Samsung Odyssey Ark review: When bigger isn’t always better

The concept of sitting in entrance of a large 55-inch gaming monitor all day seems like heaven. Having the ability to twist it right into a towering portrait mode? The stuff of my multi-tasking goals. That is the pitch behind Samsung’s 55-inch 4K Odyssey Ark Monitor. As we noticed throughout our first preview, it is a genuinely distinctive behemoth of a show, one that may simply immerse you in each Microsoft Flight Simulator and towering Excel spreadsheets.

Gallery: Samsung Odyssey Ark | 16 Photographs

Certain, you can simply plug a 55-inch TV into your PC, however with out the Ark’s excessive curve, it might be too huge to comfortably use as a monitor. You additionally will not discover any 4K TVs with the Ark’s blazing quick 165Hz refresh price and 1ms response time, not to mention its surprisingly stable sound system. The Odyssey Ark stands alone. However is it really price $3,500? That relies on in case you’re capable of reside with its many annoyances (and in case you do not assume too laborious concerning the worth).

Samsung Odyssey Ark


  • Attractive and immersive image
  • Glorious built-in audio system
  • Recreation streaming apps built-in
  • 165Hz refresh price


  • Terrible off-angle viewing
  • No DisplayPort or USB-C connections
  • Portrait mode isn’t very helpful
  • Samsung’s software program wants work
  • Costly

Annoyance primary? This factor is a bear to arrange. Even with the assistance of two supply staff, it took round 20 minutes to get the (very heavy) Ark monitor accurately connected to its (equally heavy) base. The complete unit weighs 91.5 kilos when put collectively, so remember to have a sturdy desk on the prepared. If that sounds a bit obscene, nicely, you would be right. Samsung’s 55-inch QN90B NEO QLED TV weighs nearly half as a lot (48.3 kilos), whereas LG’s 65-inch C2 OLED TV clocks in at 72 kilos. Excessive heft is the unlucky worth you may must pay for a rotating monitor stand.

Samsung Odyssey Ark front view

Devindra Hardawar/Engadget

As quickly as I sat in entrance of the Odyssey Ark, I understood why Samsung dared to construct it. We have already seen its extra-wide 49-inch gaming displays in motion. And, after all the corporate that pushed the boundaries of telephone screens would do the identical for PCs. Given Samsung’s strong TV enterprise, it is smart to discover the numerous different methods it may use 55-inch Mini LED panels. (The TV aspect is the place we additionally noticed Samsung debut screens that might rotate into TikTok-friendly portrait mode.) The Ark is probably not totally sensible, however for Samsung it serves as a showcase for a lot of of its show improvements.

Design-wise, the Odyssey Ark resembles Samsung’s TVs greater than its gaming displays. It has a sturdy metallic base (because it ought to, given its measurement), in addition to a clean metallic case surrounding the curvy display screen. It even comes with Samsung’s One Join breakout-box, one of many firm’s extra intriguing TV innovations. It connects to the Ark over a single cable, whereas the field itself handles energy and your entire typical connections (4 HDMI 2.1 ports, an optical audio connection, 3.5mm headphone jack and two USB ports). Whereas it was initially meant for screens you would be mounting on partitions, it is a welcome addition to the Odyssey Ark — no person desires to push a close to 100-pound beast round simply to get to HDMI ports.

Samsung Ark Odyssey one connect dock

Sam Rutherford/Engadget

Samsung contains two methods to regulate the Ark: A easy distant with a directional pad and shortcuts for streaming apps like Netflix, in addition to a dial for shortly managing the Ark’s many alternative viewing modes. Each controllers are photo voltaic powered, so you may simply want to ensure they get a bit of sunshine to maintain working. I might think about that might be a difficulty in window-less workplaces like mine, nevertheless it would not be that robust to position the remotes by a window each few months. On the plus aspect, they need to have the ability to run indefinitely in case you’re fortunate sufficient to have some gentle. (Photo voltaic cells could be charged by synthetic lighting, however not very effectively.)

Samsung Ark Odyssey remotes

Sam Rutherford/Engadget

The Ark’s odd form, in addition to just a few LED lighting strips on the rear, are the key indicators that it is not a mere TV set. I have been in entrance of loads of curved screens earlier than, however nothing this excessive. The edges of the show nearly seem to be they’re making an attempt to embrace you with 4K Mini-LED goodness. It is an efficient little bit of immersion whilst you’re viewing the Ark in its customary widescreen mode, paying homage to specialised theaters like LA’s Cinerama Dome. And in contrast to most TVs and displays, the Ark’s giant body permits it to deal with a six speaker sound system (4 tweeters and two woofers), which delivers the audio punch of a medium-sized soundbar.

The mixture of expansive sound and a splendidly immersive image make the Odyssey Ark a very distinctive viewing expertise. Films, TV reveals, and even trailers felt like they had been drawing me into the motion, a lot in order that I barely observed the slight distortion from the curved sides of the display screen. However whereas the Ark’s candy spot is certainly very candy, displaying off the added brightness of Mini-LED and the expansive shade vary from its Quantum Dot show, its viewing angle is extremely restricted. Just some steps off the middle and also you instantly lose shade and readability. The curve giveth, the curve taketh away.

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