Samsung Odyssey Ark, opinions after first contact. Video and photos.

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Samsung Odyssey Ark, first impressions: Samsung has long wanted to push the limits of the traditional gaming monitor a bit with its Odyssey series. We already tested the G9 model, a 49″ ultra-curved and ultra-wide monitor. Now it’s big brother’s turn.

And now Samsung Oddysey Ark arrives with a more traditional aspect ratio: 21:9 but with a huge curved 55″ diagonal that you can also put vertically. Let’s see what we think.

Samsung Odyssey Ark data sheet

Samsung Odyssey Ark

dimensions and weight

1,174.8 x 1,102 x 379mm

41.5 kilos

panel

55-inch VA

1,056 dimming zones

16:9 format

95% DCI-P3

Resolution

3,849 x 2,160 pixels

HDR

Quantum HDR 2000

HDR10+

HDR10+Gaming

backlight

Local mini-LED dimming (1,056 zones)

refresh rate

165Hz

brightness

Normal: 600 nits

Minimum: 420nits

static contrast

1,000,000:1

response time

1ms (GtG)

viewing angles

178º / 178º

sound

4 x corner speakers

2x woofer

60W

Dolby Atmos

AI Sound Booster

connectivity

4 x HDMI 2.1

2xUSB2.0

1x 3.5mm jack

1xEthernet

wireless connectivity

Bluetooth 5.2

Wi-Fi 5

adaptive refresh technologies

FreeSync Premium Pro

typical consumption

84W

operating system

Tizen

others

SmartThings

dlna

Samsung Magic Rotation Auto

flicker-free

Echo light sensor

Eye Saver mode

Game Bar 2.0

Gaming Hub

Auto Source Switch+

price

€2,999

SAMSUNG Odyssey Ark 55'' S55BG970NU - Screen for PC, Screen of 55"UHD 4K resolution (3840 x 2160), 165Hz, 1ms, AMD Freesync, Black

SAMSUNG Odyssey Ark 55” S55BG970NU – PC Screen, 55″ Screen, UHD 4K Resolution (3840 x 2160), 165Hz, 1ms, AMD Freesync, Black

Huge outside, huge inside

In a first contact with this monitor, it is impossible not be impressed by the size and curvature of the panel. Sitting in the front you get completely engulfed by that 55″ and hardly know where to look on the screen. But it doesn’t take long to get used to it, and that’s good news.

Samsung Odyssey 10

The monitor is held by a sturdy steel base, very similar to the one we saw in the Smart Monitor M8, but obviously bigger. We can adjust the height of the panel and also rotate it to activate what Samsung has called “cabin mode”. It is impressive how a monitor of this size looks in front of you vertically. Although, as I will comment later, in this mode it is somewhat limited.

Samsung Odyssey 7

In terms of connectivity, it does not fall short, but requires a huge extra module where all the connections go, the same one that comes with the brand’s high-end televisions. It has 4 HDMI 2.1 ports, two USB and one ethernet. It is somewhat strange that an ethernet port has not been included, being today the most recurrent connection in gaming PCs. Even so, the HDMI 2.1 ports will allow us to play in 4K and at more than 120Hz.

Samsung wants 4K resolution to shine on this panel, and the use of Mini LED technology is one of its weapons to achieve it.

This Odyssey Ark is a gaming monitor and, as such, specifications to match are expected of it. And he has them, as expected. We are facing a curved panel with 1000R Mini Led backlight with 55 “and 4K resolution. It is accompanied by 165Hz and 1 ms of response compatible with AMD FreeSync.

With this resolution, Mini LED technology aims to achieve a lot of detail in the lightest and darkest parts of the image. A quality that almost rivals many OLED televisions and monitors.

The viewing angles, being so enveloping, have been more than correct for us, as long as you are the one in front. From the outside something curious happens: it can be slightly dizzy looking at it from the side (something that will not happen usually). Of course, the image remains quite sharp when the panel also has an anti-reflection treatment that actually works quite well.

Playing with the Samsung Odyssey Ark

Samsung Odyssey 1

The key question when considering the purchase of this monitor is how does it behave in games. In this first contact, our experience could not have been more positive, because it is not every day that you play on a 55-inch panel specially designed for gaming.

Playing in the Samsung Odyssey Ark is a brutal experience, and we are left wanting to play something more narrative, such as a ‘God of War’, or a simulation installment like ‘Forza’. In our case, we were able to play ‘Fortnite’ for a while.

In shooters, size does not play in our favor, we have to turn our heads quite a bit to be able to see everything simultaneously

What we had clear from the first moment is that this monitor is not ideal for shooters. Basically, because it is practically impossible to see everything at the same time. You have to be moving your head to see the mini map or make sure you don’t have enemies in the periphery. There is a small solution with lots of quotes that I will tell you about later.

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That handicap aside, the monitor’s specs do it perfect justice and it’s a blast to see how everything moves and looks great. I have not appreciated ghosting or any aberration in the image.

But speaking of gaming, one of the most interesting options this monitor has is that we have Smart TV options and integration with the Samsung gaming hub. This allows us to access services such as Google Stadia, XBOX Game Cloud or NVIDIA GeForce now from the screen itself and play in the cloud without the need for additional hardware.

complete and ambitious

Samsung Odyssey 7

And now yes yes, let’s turn the monitor and put it vertically. It will automatically change what we have set to a suitable distribution for the format. If we only have the PC desktop active, it will take the window down and we will have a space in the center and the top to put with this mode multi view two other windows of the monitor itself.

And here is the key… applications of the monitor itself. We cannot drag windows beyond the space allocated to our PC. We asked Samsung if with another two HDMI from the PC to the monitor it would recognize it as 3 monitors, but it is something that they have not yet tested, so we will have to wait for the analysis. As a curiosity, it is the perfect monitor for viewing content vertically like Youtube or TikToks shorts.

Samsung Odyssey 11

Finally, it’s time to talk about the sound. The specifications promise: has a speaker in each corner and two center woofers. Knowing how curved it is and how it surrounds you, the sound is expected to be good, but the conditions in which we have been able to test it have not been ideal to verify it.

Definitely, this first contact test is positive. We have very good image quality thanks to Mini Led technology and 4K resolution, extreme fluidity in video games with those 165 Hz refresh rate, the possibility of reducing the size of the window to better adapt the games and, being clear, it is a real blast to play with such an immersive monitor and be able to rotate it.

The brand knows that it is not for everyone. Starting with the price: €2,999. Whoever the pocket allows this purchase and is clear that they want an immersive experience with video games, will take one of the best proposals in this territory.

Samsung Odyssey Ark, first impressions: Samsung has long wanted to push the limits of the traditional gaming monitor a bit…

Samsung Odyssey Ark, first impressions: Samsung has long wanted to push the limits of the traditional gaming monitor a bit…

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