With distinctive multitasking views, a surprising spectacle of a show, and the very best audio to ever come from a tv/monitor, the Samsung Odyssey Ark is definitely a feast of immersion. That feast comes at a excessive value although, and at $3500, even with all the additional options Samsung packed in, first technology points and limitations could have you ever rethink boarding this Ark and ready for the subsequent iteration.
- Model: Samsung
- Decision: 3840 x 2160 4K UHD (80.63ppi)
- Refresh Charge: Most 165Hz
- Display screen Dimension: 55″
- Ports: 4x HDMI 2.1, 1xLAN(RJ45), 2xUSB2.0, 3.5mm headphone
- Show Expertise: VA Panel, Mini LED QLED, 1000R Curve
- Facet Ratio: 16:9
- Display screen Brightness: 600 cd/m2 (typical) 1000 cd/m2 (Max)
- Show Weight: With out stand: 91.49lbs (41.5kg); with out stand: 46.51lbs (21.1kg)
- Sound: Dolby Atmos 60W 2.2.2 channel
- Tilt: Panorama : -10˚(±2˚)~10˚(±2˚), Portrait : -13˚(±2˚)~10˚(±2˚)
- HDR: Quantum HDR 32x, HJDR10+, HDR10+ gaming
- Variable Refresh: VRR and AMD FreeSync Premium Professional
- Beautiful matte show with beautiful black ranges.
- Cockpit mode is a sport changer for immersion & productiveness
- Really immersive sound with 4 audio system and a couple of subwoofers
- Potential to vary display measurement and ratio with a twist of the Ark Dial
- Trade difficult 165Hz refresh price with 1ms response time for a 55’’
- Included Samsung SmartHub allows gaming from the Cloud
- Unnecessarily heavy
- Two remotes are obligatory for normal operation
- Ark Dial navigation requires studying curve
- Regardless of 4x HDMI inputs, just one enter can be utilized at a time
- Streaming apps like Netflix and HBO Max can’t be seen in MultiView
- Scaling points and disappearing home windows with Home windows and Mac connectivity
Samsung Odyssey Ark Gaming Monitor
Having first been introduced at CES 2022, it appeared like an idea that may by no means make it out of the manufacturing unit. However right here it’s. The brand new Samsung 55″’ Odyssey Ark 4K UHD 165Hz 1ms Quantum Mini-LED Curved Gaming Display screen is an extremely thrilling conceptual gadget that boasts HDR 10+, variable refresh to a most 165Hz, all on a VA panel with 1,000,000:1 native distinction ratio, and over a thousand native dimming zones.
Is that this the final word expertise for gaming and leisure immersion, or perhaps a productiveness powerhouse? Possibly.
What’s in a Title (and the Field)?
The Odyssey a part of the moniker has been lent to different gaming-centric displays in Samsung’s lineup. An evocation of a fabled journey, tied to fantastical gaming prospects. Okay, I’ll purchase that. However why “Ark”? My time with the gadget leads me to imagine that similar to its biblical namesake, it’s as a result of it requires two of all the pieces to perform effectively.
Two pleasant supply folks maneuvered their approach up and down a number of flights of stairs with this 90lb, 54’’x 36.5’’x 12.5’’ field, and settled it proper subsequent to my 18-year-old and nonetheless pretty 48” LG TV in my basement, simply outdoors my bed room.
Two issues are additionally important to unboxing the Odyssey Ark. The primary is a good friend. The second is following instructions from the included digital handbook.
I say this as somebody that first tried to unbox the Odyssey Ark by themselves, and upon powering on, found the display to be broken. Whether or not that was resulting from cargo, or person setup error is unknown. However Samsung kindly changed my evaluate unit with one other, and with a word hooked up to the second unit – to deal with the show’s edges gently, as a agency grip might harm the panel itself.
First to return out of the field is a plastic backplate that’s meant to be affixed to the again of the Ark Show as soon as all of your cables are neatly plugged in. Talking of cables, subsequent comes an HDMI 2.1 cable Samsung has kindly included (although at this value level, a couple of extra could be anticipated).
Then comes the a lot talked about Ark Dial – a black angular but boxy, 7’’ x 4’’ industrial-looking distant management with an enormous gray round dial on the underside half. It has an oddly satisfying clicking sound because it’s rotated, a directional, clickable pad in its heart, and 4 flush clickable buttons atop. A skinny Photo voltaic cell atop the distant completes its design, meant to be an eco-friendly option to cost the distant.
Accompanying the Dial out of the field is the Ark Distant – a plastic 6.5″ x 1.5″ distant that appears to conflict aesthetically. Samsung gave the distant a plastic housing with a brushed metallic texture to point its relation to the Dial and the Ark itself. However at first look, you wouldn’t know they had been for a similar gadget. Which personally, looks as if an odd alternative, particularly whenever you notice the extra you utilize the Ark that one cannot simply navigate the Odyssey Ark utilizing only one distant. However extra on that later.
The distant has the sometimes anticipated buttons of a tv distant, with app-specific buttons for Disney+, Netflix, Samsung TV Plus, and Prime Video. A photo voltaic cell on the again of the distant accompanies the eco-friendly charging route. It must be famous that each the Ark Dial and Ark distant additionally enable USB-C charging should you don’t have daylight, equivalent to in my basement bed room.
Rounding out the primary layer of packaging is the inclusion of 200x200mm VESA wall mount brackets. Curiously, Samsung notes this may solely be included within the field for North America, China, and Southeast Asia markets.
Slice the tape holding the underside of the field collectively, and with the assistance of a good friend, raise the field off, revealing the monitor ensconced within the security of styrofoam. Eradicating that reveals the show and three extra items to be eliminated earlier than you’ll be able to start meeting.
First comes the Ark show stand. Just like the Ark Dial, industrial design appears to be the theme of the Odyssey Ark. Taking a look at it alone, it’s a easy and stylish resolution, standing at round 30’’, although one that’s going to occupy plenty of desk house.
We will no less than be grateful that Samsung didn’t pull an Apple and ask almost $2000 additional for a show stand.
The ultimate element to return out of the field, and the principle connection hub of the Odyssey Ark is the One Join field. Samsung first launched the One Join field someday in 2014, and varied televisions it’s launched through the years have include this all-in-one hub. It’s meant to take away the litter of wires resulting in your tv, as an alternative utilizing the included proprietary One Join Cable as the principle connection to your tv, with all different inputs being dealt with by the field itself.
Samsung’s option to make the most of the One Join field as its hub additional blurs the road of whether or not the Samsung Odyssey Ark will be thought-about a tv or a pc monitor. To shortly summarise, the field allows 4x HDMI 2.1 inputs (one with e-ARC help), 1x ethernet port, 2x USB 2.0 Sort-A ports for peripherals, 1X USB kind B port, and 1x Optical port for audio. And it runs Samsung’s Tizen OS for its related options and the built-in Good Hub.
With all of the little elements out of the best way, we return the highest layer of packaging again in place to guard the uncovered show. With the assistance of mentioned good friend, Samsung recommends laying the monitor show face down, to start attaching the stand to the again of the show.
Attaching that hulking stand was easier than I anticipated – you snap the stand behind the show then swivel the stand to both aspect as you screw in two screws to safe it in place. Simple.
At a complete weight of 88lbs, it’s a heavy raise on to your desk, and the stand’s easy plastic backing doesn’t afford a lot grip. As talked about, Samsung additionally features a discover to bear in mind to not grip the edges of the show too tightly, lest you harm the display. In all, meeting took about 20 minutes.
When you’ve related the One Join cable to the show, and plugged in any HDMI inputs you’ll have (in my case I began with a Mac laptop computer and a Nintendo Swap for preliminary setup), it’s time to energy up.
Upon first powering on the Odyssey Ark, the very first thing I observed was the unimaginable sound output, which to be trustworthy, shocked me greater than the show itself. Samsung calls it Sound Dome know-how. It consists of 4 nook audio system and two central subwoofers that produce a 60W 2.2.2 channels of sound. It is unimaginable—and all I used to be listening to at this level was the setup display music.
The preliminary setup took a little bit of time, because the Ark needs an web connection to be greater than only a monitor. The Ark Dial and Ark Distant seemingly paired robotically with the Ark, however required handbook pairing to be correctly responsive, with out a lot enter lag. Happily, it’s straightforward. Depress two particular buttons on both distant for greater than 4 seconds, and also you’re related. It’s helpful that yow will discover the battery standing of the remotes within the settings display as effectively.
You’ll have to create a Samsung account and obtain the Samsung Good Issues app to your telephone for larger performance and value, together with utilizing your telephone as an enter gadget, or utilizing your smartphone’s built-in digicam for video calls. You possibly can even use your smartphone as a mirror to look at your self work out, with a exercise video on one aspect of the display and your digicam displayed in one other.
Chosen Samsung telephones, or an iPhone with Facetime, enable for colour calibration of the display to show pictures “as a creator supposed”.
Visible High quality
And so, we come to the vaunted show – really an astonishing sight after you have the product all arrange.
Out of the field, colours displayed on the display from the related Nintendo Swap had been what I would count on strolling the aisles of an electronics retailer like Greatest Purchase – extremely saturated, a bit mushy, and considerably muddy.
However my god – to see Tremendous Smash Bros Final in superb 60fps, and on such a large display with each little element highlighted – it was wild. Enjoying a fast match with my good friend who helped arrange the Ark earlier than diving any additional into the image settings or the rest – we had been each amazed, entranced, and couldn’t assist exclaiming how ostentatious the expertise felt.
We threw on a TOP GUN: Maverick trailer from Youtube via the related Macbook and took turns standing the really useful 80cm from the show to check its immersive qualities. And it labored. The show’s aggressive 1000R curve definitely brings you proper into the expertise. On auto mode, with a max peak brightness of 1000cd/m2, it felt like watching an IMAX show proper in entrance of your nostril.
We flipped the gadget into cockpit mode briefly. The convenience at which the gadget rotated was improbable. You pull the show as much as its prime peak earlier than rotating the Ark to both the left or proper. It feels proper to provide customers the selection of which course they might wish to flip the gadget. As soon as on this mode, we had the MacBook show a trailer from Youtube once more, whereas we performed one other spherical of Smash, and it was pure enjoyment.
Once more, calling this factor an Ark is on level – it definitely brings folks across the gadget, amazed on the tech in entrance of them.
However quickly, it got here time to maneuver the show out of the basement lounge and to my bed room in order that I might start testing the gadget related to my desktop and incorporating it into my each day workflow. And that’s the place some points popped up.
It’s good that Samsung has introduced over the Good Hub present in its Good TV lineup. Having the choice to load straight into the Good Hub, or to one in every of your related HDMI inputs each time you flip the Odyssey Ark on is nice.
Using entry to Samsung TV Plus is a boon, eliminating the necessity for a paid TV service until you need particular cable channels. However as with all new gadget, there will likely be a studying curve – and getting used to navigating the Good Hub OS with two remotes is a little bit of an ordeal and a reminder that the Ark works greatest in twos.
To begin, solely the Ark Distant can management the amount of the gadget. The Ark Dial has no quantity management capabilities. What it does have is fast entry to the Ark Dial Menu with the press of a button.
Within the Ark Dial menu, you’re offered with 5 choices from left to proper – Fast Settings, Flex Transfer Display screen, Dwelling, MultiView, and Recreation bar 2.0. Rotate the dial to decide on the settings you wish to dive into. There may be some enter lag over time, and you might end up getting irritated with the lag. Rapidly pairing the Dial once more helps resolve this concern, however it does get annoying to should pair the Dial occasionally.
The Ark distant however doesn’t appear to have this concern. However recognizing the necessity to have each remotes shortly accessible is a little bit of a chore, to not point out taking over priceless further desk house.
The Ark Distant has devoted buttons to built-in streaming apps accessible within the Good Hub. It’s tempting to launch Netflix with the Ark distant, after which attain for the Ark Dial to modify it over to Multiview – however that’s whenever you notice you’ll be able to’t. Whether or not it’s a licensing restriction imposed by the streaming providers or one thing that may be resolved over a firmware replace by Samsung just isn’t clear – however being unable to stack a streaming service alongside some other view is a tease and a disgrace.
Stacking and transferring round shows by itself although, is made potential by deciding on Flex Transfer Display screen within the Ark Dial menu. Rotating the dial will increase or decreases the display measurement decision, whereas clicking directionally means that you can place your display wherever you fancy. In case your display doesn’t take up the complete show, the detrimental house will be custom-made with a myriad of choices, together with backgrounds that animate based mostly on the colours displayed in your lively display or customized animations designed by Samsung.
In MultiView, the Dial acts in a lot the identical approach, permitting you to both rotate the dial to concentrate on one of many many shows you’ve, or resizing them with ease. Then as soon as you choose a show, the Dial acts as a content material contextual controller. For instance, within the Youtube app, as soon as it’s been chosen because the show to concentrate on, you’ll be able to play, pause, or scrub via the video utilizing the Ark Dial.
Nevertheless the limitation of stacking no matter content material you need on display additionally presents itself with a number of HDMI inputs. Whilst you can join as much as 4 HDMI inputs to the hub, you’ll be able to solely view separately. Including built-in Samsung apps to MultiView isn’t a difficulty – however it’s a limitation that severely disappoints. The purpose of a one-monitor resolution is to release the necessity for a number of shows. However when the principle show now forces you to decide on which of the related units you wish to use, it feels fruitless.
So what does this go away you with for productiveness in MultiView? You might be restricted to both of your HDMI inputs – in my case both the Nintendo Swap, Xbox One, or PC – and any of the next app choices:
- Samsung TV Plus
- An online browser
- Smartphone mirror (solely with choose supported units)
- Casting a Home windows or Mac Laptop computer
- Both an hooked up webcam (related via the One Join Hub, or the one USB-C port discovered on the again of the show), or projecting your smartphone digicam via the Good Issues app
- One in all three apps from the climate channel that every one show the time, date, and present climate.
Regardless of that moderately extreme limitation, after you have made your MultiView alternatives, it’s cool to see it in motion all on one display.
In panorama mode, there are six totally different views accessible:
- To side-by-side screens
- Image-in-picture mode
- One massive display and two smaller screens to both the left or the correct of the display
- Three equally sized screens displayed in a 1×2 association
- 4 screens with one massive display and three stacked to the left or proper of the principle display
- 4 equally sized screens
In vertical Cockpit mode, you’re restricted to 3 MultiView choices: two screens stacked on prime of one another, a big display that takes up a lot of the show with one picture-in-picture possibility, and eventually, three screens stacked atop one another.
Sadly, Samsung solely means that you can save three totally different MultiViews at a time, so get able to both stick together with your alternatives or continuously recreate totally different configurations.
To not bemoan the purpose, however it actually is a disgrace that I can’t have Smash Bros loaded up on one aspect of the display, and for instance, this evaluate textual content in one other.
A workaround to utilizing streaming apps could also be to make use of the built-in internet browser, however it’s a ache to navigate utilizing the Ark Dial or Ark distant. Utilizing your smartphone and the Good Issues app as an enter gadget helps, however it too takes somewhat getting used to and typically will be too delicate, particularly when utilizing the 4Dpad as a mouse.
And that is once more why I say utilizing the Odyssey Ark is greatest in twos. For my time in utilizing the Odyssey Ark, I experimented with utilizing the Ark as a standalone monitor, after which in tandem as a second show for my Home windows PC – utilising one other Samsung ultrawide I personal. That is when I discovered myself being best.
Having the ability to play a online game on the far left of the Ark, with Samsung TV Plus, Youtube, and a display mirrored Mac Laptop computer displaying on the correct, after which utilizing the Utlrawide for scripting this evaluate has been tremendous useful – extra so than utilizing the Ark as a standalone monitor. The identical goes for streaming films. I can have the Ark run Disney+ or HBO Max, whereas doing work on the ultrawide – and immediately I’m each immersed within the film with the very best sound I’ve ever heard from a show – all whereas getting work performed.
Home windows 10 presents some scaling quirks, because it recommends sclaing the show to 300%. Not solely is that this ugly however takes away the purpose of getting such a big show. When working Home windows on the max decision of 3840 x 2160 as I did for many of my time with the Ark, it does current some points with having the ability to learn Cleartype fonts accurately, with blurring and ineligible textual content the additional one has to look from their seated place.
Refreshing show settings and attempting a number of totally different decision configurations appears to assist the Ark be taught the proper show decision over time. However should you change to Cockpit mode, and again, be ready to should try to mess with show settings yet again.
When utilizing the Odyssey Ark as a second show, there are occasions whenever you exit out of MultiView, and Home windows has forgotten the place the Ark is located together with your important show – resulting in a number of Firefox tabs that merely disappeared. Closing the tab from one other Firefox tab and reloading was the one option to carry again the misplaced tabs. These are Home windows quirks moderately than Samsung’s fault maybe, however however a roadblock to completely exploring the productiveness angle with the Ark.
As A Private Theatre
Gaming or not, the Samsung Odyssey Ark really is a theatre of its personal proper. Having used the Ark primarily at a seated desk, I’ve needed to carry it right down to its lowest potential level in order to not pressure my neck wanting up. And since my desk has a 24’’ depth – lower than the usual depth of 26’’ to 34’’ of a typical workplace desk, I’ve discovered myself sitting nearer than the really useful distance of 80cm (or 31.5’’).
Whereas this has led to eye pressure for buddies attempting out the monitor for greater than fifteen-minute durations, I’ve reveled within the alternative. However I’ll add that on this seated place, you virtually don’t notice there’s an RGB lighting strip inbuilt to the again of the Ark. And actually, that’s been superb, because it doesn’t really feel like a useful addition that provides to any immersion.
There’s an choice to have the colours sync to what’s being displayed, however for essentially the most half, it simply stayed a blue-green colour for me, even when the picture being displayed wasn’t even near that colour. A extremely correct and responsive different to Philips Ambilight TV this isn’t.
Having run the usual suite of checks from Eizo on the Odyssey Ark, other than one lifeless white pixel, there have been no points to be discovered. I used to be genuinely shocked to see no halation on the Ark, and the black ranges actually look gorgeously black, virtually as if components of the show had been turned off.
Watching Marvel’s Eternals for the primary time on the Odyssey Ark, I used to be shocked with the image high quality, particularly with these black ranges. After twiddling with the image settings, I discovered myself sticking primarily to what Samsung calls Filmmaker Mode. The opposite image choices had too many artifacts in high-speed, CGI-heavy scenes with all the image processing the Ark was attempting so as to add – together with De-Judder Compensation, Movement Blur discount, and Image Readability.
It’s good to see the extent of detailed choices an professional can play with. For my choice, turning all of it off felt greatest.
As a Gaming show, you’re your individual bottleneck in the case of making the most of the max refresh price of 165Hz and options like Gaming HDR, or VRR. Essentially the most my nVidia GeForce 1060 GTX might muster was 30FPS sadly, however VRR was activated. The Xbox One and Swap each had been in a position to obtain as much as 60FPS as displayed within the Recreation Bar 2.0, although solely the Xbox One took benefit of VRR. A Samsung rep informed me that for greatest outcomes an nVidia GeForce RTX 3080 could be splendid.
All Aboard the Ark?
The Samsung Odyssey Ark’s key concern for me is it’s not sufficient to only be a standalone Ark. In the end it really works higher when you’ve got a companion in your journey—whether or not that’s a further distant, a good friend, a second show, a pair of subwoofers, or a prime finish graphics card. That sound high quality although? That’s one thing I’ll deeply miss.
My hesitation in regards to the Samsung Odyssey Ark is firstly the worth tag. At $3500, it turns into a product that’s solely accessible to the choose few individuals who both have the disposable revenue to justify such an expenditure or the hardcore early adopters who will throw all their cash on the newest even when it’s not the best. With financing plans extensively accessible now, it is lowered the barrier for entry for pricier merchandise – however fee plans go away me feeling icky and entrenched in a capitalist market that’s not designed for everybody.
With distinctive multitasking views, a surprising spectacle of a show, and the very best audio to ever come from a tv/monitor, the Samsung Odyssey Ark is definitely a feast of immersion. However that feast comes at a excessive value, and at $3500, even with all the additional options Samsung packed in, first-generation points and limitations could have you ever rethink boarding this Ark and ready for the subsequent iteration.