Samsung S25HG50 144Hz TN model
Update: Update on price and availability. News piece below initially published 20th February 2017.
Samsung has recently re-entered the gaming monitor scene after a notable absence for several years. Their smallest offering, the C24FG70, offers a unique experience with its high refresh rate VA (Vertical Alignment) panel. But not everybody likes to have a curve on their screen, subtle though it may seem when you’re using the screen. And moreover, there are some imperfections in responsiveness due to the panel type used. The S25HG50 offers an alternative, sporting a flat TN (Twisted Nematic) panel. Aesthetically it has gone for the solidly built industrial look, with relatively chunky bezels and a large Y-shaped stand. The stand offers tilt, swivel, height and pivot (rotation into portrait) adjustment. The OSD (On Screen Display) is controlled by a joystick or JOG button at the rear of the screen, at the right side as viewed from in front. The OSD includes the company’s reworked ‘Gaming UX’ interface as seen on the CFG70 series. 3 gaming hotkeys (to recall different sets of settings) are also included, with downwards facing buttons.
The panel used is 24.5” TN with 1920 x 1080 (Full HD) resolution and 144Hz refresh rate, specifically a variant of the AUO M250HTN01. AMD FreeSync is also supported, with the variable refresh rate currently unknown but believed to be 48 – 144Hz (with support for LFC). A matte screen surface is employed, which is hopefully one that is fairly ‘light’ and ungrainy as seen on the VA models but may be more similar to the current 144Hz 24” TN models. A 1000:1 contrast ratio and 170°/160° horizontal/vertical viewing angles are specified, as is typical for the panel type. 8-bit colour is supported, likely through the usual 6-bit + FRC dithering. Another notable difference with this model, compared to the CFG70 models, is the use of a standard flicker-free (non-PWM) WLED backlight. This offers ~sRGB colour space coverage without the extension beyond that (extra vibrancy) offered by the use of Quantum Dots and has a rather bright typical maximum luminance of 400 cd/m². Other points of interest include the 1ms grey to grey response time (take with salt) and LBL (Low Blue Light) settings which include the company’s unique ‘Eye Saver Mode’. This not only creates a warmer look and hugely reduces the blue colour channel, as is typical for an LBL mode, it also purposefully minimises contrast. This is designed to minimise the amount of time spent by the eyes adapting to changing light levels. The ‘Game Mode’ and ‘Black Equalizer’ feature also return. The former creates an overly sharp and oversaturated image, which the discerning user will dislike, whereas the second alters the gamma curve to artificially increase detail levels in dark scenes to give a competitive edge.
The stand attaches centrally to the rear of the screen and can be removed to reveal 100 x 100mm VESA holes. Textured matte black plastic is used throughout, at the rear. The ports include; DP 1.2a (supports Adaptive-Sync and hence AMD FreeSync), 2 HDMI 1.4 ports (likely 1.4a with Adaptive-Sync) and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Further information can be found on Samsung’s website. The monitor is available for around £300, with wider global availability expected shortly. It will certainly be interesting to see how this compares to the other ~24” TN models out there, which currently use the same or a very similar variant of an AU Optronics panel first released back in 2011. So if a sample is made available to us, we’d like to take a look at this model.