms) response time and a 144Hz refresh rate. Boasting 1.07 billion colors, it’s capable of HDR10 with 350 nit brightness. Finally, it has a 178-degree viewing angle, a built-in USB 3.0 hub and HDMI, DisplayPort and MiniDP inputs.
A 49-inch wide monitor is a bit hard to imagine. To put it into some perspective, the CHG90 is as wide as two 16:9, 27-inch monitors side by side. The curve is significant, but hardly noticeable when in use. The closer you sit to a curved monitor, the bigger benefit you’ll have from the curve.
The issue with a monitor this size is how much desktop space it will require. Because of its width, if you want to keep from having to turn your head to see each end of the screen, you’ll need to sit further from it. Additionally, because of its size, it needs a big stand. The stand’s three leg design, although attractive, splits up our deskspace more than desired. It’s a small gripe, and in this case we feel function trumps form.
The amount of articulation the stand and mount allow is impressive. With 17 total degrees of movement, it has a good tilt range. The swivel is adequate, though we found it hard to show the screen to someone in the desk next to us. On the other hand, if it did have more swivel, you might just swipe everything off your desktop. The height adjustment of 4.72 inches will be adequate for some, but not for others. This reviewer is 6 feet, 3 inches and would have liked it to get a bit taller.
Now, that we’ve gone over the physical attributes, let’s get down to what really matters: the display itself. The CHG90 has a refresh rate of 144Hz. That means 144 refreshes per second, giving you smooth playback of up to 144 fps. This won’t have any impact on editing videos with a frame rate under 144 fps, though it will affect how smooth your mouse looks and will offer a smoother experience when playing video games. This is a nice feature, but not required for video editing.
The CHG90 has a vertical alignment or VA panel. A VA panel fits between a TN and IPS display. These panels have higher possible refresh rates than IPS panels and better color reproduction, higher maximum brightness and better viewing angles than TN panels. Of all panel types, VA panels have the best contrast ratios.
Regarding color reproduction, the monitor is 10-bit (8-bit + frc) producing 1.07 billion colors. It can reproduce 125 percent of sRGB and 92 percent of Adobe RGB.
Another good spec on this monitor is its response time. The standard video editing response time should be 7ms or better. Being that it uses a VA panel, response time could be an issue, but the CHG90 maintains a very good response time of 1 ms. There shouldn’t be any adverse effects related to the response time for editing video.
Samsung calls the CHG90 a QLED. But what is QLED? It’s an acronym for quantum dot light-emitting diode. A quantum dot display uses quantum dots — semiconductor nanocrystals that produce pure monochromatic red, green, and blue light. This means the display can be brighter than one using organic light-emitting diode (OLED) but with a reduced black level.
A quantum dot display uses quantum dots — semiconductor nanocrystals that produce pure monochromatic red, green, and blue light.
Before we move onto the marketplace, we wanted to address a few criticisms we read about online. A handful of reviews on Amazon complained about their monitor arriving with dead pixels, though this was not an issue with our review unit. There were also comments on backlight bleeding. This is something we did experience on the bottom right hand of the screen. It is hardly noticeable unless you’re looking for it, but it’s there nonetheless.
Currently, the CHG90 is the only 49-inch, 32:9 monitor on the market. However, if this monitor isn’t for you, you wouldn’t just go without a monitor. Here are a few alternatives that, though they don’t match the size of the Samsung, offer similar specifications for a comparable cost.
Up first is the least expensive, the Dell U3818DW, priced at 1,170 dollars. It’s an IPS 37.5-inch, 3840 x 1600 resolution monitor. It has a contrast ratio of 1,000:1 and 5ms response time. It supports up to 1.07 billion colors and offers 99 percent of sRGB color gamut coverage. What you lose in physical size you make up for in resolution with its 520 additional horizontal lines.
Next up, is the HP Z38c for 1,200 dollars. We reviewed this monitor and really liked it. At the same price, it has greater resolution compared to the CHG90; like the Dell U3818DW, it offers 520 more horizontal lines for a resolution of 3840 x 1600. It’s a 37.5-inch IPS panel with a 1000:1 contrast ratio. It also supports 1.07 billion colors, but has a response time of 5 ms. Though the response rate is slower, it’s not enough to worry about for video editing. Additionally, it’s not as bright as the Samsung by 50 nit.
Last up is the most expensive: the LG 38UC99-W for 1,300. This is a 38-inch IPS panel with a 3840 x 1600 resolution and 5ms response time. With a brightness of 300 nit, it has a 1,000:1 contrast ratio and 99 percent sRGB color gamut coverage. Additionally, it supports 1.07 billion colors.
Let’s face it, the Samsung CHG90 is a big ass monitor. It has great specs and a reasonable price when compared to other wide aspect ratio monitors. Its size is both a blessing and a curse. The aspect ratio means it’s great for video editing, but it’s so big that you’ll likely be panning your head back and forth all day long. The relatively lower resolution is a bummer for such a large monitor. It nevertheless looks great and gives you loads of digital workspace.
If you have the space for it, CHG90 is an ideal display for editors who like to game in their free time. If that’s you, it will be hard to wipe the smile off your face.
- High refresh rate
- Fast response time
- Big stand
- Low resolution
A 49-inch monitor is worth gawking at, and the Samsung CHG90 is no exception. The high refresh rate and a low response time give it great specs. Is 49 inches for you?
- Event Videographers
- YouTubers & Social media enthusiasts
- Documentarians & Indie filmmakers
- Commercial & Corporate filmmakers
- Post-production specialists
Screen Size: 49" (124.5 cm)
Resolution: 3840 x 1080
Aspect Ratio: 32:9
Viewing Angles (H/V): 178°/178°
Static Contrast Ratio:
- Typical: 3000:1
- Minimum: 2400:1
- Typical: 350 cd/m²
- Minimum: 250 cd/m²
- Peak : 600 cd/m²
Response Time: 1 ms (MPRT)
sRGB Coverage: Typical 125%, Minimum 120%
- NTSC 1976
- Typical: 88%
- Minimum: 84%
Color Support: 1.07 billion
Refresh Rate: 144 Hz
AMD Free Sync Technology: Yes, FreeSync 2
Ports and Connectors:
- 2 x HDMI
- 1 x DisplayPort
- 1 x Mini DisplayPort
- 1 x 3.5 mm Audio-in
- 1 x Headphone jack
- 1 x USB 3.0 (upstream)
- 2 x USB 3.0 (downstream)
Tilt: -2 to 15° (±2°)
Swivel: -2 to 15° (±2°)
Height Adjustable: 4.72" (120 mm) (±0.2" (5 mm))
Power Supply: 100-240 VAC
Power Consumption (Maximum): 113 W
Chris Monlux loves playing craps, though he is not a winner. He is also Videomaker’s Multimedia Editor.