For example, this is a really big curved monitor, but it allows us to change the elevation of the screen and even place it vertically, to put it in the “Cabin Mode” as the manufacturer says, something that is improved with the lighting ” Eclipse”. Vertically, this monitor is not only equivalent to three conventional screens placed one on top of the other, but in fact, since it has four HDMI video inputs, we can connect four different video sources and see them all at the same time (in fact, when you place the screen vertically, the change is done automatically, the monitor detects it without us having to do anything).
But that’s not all… since in addition to the fact that this monitor incorporates a processor Neural Quantum Ultra It enhances images through AI, it has all the Smart functions you can imagine, so it is almost a television if you want.
Of course, this monitor has a novelty that (at least we) had not seen until now: it uses what they have called Samsung OneConnect, which is that instead of plugging the video inputs into the monitor, we have a separate device to connect everything to and that connects to the monitor via a single cable. In turn, we will have not one but up to two wireless controls to control all its functions. This, as we will see later, has its advantages but also its disadvantages.
Assembly and external analysis
The Samsung Odyssey Ark comes packed in a box of great proportions and weight; In fact, if you have bought this monitor, you better have a family member or friend who can lend you a hand, it is not recommended to unpack, assemble or handle it by yourself because you can do yourself a lot of damage (and you can cause damage to the monitor). This device is so large that we have not been able to use the table that we usually use in our analyses, because the box is literally wider than the width of the table and, in fact, as you will see below, we are going to have to manipulate the box in such a way. so that it would be extremely uncomfortable to do it on top of a table (better on the floor).
To give you an idea of the size, see how it compares to a figure of The Witcher, which is 24 cm tall.
Outside, as you can see, we have a hard cardboard box tied with two straps. A sticker informs us of the monitor’s energy rating, and on the side we are given some additional information about the product, but no specifications or a specially ornate box.
When opening the box at the top, we come across some diagrams that instruct us on how to unpack the device.
So, we follow these instructions: first we remove the accessories that are on the top, and then we remove the cardboard “shirt” upwards.
Initially, we come across the base of the monitor, which alone will easily weigh 5 kg. On it, we have a sticker that tells us how not to handle the monitor, and the correct way to do it (which, as we said, requires two people ).
This piece is the support arm of the monitor, which we will anchor to the screen on one side and to the base on the other. This piece can also weigh about 10 kg or so. As you can see, it has two rails to be able to modify the height, and the circular part that is the one that is anchored to the monitor will allow us to rotate the screen to put it vertically.
At this moment we could anchor the base to the body of the support, but it is not recommended because, if you see the instructions before, they indicate the correct assembly process and, really, assembling the base is the final step. This set will easily weigh 15 kg, so be careful when handling it.
After removing all the accessories and parts, the instructions indicate that we must put the upper part of the expanded polystyrene protection back on, and then we must lay the box on the ground (as always, between two people… believe us when we tell you that It weighs a lot for a single person, and also because of its size it is very difficult to handle if you do not have help).
With the box lying down, we can separate the protective plastic a bit to access the anchor socket on the back of the screen.
Now, with the piece that we saw before, we simply have to fit it so that it is fixed with a “click”. Even so, it weighs so much that Samsung has put two screws that we must fix to make sure that it is firmly attached. To do this, and for this reason it is important to have the monitor on the ground, we will have to rotate the installed part because if not, we will not be able to access the screws.
Once this is done, now we can install the base (it comes with four screws). With the help of a second person, we must now put the monitor upright, still with packaging and everything, already supported on the base.
Now yes, we can remove the protections and we will have access to the monitor, which initially looks like this, vertically.
At this point we can move the monitor and place it in the position and in the place where we are going to use it, again between two people holding it carefully.
Once it’s on your site, we can remove the last protection and it’s almost ready to go.
Now the time has come to take out of the Samsung One Connect accessories, the system that we talked about before that is used to connect all the inputs and outputs of the monitor.
It is a fairly bulky device (and, like everything in this monitor, heavy), which comes with a single connection cable to the screen and, of course, the Ark Dial wireless controller, with which we can comfortably control all the functions of the monitor. The only problem here is that if you already need a fairly generous desk to accommodate the monitor, you will also have to find a space for this device, which is not exactly small.
As you can see, the One Connect has all the connections that are normally on the monitor, including the 4 HDMI 2.1, the RJ-45 connector and even a digital S/PDIF audio output.
Once everything is connected, we will have the monitor ready to work.
Testing the Samsung Odyssey Ark
Initially, the Samsung Odyssey Ark behaves as if it were a Smart TV, and in fact it even prompts us to connect to the Internet (if we have not connected it by cable, a WiFi connection wizard will appear) and set up a Samsung account to access to the smart functions. The monitor uses the brand’s proprietary Tizen operating system, just like its Smart TVs, and in fact we have the same options as in any modern Smart TV of the brand with the exception of the antenna connection to terrestrial TV.
All in all, despite the fact that Samsung includes the typical TV remote control, we can control all the functions with its Samsung Ark Dial, a fairly bulky wireless remote control that is very easy to use, and that is even used to turn on and off. turn off the screen, again as if it were a TV “disguised” as a PC monitor. We repeat, because it has been very striking to us when in theory we are talking about a PC monitor, that the sensations that this monitor gives us are the same that we would have when configuring a new television and not a PC monitor that, generally, is plug and play.
In use, the monitor displays a simply superb image, and in fact doesn’t have the inherent problem of many curved monitors which is that they distort the image depending on the angle you’re viewing it from: the screen is perfectly viewable in its entirety from all angles. angles, without any distortion, and this is of course thanks to the Quantum Mini LED technology that Samsung has incorporated into the screen… we told you that the Korean manufacturer has put all its technology into this monitor and no joke, it almost looks like some kind of bet to see how far they could go.
Black and white rendering is excellent, with very dark blacks and very light whites; Of course, it seems that this monitor lacks local dimming (to turn off the totally black pixels to show pure blacks), but on the contrary, the intensity of the whites stands out, which is amazing (not surprisingly, we must remember that this monitor has a maximum brightness well above conventional HDR monitors).
The rendering of the colors is also excellent; We must admit that seeing that Samsung had opted for a VA panel, we thought that the color representation would disappoint us, but in the end it was the opposite: despite the fact that the screen is not IPS, it is largely compensated thanks to HDR and this results in sharp and bright colors, almost vivid, giving us a viewing experience that is almost reminiscent of OLED panels (okay, not that far, but…).
All in all, there is no doubt that the strong point of this monitor is gaming. And not just because it has native UHD resolution, its refresh rate reaches 165 Hz and is also variable thanks to AMD’s FreeSync Pro technology, or its response time is only 1 ms (all these features, ideal for gaming), is that the feeling of immersion it gives us is simply fantastic.
Of course, despite the curvature that will give us a greater sensation of immersion, it is so extremely large that it would be advisable to place it quite far from the screen. Samsung says on its website that the recommendation is to stand at least 80 centimeters from it, but we would extend this distance to at least 1.2 meters because, otherwise, you will end up with neck pain from turning your head so much to go from one end of the screen to the other.
Conclusion and verdict
As we have mentioned in the body of this analysis, the feeling that this Odyssey Ark has left us is that it has been a kind of bet by Samsung to see how far they could go by integrating all their technology into a single product, and the result is really good. . Of course, you also have to take into account that not everyone is going to like having that feeling that you are actually looking at a Smart TV and not a monitor, since so many advanced functions, options and assistants can overwhelm you when you do. What you were looking for was a simple monitor to play, but it is what you have to buy a screen with these characteristics.
Leaving that aside, the result is honestly one of the best we’ve tested to date: from color representation to panel speed, this is an ideal monitor to fully enjoy games and all the multimedia content we want. , because this monitor has EVERYTHING…. with the disadvantage that it gives you everything, yes, but at a price: we must not forget that the figure of €2,999 appears on the label, a price that not everyone can (or wants to) pay for a monitor.
For the rest, also highlight the complexity of the assembly and installation (it really is not complicated, and in fact the manufacturer makes it relatively easy in its instructions, but the bad part is that it is so big and heavy that you need help from another person to do so), including the Samsung One Connect, which we frankly didn’t like (we think it adds another “clunker” to the desktop unnecessarily).
For all these reasons, we believe that the Samsung Odyssey Ark deserves our Gold award, as well as our recommendation for its design and performance.