The Samsung C49HG90 is a monitor like no other. Because of its extraordinary aspect ratio and price – even in the gaming monitor market 1339 pounds / 1499 euros is quite a lot of money – it is a curiosity for most of us, something to admire or daydream about, but too exotic to consider for daily use. However, for a select audience it is the perfect monitor: those who play racing and space sims can be completely absorbed in their game world like never before. If you enjoy slower shooters, that allow you to take the view in every now and then, or when your playing field is limited to an (mmo)rpg, the C49HG90 offers an unprecedented immersive experience.
This is of course not only because it is a very wide monitor, but mostly because it is so technically advanced. The combination of 144Hz and anti-motion-blur with the help of a scanning backlight results in a very smooth image quality; the relatively low resolution of about 4 million pixels also helps. The used panel offers a very good black value and contrast thanks to the vertical alignment pixels, and the quantum dot backlight does its work in order to realize a wide colour space with very saturated colours. The cherry on top is HDR: games that use this result in other titles looking kind of bland, this is how big the effect of the combination of more dynamic and more realistic colours is.
There are also downsides: HDR is only supported by a few games, and it is extremely painful to get it to work and keep it working at the moment. The Windows desktop looks awful if you activate HDR. These are software problems, issues that will be resolved in time. A monitor is not often bought to be used for a short amount of time, which means that you will probably not have this issue with this monitor in the long run. Another painful aspect is the input lag: while we do exactly know how this monitor works internally, it is reasonable to argue that HDR can only be effectively applied when every frame can be analyzed for light and dark parts, so that the local dimming backlight can adjust itself for this. This of course means a delay, and if it is not noticeable it is at least measurable. We were not bothered by it, but we do know that for some people every millisecond is one too many. These people should not look at this monitor, and presumably all HDR-monitors, for quite some time.
If you are not a part of this group, there is not a lot of chance that you will consider a monitor with a price of 1339 pounds / 1499 euros that a lot of games cannot even use optimally. You are better off looking at its smaller brothers, like the C27HG70, which we will review on Hardware.Info soon. Nevertheless the C49HG90 is a fantastic monitor that is ground-breaking in multiple ways. It is a monitor that is not affected by market analysis or logic: it would not have made it past the desk of a product manager that only looks at numbers. Samsung shows how you can create a truly remarkable gaming monitor, and in our opinion it is the ultimate gaming monitor at the moment. There is only one suitable award for this monitor.