A new-generation of consoles and GPUs have been released, and the demand for high-resolution, high-framerate monitors is increasing at a rapid pace. The manufacturing industry – which can be argued to be oversaturated – is an extremely competitive market, with companies doing everything in their power to gain an edge over their rivals.
When it comes to monitors, Samsung seems to have placed particular emphasis on creating the best curved monitors money can buy. They’ve accomplished this task by creating a panel that is specifically designed to minimize the inherent shortcomings of the standard Vertically Aligned (VA) panels. Namely, these limitations include: narrow viewing angles, slow response times, and increased input lag. Samsung has accomplished this task by creating a Super Vertical Alignment (SVA) panel, which has wider viewing angles, contrast ratio and brightness that are up to 300% higher, and Grey-to-Grey (G2G) response times that are up to 50% faster. These SVA panels are also more durable and power efficient, so when looking for a curved monitor, few can compete with what Samsung has to offer.
LG, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to innovate as much as they do focus on optimizing existing technology. The fact that they sell high quality monitors with top-of-the-line specifications at relatively low prices is what has made them so popular as a monitor and laptop/notebook manufacturer.
At the 27-inch, 1440p 144+ Hz range of gaming monitors, the best that Samsung and LG have to offer are the Odyssey G7 and the 27GL850 respectively. Both monitors are capable of reproducing a wide range of colors, have extremely fast response times and incredibly low input lag. Now, the Odyssey G7 does cost about 30% than the LG 27GL850, so, the question is: is it worth the cost? Since the answer to this question will depend both on individual preference, as well as the PC setup that will power these monitors, let’s compare the two and see which monitor brings more value for their cost, for gaming applications and beyond.
Odyssey G7 vs LG 27GL850: Specifications
|Samsung Odyssey G7
|5120 x 1440p
|5120 x 1440p
|144 Hz (175 Hz OC)
|16 : 9
|16 : 0
|8 bits + FRC
|8 bits + FRC
|2500 : 1
|800 : 1
Resolution & Refresh Rate – Odyssey G7
Both the LG 27GL850 and the Samsung Odyssey G7 have 2560 x 1440p resolutions, though they differ in refresh rates. The LG 27GL850 has a native 144 Hz refresh rate – which can be overclocked to 175 Hz – while the Odyssey G7 has a native refresh rate of 240 Hz.
As impressive as a 240 Hz refresh rate sounds, on a 1440p resolution, the reality is that this level of framerate is still not realistic for the vast majority PC setups, even with some of the best consumer grade hardware the market has to offer – and especially so when it comes to AAA gaming. For less demanding online multiplayer titles, like Counter Strike: GO for example, 240 Hz at 1440p can be achieved, so, for competitive gamers, the Odyssey G7 does have a considerable advantage against the LG 27GL850 in terms of framerate. Another thing to note, is that overclocking the refresh rate for the LG 27GL850 can increase the input latency, as monitors perform to their optimal specifications only when performing their native resolution and framerate, so this is also the case for limiting the framerate on the Odyssey G7. Thankfully, both monitors have impressively low latencies, even at variable refresh rates.
Appearance – Odyssey G7
More effort seems to have been placed on making the Odyssey G7 be visually appealing, than is the case for the LG 27GL850. The Odyssey G7 has three RGB illuminated displays – which Samsung has named Infinity Core Lighting – visible in the two bottom corners of the bezel, as well as where the stand connects to the monitor behind the display.
What the LG 27GL850 has going for it, is its much slimmer exterior, being 6.5 inches (16.5 cm) in thickness with its stand, and 2.2 inches (5.6 cm) in thickness without. The Odyssey G7, on the other hand, has such a steep curvature, that its thickness measures at 11.6 inches (29.5 cm) with the stand, and 7.4 inches (18.9 cm) without.
In the end, because of the added RGB illumination of the exterior, we have to give a slight edge to the Odyssey G7 when it comes to style; but beauty does lie in the eye of the beholder, so this verdict depends on preference.
Display – Depends on Preference
The major difference between these two monitors, beyond their specifications, is their curvature – or lack thereof. The Odyssey G7 has an aggressively bent screen, while the LG 27GL850 is flat.
The curve radius of the Odyssey G7 is said to relieve eye strain, for it’s stated that it has the same curvature of the human eye… but this sounds more like a marketing statement than anything else. What the arc does have going for it, is that it allows for certain features, like Picture-by/in-Picture which give us the ability for single-monitor multitasking by separating the screen (in Picture) or by placing two simultaneous displays (by Picture) on screen from two different source devices.
The negative aspect of a curved screen is that you have to look at it directly from the center or risk having the picture look distorted or have a glare. Other negative aspects associated with curved monitors are related to the VA panel, like abnormally high response times, input lag, and their lack of ergonomic versatility – both these are shortcomings that the Odyssey G7 avoids thanks to Samsung’s SVA panel type.
If you are purchasing a monitor to use with the Xbox Series X, or just want it to have wider viewing angles so you can watch/play-on it with others locally, then chances are you would prefer the IPS panel of the LG 27GL850.
Contrast & Brightness – Odyssey G7
The increased brightness levels and better static contrast ratios typically featured by Samsung’s SVA panel are always impressive, and the Odyssey G7 does not fall short in this regard. It has a brightness level of 350 nits, that can peak at 600 nits, and a static contrast of 2,500 to one – with RTINGS.com actually stating that it can be even higher than this Samsung-appraised specification, as they measured it to be between 3,892 – 3,935 : 1. The variance can, of course, also be attributed to the difference in individual units.
On the other hand, the LG 27GL850 has a lackluster contrast ratio of only 800 to one, and a brightness level of 300 nits, that peaks at 400 nits; which will suit most users just fine. The biggest difference here is the contrast ratio, where the LG falls severely behind the Odyssey G7.
Color Range – Tie
Both monitors feature a simulated panel bit depth of 10 bits, as, in reality, they have a bit depth of 8 bits, but through the utilization of Frame Rate Control (FRC), which quickly cycles between different color tones (creating the illusion that more intermediate color tones exist), they are able to reproduce additional color tones that are normally found in 10-bit bit depths. In short, FRC effectively upscales the panel’s bit depth, and in turn the number of colors that can be reproduced.
Thus, both monitors can display 1.07 billion 30-bit colors, with the Samsung Odyssey G7 covering 125% of the sRGB and 95% of the DCI P3 color space, while the LG 27GL850 can cover 135% of the sRGB color space, 96% of the Adobe RGB color space, 98% of the DCI P3 color space, and 70% of the Rec. 2020 color space. Though it may seem like the LG 27GL850 has the advantage in terms of color reproduction, both monitors can reproduce the same amount of colors; and its HDR 10 compatibility trails the HDR 600 compatibility of the Samsung Odyssey G7, so they are effectively even.
Response Time & Input Lag – Tie
For 1440p high framerate monitors, both the Odyssey G7 and the LG 27GL850 display excellent response times and low input latency. Both monitors have a one millisecond G2G and Motion Picture Response Time (MPRT), so ghosting and motion blur will hardly be an issue with these screens.
What’s more important, especially for competitive gaming enthusiasts, is the inherent input lag of the monitors. Keeping your monitor’s input lag at a minimum, especially at a variable refresh rate, can make a sizeable difference in the overall end-to-end input lag of your build. With new-generation features like Nvidia’s Reflex and AMD’s Anti-Lag exist, which drastically reduce overall system latency, having individual components with the least amount of input lag possible is of utmost importance.
RTINGS benchmarks found the Odyssey G7 to have a surprisingly low variable refresh of just 3.1 ms – which rises to only 12.7 ms at 60 Hz – while the LG 27GL850 has a 4.7 ms variable refresh rate input lag that increases to 13.2 ms at 60 Hz. The Odyssey G7 does have an advantage, but the difference is small enough to be negligible.
Ergonomics – Odyssey G7
As odd as it is declaring a steeply curved monitor to have the ergonomic advantage over a flat screen monitor, the Odyssey G7 definitely deserves the win.
Both monitors have a removable stand, and can be mounted via the Video Electronics Standards Association’s (VESA) Mounting Interface Standard (MIS) at 100 x 100 millimeters. Both allow for height adjustment (120 mm for the Odyssey G7 and 110 for the LG 27GL850) a left and right pivot (0 and 90 degrees for the LG 27GL850 and 2 and 92 degrees for the Odyssey G7) and a forwards and backwards tilt (5 and 15 degrees for the LG 27GL850 and 9 and 13 degrees for the Odyssey G7). What the Odyssey G7 has that is missing from the LG 27GL850 is the ability to swivel, and it can do so in both directions by up to 15 degrees.
Power Consumption– LG 27GL850
In terms of power efficiency, LG’s 27GL850 uses only 39 watts on average; pulling just 18 Watts on eco mode and a maximum of 65 watts when overclocking. These values give it an estimated 57 kWh of annual energy expenditure.
The Odyssey G7 consumes 60 watts on average, and can consume up to 100 watts at its maximum power consumption. In other words, better refresh rates do come at a cost, not just in initial price but also overall energy expenditure.
Connectivity – Tie
Display connectivity can become an important factor if your GPU has limited slots, or if your console does support certain increased framerates without the use of its preferred audio/video interface.
Both the Odyssey G7 and the LG 27GL850 have HDMI 2.0 ports (one and two respectively), DisplayPort 1.4 slots (two and one respectively) as well as three USB 3.0 ports that allow for up to two peripherals to be plugged in, like a mouse and keyboard (two downstream, and one upstream each). Also, both monitors have a single 3.5 mm audio-out jack.
Features – Odyssey G7
Once again, the Odyssey G7 holds an advantage on the LG 27GL850, though this time for its plethora of convenient features – the most useful of which being the aforementioned Picture-in-Picture and Picture-by-Picture.
What the two monitors have in common is that they are both AMD FreeSync (FreeSync Premium Pro for the Odyssey G7) and Nvidia G-Sync compatible, and they both have a Black Stabilizer/Equalizer and Flicker-free technology.
The LG 27GL850 has a 6-Axis Control (menu navigation), a crosshair overlay, DDC/CI, Dynamic Action Sync (input lag minimizer), and Sphere Lighting (which synchronizes the backlight with game content).
Samsung’s Odyssey G7 includes an Eco Saver Mode, Low Blue Light, a Low Input Lag Mode (reduces variable refresh rate input lag), Mega Dynamic Contrast (enhances dynamic contrast ratio in real time), Off Timer Plus (automatic off timer), Refresh Rate Optimizer, Screen Size Optimizer, Super Arena Gaming UX (customizable UI that can be activated during gaming) and USB Super Charging (for quick USB charging for compatible devices).
Now that we’ve compared the specifications and features of both monitors, let’s go back to the initial question of whether or not the Odyssey G7 is worth its extra cost.
The main differentiating factor between these two displays is the screen. If you don’t have a particular preference between curved or flat screen, but have maybe heard rumors about curved monitors not being good for gaming due to increased input lag or ghosting, it has been shown extensively that this is not the case for Samsung’s Odyssey G7 and their SVA panels in general. So, with screen curvature aside, let’s see which monitor fairs better for different, popular, modes of usage.
Competitive Gaming – Odyssey G7
For competitive gaming that requires minimal input lag, fast response times, and high refresh rates, the Odyssey G7 more than earns its $130 price increase. It has a refresh rate that reaches up to 240 Hz (versus the 144 Hz of the LG 27GL850), Picture-in/by-Picture multitasking capabilities, and marginally less input lag (3.1 vs 4.7 ms).
Of course, it must be emphasized, that in order to fully utilize the refresh rate potential of the Odyssey G7, a high-end PC setup is absolutely necessary. The currently most powerful GPU for 1440p gaming, the AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT, averages 169 FPS according to Techspot – but this average can be increased depending on the game, in-game graphical settings, and CPU (tests were carried out using a previous generation Ryzen 9 3950X). The framerate limitation will be less of an issue for less hardware-intensive titles, but competitive games like Call of Duty: Warzone, for example, do require powerful builds for high framerates at QHD.
AAA Title Gaming – Odyssey G7
The Odyssey G7 not only has a better contrast ratio, local dimming, higher peak brightness and ergonomic capabilities, it also allows for a more immersive gaming experience for single player titles. The differences with the LG 27GL850 may be minor for the most part, but the monitor looks better, has a higher refresh rate, and has some key specification advantages that make it worth the extra investment.
Console Gaming – 27GL850
The deal breaker for the Odyssey G7 when it comes to console gaming is its viewing angle. With consoles, chances are you will want to play games that support local multiplayer (co-op or competitive) and have two or more people share the same screen. Doing so with a curved monitor – especially one with such a steep curvature – is not practical at all. Of course, if you don’t plan on playing multiplayer games locally, the Odyssey G7 would be a better choice based upon the reasons mentioned for general triple-A gaming.
General Use – Odyssey G7
Gaming monitors are generally not recommended for photo/video editing, but both monitors have great color accuracy (the LG 27GL850 even has DDC/CI for parameter adjustment) so they can be used for content creation. Where the Odyssey G7 outperforms the LG 27GL850 is its ability to split the screen and have two devices plugged in at once. Of course, it is a 27-inch (32-inch) monitor so the displays will be small, but for multitasking it is definitely worth its money. If you game and stream from the same screen, the Odyssey G7 is a no-brainer.
That being said, if you plan on utilizing a multi-monitor setup, the LG 27GL850 would be the obvious pick between the two. Its IPS panel’s wider viewing angle, lack of curvature, and near-borderless bezel make it an ideal option for this type of setup.