Author Topic: Samsung S32F351 Review & Curved Samsung C32F391 Review: Glossy* 1920x1080 VA Panels  (Read 269 times)

NCX

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Both monitors were tested in 2016, the C32F391 during the summer and the S32F351 during December of 2016.  This is a restoration of my original review posted on wecravegamestoo.  Both monitors are still sold, and the S32F351 is an excellent budget 1080p VA panel for 60hz gaming and movie watching.

Both monitors use the same Low Haze (name used by HP) or Almost-Glossy glossy-type coating which provides an equally clear and vibrant picture as a glossy coating while also being slightly less reflection. Click here to see multiple detailed coating comparisons with multiple kinds of monitors.


Curved Samsung C32F2391 (LC32F391FWNXZA) Product PageReview by Les Numeriques.

Samsung S32F351 (LS32F351FUNXZA) Product Page



Review Information and Methodology:
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« Last Edit: March 28, 2019, 06:32:13 pm by NCX »

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NCX

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Features & Stand
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2018, 08:12:52 pm »

The non-curved Samsung S32F351 can only be titled back slightly, has dual HDMI ports and VESA mounts. It's a very basic, but affordable monitor which houses an almost-glossy or low haze coated 1920x1080 Samsung VA panel inside an entirely white plastic casing. The white bezel vastly increases the perceived black depth, even when the monitor is used in a light-less room with high brightness.


The curved Samsung C32F351 can only be titled back slightly, has one Displayport and one HDMI port, and VESA mounts. Aside from being curved and having Displayport the C32F351's casing, panel and stand are identical to the S32F351.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2018, 06:27:30 pm by NCX »

NCX

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Table of Content
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2018, 08:16:24 pm »

When the AV Mode is enabled (use with non-computers) in the System>PC/AV Mode the HDMI Black Level in the Picture Menu becomes available, as does the Screen Fit setting in the Picture>Picture Size Menu. Also note that the AV and PC mode settings changed the monitors color preset accuracy; the AV mode is significantly less accurate by default, but can be made accurate by selecting the Custom setting in the Picture>Magic Bright menu, and by selecting the Warm setting in the Picture Color>Color Tone menu.

Samsung S32F351 AV Mode vs PC Mode Default Settings:
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The HDMI Black Level settings either send out a 0-255 (Normal setting) or 16-235 (Low setting) signal which can make a display either look very washed out, or too dark and devoid of detail when displaying dark scenes.

The Screen Fit Setting available when the AV mode is selected needs to be selected to prevent over-scan or part of the image from being cut off when not connected to a computer.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2018, 06:28:16 pm by NCX »

NCX

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Flicker/PWM Dimming
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2018, 08:20:21 pm »
Flicker/PWM Dimming

DSC_1421 by Deepinthesky Teslastorm, on Flickr

Both Samsung monitors Flicker Free or do not use LED PWM Dimming (read about the side effects), regardless of high or low the brightness is set. LED PWM Dimming was tested for using the Blur Busters Test UFO Blur Trail/PWM Test from 0-100% Brightness. LED PWM Dimming or Flicker ruins motion clarity example 1 and example 2 of moving text on different displays), and makes some people suffer from health issues such as headaches, and/or eyestrain.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2018, 06:28:52 pm by NCX »

NCX

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Almost-Glossy Coating
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2018, 08:21:50 pm »

Samsung S32F351 vs matte Acer XB321HK

Both Samsung monitors use the same Almost-Glossy/Low Haze coating as the HP 24 Envy and HP 25-27CW/XW (2015) and 25-27er/es (2016) monitors I reviewed. The almost-glossy or low haze coating is slightly less reflective, and looks slightly different than a glossy coating, but is equally clear, as well as displays colors equally as vibrantly.   Low haze coating reflections are bit hazy or blurry compared to a full glossy coating, but not as blurry as a less reflective grain-free matte coated monitor such as the Acer XB321HK featured below:



« Last Edit: September 23, 2018, 06:29:30 pm by NCX »

NCX

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Ghosting
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2018, 08:30:50 pm »

Samsung C32F351 Response Time Settings:
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Both monitors Fastest Response Time setting is useless due to excessive amounts of overshoot ghosting, and both monitors suffer from mild to medium (S32F351) or medium to excessive (C32F351) amounts of overshoot ghosting when the default Faster setting is used. The S32F351 suffers from significantly less overshoot ghosting, as well as significantly less color streaking and smearing of dark colors and shades such as browns and greys.

The curved C32F351's overdrive performance is poor regardless of which setting is used since the Normal setting suffers from very obvious smearing of dark colors and shades (black, brown and grey), and because the Faster setting suffers from very obvious overshoot ghosting.

The non-curved S32F351 is actually a decent 60hz gaming monitor since the Faster response time setting only suffers from obvious overshoot on a few transitions such as light blew and white during the daytime skies of some of the Overwatch maps like Illios.


The Faster setting is almost free from the typical VA panel color smearing, as is the Normal Response Time setting, though the pixel response times do slow down a bit resulting in marginally more color streaking, but the Normal setting is still good and may be the preferred setting to those who can't stand overshoot ghosting.

While it is unrealistic to expect AHVA/IPS/PLS pixel response times from a VA panel it seems Samsung is closer to minimizing the difference with the S32F351 which comes very close to offering 60hz AHVA/IPS/PLS pixel response times and eliminating VA smearing. The most pronounced overshoot ghosting I saw was on light blue and white when viewing content like the blue sky with white clouds on the Overwatch map Illios, and when panning the camera while looking at the Traveler in the Tower of Destiny during the day. Quite a few other budget 1080p IPS panels also exhibit similar amounts of overshoot ghosting unless their overdrive is also set to the lowest setting or turned off.


Those who want a VA panel without obvious smearing and overshoot will likely be satisfied with the Samsung S32F351 while the C32F391 offers below average pixel response time performance, and is easily the worst monitor I've tested in years.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2018, 06:29:58 pm by NCX »

NCX

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Input Lag
« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2018, 08:32:20 pm »
Input Lag

DSC_1397 by Deepinthesky Teslastorm, on Flickr

Both Samsung monitors can be considered delay free, but this is not surprising since most 1080p monitors are. Usually only multi-input 1440p-4k monitors have a around a frame (16.7ms) or two (33.33ms) of input lag. The Leo Bodnar device measures 9.8ms in the middle of the screen, but this Bodnar device measurement partially includes the monitors black-to-white pixel response times and vertical refresh rate; LCD panels take time to refresh from top to bottom. The top screen Bodnar results are in the 3ms range which is a negligible result one can call delay or lag free. The actual signal delay (input lag without including the pixel response times) is likely less than a millisecond, but an oscilloscope is required to obtain the "true" value.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2018, 06:31:48 pm by NCX »

NCX

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Brightness & Contrast
« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2018, 08:34:25 pm »

The non-curved Samsung S32F351 is has marginally higher contrast, as well as is 40cdm/2 brighter than the curved C32F391, but only the marginally higher brightness is noticeable when the brightness is set to maximum (100), and the differences could be a result of panel lottery. The C32F351 offers average brightness, and the S32F351 is slightly brighter than the a typical budget 1080p monitor, but neither monitor is suitable for use with under direct sunlight or extremely bright room lighting, and the differences could be a result of panel lottery. Both monitors offer above average minimum brightness (average minimum is around 80cdm/2) suitable for light-less room use, especially since both have high contrast (3,500:1) and perceived black depth increasing glossy white bezels or casings.

Thanks to the high contrast, minimum glow and perceived black depth increasing white bezel or casing, both monitors are suitable for light-less use when the brightness is set to 25 or less (outputting less than 100cdm/2 brightness). This ability makes these monitors very unique and capable of competing with high end LCD panels used in TV's which usually have fake frame-less casings with perceived black depth bezels or dark black or grey bezels. Dark matte grey bezels are my favorite since they match the aesthetic of most computer and desk products while the white casings used by the Samsung's pairs well with white Apple products.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2018, 06:32:09 pm by NCX »

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Preset Color Accuracy
« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2018, 08:42:24 pm »
Preset Color Accuracy

DSC_2263 by Deepinthesky Teslastorm, on Flickr

Samsung C32F391 & S32F351 basICColor Preset Measurement & HCFR Gamma by Deepinthesky Teslastorm, on Flickr

Samsung C32F391 & Samsung S32F351 HCFR Measurements

HCFR Grey Scale
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HCFR Gamma
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HCFR RGB Levels
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HCFR CIE Diagram
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Both Samsung monitors are fairly accurate out of the box when the PC mode is enabled instead of the AV mode. The PC mode is set to the Custom preset with maximum brightness while the AV mode is preset to the Dynamic mode with maximum brightness and the Cool 2 color Temperature setting which results in a very strong blue tint.

The curved C32F351 is more expensive, yet is less accurate than the non-curved S32F351, as well as has worse black and color uniformity uniformity. The C32F351's inaccurate gamma forces one to choose between the default setting of Gamma Mode 1 which is too low resulting in washed image quality, or Gamma Mode 2 which has significantly higher preset gamma resulting in the loss of detail in dark scenes or black crush because colors and shades are darkened by the high gamma.

Samsung C32F391: Gamma Setting Comparisons:
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While not ideal, both monitors, aside from the C32F391's gamma, look fairly accurate and are free from a very obvious preset color dominance, though it is a bit too blue. The S32F351 looks quite natural out of the box as long as the PC mode is used, and if the PC Mode settings are copied to the AV mode which has different presets and is far too blue. The S32F351 is accurate enough for casual accuracy-related work like photo editing, and enjoying media, especially content with dark scenes or letterbox/widescreen bars, though this is mostly due to their high contrast and perceived black depth increasing plastic white bezels.  The S32F351 is also too blue, and unlike the C32F391, selecting the Warm color temperature does not help since it results in obvious red over saturation.

Samsung S32F351: Un-Calibrated AV Mode:
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Samsung S32F351: Un-Calibrated PC Mode
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Samsung S32F351 Calibrated
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« Last Edit: February 14, 2019, 04:08:30 pm by NCX »

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Calibrated Image Quality
« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2018, 08:56:57 pm »

Click on the image above to enlarge and inspect closely in a new window.  This three way comparison of the monitors calibrated with a colorimeter and connected to a PS4 which does not support ICC profiles which are required to get good results from the C32F391 since it has inaccurate and skewed gamma and RGB levels.  The HP 25er & 25es (they use the same panel and offer the same image quality) that the HP looks better than both Samsung monitors.  This is the result of the HP not suffering from horizontal VA gamma shift, though it does have significantly lower contrast which results in black and only black looking a bit grayish compared to the Samsung VA panels.  The C32F391 looks significantly worse than the S32F351 because the curved panel has inaccurate and low gamma resulting in washed out colors compared to the other two monitors.

It's possible to obtain excellent results from the S32F351 with just menu corrections while the C32F391 needs an ICC profile created by calibration software and a colorimeter to obtain good results.  The S32F351 only slightly improves when used with an ICC profile while the C32F391 benefits greatly, but is still worse than the S32F351, despite the fact that the curved monitor costs significantly more.  The calibrated image quality offered by the non-curved S32F351 is excellent for budget 1080p monitor, and comparable to significantly more expensive VA panels found in TV's since the S32F351 can almost fully cover the sRGB and REC 709 color space.  The black depth of both monitors is also outstanding thanks to the white bezel which vastly increases the perceived black depth and enhances the typical VA panel contrast ratio of 3,200:1+.  The C32F391 can not fully cover the sRGB and REC 709 color space since it has a smaller color gamut which is also a bit skewed which prevents it from being as accurate and vibrant as the S32F351.  Horizontal gamma shift prevents the S32F351 from matching the accuracy of an AHVA/IPS/PLS panel with similar sRGB and REC 709 color space coverage.



« Last Edit: September 23, 2018, 06:33:07 pm by NCX »

NCX

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Perceived Black Depth
« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2018, 11:10:02 pm »
Perceived Black Depth

Samsung S32F351 AVM BLL Movie by Deepinthesky Teslastorm, on Flickr

The perceived black depth of displays with white casings is superb, even for displays with low contrast under 800:1 like the HP Spectre 32 which uses a similar white casing to the Samsung monitors, and has the same almost-glossy or low haze coating. 


When the lights are on the black depth of the HP Spectre 32 with 800:1 contrast looks very similar to that of the Samsung C32F391 which has a 3,000:1 contrast ratio after calibration.  Note that these photos are of the monitors calibrated with just their menu settings; the Samsung has skewed and inaccurate gamma, as well as gamma shift which is why it does not look as vibrant as the HP.

If the brightness is set to less than 100cdm/2, both Samsung monitors can be viewed in a light-less room since the white bezel vastly increases the perceived black depth of these high contrast VA panels.  The same is not true of the HP Spectre 32 with its AHVA panels 800:1 contrast, but black does look much darker compared to AHVA/IPS/PLS panels with typical fake frame-less casings, even if they have much higher contrast.

The Samsung VA panels 3,000:1 contrast is normal for VA panels, but their perceived black depth and contrast is unmatched in the budget arena thanks to the white bezel.  Black looks pitched black or inky versus a bit blue or greyish on competing monitors with black bezels. 

Dark scenes in games and movies are a treat to watch on the S32F351 which is back-light bleed free.  The C32F391 has some back-light bleed in the bottom corners, and appears to be the result of the extra pressure the casing puts on the curved panel. 

« Last Edit: September 23, 2018, 06:33:37 pm by NCX »

NCX

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Viewing Angles & Glow
« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2018, 11:20:22 pm »
Viewing Angles & Glow

Samsung S32F351 DLH by Deepinthesky Teslastorm, on Flickr

All displays have minimum viewing distances which are often not considered since they do not apply to the most popular monitor sizes which are 24" and under.  Some older 27" IPS panels need to be viewed from at least 90cm/3ft away, other wise the sides look washed out, and the same is true of all 32" AHVA/IPS/PLS and VA panels.  The ideal viewing distance for the Samsung C32F391 and S32F351 is 90cm/3ft, which may seem far to some, but is actually good since I've used a few 30" IPS and 32" VA panels which needed to be viewed from at least 120cm/4ft away to avoid seeing obvious contrast loss and glow in the bottom corners.

The VA panel used by the Samsung's should also be raised so that the top of the panel is a bit higher than the viewers head to avoid seeing contrast loss and VA glow in the bottom corners; the same applies to AHVA/IPS/PLS panels while TN panels must be looked down at or viewed from above to not look awful.

Off angle horizontal viewing, even by a few degrees results in the typical VA panel black crush visiblity being very obvious since details in content with dark colors and shades which were previous hidden are revealed, as well as appear to be obviously washed out the further off angle one views the panel from.  Here's an example of a 27" VA panel from Samsung which has the same issue:

Samsung S27C750P Black Crush:
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Glow is not an issue with both panels which are more vertically forgiving than 30-32" AHVA/IPS/PLS panels when viewed from in front at 90cm/3ft away.  Even 75cm/2.5ft viewing distance is ok if the bias or room lighting is bright enough, and if the monitors are not looked down at or viewed from above.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2018, 06:34:05 pm by NCX »

NCX

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Playstation 3 & 4
« Reply #13 on: August 23, 2018, 12:23:57 am »
Playstation 3 & 4

DSC_2261 by Deepinthesky Teslastorm, on Flickr


The Samsung monitors scale 1280x720 and 1920x1080 without issue, as well as have an HDMI Black Level Normal and Low setting for consoles, though it's best to set it to Normal with a properly configured console.

PS3:
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PS4:
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« Last Edit: September 28, 2018, 02:06:54 am by NCX »

NCX

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Xbox 360 & Xbox One
« Reply #14 on: August 23, 2018, 12:27:07 am »
Xbox 360 & Xbox One

The Samsung monitors scale 1280x720 and 1920x1080 without issue, as well as have an HDMI Black Level Normal and Low setting for consoles, though it's best to set it to Normal with a properly configured console.

Xbox 360
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Xbox One

Not tested
« Last Edit: September 28, 2018, 02:09:02 am by NCX »