When I bought my first OLED TV back in 2019, I very quickly became enamoured and obsessed with the sheer beauty it was capable of showing on its crystal clear display. The deep blacks, high contrast, superior viewing angles and the insanely thin and sleek design made for one of the nicest viewing experiences I’ve ever had, and years on I still feel that it was well worth its roughly $2000 price tag.
Interested in trying out an OLED monitor to see if it could transform my office to the same degree in which it revolutionised my living room, I recently spent some time with the LG 48in UltraGear 4K OLED gaming monitor, a high-end gaming monitor blessed with a gorgeous 4K OLED panel and all the features required to have your consoles and/or PC looking the best they possibly can.
After unboxing the monitor, assembly is rather quick and simple, however I do recommend having a friend assist with setup, as the thin but heavy nature of a panel this size can make this process quite daunting.
Connecting your PC and/or consoles to the device can be achieved via its trio of HDMI ports and the single DisplayPort connection. The 120Hz refresh rate present on the monitor is great and ensures that motion will be satisfyingly smooth. The refresh rate can be overclocked to 138 Hz on PC, but it does require dropping your bit depth to 8-bit in order to function. I for one think 120Hz works more than well enough for the games I was playing on the monitor, so I didn’t seek to tinker with overclocking.
One of the three HDMI ports is of the newer 2.1 specification, a connection required to get the very most out of modern consoles such as the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, as the two are capable of outputting 4K 120Hz when connected via HDMI 2.1.
Further helping in ensuring a smooth visual experience is the AMD FreeSync and Nvidia G-Sync compatibility, which ensures that both AMD and Nvidia graphics cards respectively will be assisted to ensure screen tearing is prevented and that motion is buttery smooth.
Unlike OLED Televisions which have a reflective panel that can cause issues in brighter rooms, the LG 48in UltraGear 4K OLED Gaming Monitor has an anti-glare matte panel, which eliminates the issues that can arise from reflective disturbance. I never really had an issue with gaming on my glossy panel due to its presence in a dark room, but I did appreciate the matte panel coating nonetheless.
LED lighting is also present in the back of the monitor, which can be set to alternate or display a particular colour. While a very “gamer” sort of addition to a monitor, it actually looks very cool, especially when the lights climb up the wall of the room, which can provide extra immersion in-game, or simply enhance the experience overall.
Throughout my short but sweet affair with LG 48in UltraGear 4K OLED Gaming Monitor, I played games on my PS5 such as The Callisto Protocol and Cult of the Lamb, as well as some PC titles such as Cuphead and High on Life, which were run in native 4K and 1440p respectively.
Although The Callisto Protocol leaves plenty to be desired as a game, its visuals are particularly impressive, and it was a great demonstration of the true blacks afforded to those by OLED panels. More colourful adventures such as Cuphead, High on Life and Cult of the Lamb visually pop with bright and saturated colour, enhanced even further by the monitors HDR and superb colour accuracy.
Like I was with my LG B9 OLED Television back in 2019, I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the in-built speakers, so much so that I relied on them purely when not making use of a headset. I’m no audiophile by any stretch, but they sounded good enough to me.
At 48 inches, it’s quite a sizable screen, yet despite my initial hesitance, I found it to be a suitable fit in my office, serving as a worthwhile panel for everyday use, but most especially when gaming.
For those using two smaller monitors currently, one of these could easily be used in place of those, allowing you to benefit most from its larger size when gaming.
Seeing as this product is a gaming monitor, it’d make sense not to expect a remote. It does in fact come with one however, and it’s one of the more interesting designs I’ve seen from a remote control. Featuring buttons that look like keyboard keys, alongside a giant knob that is used to toggle things such as the speaker volume. It’s fine, but part of me does wish it were a little less bulky.
The UI accessible through the remote much like LED lighting on the back of the monitor is very “gamer”, sporting a strong purple and red look, with various worthwhile features that can enhance your experience. Lighting can be customised via the Hexagon Lighting submenu, while OLED Care as the name suggests provides various ways to reduce potential issues such as burn-in, not that burn-in is particularly likely with the panel. I recommend activating a screen saver and running a pixel and image clean every once and a while to maintain the monitor regardless.
Picture settings and such can also be customised via the menu, and other nifty features such as an FPS counter can be used to ensure your games are running as reliably as they should be. While the menu is visually interesting, it does provide a raft of customisation options, which allows you to cater the monitor best to your liking.
While I absolutely loved my time with the LG 48in UltraGear 4K OLED Gaming Monitor, I do find myself wondering why most would not opt for an OLED TV instead of an OLED monitor, especially considering that an OLED TV like the LG C2 is priced similarly and would provide the additional benefit of being a Television (and they’re available in bigger and smaller sizes).
If you intend to only ever use it as a monitor and like the idea of the anti-glare matte coating and the DisplayPort input, than it may be worth at least considering, other than that particular use case though, I’d probably opt for an LG C2 OLED, as you get the Smart TV benefits and TV functionality for what is spec wise a very comparable piece of hardware.
The reality is that it’s going to be pricey no matter which way you go with an OLED Television or Monitor, with prices in excess of AUD$2000. If you want the best of the best however, an OLED is an absolute no-brainer.
Overall though, the LG 48in UltraGear 4K OLED Gaming Monitor is one of the most impressive products I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing. It’s OLED panel is sublime, its 4K resolution and high refresh rates makes it the perfect place to play modern game consoles and highly-specced personal computers, and it raft of customisation options and handy extras like LED Lighting make it the ideal product for a gamer keen to get the very best out of their games on the visual front.
Written by: @GrumpyGoron