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Asus ROG Swift OLED PG27AQDM review: gorgeous display that doesn’t quite justify the price
8:00 pm | May 9, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Tags: , | Comments: Off

Asus ROG Swift OLED PG27AQDM: Two-minute review

There’s a lot to say about the Asus ROG Swift OLED PG27AQDM, and if you ignore its price tag, it’s almost entirely positive. Asus knows how to satisfy gamers, and this monitor does its job for everyone except for maybe those that prioritize getting the highest resolution possible.

This Asus ROG Swift display is not going to look quite as sharp as the best 4K monitors with its 1440p resolution. But, this is a 26.5-inch monitor that will presumably be sitting just a couple feet away from you where that won’t matter, especially for competitive gamers who prefer smaller screens. 

So, if you’re willing to splurge and have been saving up for one of the best gaming monitors for your setup, the Asus ROG Swift OLED PG27AQDM is worth consideration. Its high price is most likely due to the inclusion of that OLED panel as well as all the custom heatsink Asus has crammed in to minimize potential burn-in. 

Asus ROG Swift OLED PG27AQDM on a gaming desk

(Image credit: Future / James Holland)

Surprisingly, this is a very sleek monitor. The panel itself is very thin and where the heatsink is attached is not that much thicker. Also adding to that slim figure are its almost non-existent bezels.

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Asus ROG Swift OLED PG27AQDM on a gaming desk

(Image credit: Future / James Holland)
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Asus ROG Swift OLED PG27AQDM on a gaming desk

(Image credit: Future / James Holland)

Asus also made sure that the Asus ROG Swift OLED PG27AQDM can’t be mistaken for anything other than a gaming monitor. That’s most noticeable through the included backlighting, which is controlled through the OSD menu. There are two zones: an RGB one displaying the Asus logo on the rear cover with five different presets and a red LED projecting down at the desk from the base of the Asus’ stand. That unfortunately can only be dimmed or turned off.

Asus ROG Swift OLED PG27AQDM on a gaming desk

(Image credit: Future / James Holland)

Whether you care about RGB or not, the ports are a key consideration when looking at gaming monitors, especially if you like to have multiple sources connected. There’s a DisplayPort and two HDMI, as well as a USB hub though you only get two usable ports. And, while the lack of USB-C is typical for these types of monitors, it would have been appreciated here. After all, anyone dropping $1,000/£1,00 on a display is probably not going to want to buy another one just to use with their Ultrabook or Macbook when it’s time to get some work done.

That said, gamers have quite the number of features on hand to make the most of the Asus ROG Swift OLED PG27AQDM. To start, it supports both AMD Free-Sync and G-Sync and will automatically show you one or the other depending on the graphics card of your computer. It also lets you change the screen size with just a few presses in the OSD menu or software. If you like playing CS:GO in a 1080p resolution at 25 inches, you can do so that easily.

There are also a number of screen modes to adjust the color temperature and brightness based on what kind of game you’re playing (or if you’re watching a movie) as well as a Shadow Boost option that will brighten shadows to help you see enemies in the dark. 

Asus ROG Swift OLED PG27AQDM on a gaming desk

(Image credit: Future / James Holland)

HDR is also available. However, if you turn on HDR, those various presets as well as the Shadow Boost are disengaged. Instead, there are a few HDR presets available to choose from such as HDR Game and HDR Cinema to name a few.

Unfortunately though, the HDR comes in the ever disappointing HDR10 standard. When toggling the HDR on and off for games like Far Cry 6 and Battlefield 2042, I had trouble seeing much of a difference. It was more noticeable with a game containing much more shadow such as Control, where the HDR did offer a more natural-looking environment and a little more dynamic contrast. However, it’s not the eye-popping experience that I experience when enabling HDR on a monitor with a Vesa-certified rating. Really, outside of that price tag, this is the biggest disappointment here.

Asus ROG Swift OLED PG27AQDM on a gaming desk

(Image credit: Future / James Holland)

Luckily, that’s the worst aspect of this monitor. Sure, it’s not 4K, but its 1440p OLED screen is nice and sharp for just about any game I played on it. And, with a color coverage of 135% sRGB and 99% DCI-P3, it represents colors very well.

What really keeps everything looking crisp is the Asus ROG Swift OLED PG27AQDM’s 240Hz refresh rate and 0.3ms gray-to-gray response time. This thing is fast! Even without any V-sync enabled, I almost never experienced ghosting, screen tearing or lag. And, if I did, it was in something poorly optimized or an issue on the PC side. All the games mentioned above performed flawlessly and looked really good.

Asus ROG Swift OLED PG27AQDM: Price & availability

  • How much does it cost?  $999.99 / £1,099.99 / AU$1,999 
  • When is it available? Available now
  • Where can you get it? Available in the US, UK, and Australia

Spending almost as much on a monitor as you would on a gaming PC might seem like the new norm, but it’s still hard to swallow. At $999.99 / £1,099.99 / AU$1,999, Asus is asking a lot for this model. Sure, you’re getting that OLED panel. You’re also getting a 1440p at 240Hz combo in the specs department. And, that can be pricier than one might expect.

The Samsung Odyssey G7, for instance, is also 1440p at 240Hz and goes $676 / £499 /  AU$999. Of course, there’s no OLED panel, and it doesn’t have some of the features that the PG27AQDM has. Still, it’s not hard to find similar performance for $300 less. Other speedy 1440p monitors will also fit into this price-range.

If you want speed but can sacrifice on the resolution, you can spend much, much less. The Monoprice Dark Matter 27-inch gaming monitor, for instance, goes for $299 / about £220 / AU$420 and 1080p at 240Hz performance while also coming with a solid Vesa-Certified HDR400. 

  • Value: 4 / 5

Asus ROG Swift OLED PG27AQDM: Specs

Should you buy the Asus ROG Swift OLED PG27AQDM?

Asus ROG Swift OLED PG27AQDM on a gaming desk

(Image credit: Future / James Holland)

Buy it if...

You want fast performance
With its 240Hz refresh rate and 0.3gtg response time, there are very few monitors that can go faster. And, none of them have an OLED panel.

You want gaming features
Not only is the Asus ROG Swift OLED PG27AQDM with both AMD and Nvidia’s proprietary v-sync, but it comes with the ability to change the aspect ratio to a typical esports-size monitor with just a press of a couple buttons.

Don't buy it if...

You’re on a budget
If you’re willing to skip the OLED panel and maybe the speedy performance, you can get a capable monitor for far less than this display’s $1000 asking price.

You care about HDR
HDR10 always seems to disappoint. And, on such a pricey model as this, it disappoints just a little more. If you really want that deep contrast, look for something with a Vesa-certified HDR rating.

Asus ROG Swift OLED PG27AQDM: Also consider

How I tested the Asus ROG Swift OLED PG27AQDM

  • Tested over a week
  • Tested with different and different kinds of games
  • All included features were explored

To test the Asus ROG Swift OLED PG27AQDM Gaming Monitor, I spent a week with it, playing all sorts of games from fast-paced titles like Battefield 2042 to more graphically intense single player titles like Control and Far Cry 6.

While testing, I spent plenty of time checking for ghosting, screen-tearing, and latency while also toggling HDR to see what effect it had. I also checked out the various features included to see how they worked. For this review, I used two computers. One had an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 while the other had an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060.

Having spent the last few years reviewing tech gear for gaming and otherwise, I’ve gotten a feel for what to look for and how to put a piece of kit through its paces to see whether it’s worth the recommendation. And, I’ve spent even longer playing computer games so I have an understanding of what gamers look for to get the most out of their titles.

We pride ourselves on our independence and our rigorous review-testing process, offering up long-term attention to the products we review and making sure our reviews are updated and maintained - regardless of when a device was released, if you can still buy it, it's on our radar.

Read more about how we test

First reviewed May 2023

Motorola Edge 30 Neo review: a bright screen isn’t enough for this to shine
7:00 am | April 24, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Tags: , , | Comments: Off

Motorola Edge 30 Neo: Two-minute review

The Motorola Edge 30 Neo is the baby of the Edge 30 family. It's a fairly petite and light phone that does not cost a fortune and has some great everyday ease of use features like super-fast charging. 

However, compare it to its siblings, the Motorola Edge 30 Fusion and Motorola Edge 30 Ultra, and you have to conclude a lot of the most interesting stuff has been snipped out. The Motorola Edge 30 Neo loses the higher-end build elements, the true high-end camera hardware, and a processor powerful enough to coast through high-end games.

Display quality is the Motorola Edge 30 Neo’s main strength. The P-OLED panel has exceptional outdoor visibility and, as usual, an OLED panel leads to a punchy and colorful appearance.

A Motorola Edge 30 Neo from the back, in someone's hand

(Image credit: TechRadar)

That is worth some kudos points, but the Motorola Edge 30 Neo can’t compete elsewhere with some of the ultra-aggressive phones available for similar money, like the OnePlus Nord 2T, Nothing Phone 1, and Google Pixel 6a

Those phones take much better low-light photos, play 3D games at higher frame rates, have classier body designs, and capture far higher-quality video.

When you take the high-quality screen away, the Motorola Edge 30 Neo doesn’t actually have all that much going for it in this crowd. However, it still holds real appeal for the less techy phone user.

Motorola Edge 30 Neo review: price and availability

A Motorola Edge 30 Neo from the front, in someone's hand

(Image credit: TechRadar)
  • Launched in September 2022
  • Cost £349 / AU$599 (around $375) at launch
  • Now reduced to £299.99 in the UK

The Motorola Edge 30 Neo was announced as part of the second wave of Edge 30 phones of 2022, in September 2022, alongside the Edge 30 Ultra and Edge 30 Fusion. 

It launched for £349 / AU$599, which is roughly equivalent to $375 in the US, although at the time of review the phone was not officially on sale in the US. Since launch, the phone has dropped in price in the UK, with the Motorola Edge 30 Neo being widely available for £299.99.

Motorola Edge 30 Neo review: specs

A Motorola Edge 30 Neo from the back, in someone's hand

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Motorola Edge 30 Neo review: design

A Motorola Edge 30 Neo from the back

(Image credit: TechRadar)
  • Funky Pantone color panel
  • Fairly petite plastic body
  • Very basic IP52 water resistance

Successful phone designs have to seem deliberate, each part chosen carefully. You can do this with a very distinctive 'look', as in the Google Pixel 7 or Samsung Galaxy S23. Or you can use high-end materials like curved glass. 

Motorola has instead evoked the mighty color company Pantone, putting a virtual swatch of one of the company's colors on the back of the purple model. The message: this isn’t just a color, it’s a Pantone-certified color. There are a few different options available, namely Very Peri, Ice Palace, Black Onyx, and Aqua Foam, and it's the first of those that we used for this review.

“Very Peri helps us to embrace this altered landscape of possibilities, opening us up to a new vision as we rewrite our lives,” says Pantone, which calls Very Peri Color of the Year 2022. 

Sure thing. A lovely purple it is too, but the reason for the figurative medal on the back of the Very Peri model is partly to distract from the Motorola Edge 30 Neo’s prosaic build.

Its back and sides are plastic, lacking the high-end feel of the Motorola Edge 30 Fusion and Edge 30 Ultra. The screen covering is glass, of course, but Motorola does not specify it as Gorilla Glass, which usually means it uses a cheaper form of toughened glass from another brand.

A Motorola Edge 30 Neo from the back

(Image credit: TechRadar)

The purple is nice, the lightly sparkly finish on the plastic rear looks good. And, from what we can tell from online images, the other green, white and black shades look good too. But this is actually one of the less impressively-built phones in this class. Vivo, OnePlus, Google and Nothing all offer at least some use of glass or aluminum outside of the display panel at this level.

However, the Motorola Edge 30 Neo is at least light and pocketable. It weighs just 155g, and is around 7.8mm thick. Thin and light. Motorola also includes a slim snap-on case in the box, rather than the much floppier silicone kind it usually bundles with its phones.

The Motorola Edge 30 Neo has no memory card slot or headphone jack, because it’s self-consciously not a true budget model. And it also has an in-screen fingerprint sensor, not the side-mounted kind used in most cheaper Motorolas. 

This is one of the slowest in-screen fingerprint sensors we’ve used recently though. While that means it takes maybe 1/2 to 2/3 of a second to work, it’s still noticeable. And it is also more picky about the position of your finger than others, sometimes requiring a concerted press – presumably to ensure the thumb/finger is fully covering the pad area. 

Motorola says the Neo is water resistant to IP52, a form of protection so weak you should treat it like it has no water resistance rating at all. Finally, the Motorola Edge 30 Neo has stereo speakers, and they are fairly loud and tonally solid, although the highest frequencies can get a little sharp when maxed. Still, a decent array.

Motorola Edge 30 Neo review: display

A Motorola Edge 30 Neo from the front, in someone's hand

(Image credit: TechRadar)
  • Brilliantly bright screen
  • Good color
  • 120Hz OLED delivers smoothness and excellent contrast

The Motorola Edge 30 Neo's design may seem better from afar than in your hand, but the screen is an unexpected smash. It’s a petite 6.28-inch P-OLED panel with class-leading outdoor visibility.

Indoors the screen is capped to around 475 nits of brightness, enough to make the Motorola Edge 30 Neo slightly painful to look at in a dimly lit room. Outdoors on a sunny day it will hit up to 923 nits, which is extremely high for a lower mid-range phone – for almost any Android phone, actually, despite so many manufacturers claiming their screens are capable off 1,300-nit brightness.

The result is the Motorola Edge 30 Neo's screen looks very clear even in harsh direct sunlight.

Spec-wise the display is otherwise pretty normal. It’s a 1080 x 2400 pixel 120Hz panel with two color modes, Natural and Saturated. They perform just as their names suggest.

The Motorola Edge 30 Neo has a potent screen. But it does not support HDR video, for no obvious reason. The screen has the contrast, the brightness, and the color depth for the job. This could also be a limitation of the Snapdragon 695 processor, but then the Sony Xperia 10 IV uses the same chipset and does support HDR video playback. 

We’re going to have to shrug this one off.

Motorola Edge 30 Neo review: software and performance

A Motorola Edge 30 Neo from the front

(Image credit: TechRadar)
  • Snapdragon 695 is not a great gaming chipset
  • Good, non-bloated software
  • 128GB storage for your apps and photos

If you’re upgrading to the Motorola Edge 30 Neo from an older Motorola phone, you may notice this one looks a little different. That’s because, drum roll, it defaults to using a custom 'Moto' system font rather than a plainer Android one. 

It goes some way to making the Motorola Edge 30 Neo feel less like a 'vanilla' Android phone than other Motos, but if you don’t like it you can change it with a few screen taps and presses. And Motorola has otherwise not changed the classic Moto interface much here. 

This is a relatively clean and unencumbered version of Android with a handful of neat additions that can be toggled on and off in the Moto app. These include physical gestures to, for example, open the camera app or toggle the torch. 

The Motorola Edge 30 Neo also has Moto’s custom lock screen, Peek Display, which looks good and shows icons for recent notifications. However, unlike some other Moto phones there’s no “always on” display mode here.

A Motorola Edge 30 Neo from the front

(Image credit: TechRadar)

While general performance is good, we couldn’t help but notice app loads tend to be slightly slower than in the Motorola Edge 30 Fusion, the phone we switched from. 

This is no great surprise given the Fusion has a flagship-tier chipset, while the Neo has a much less impressive mid-tier one. 

It’s the Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 5G, paired with 8GB of RAM and a 128GB of storage. This scores 1,901 in Geekbench 5. That's a little over half the score achieved by the OnePlus Nord 2T and its Dimensity 1300 chipset, or the Pixel 6a and its Google Tensor chip. 

The gap widens if we switch to a more GPU-dependent test like 3DMark’s Wild Life. Where the Moto scores 1,214 points, the OnePlus Nord 2T can hit around 4,600, and the Pixel 6a 6,300. 

Sometimes wide gaps in GPU performance are not all that noticeable in today’s games, but they are here. Fortnite will only run at the basic 'Medium' setting, and frame rate stability is not that great even at this level, which makes the game look significantly worse than in some other phones near the Motorola Edge 30 Neo’s price. This mobile is clearly not made primarily for gamers.

Motorola Edge 30 Neo review: cameras

The cameras on a Motorola Edge 30 Neo

(Image credit: TechRadar)
  • Camera tends to slightly overexpose images
  • Disappointing low-light performance in spite of OIS
  • Poor video quality

The hardware situation improves in the camera, at least superficially. Motorola only put two cameras on the Edge 30 Neo, but that simply means we miss out on the poor depth or macro sensors commonly seen in this price category. 

There’s a 64MP primary camera with OIS (optical image stabilization), and a 13MP ultra-wide. Both are technically above average, thanks to the use of OIS, and a higher-res, larger sensor ultra-wide than plenty of affordable mid-tier Androids. 

The main camera uses the 1/1.97-inch Samsung GW3 sensor, as seen in the Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite, and the ultra-wide a Hynix Hi1336, as used in the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE. Not bad bedfellows, right?

Results aren’t bad either. The Motorola Edge 30 Neo avoids the obviously oversaturated color you’ll often see in aggressively priced rivals from companies like Realme. 

Grass looks roughly as it does to your eyes, and in most shots the sky will look natural too. The phone does at times leave stills with a slight magenta cast, but it’s not immediately obvious. 

The Motorola Edge 30 Neo’s Auto HDR is powerful and mostly reliable, meaning you can shoot pretty carelessly even directly into the sun. Having said that, there is a problem somewhat related to this area.

Slight overexposure seems to be the most common issue. The phone’s camera brain knows how to avoid blowing out bright clouds, but will happily overdo darker (i.e. normal) scenes and inadvertently overexpose elements that aren’t actually that bright in an attempt to make the picture pop. 

You can avoid this by manually dialing down the exposure – a control pops up if you pick a focal point. But we shouldn’t have to. 

And despite the power of the HDR software, too many of our shots were left with skies that look like a blue-to-turquoise gradient, likely an effect of the limited native dynamic range of the sensor. Looking back over the images we took, there are also a surprising number of out-of-focus images shot using the primary camera. Not dozens, but enough to mean it wasn’t pure user error. 

Focusing is not slow but, it would appear, sometimes just does not kick in.

Motorola Edge 30 Neo camera samples

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A Motorola Edge 30 Neo camera sample

(Image credit: TechRadar)

The Moto has overcooked this shot, blowing out parts of the church, most likely misled by the shadowed areas in the bottom half of the frame.

Image 2 of 11

A Motorola Edge 30 Neo camera sample

(Image credit: TechRadar)

This phone’s images are bright, and avoid comically oversaturated color. But once again the keen exposure leads to some small overexposed areas.

Image 3 of 11

A Motorola Edge 30 Neo camera sample

(Image credit: TechRadar)

When the HDR engine kicks in, the Motorola Edge 30 Neo can pretty much cope with whatever you like, including shooting directly into the sun without leaving any parts of the shots looking too shadowy.

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A Motorola Edge 30 Neo camera sample

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Here’s another example of the maximum power of the phone’s Auto HDR processing.

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A Motorola Edge 30 Neo camera sample

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Despite some quibbles, this phone can take generally pleasing photos during the day.

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A Motorola Edge 30 Neo camera sample

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Low-light images just aren’t that good  note how the entire bottom left of this scene is basically black.

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A Motorola Edge 30 Neo camera sample

(Image credit: TechRadar)

A nice and bright photo with believable color, but again the exposure is a little hot, leading to a blown out portion in the left-most cloud.

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A Motorola Edge 30 Neo camera sample

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Here’s the same scene through the ultra-wide camera. The 13MP sensor lets you comfortably crop into the image more than an 8MP rival.

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A Motorola Edge 30 Neo camera sample

(Image credit: TechRadar)

In shots like this you wonder why the HDR mode didn’t kick in more than it has to retain some of the background rather than letting it become a white mass.

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A Motorola Edge 30 Neo camera sample

(Image credit: TechRadar)

One of the more egregious examples of this phone’s over-bright exposure style, leading to much of the horizon becoming overexposed.

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A Motorola Edge 30 Neo camera sample

(Image credit: TechRadar)

A shot from the primary camera.

On a more positive note, the Motorola Edge 30 Neo’s 13MP ultra-wide is miles better than some of the 8MP cameras seen in some comparable mid-tier Androids. There’s less distortion at the corners of the frame and its images don’t immediately look compromised as soon as you zoom in a bit.

Low-light performance is below average, though, and not what you might expect given the Motorola Edge 30 Neo has optical image stabilization. The phone has a Night Vision mode for low-light photography, but the results aren’t even in the same league as the Edge 30 Fusion’s.

Dynamic range is limited, detail is very poor outside the brightest parts of the picture, and the effect of Night Vision versus Auto shooting is not that great. Highlights and mid-tones get a boost, but shadow detail retrieval is still not good. 

This wouldn’t matter so much if we were just making a comparison between the Neo and the Fusion, but you can get Fusion-like results from phones such as the OnePlus Nord 2T and the Pixel 6a.

Video is probably the weakest area of the Motorola Edge 30 Neo's camera. You can only shoot at 1080p, at 30fps or 60fps, and clips look pretty awful in either mode. Stabilization is poor, overexposure is common, and the image appears soft, low on detail and, at times, pixelated due to poor handling of objects with hard edges. 

1080p video from the Edge 30 Fusion looks dramatically better. And most phones at this price can at least capture 4K video at 30fps. The Snapdragon 695 institutes a hard limit here, as it tops out at 1080p/60 capture. However, that is no excuse for the poor image quality. 

The front camera has a 32MP sensor that is, unfortunately, not nearly as good as the Samsung s5kgd2 camera used in the step-up Edge 30 Fusion. Fine detail is more likely to end up smushed in less than ideal lighting, and pictures look less confident up close. It’s a perfectly okay selfie camera, just nothing special.

Motorola Edge 30 Neo review: battery

The bottom edge of a Motorola Edge 30 Neo

(Image credit: TechRadar)
  • 4,020mAh battery
  • Lasts all day but not much more
  • 68W wired charging and 5W wireless

The Motorola Edge 30 Neo has a 4,020mAh battery, which a worryingly small capacity. That’s lower than the Pixel 6a’s 4,410mAh, and dramatically lower than the Sony Xperia 10 IV’s 5,000mAh. 

It’s a setup for a disaster that never happens, though, because the Motorola Edge 30 Neo’s battery life is entirely okay. It won’t last close to two days for most people, like the Sony Xperia 10 IV. But we didn’t find it frustratingly poor, which is what we half expected after seeing the capacity figure. It gets through a full day of use just fine, if not with much to spare by the end of the day. 

This seems further proof that the Snapdragon 695, for all its flaws, is a seriously efficient chipset – having contributed to the Sony Xperia 10 IV’s class-leading stamina. It’s good news for Snapdragon-maker Qualcomm, and non-news for us as battery life is basically not a reason to buy, or not to buy, the Motorola Edge 30 Neo. 

Fast charging might be. The Motorola Edge 30 Neo includes a 68W charger and, unlike some of the 80W phones we’ve used recently, it does actually hit that rated charge power.

It takes 45 minutes for the phone to reach 100% charge, from a fully flat state. And it continues drawing charge until the 48 minute mark. 

Motorola has also implemented wireless charging, which is pretty unusual at this level. It tops out at 5W, so will work very slowly, but might appeal if you use a wireless charging pad on your desk at work.

Should you buy the Motorola Edge 30 Neo?

Buy it if...

You want a bright screen
Its specs look pretty standard on paper but the Motorola Edge 30 Neo has an exceptionally bright screen, one that looks very clear outside on sunny days. This is probably the phone’s strongest area, and does wonders for its all-round usability.

A smaller phone appeals
The Motorola Edge 30 Neo is light and fairly small, making it easy to handle compared to other mid-tier Androids, some of which feel absolutely huge by comparison. And the screen is still large enough to make watching YouTube feel comfortable.

You want a decent ultra-wide camera
This phone has a zero-fat approach to the camera, with a mostly decent primary camera and an above average 13MP ultra-wide. It’s better than the 8MP one used in a lot of more affordable mid-range Androids.

Don't buy it if...

You’re big into mobile gaming
The Motorola Edge 30 Neo is not the most powerful gaming phone you can get for the money. Not even close. Top-tier titles like Fortnite do not run particularly well on the phone, so think twice if you play demanding 3D games a lot.

You care about low-light photo quality
Despite having optical image stabilization, the Motorola Edge 30 Neo cannot take particularly good low-light images. They don’t have anything like the shadow detail or dynamic range of top performers in this class.

You want a phone with high-end build
This is an all-plastic phone. Look elsewhere if you want the touch of luxury a glass back or aluminum sides provide. Such niceties are available at the price if you’re willing to shop around. The OnePlus Nord 2T is one example.

Motorola Edge 30 Neo: Also consider

There are lots of other phones at around this sort of price, including the following three options.

First reviewed: April 2023

AOC Agon Pro AG274QZM: a top performer, but at a steep price
10:15 pm | April 13, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Tags: , , | Comments: Off

AOC Agon Pro AG274QZM: One-minute review

 We were overwhelmingly impressed with the AOC Agon Pro AG274QG last year for a plethora of reasons, from its visual performance and quality to build design and on a surface level, the AOC Agon Pro AG274QZM builds on nearly everything that made last years model so well-received. 

The change to mini-LED backlighting greatly improves image quality, so1440p gaming at a 240Hz refresh rate on the AG274QZM feels better than it does on the AG274QG. That is if one stays away from HDR; the implementation here just doesn’t look good. 

Colors by default look considerably washed out and a bit fuzzy and though this could be improved by changing some of the monitor’s internal settings, there’s still some issues with image quality despite being Vesa DisplayHDR 1000 certification. 

This time around, there were special accommodations made toward gamers who stream often and need an extra display, namely KVM and picture-in-picture. 

KVM allows individuals to switch keyboards and mouses from one display to another. Since many streamers usually need two PCs and monitors to do so, it’s best for streamlining that process. The inclusion of a USB-C port makes this possible and is one of several overall design improvements to the AG274QZM. Enhancements to the internal speakers would have been nice as well, but maybe next year. Similar to the AG274QG, they lack any real punch or bass so grab one of the best PC gaming headsets, you’ll definitely need it.

Having picture-in-picture means that those who rather use one monitor for everything can do so. Considering its 27-inch screen, there’s enough visual real-estate to game and control streaming software like OBS Studio. On the other hand, anyone who wants to do some general computing task while playing a console at their desk can do so as well through picture-in-picture. It’s a great addition overall.

Holding the AG274QZM back from being the best gaming monitor at this size and refresh rate is its price. At $1,099.99, there are 27-inch 1440p/240Hhz gaming monitors that offer similar image quality and performance for much cheaper. If the extra features don’t matter much, you’ll be better off saving the money with one of those. However, there’s much to appreciate with the AG274QZM for PC gamers with deep pockets who need the built-in extras.

AOC Agon Pro AG274QZM: Price & availability

An AOC Agon Pro AG274QZM on a black desk with a green deskmat underneath

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)
  • How much does it cost?  $1,099 / £999 (about AU$1,600) 
  • When is it available?  It is available now.  
  • Where can you get it?  Available in the US and UK, Australian availability forthcoming  

 There are a handful of respectable 27-inch gaming monitors that offer both 1440p resolution and 240Hz refresh rates, like the HyperX Armada 27, Monoprice Dark Matter, and LG UltraGear Ergo 27GN88A. Even the AG274QG is around $300 cheaper. Of course, those aren’t backlit by mini-LEDs like the AG274QZM. Most general consumers looking for great image quality and performance won’t be able to tell the absolute difference unless they’re videophiles. 

For those that understand the significance of having a mini-LED display, the price is justifiable to an extent. Let’s not take into account standard features for the gaming monitor including the AOC Agon Pro Quick Switch puck for quicker access to display settings and shield cover which is great for gaming during the day. Add a boatload of features featured on the AG274QZM from KVM to picture-in-picture, there’s some real value here. 

  • Price score: 4 / 5

AOC Agon Pro AG274QZM: Design

An AOC Agon Pro AG274QZM on a black desk with a green deskmat underneath

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)
  • Generous amounts of inputs in addition to having USB-C
  • Customizable back lights alongside logo projector with bottom LED bar
  • Internal speakers are lacking 

 On a surface level, the AOC Agon Pro AG274QZM doesn’t look much different from the AG274QG, design wise. However, there are some small additions that make the display feel fresh enough. The most notable is there is an LED bar at the bottom of the monitor. 

This, in addition to the standard back LED lights and bottom logo projector, goes a long way to providing an aggressive look. Of course, these are all customizable from the display menu alongside AOC’s G-Menu app. Many in-display options can be controlled that way as well. Despite being DTS certified, the internal speakers are a bit underpowered and lack powerful volume and bass. 

We praised the AG274QG for its liberal amount of ports and this continues through the AG274QZM. The ports include two HDMI 2.1 slots, one DisplayPort 1.4, a USB Hub, four USB-A, one 3.5mm headphone jack and 3.5mm mic jack alongside a new USB-C 3.2 port. Besides upstream and power delivery for up to 65W, this is mainly for the KVM capabilities. 

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An AOC Agon Pro AG274QZM on a black desk with a green deskmat underneath

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)
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An AOC Agon Pro AG274QZM on a black desk with a green deskmat underneath

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)
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An AOC Agon Pro AG274QZM on a black desk with a green deskmat underneath

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)
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An AOC Agon Pro AG274QZM on a black desk with a green deskmat underneath

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

Setting up the AG274QZM is a simple process as mentioned previously in the accessibility section. Be mindful that the power brick it uses is pretty big too. Having an added shield cover goes a long way in blocking out a lot of excess light and isn’t difficult to put together. The AG274QZM improves on its predecessor’s already phenomenal design while adding incremental updates that improves the look and functionality of the display in meaningful ways.

Like the AG274QG, putting the monitor together isn't too complicated, though some of the parts are heavy. The base connects to the neck and both to the display lock, it’s really simple and there’s a heaviness to it that definitely brings quality. In terms of accessibility, there are understandable complaints of the weight.

With everything together, users are going to be looking at something in the range of around 17 pounds. The process isn’t difficult but the weight distribution can be a bit tricky to deal with considering how wide the base is. Ports including the power jack point downward which could be a problem for people who have issues bending over and looking up. 

Putting the lightweight shield cover together is simple as well. Coming in three parts, both right and left sides connect to the top through a long nail-like bar. One of the best features of the AOC Agon Pro line is the Quick Puck switch that connects to the rear near the display and USB ports. Once connected, it really does help making display changes remarkably easier. 

  • Design score: 4.5 / 5

AOC Agon PRO AG274QZM : Performance

An AOC Agon Pro AG274QZM on a black desk with a green deskmat underneath

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)
  • Mini-LED backlight makes SDR image quality look fantastic 
  • Motion performance is buttery smooth 
  • HDR image quality isn’t the best even with settings tinkering 

 The addition of mini-LED backlight for the display works wonders for image quality on the AG274QZM. With a brightness that maxes out at 750 nits, images look clear, crisp and vivid where it matters most. It doesn’t matter if one is playing Cyberpunk 2077 at 1440p with max settings, creating content on Adobe Suite or watching video content. Considering the competitive gaming lean of the monitor, sessions of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Halo Infinite or even racing games like Forza Horizon 5 played phenomenally.

It also helps that the in-display options have pre-made settings for shooters, racing, RTS and the like, too. When it comes to 1440p at 250Hz in SDR, this is one of the best monitors money can buy. Performance during picture-in-picture mode was fantastic too in displaying two different inputs. Switching between two displays through KVM worked as it was supposed to as well. 

We couldn’t say the same thing for its HDR image quality. Default image quality in HDR looks a bit too warm even with the brightness turned all the way up. Collaborations for Windows HDR Collaboration app didn’t help much either. There’s a washed out look that simply doesn’t provide a better image over SDR. 

  • Performance: 4 / 5

Should you buy the AOC Agon AG274QZM?

An AOC Agon Pro AG274QZM on a black desk with a green deskmat underneath

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

You're on a budget
Though the AG274QZM may be top tier, there are cheaper gaming monitors that can match image quality and performance.

You require better HDR capabilities
SDR is where the AG274QZM shines best as HDR capabilities look a bit muddy and washed.

You need better internal speakers
Most PC gamers are going to have headsets but if it matters, the internal speakers on the AG274QZM are fairly weak. 

AOC Agon AG274QZM: Also consider

If my AOC Agon AG274QZM review has you considering other options, here are two more 27-inch monitors to consider. 

How I tested the AOC Agon AG274QZM

  • I spent a week testing the AOC Agon AG274QZM
  • Games played include Cyberpunk 2077, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II, Shadow Warrior 3 and Forza Horizon 5.
  • Creative apps used were Adobe Photoshop and Premiere Pro

The AOC Agon AG274QZM was tested over a week. During that time, various games and creative applications were used in testing. Some of the games tested included Cyberpunk 2077, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II, Shadow Warrior 3 and Forza Horizon 5. On the creative side, Adobe Photoshop and Premiere Pro were used as well. 

We pride ourselves on our independence and our rigorous review-testing process, offering up long-term attention to the products we review and making sure our reviews are updated and maintained - regardless of when a device was released, if you can still buy it, it's on our radar.

Read more about how we test

First reviewed April 2023

Acer Predator Orion 7000 (2022) review
11:33 am | February 19, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Tags: , , , | Comments: Off

Acer Predator Orion 7000: Two-minute review


The Acer Predator Orion 7000 is an absolute beau of a gaming machine, with gorgeous RGB lighting and exquisite cable management. Of course, its massive size and heavy weight are also nothing to sneeze at, making it difficult to move around or lift without a second person. Once it’s in place, however, the massive chassis will be most likely under your desk meaning that it shouldn’t be an issue. And it’s designed to pull apart easily for tool-less access to the insides.

The internals aren’t just for show, though they make quite the gorgeous one, as the state-of-the-art fans and liquid cooling system ensure that this PC will never overheat even when overclocking it with high-end titles. And if you need a handy way to overclock and ramp up the fans in response, the PredatorSense feature allows for precise control over both.

Acer Predator Orion 7000 Key Specs

Here is the Acer Predator Orion 7000 configuration sent to TechRadar for review: 

CPU: Intel Core i7-12700H
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080
Storage:  1TB M.2 PCIe Gen 4 SSD and 2TB 7200RPM SATA III hard drive
Optical drive: 2.5-inch USB 3.2 Gen2 Type C hotswap drive bay
Ports: 6 USB 3.2 Type-A, 2 USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C, 2 USB 2.0 Type-A, 1 Universal Audio Jack, 1 HDMI 2.1 port, 3 DisplayPorts 1.4a
Connectivity: Intel Wireless WiFi 6E AX211, Bluetooth 5.2

In terms of pure performance, the Predator Orion 7000 is a top contender for the best gaming PC you can buy off the shelf out there, with some truly solid benchmark performances. For instance, it completely blows away the Maingear Turbo in both the Geekbench5 and CinebenchR23 benchmarks thanks to its more powerful processor, and it more or less matches the Turbo across the 3DMark suite of GPU tests. 

However, those same impressive scores don’t translate to improved gaming performance, since even though the general performance is excellent it doesn’t reach the standards of the Turbo’s extremely high framerates playing the best PC games. But gaming is still effortlessly smooth on the Orion 7000, even when pushing it to the max, so only those running endless benchmarks will notice any nuances in the performance

For all these premium specs and features built into the PC, you’re sure to pay a premium price for them. The setup we were sent will set you back $3000 and includes an Intel Core i7-12700H, Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080, 32GB DDR5 RAM, and 1TB of storage. 

The configurations being offered in Australia and UK are quite different from the US ones, with the former offering an Intel Core i9-12900K, Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080, 16GB DDR5 RAM, and 512GB of storage. The latter has an Intel Core i9-12900K, Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090, 32 GB DDR5 RAM, and 1TB of storage. This means that the configurations outside the US are more powerful and expensive machines at the cost of more choices in the configuration.

But considering what’s under the hood, the starting prices are mostly a steal. As, despite falling prices for the best GPUs and best CPUs, these prebuilt and customizable PCs are the best value ways to get your hands on some top-tier specs.

Acer Predator Orion 7000: Price and availability

An Acer Orion 7000 on a desk

(Image credit: Future)
  • How much does it cost? $3,000 (£3,300 / AU$5,500)
  • When is it out? It is available now
  • Where can you get it? You can get it in the US, UK, and Australia, though it's difficult due to low stock

As expected from a high-end gaming PC, the Acer Predator Orion 7000 fetches a pretty penny on the market. In the US, the one we received is $3,000, while the cheapest ones in the UK and Australia respectively are priced at £3,300 and AU$5,500, with prices going as high as AU$7,200 for the latter region. 

However, considering the chips, cooling system, and aesthetics we would argue that this is a PC worth investing in if you want to essentially future-proof it.

  • Value: 4.5 / 5

Acer Predator Orion 7000: Design

An Acer Orion 7000 on a desk

(Image credit: Future)
  • Stunning RGB lighting and see-through chassis
  • Great port selection and cable management
  • Too heavy

Watching the glow of the RGB lighting illuminate the RTX 3080, fans, and beautifully managed cables never gets old. Then there’s also the fact that said chassis is built for practicality as well, as it can be pulled apart without the use of tools.

It’s a well-made machine, with a sturdy chassis that houses an excellent port selection. It includes six USB 3.2 Type-A ports, two USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C ports, two USB 2.0 Type-A ports, one headphone jack, one microphone jack, one HDMI 2.1 port, and three DisplayPort 1.4a. Even better, three of the Type-A, one of the Type-C, the disc drive, and the headphone/microphone jack are located at the top front of the chassis for convenience.

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An Acer Orion 7000 on a desk

(Image credit: Future)
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An Acer Orion 7000 on a desk

(Image credit: Future)

The only real complaint against the Orion 7000 is its size and weight. This is a gamer’s gaming PC and as such all that hardware, including the state-of-the-art fans and liquid cooling system, plus the size of the casing itself makes it bulky and hard to transport. We found it requires at least two people to safely move the PC around.

With the powerful combination of fans and liquid cooling, near-perfect circulation is all but guaranteed. We didn’t notice as much as a whisper of heat coming from the PC, and this was on the standard settings without using the PredatorSense tool to further modify the fan speeds. The sound while wearing headphones is phenomenal, crisp and sharp audio that’s perfect for picking up subtle cues or for feeling dropped right in the middle of all the action.

And the fact that it comes with a decent gaming keyboard and mouse is just icing on the cake.

  • Design:  5 / 5

Acer Predator Orion 7000: Performance

An Acer Orion 7000 on a desk

(Image credit: Future)
  • No game can stand against it
  • No overheating issues
  • Has ray-tracing, HDR, and more

Here's how the Acer Predator Orion 7000 performed in our suite of benchmark tests:

3DMark: Night Raid: 75,573; Fire Strike: 32,056; Time Spy: 16,938
Cinebench R23 Multi-core: 21,288 points
GeekBench 5: 1664 (single-core); 14,050 (multi-core)
PCMark 10 (Home Test): 8874 points
Total War: Warhammer III (1080p, Ultra): 97fps; (1080p, Low): 272fps
Cyberpunk 2077 (1080p, Ultra): 63fps; (1080p, Low): 126fps
Dirt 5 (1080p, Ultra): 82fps; (1080p, Low): 255fps

The Acer Predator Orion 7000 is a beast when it comes to playing PC games, no matter how demanding the task is. For instance, we completely maxed out every option in Final Fantasy VII Remake including 4k resolution, HDR, ray-tracing, and 120FPS. 

To our extreme surprise, the Orion 7000 exceeded all of our expectations, performing at max 256FPS with all those settings turned on. Meanwhile, it runs Hitman 3 butter smooth, at 84FPS on average for the Dartmoor benchmark, and a whopping 103FPS on average for the Dubai benchmark.

Then there’s the PredatorSense tool, which allows you to both overclock your PC and increase fan speeds to overcompensate for it, to your exact specifications. It’s a great feature that’s incredibly easy to use and customize.

The Orion 7000’s configuration, which is equipped with the RTX 3080 and Core i7, churned out some phenomenal benchmark scores. Not even the Maingear Turbo, which uses a stronger graphics card, could beat this computer. 

It’s interesting how the mostly tied or superior scores didn’t translate into superior framerates for the suite of PC games we benchmarked with, compared to the Turbo. Though considering the slight improvement in the chips department it makes sense.

That said, the Orion 7000 is still a high-quality, high-end gaming PC that eats demanding and poorly optimized games for breakfast. And thanks to the well-constructed cooling system, it keeps running smoothly without turning into a furnace under your desk.

  • Performance: 5 / 5

Should you buy an Acer Predator Orion 7000?

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

Also consider

  • First reviewed February 2023

How We Test

We pride ourselves on our independence and our rigorous review-testing process, offering up long-term attention to the products we review and making sure our reviews are updated and maintained - regardless of when a device was released, if you can still buy it, it's on our radar.

Read more about how we test

Samsung Q60B review: a cheap QLED TV with great brightness, but compromises
4:09 pm | February 2, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Tags: , | Comments: Off

Samsung Q60B: Two minute review

The Samsung Q60B QLED TV starts from a much cheaper price than Samsung's other QLED sets, but its spec sheet includes Quantum Dot colors, a comprehensive smart system, and so-called Object Tracking Sound technology. 

The Samsung Q60B looks like it should have what it takes to steal a march over its similarly priced competition. It backs its on-paper appeal up with a gorgeous super-slim design, crisp finish, and good build quality that help it look and feel much more premium than you’d expect for its money.

And aside from being a bit unintuitive to navigate, the Samsung Q60B’s Tizen smart system impresses by delivering pretty much every streaming app known to humankind, and ensuring that there’s always HDR and 4K streaming support from any app that carries these features.

Picture quality starts well, with the Q60B producing more brightness and Quantum Dot-inspired color punch than the vast majority of cheap TV rivals. Its playback of native 4K sources is also impressively crisp most of the time, too – especially welcome on the 55-inch size that we tested for this Samsung Q60B review. It doesn't miss out compared to the best 4K TVs for Ultra HD content.

However, you don’t have to watch for too long before you notice that the pleasing brightness has a cost in the shape of relatively flat, gray dark scenes. Motion doesn’t look as clean and natural as it usually does on Samsung TVs either – even accounting for its price, it's not up there with the best TVs available today. Meanwhile, the Q60B’s audio system copes with day-to-day TV viewing quite nicely but comes up short of power with any good action film soundtrack.

In the US, the same kind of price at 55 inches will get you the TCL 6-Series Roku TV (2022), which provides mini-LED backlighting for its QLED panel, plus 120Hz support for better motion handling. We'd suggest that for most people. In the UK, the competition is tougher, and the Samsung Q60B is still one of the best TVs under £1000.

We tested the 55-inch Samsung 55Q60B for this review.

Samsung Q60B review: Price and release date

  • Released in May 2022
  • Starts from $549 / £499 for 43-inch model (not available in Australia)
  • Costs $699 / £699 / AU$1,299 for the 55-inch model we tested

The Q60B is the cheapest Samsung TV series in its Quantum Dot ‘QLED’ category, and it comes in smaller sizes than most of Samsung's other QLED TVs – at least, it does in some countries. It has a different range of sizes in the US, the UK and Australia.

In the US, it comes in 43-inch ($549), 50-inch ($649), 55-inch ($699), 60-inch ($799), 65-inch ($949), 70-inch ($999), 75-inch ($1,199) and 85-inch ($1,799) sizes.

In the UK, it comes in 43-inch (£499), 50-inch (£599), 55-inch (£649), 65-inch (£1,099), 75-inch (£1,599) and 85-inch (£1,999) sizes.

In Australia, is starts with the 55-inch model (AU$1,299), and you've also got 65-inch (AU$1,499), 75-inch (AU$2,499) and 85-inch (AU$3,999) sizes.

Being Samsung’s cheapest QLED range does mean that the Q60Bs’ screen specifications are limited in some other ways, as we’ll see in the next section, and there are models from the likes of Hisense and TCL that also feature Quantum Dots, but are able to pack in some more advanced image tech elsewhere too.

The existence of these rivals does not, though, make the Samsung Q60B any less of a potential hit, provided its performance is up to Samsung’s usual mid-range LCD standards.

The step-up model from the Q60B, the Q70B, provides you a slightly more powerful picture processor – including more advanced motion handling. Going up again to the Samsung Q80B gets you a more advanced backlight with better contrast. If you can live without Quantum Dots, the step-down Samsung BU8500 saves you a little more money, but features the same processing and smart TV tech.

Samsung Q60B review: Specs

The Samsung QE55Q60B TV pictured in a living room displaying a mountain scene.

This Samsung panel uses relatively inaccurate edge-based lighting rather than putting its LEDs directly behind the screen. (Image credit: Future/TechRadar)

Samsung Q60B review: Features

  • QLED TV with edge LED lighting
  • Native 4K resolution and HDR support
  • Uses Samsung's Dual-LED backlight technology

The Samsung Q60B’s key screen specifications make for interesting reading, thanks to their unusual mix of premium and basic features. On the basic front, the panel uses relatively inaccurate edge-based lighting rather than putting its LEDs directly behind the screen, and doesn’t feature any local dimming (where different parts of the backlight can be made to output different levels of light, so darker areas can appear dimmer darker than light areas). 

On the premium side, the Quantum Dot color system will hopefully reach color tones, and subtleties regular color filter technology cannot match. In fact, Samsung claims more than a billion shades and 100% coverage of the key DCI-P3 color standard in its Q60B marketing. 

While it doesn’t carry local dimming, it does benefit from a Dual-LED lighting system, that finds the LEDs ranged around the screen producing alternating cool and warm tones in a bid to increase color accuracy and richness. 

The Q60B’s on-paper strengths raise real hopes of superior performance with high dynamic range content – though the potential lack of light control is something we’ll have to keep an eye on. 

The HDR potential is bolstered, too, by support for the HDR10+ format as well as the more basic HDR10 and HLG formats. The HDR10+ format adds extra scene-by-scene image data to the video feed that compatible TVs can use to produce more dynamic and accurate images. In fact, the Q60B even provides the Adaptive version of HDR10+, where the picture settings can automatically compensate for ambient light conditions.

As ever with Samsung TVs, though, the support for HDR10+ is not partnered with support for the Dolby Vision format, which also carries extra scene-by-scene image data but is available on a broader range of sources than HDR10+, including Disney Plus and Netflix.

Another premium image touch is the Quantum Processor Lite 4K brain at the Q60B’s heart. This is not as potent as the processor found in Samsung’s step-up models and doesn’t draw on any AI ‘neural network’ learning like the processors inside Samsung’s high-end TVs. But it still works across a range of picture quality areas to deliver better-looking results - especially regarding the upscaling of sub-4K sources.

The Quantum Processor extends its tendrils into the Q60B’s audio, offering the option to automatically adjust the TV’s audio profile to suit different types of content.

Although it’s only equipped with a down-firing 2x10W speaker system, the Q60B still delivers a ‘Lite’ version of Samsung’s Object Tracking Sound system whereby sound effects appear to be coming from precisely the correct place on the screen. Thanks to Samsung's Q-Symphony feature, you can also partner the Q60B’s speakers with those of a recent Samsung soundbar and they'll combine together for a bigger sound, instead of the soundbar simply replacing the built-in speakers.

On the back, you'll find three HDMI ports, which is often the case with cheaper TVs, but given that this is premium enough to be a QLED model, we'd prefer the future-proofing that four ports would give you.

  • Features score: 4/5

The Samsung QE55Q60B TV pictured in a living room displaying a mountain scene.

The successes and failures of the Q60B’s picture quality depend on whether you’re watching bright or dark scenes and the environment you're watching them in. (Image credit: Future/TechRadar)

Samsung Q60B review: Picture quality

  • Bright and colorful for its money
  • Good 4K and upscaled sharpness
  • Some black level shortcomings

As we’d slightly feared, the desire to deliver the color and brightness benefits associated with Quantum Dots at the Q60B’s sort of affordable price level isn’t an unmitigated success… but there are certainly times when you’d be forgiven for persuading yourself that it was.

Essentially the successes and failures of the Q60B’s picture quality depend on whether you’re watching bright or dark scenes. With the former, the set instantly wins you over with its impressive brightness compared with many of its similarly affordable rivals. It’s often said that you really need at least 500 nits of brightness for anything approaching a ‘true’ HDR experience, and the Q60B is impressively bright for a budget TV, able to produce 573 nits of brightness on a 10% white HDR window in its Standard picture mode during our tests.

The Q60B’s ability to deliver this certainly contributes to a much more dramatic and exciting shift when you switch from SDR to HDR than you do with most cheap HDR TVs.

This brightness feeds handsomely into the Q60B’s Quantum Dot colors, giving them levels of intensity and richness that again push comfortably beyond the color volumes typically associated with TVs at the same price. The brightness can cause a bit of subtle shading to be lost in the most extremely bright HDR areas. Still, for the most part – especially in the Standard preset – the impressively full-on color saturations are combined with very credible and immersive blends and tonal shifts. 

Again there’s a sense that you’re seeing much more of an HDR image’s potential here than you would typically expect with such an affordable TV.

The Q60B also stands out from many rivals with its sharpness. Native 4K images typically look crisp and full of texture, while the 4K upscaling of HD sources delivers exceptionally clean, crisp, and natural-looking results.

While these strengths add up to bright scenes – especially HDR bright scenes – that look eye-catching and dynamic, though, the Q60B’s inability to achieve really any level of localized light control makes it much less satisfying with dark scenes. Parts of dark scenes that should look black instead invariably look a rather washed-out gray, leaving them feeling flat and unconvincing compared with bright moments in the same TV show or film. 

This means that as well as feeling unsatisfying in themselves, the flat-looking dark scenes contribute to a sense of inconsistency that can be quite distracting when you’re trying to immerse yourself in a film.

Some of the TV’s settings can cause dark scenes to flicker a bit, too, as the screen reacts to small changes in average brightness levels, while colors in dark picture areas tend to look less punchy and convincing thanks to the infusion of gray washing over them. It’s noticeable, too, that dark scenes can reveal patches of cloudiness in the Q60B’s panel. 

Since we wouldn’t typically associate such clouding with Samsung mid-range or even budget LCD TVs, we can’t help but wonder if the push for an ‘air-slim’ design is at least partly to blame.

Another surprising picture gremlin finds motion looking a bit uncomfortable on the Q60B. While the motion presets on even Samsung’s flagship TVs are typically pretty unhelpful, at least it’s possible with those to get natural, clean-looking motion without too much trouble. With the Q60B, though, depending on which motion processing setting you use, you’re either left with quite glaring judder, distracting stuttering/frame dropping, or too many unwanted processing ‘glitches’.

  • Picture quality score: 3.5/5

A closeup of the Samsung QE55Q60B TV

The thing frame looks premium, but doesn't leave much space for audio power. (Image credit: TechRadar/Future)

Samsung Q60B review: Sound quality

  • OTS Lite processing for positional audio
  • Adaptive Sound capabilities
  • Q-Symphony support with Samsung soundbars

As well as potentially not helping the Q60B’s picture quality in some areas, its Air Slim design likely also contributes to its underwhelming audio performance. There just doesn’t seem to be enough physical space to create either the volume levels or dynamic range – especially where lower frequencies are concerned – to provide a really convincing accompaniment to anything more rambunctious than a daytime chat show. 

You can even clearly hear the TV physically give up the audio ghost during loud movie scenes that rise to a serious crescendo, with its soundstage suddenly becoming quieter rather than continuing to expand with the sound. 

While the Q60B’s sound lacks any remotely cinematic qualities, though, it does at least understand its limits, managing to avoid falling prey to crackles, buzzes, hums and drop outs for most of the time. This is actually preferable to a TV that tries to go beyond its capabilities and just makes a mess of things.

The Object Tracking Sound Lite processing, finally, does a surprisingly credible job of placing specific effects in the correct place on screen considering how few speakers it has at its disposal. This at least compensates a bit for the speakers’ lack of raw power and impact.

  • Sound quality score: 3/5

A close up of the rear of the Samsung QE55Q60B TV showing the ports at the back.

Three HDMI ports is not atypical, but we'd really prefer four on any TV that's intended to last. (Image credit: Future/TechRadar)

Samsung Q60B review: Design

  • Exceptionally slim profile
  • Solar-powered remote control
  • Multi-position feet

Take a quick walk around the Q60B, and you’ll struggle to believe its price. It’s incredibly thin, for starters – the proud recipient of an Air Slim design that makes practically every other non-OLED TV look a chunky monkey by comparison. 

The frame around the screen is pretty trim, too, while the two supporting feet (if you’re not wall-hanging the set) are so slim when viewed straight on that you can barely see them. All of this means that the Q60B does a very impressive job of letting you focus on the pictures it’s producing rather than the hardware that’s producing them.

You can adjust the width of the feet to suit different sizes of support furniture or, perhaps, to give you the space to tuck a small soundbar between them. 

The Q60B ships with two remote controls. One is a standard, button-heavy affair that looks a bit overwhelming but is actually pretty easy to learn your way around once you’ve used it for a few minutes. The other is a stripped-back smart remote featuring a much leaner, more button-light design and, best of all, a solar cell on its rear that means you can use it as much as you like without ever having to worry about replacing its batteries.

  • Design score: 4/5

A close up of the corner of the Samsung QE55Q60B TV

This TV is incredibly thin for an affordable model, and makes other options look they're not trying hard enough. (Image credit: Future/TechRadar)

Samsung Q60B review: Smart features & menus

  • Proprietary Samsung Tizen system
  • Extensive app collection

As ever with Samsung TVs, the Q60B’s smart interface and features are provided by a home-grown system built around Samsung’s Tizen OS. This has traditionally served Samsung very well – though the redesign ushered in for Samsung’s current range is a rare misstep.

The issue is that by moving to a full screen home page in place of the previous much more compact couple of ‘shelves’ overlying the picture, Samsung has made things feel more overwhelming. Plus it hasn’t made particularly great use of all the space available to it, making it feel harder rather than easier to quickly get to content you’re actually likely to want to watch.

Some aspects of the new menu navigation system aren’t helpful/logical either, especially when it comes to accessing the picture and sound set up menus.

On the upside, Samsung’s TV Plus service of fully streamed TV channels is now pretty expansive and includes more interesting content than it used to. Plus the main Tizen platform continues to cater for a huge line up of apps, including all the streaming services most people will want (with the exception of Google Play). 

Where a streaming app is supported, moreover, you can bet that it will be able to play 4K and HDR video if a service carries these key AV features. The only catch is that the Q60B’s lack of Dolby Vision support means it will only play basic HDR10 from services that support Dolby Vision.

The two issues we have are that it doesn't support ATSC 3.0 for 4K broadcasts in the US (though few budget TVs do), and in the UK it doesn't support the Freeview Play umbrella app for the UK’s main terrestrial TV catch up apps. However, Samsung does carry all the individual apps for these channels.

The Q60B provides extensive support for voice control via multiple voice recognition platforms, giving you a handy way to dodge some of the issues with the onscreen menus.

  • Smart features and menus score: 3.5/5

The remote control for the Samsung QE55Q60B TV pictured on a wooden surface.

The Q60B ships with two remote controls – this the simple one you can mostly just use. (Image credit: Future/TechRadar)

Samsung Q60B review: Gaming

  • Handy Gaming Hub for checking features
  • No 4K 120Hz support
  • Ultra-fast 9.4ms response time 

An affordable, unusually bright, colorful TV like the Samsung Q60B has excellent potential as a gaming display. Potential which it delivers on in some areas, but falls a little short in others.

Of massive appeal to the gaming world is its 9.4ms of input lag (the time between when a console sends an image to it, and when it appears on-screen) with 60Hz content when using its Game preset. This is one of the lowest numbers we’ve ever measured on a TV.

Also very welcome is a dedicated Gaming Hub in the TV’s menus that pulls together a host of streaming apps, games and services, such as Xbox Game Pass, Twitch and Nvidia Geforce Now. It’s easy to connect controllers to the TV, too, to play via cloud services.

The screen’s combination of brightness, rich colors, and impressive sharpness are well-suited to game graphics too. This sharpness with 4K sources also makes it a shame that none of the TV’s three HDMI inputs can support 4K at 120Hz feeds or variable refresh rates. The only gaming feature they can handle is automatic low latency mode switching. 

To be fair, 4K 120Hz and VRR support are currently very rare at the Q60B’s price point. But if TCL can do it, then you’d like to think Samsung could too. 

  • Gaming score: 3.5/5

Samsung Q60B review: Value

  • Recent reductions make it very competitive
  • Well featured for its money
  • Cheaper models often don’t have Quantum Dots

The fact that it recently received further price cuts instantly establishes today’s Q60B as a potential bargain. It builds on this impressively, though, by including a Quantum Dot system at a price where such color technology is not always found.

Its smart system is extremely rich in content for such an affordable TV too, while its bright, colorful and responsive pictures help it stand out from the usually much duller competition.

Its uninspiring sound quality, lack of cutting edge gaming graphics support and limited backlight control, though, mean that it can’t entirely escape its budget nature.

The Samsung Q60B isn’t consistent enough with its performance or features to warrant an unqualified recommendation. If you’re after an affordable TV that will deliver more brightness and richer color in a room that tends to be quite light, though, then it is a good option for its money. Its intense, sharp visuals and fast response time might make it a good gaming monitor, too.

Its lack of contrast and rather basic sound damage its potential as a serious home cinema TV, however, and it’s a shame that it doesn’t support the latest cutting-edge gaming graphics features.

  • Value score: 4/5

Should I buy the Samsung Q60B?

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

Samsung Q60B review: Also consider

HyperX Armada 27: solid gaming screen and an awesome arm
12:00 am | January 22, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Tags: , | Comments: Off

HyperX Armada 27: one minute review

There aren't a whole lot of gaming monitors out there like the HyperX Armada 27. The display panel is a fairly standard-issue 1440p gaming monitor featuring a 165Hz refresh rate, up to 1ms response time, and plenty of color modes to tinker with. But where this monitor really shines is the boom arm that replaces the traditional gaming monitor stand, and it's honestly hard for me to ever go back to a traditional gaming monitor after this.

Boom arm-style monitors aren't new by any means, with displays like the LG 32UN880 UltraFine Display Ergo being a prime example. But these monitors are typically marketed to content creators or professional users like software developers who might be crowded around and focused on a single display in portrait mode.

The HyperX Armada 27 — and its smaller sibling, the Armada 25 —  are purely designed with gamers in mind, and for that, it could easily be the best gaming monitor for 1440p gaming that you're likely to find out there thanks to its physical versatility.

It isn't all upside though, as you'll need to spend a good bit more for this display than you would for many of the best 1440p monitors on the market. The Armada 27, which is available now, has an MSRP of $499 / £499 / AU$779, though it's certainly possible to catch the occasional sale to help bring the price closer to the $400 / £400 / AU$600 mark that's typical for a good 1440p display.

And, since this is a gaming monitor, you're not getting a lot of input ports on the Armada 27, which is limited to just two HDMI 2.0 and one DisplayPort 1.4 input. This means that if you plan on using this with a PS5 or Xbox Series X console, you'll be locked into 60Hz rather than 120Hz, and there are better gaming monitors out there that can get you 120Hz for less than you're spending here.

But, there really is just something about this monitor that demands to be loved, and I do, in fact, love it. It's not for everyone, and for PC gamers out there jealous of everyone else getting to enjoy some of that sweet, sweet arm action, then this is definitely the monitor for you.

HyperX Armada 27: Price & availability

A HyperX Armada 27 on a wooden desk

(Image credit: Future)
  • How much is it? $499 / £499 / AU$779
  • When is it available? It is available now.
  • Where can you get it? It is available in the US, UK, and Australia

The HyperX Armada 27 is available now in the US, UK, and Australia for $499, £499, and AU$779, respectively.

This makes it cheaper than something like the Corsair Xeneon 32QHD165, which doesn't even have a monitor arm and costs $799 / £699 / AU$999, while something like the Monoprice Dark Matter 27-inch gaming monitor can offer the same frame rates and resolution for about 40% cheaper at $299 (about £265, AU$435).

Ultimately, it's still a bit pricey for a 1440p display that is good but not the absolute best. The money you're spending really is for the monitor arm (as well as the included VESA mount), which is well-built enough to justify the premium price, but you're still spending a lot of money for the adaptability rather than the display itself. 

If all you're looking to do is game at 1440p with fast frames, there are cheaper options for that.

  • Value: 3.5 / 5

HyperX Armada 27: Design

The HyperX logo along the chin of the HyperX Armada 27

(Image credit: Future)
  • Monitor arm is fantastic
  • Included VESA wall mount hardware
  • Limited input options
HyperX Armada 27 key specs

Here are the specs on the HyperX Armada 27 sent to TechRadar for review:

Panel Size: 27''
Panel Type: IPS
Viewing Angle: 178°
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Native Resolution: QHD (2560 x 1440)
Variable Refresh Rate Range: 48 - 165Hz
Contrast Ratio: 1000:1
Brightness: 400 nits
Max Response Time: 1ms GtG (with overdrive)
Color Gamut: 95% DCI-P3
Color Depth: 8 bit
Inputs: 2 HDMI 2.0; 1 DisplayPort™ 1.4
Nvidia G-Sync: Yes

The Armada 27 is a fantastic gaming monitor if what you're after is cool factor and a well-built premium feature. If you're looking for the best gaming panel on the market, you might find yourself disappointed by the somewhat mismatched quality of the two parts of the monitor.

First, when it comes to the arm, the degree of movement it affords you is rather incredible, and this leave it open to all kinds of use cases that we haven't even thought of yet. In addition to portrait mode, the tilt on the monitor is one of the most liberal I've ever encountered, with a back tilt that puts the display panel at an acute angle, something I've yet to encounter in a gaming monitor. 

The forward tilt isn't as intense, unfortunately, but the freedom to move the monitor through multiple axes of motion makes it ideal for finding the exact right angle to play your games no matter what position you're in.

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A HyperX Armada 27 on a wooden desk

(Image credit: Future)
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A HyperX Armada 27 on a wooden desk

(Image credit: Future)
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A HyperX Armada 27 on a wooden desk

(Image credit: Future)
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A HyperX Armada 27 on a wooden desk

(Image credit: Future)
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A HyperX Armada 27 on a wooden desk

(Image credit: Future)

The display, on the other hand, is your fairly standard plastic monitor panel, though the bezels are nice and thin, and the panel itself doesn't weigh all that much. It's VESA mount-compatible, and a wall mount for the arm is included in the package if you want to bolt it to the studs behind your dry wall.

Let me just emphasize that part, by the way. Always mount TVs and monitors to wall studs! Anchors in dry wall are not going to be enough to withstand the torque this display produces when fully extended.

As mentioned before, there are only three input ports (two HDMI 2.0 and one DisplayPort 1.4), so you're going to be somewhat limited in what you can connect to this monitor.

There is a noticeable lack of RGB lighting on this display, which I definitely appreciate, and the controls on the right-bottom corner on the back of the panel are easy to access when needed, which lets you access the display's settings menu to make adjustments to color profile, response time, and more.

  • Design: 4.5 / 5

HyperX Armada 27: Performance

A HyperX Armada 27 on a wooden desk

(Image credit: Future)
  • Steady 165Hz refresh, 1ms response time
  • Decent color gamut (95% DCI-P3)
  • HDR 400 is ok, but nothing special

The Armada 27 wouldn't be a great gaming monitor without great gaming performance, and fortunately, it delivers.

While 4K gaming monitors are nice and all, 1440p really is a sweet spot for gaming as it brings fantastic visuals while giving you higher frame rates for your games, and the Armada 27 definitely lets it rip thanks to its 165Hz max refresh rate.

What's more, you can tune the pixel response in the monitor's settings to get 1ms GtG response time, though there might be some slight loss of clarity when set in this mode. If you're in it for competitive esports, you won't care about that, but for more mainstream gaming, I'd actually suggest you use a more moderate setting between normal and the fastest response.

When it comes to color, there are a number of onboard color profile presets that you can pick from, and while 95% DCI-P3 color gamut coverage is very good, it's not the best monitor for creatives at this price.

The HDR 400 helps bring some better blacks during gaming, but really, you need content designed for HDR 400 to get the benefits of the technology, so you're probably not going to get much use out of it. It's an ok also-have, but it's definitely not a reason to buy this monitor.

  • Performance: 4.5 / 5

Should you buy the HyperX Armada 27?

The settings menu on the HyperX Armada 27

(Image credit: Future)

Buy the HyperX Armada 27 if...

Don't buy the HyperX Armada 27 if...

Also consider

HyperX Armada 27: Report Card

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  • First reviewed January 2023
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