Samsung Odyssey OLED G8 (G80SD) Monitor Review - More Than Meets the Eye

Published On: June 4, 2024
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Samsung Odyssey OLED G8 (G80SD) Monitor Review - More Than Meets the Eye

Part TV and part monitor, this gaming beast does it all.

Samsung Odyssey OLED G8 (G80SD) Monitor Review - More Than Meets the Eye

  • With a passion for home theater, tech, and great sound, Eric writes to inform and inspire. He has a background installing smart homes, home theater, network integration, and all things consumer tech.

In the world of high-end monitors, OLED technology has always been a double-edged sword. On one hand, OLED panels offer unparalleled contrast, deep blacks, and wide viewing angles. On the other hand, they've been plagued by issues like poor text clarity, automatic brightness reduction (ABR), and the ever-looming threat of burn-in. But what if we told you that Samsung has finally cracked the code with the Odyssey OLED G8?

Previous Quantum Dot (QD-OLED) models were great for gaming, but had mediocre text clarity; that was a big gripe for anyone expecting the monitor to pull double duty for work and play. Plus, using an OLED for stark white text docs would cause the overall brightness to plummet. This model, by contrast, is a much more polished draft of QD-OLED efforts, equally solid for gaming, work, or watching movies.

Samsung has tackled these issues head-on with the G80SD. The 2024 model features significant improvements in OLED panel technology, resulting in crystal-clear text rendering that rivals the best IPS displays. No more squinting at blurry fonts or dealing with eye strain during long work sessions.

But the real game-changer is Samsung's innovative 'pulsating' heat pipe cooling system. This advanced thermal management solution helps to maintain optimal temperatures across the panel, ensuring consistent brightness and color performance. It also greatly reduces the frequency of ABR events, which means you can enjoy your content without annoying brightness fluctuations.

Part TV and part monitor, this gaming beast does it all. 5cd270b5 image

The heat pipe system, combined with Samsung's OLED Safeguard+ technology, also takes aim at the dreaded specter of burn-in. The monitor intelligently detects static elements like logos and HUDs, selectively dimming them to prevent permanent image retention. This means you can game for hours on end or leave your favorite apps open without worrying about damaging the panel.

Features and Design of the G80SD

Part TV and part monitor, this gaming beast does it all. 617b92d2 image
Portrait Mode

The G8's premium design immediately catches the eye, with a sleek metal stand and a thin, modern-looking metal bezel that exudes quality. Despite the added processing power and additional cooling tech, this monitor is as thin as ever, though with a more substantial overall heft than other competitors. The stand's versatility is also noteworthy, with enough height to allow a swivel to portrait mode, adapting to your needs and preferences on the fly.

Not only is the heat pipe cooling unique, but the G8 also offers an unparalleled level of functionality and versatility. This monitor is capable of standalone usage as a Smart TV, thanks to its full-fledged Tizen interface and access to all the latest apps and streaming services. Powered by Samsung's cutting-edge NQ8 AI Gen 3 processor, the G8 delivers an intuitive, responsive user experience that mirrors the company's 2024 8K TV lineup.

But the G8's capabilities don't stop there. It also functions as a gaming console, providing access to cloud gaming services and supporting a wide range of gaming controllers for a console-like experience without additional hardware. The built-in SmartThings/Matter hub allows you to control your entire smart home ecosystem directly from your monitor, while the integrated Alexa and Bixby voice assistants, coupled with far-field microphones, enable convenient hands-free control. All of that processing power is put to good use - the G8's AI Upscaling technology ensures that all your content looks its best, intelligently enhancing image quality in real-time. And with the monitor's extremely responsive interface navigation, you'll be able to switch between tasks, apps, and inputs with ease.

Part TV and part monitor, this gaming beast does it all. e67e8589 image

But perhaps the most unique aspect of the G8 is its matte finish screen. This coating has been tweaked specifically for these new OLED monitors, which have traditionally been limited in bright and sun-lit rooms by glossy screens that are prone to reflections. The matte finish on the G8 diffuses light in a way that other monitors simply can't match, allowing it to maintain exceptional visibility and vibrancy even in challenging lighting conditions.

This means that the G8 is not confined to the traditional dimly lit room or meticulously controlled office environment. It can thrive in spaces where glossy screens would be rendered useless, like a sun-soaked living room or a brightly lit open-concept workspace. The matte finish empowers you to use your monitor where you want, not where you're forced to.

Part TV and part monitor, this gaming beast does it all. 62af2800 image
Both screens directly reflecting overhead lights to the camera.

Of course, there is a small trade-off. The diffused reflections can slightly decrease the perceived contrast and black levels in certain areas of the screen. However, this is a minor compromise when weighed against the freedom and flexibility that the matte finish provides, but this may come down to personal preference in the glossy vs. matte screen debate. In controlled lighting environments, the G8's contrast is still on par with the best OLED monitors out there.


For gamers, the G8 is an absolute dream. The lightning-fast 240Hz refresh rate, coupled with the near-instant 0.03ms response time, delivers an unparalleled sense of speed and fluidity. The wide FreeSync Premium Pro range and NVIDIA G-Sync compatibility ensures that you'll never encounter screen tearing or stuttering, regardless of your gaming platform. Samsung's comprehensive gaming suite, including virtual aim points, dynamic black equalizer, and auto-genre optimization, gives you a competitive edge and enhances immersion without the need for complex settings tweaks. Whether you're a casual gamer or a die-hard esports competitor, the G8 has you covered.

Part TV and part monitor, this gaming beast does it all. d5df867f image

The integrated Samsung Gaming Hub transforms the display into a full-fledged gaming platform, capable of streaming games directly from the cloud without the need for a dedicated console or PC. With support for major streaming services like Xbox Game Pass, NVIDIA GeForce Now, Google Stadia, and Amazon Luna, you have access to an extensive library of titles right out of the box.

When it comes to panel performance, the G8 is hard to beat. The star of the show is the Quantum Dot OLED panel, with its near-perfect viewing angles, unmatched color and contrast performance. By combining the self-emissive pixel technology of OLED with the color-enhancing properties of quantum dots, Samsung has crafted a display that delivers the best of both worlds. The results are stunning, with a measured color gamut covering 99% of the DCI color space (CIE1976). Colors are vivid, accurate, and a clear step above traditional LCD and first-gen OLED panels. Motion handling is also superb, a testament to the 240hz technology inside.

Part TV and part monitor, this gaming beast does it all. 0ae9fe44 image
Port selection

In terms of brightness, the G8 hits a peak of around 400 nits in small highlight regions, with a full-screen sustained brightness of about 250 nits. While not quite as retina-searing as some mini-LED displays, it's more than ample for the monitor's intended use cases and viewing distances. The incredible contrast inherent to OLED technology ensures that HDR content pops with realism and depth. With the new heat pipe based cooling system, ABR (automatic brightness reduction) is significantly improved from previous models.

While audio performance is often an afterthought in monitors, the G8 refuses to settle. The monitor boasts an impressive array of audio features, including 360 Audio, Active Voice Amplifier Pro, Adaptive Sound Pro, HDMI ARC, and Bluetooth 5.2 compatibility, though we were disappointed by the lack of EARC (and therefore the ability to pass-thru Dolby Atmos) given this monitor's standalone TV functionality. The integrated dual 10W speakers, while understandably lacking in deep bass due to their size constraints, deliver outstanding clarity and well-tuned mids that excel for nearfield listening, particularly with vocal-heavy content. Overall tonal balance was impressive, with no shrill highs or muddiness detracting from the listening experience.

Final Thoughts

The Samsung Odyssey G8 OLED is a monitor that's ready for anything, anywhere. With its innovative heat pipe cooling system and matte finish screen, the G8 tackles the traditional weaknesses of OLED technology head-on, delivering a consistent, stunning visual experience in any environment. The matte finish is a revelation, allowing you to enjoy your favorite content or games even in brightly lit rooms where other monitors would plainly not be usable.

And forget compromise; the G8 does it all. It excels as a gaming monitor, boasting top-tier specs and features, while also providing a productivity powerhouse with its crystal-clear text rendering and expansive screen real estate. The built-in Smart TV functionality and SmartThings/Matter hub further expand its capabilities, making it a true all-in-one solution.

The monitor that's as versatile as you are, the Samsung Odyssey OLED G8 is the clear choice for those seeking a premium display that can keep up with their varied interests and needs. Whether you're gaming in a sun-soaked room, crunching numbers in a brightly lit office, or binge-watching your favorite shows, the G8 delivers an unparalleled experience. It's a testament to Samsung's innovation and a worthy recipient of our Editors' Choice award, setting a new gold standard for all-in-one monitors.

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