Dell S3220DGF Monitor Review

Tested using Methodology v1.1
Updated Oct 17, 2019 at 10:29 am
Dell S3220DGF Picture
7.7
Mixed Usage
7.5
Office
8.0
Gaming
7.6
Multimedia
7.8
Media Creation
7.1
HDR Gaming
Size 32"
Resolution 2560x1440
Max Refresh Rate
165 Hz
Pixel Type
VA
Variable Refresh Rate
FreeSync

The Dell S3220DGF is a good 1440p curved gaming monitor. It has a good response time, exceptionally low input lag for a responsive gaming experience, and native FreeSync support to reduce screen tearing. It displays deep blacks in a dark room, and thanks to its wide color gamut and decent HDR peak brightness it can display HDR content with vivid colors and highlights that pop. Unfortunately, the viewing angles are disappointing, so you lose image accuracy when viewed from the side. However, it performs well in rooms with a moderate amount of light, since it has okay peak brightness and decent reflection, but might struggle in rooms with direct light.

Our Verdict

7.7 Mixed Usage

The Dell S3220DGF is a good monitor for mixed usage. It has a large resolution and size and can display much of your gaming arena or your work on the screen. It feels very responsive thanks to its low input lag, and the curved profile immerses you in the game. Unfortunately, the viewing angles are poor and won't allow you to work well in groups. However, it performs well in dark rooms with good contrast ratio and decent black uniformity.

Pros
  • Very low input lag.
  • Excellent gray uniformity.
  • Good dark room performance.
Cons
  • Image degrades when viewed from the side.
  • Response time slower than other similar monitors.
7.5 Office

The Dell S3220DGF is a good monitor for office use. It has a large resolution and size that allows you to display more of your work, minimizing the need to scroll. Unfortunately, viewing angles are poor and the monitor doesn't favor collaborative work. It's suitable for a moderate-lit office, as it fights glare and handles reflections well. Also, the stand allows you to adjust it comfortably with ease.

8.0 Gaming

Great gaming monitor. The Dell S3220DGF has a very low input lag for responsive gaming experience and a lot of real estate to display more of your game. Motion looks smooth thanks to the fast refresh rate, but unfortunately, its response time is slower than other similar monitors. However, it supports FreeSync variable refresh rate (VRR) technology for a nearly tear-free gaming experience.

7.6 Multimedia

The Dell S3220DGF is a good monitor for consuming multimedia. It has a large size and an excellent resolution that allows it to display most content at native resolution. It's very responsive thanks to its low input lag and has excellent gray uniformity, but the viewing angles are poor, just like most VA panel monitors, so it's not ideal to share your screen with others.

7.8 Media Creation

The Dell S3220DGF is a good monitor for those who want to use it for media creation. It has a large resolution and a good amount of real estate, so you can display most of your work's details. It has great coverage of the Adobe RGB color space used in photo editing and the decent ergonomics allow you to adjust it to a comfortable working position. Unfortunately, the viewing angles are bad and the image degrades when viewed from the side.

7.1 HDR Gaming

Decent for HDR gaming. The Dell S3220DGF has good dark room performance, can get decently bright in HDR, and can display your HDR games with vivid colors thanks to its wide color gamut. It has a curved profile, a very low input lag, and a good response time ensuring an immersive and responsive HDR gaming experience.

  • 7.7 Mixed Usage
  • 7.5 Office
  • 8.0 Gaming
  • 7.6 Multimedia
  • 7.8 Media Creation
  • 7.1 HDR Gaming
  1. Update 2/17/2020: Converted to Test Bench 1.1.

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Test Results

Design
Design
Style
Curved Yes
Curve Radius 1800R
Weight (without stand)
16.8 lbs (7.6 kg)
Weight (with stand)
24.0 lbs (10.9 kg)

The S3220DGF has a design similar to most Dell monitors, but the logos on the front and back are blue. The stand is also bigger than some of their other monitors so it can hold the larger screen.

Design
Stand
Width
12.6" (32.0 cm)
Depth
10.1" (25.7 cm)

The stand supports the monitor well and prevents most wobble. It's not very big so you can still place stuff in front of it.

6.8
Design
Ergonomics
Height Adjustment
5.4" (13.7 cm)
Switch Portrait/Landscape No
Swivel Range -30° to 30°
Tilt Range -20° to 5°

Decent ergonomics for the Dell S3220DGF, as you can easily place it in a comfortable position. Unfortunately, like most curved screen monitors, you can't turn it to portrait mode.

Design
Back
Wall Mount VESA 100x100

The back of the monitor is plain. Cable management is serviced through the stand, and it has a quick release button.

Design
Borders
Borders
0.3" (0.8 cm)

Update 05/06/2020: The borders were incorrectly measured as 1.1" (2.8cm) thick. The measurement has been fixed.

The borders are thin and favor a multi-monitor setup.

Design
Thickness
Thickness (with stand)
7.2" (18.3 cm)
Thickness (without stand)
3.2" (8.1 cm)

The overall thickness of the monitor isn't very big, even with the stand attached. However, as with most curved monitors, if you wall-mount it, it sticks out a little.

7.5
Design
Build Quality

The S3220DGF has a good build quality. The entire construction is heavy and feels sturdy with no gaps or loose ends. The stand provides good support and prevents most wobble.

Picture Quality
7.9
Picture Quality
Contrast
Native Contrast
2953 : 1
Contrast With Local Dimming
N/A

The S3220DGF has a good contrast ratio. Thanks to its VA panel, blacks look deep in a dark room.

0
Picture Quality
Local Dimming
Local Dimming
No
Backlight
Direct

The S3220DGF doesn't have a local dimming feature. The above video is provided for reference only.

7.4
Picture Quality
SDR Peak Brightness
SDR Real Scene
284 cd/m²
SDR Peak 2% Window
292 cd/m²
SDR Peak 10% Window
292 cd/m²
SDR Peak 25% Window
293 cd/m²
SDR Peak 50% Window
293 cd/m²
SDR Peak 100% Window
293 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 2% Window
291 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 10% Window
292 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 25% Window
292 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 50% Window
293 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 100% Window
293 cd/m²
SDR ABL
0.000

The Dell S3220DGF has an okay peak brightness. It should be able to combat glare in most rooms, although you should avoid placing it in a very bright one. If you need a brighter screen, increasing the contrast results in a noticeably brighter, but less accurate image.

7.0
Picture Quality
HDR Peak Brightness
HDR Real Scene
444 cd/m²
HDR Peak 2% Window
468 cd/m²
HDR Peak 10% Window
468 cd/m²
HDR Peak 25% Window
468 cd/m²
HDR Peak 50% Window
468 cd/m²
HDR Peak 100% Window
468 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 2% Window
460 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 10% Window
456 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 25% Window
457 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 50% Window
459 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 100% Window
461 cd/m²
HDR ABL
0.001

Decent HDR peak brightness for the S3220DGF. It can bring out highlights in HDR, but there's slight variation in brightness with varied content.

5.8
Picture Quality
Horizontal Viewing Angle
Color Washout From Left
28 °
Color Washout From Right
29 °
Color Shift From Left
48 °
Color Shift From Right
53 °
Brightness Loss From Left
31 °
Brightness Loss From Right
32 °
Black Level Raise From Left
13 °
Black Level Raise From Right
15 °
Gamma Shift From Left
19 °
Gamma Shift From Right
19 °

As is the case with most VA panel monitors, the horizontal viewing angle is disappointing. You quickly lose image accuracy when viewed from the side, and since it has such a large screen, the sides of the screen appear darker if you sit too close. If you're interested in a VA panel with fairly wide viewing angles, check out the AOC CQ32G1.

5.6
Picture Quality
Vertical Viewing Angle
Color Washout From Below
28 °
Color Washout From Above
27 °
Color Shift From Below
60 °
Color Shift From Above
63 °
Brightness Loss From Below
31 °
Brightness Loss From Above
31 °
Black Level Raise From Below
9 °
Black Level Raise From Above
10 °
Gamma Shift From Below
15 °
Gamma Shift From Above
13 °

Disappointing vertical viewing angle. You lose image accuracy if it's mounted above or below eye level. Also, if you sit close to the screen, the top and bottom edges appear darker.

8.9
Picture Quality
Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
2.092 %
50% DSE
0.102 %
5% Std. Dev.
0.721 %
5% DSE
0.071 %

Outstanding gray uniformity, better than most monitors we've seen, but this could vary from unit to unit. The sides of the screen appear darker mainly due to the viewing angles, but other than that, you shouldn't notice any uniformity issues.

6.6
Picture Quality
Black Uniformity
Native Std. Dev.
1.580 %
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
N/A

Decent black uniformity. There's some slight blooming at the corners and around the edges, but it's almost impossible to notice in real content.

6.8
Picture Quality
Pre Calibration
Picture Mode
Custom Color
Luminance
122 cd/m²
Luminance Settings
75
Contrast Setting
75
RGB Controls
100-100-100
Gamma Setting
No Gamma Setting
Color Temperature
5971 K
White Balance dE
3.63
Color dE
3.61
Gamma
2.16

The pre-calibration color accuracy is decent. Most colors are inaccurate and the color temperature is warmer than the target, so colors have a red/yellow tint. Gamma doesn't follow the curve well, so dark scenes appear darker than they should, and bright scenes are brighter.

9.6
Picture Quality
Post Calibration
Picture Mode
Custom Color
Luminance
100 cd/m²
Luminance Settings
35
Contrast Setting
70
RGB Controls
93-94-98
Gamma Setting
No Gamma Setting
Color Temperature
6486 K
White Balance dE
0.50
Color dE
0.55
Gamma
2.19

The S3220DGF has amazing accuracy after calibration. Most colors are accurate and any remaining inaccuracies aren't noticeable to the naked eye.

You can download our ICC profile calibration here. This is provided for reference only and shouldn't be used, as the calibration values vary per individual unit even for the same model due to manufacturing tolerances.

9.0
Picture Quality
SDR Color Gamut
sRGB xy
98.1 %
Adobe RGB xy
81.3 %
sRGB Picture Mode
Custom Color
Adobe RGB Picture Mode
Custom Color

Excellent SDR color gamut. It covers nearly all of the sRGB color space used in most content, and it has great coverage of the Adobe RGB color space used in photo editing.

9.4
Picture Quality
SDR Color Volume
sRGB In ICtCp
99.0 %
Adobe RGB In ICtCp
88.1 %
sRGB Picture Mode
Custom Color
Adobe RGB Picture Mode
Custom Color

Excellent SDR color volume. The monitor's good contrast ratio helps it display dark, saturated colors.

7.2
Picture Quality
HDR Color Gamut
Wide Color Gamut
Yes
DCI P3 xy
79.4 %
Rec. 2020 xy
64.0 %
DCI P3 Picture Mode
HDR Standard
Rec. 2020 Picture Mode
HDR Standard

The S3220DGF has an okay HDR color gamut. It has very good coverage of the DCI P3 color space used in most content, but has mediocre coverage of the wider Rec. 2020 color space.

5.9
Picture Quality
HDR Color Volume
DCI-P3 In ICtCp
67.8 %
Rec. 2020 In ICtCp
50.6 %
DCI P3 Picture Mode
HDR Standard
Rec. 2020 Picture Mode
HDR Standard

Disappointing HDR color volume. Limited by its color gamut, the S3220DGF can't display a full range of colors at different brightness levels.

10
Picture Quality
Image Retention
IR After 0 Min Recovery
0.00 %
IR After 2 Min Recovery
0.00 %
IR After 4 Min Recovery
0.00 %
IR After 6 Min Recovery
0.00 %
IR After 8 Min Recovery
0.00 %
IR After 10 Min Recovery
0.00 %

There are no signs of temporary image retention on the Dell S3220DGF, even immediately after displaying our high-contrast, static test image for 10 minutes.

9.8
Picture Quality
Gradient
Color Depth
10 Bit

This monitor has excellent gradient handling. There are very faint signs of banding in darker shades, but this isn't noticeable in real content.

10
Picture Quality
Color Bleed
Pixel Row Error
0.003 %
Pixel Column Error
0.002 %

There are no signs of color bleed on this monitor.

7.1
Picture Quality
Reflections
Screen Finish
Matte
Total Reflections
6.0 %
Indirect Reflections
3.5 %
Calculated Direct Reflections
2.6 %

Decent reflection handling. It performs exceptionally well in moderate-lit rooms, but reflections in really bright rooms are distracting.

7.0
Picture Quality
Text Clarity
Sub-Pixel Layout
RGB

The text clarity is decent. It's improved using ClearType (top photo), which makes the diagonal or curved lines on the letters R, N, G, and S clearer.

Motion
7.8
Motion
Response Time @ Max Refresh Rate
Best Overdrive Setting
Super Fast
Rise / Fall Time
7.0 ms
Total Response Time
14.8 ms
Overshoot Error
0.1 %
Dark Rise / Fall Time
10.2 ms
Dark Total Response Time
21.2 ms
Dark Overshoot Error
0.0 %

Overdrive Setting Response Time Chart Response Time Tables Motion Blur Photo
Fast Chart Table Photo
Super Fast Chart Table Photo
Extreme Chart Table Photo

Good overall response time at its max refresh rate, but it's a bit disappointing for a 165Hz monitor. The recommended Overdrive setting, called Response Time, is 'Super Fast'. There's a minimal amount of overshoot, but the response time is slow, resulting in some motion blur. If you want the quickest response time, 'Extreme' is faster, but there's visible ghosting behind fast-moving objects.

6.9
Motion
Response Time @ 60Hz
Best Overdrive Setting
Fast
Rise / Fall Time
8.9 ms
Total Response Time
19.4 ms
Overshoot Error
2.3 %
Dark Rise / Fall Time
8.3 ms
Dark Total Response Time
21.6 ms
Dark Overshoot Error
8.2 %

Overdrive Setting Response Time Chart Response Time Tables Motion Blur Photo
Fast Chart Table Photo
Super Fast Chart Table Photo
Extreme Chart Table Photo

The S3220DGF has a decent response time at 60Hz. Unlike when playing at its max refresh rate, the recommended Overdrive is 'Fast'. Motion is still blurry but there's a minimal amount of overshoot.

10
Motion
Image Flicker
Flicker-Free Yes
PWM Dimming Frequency
0 Hz

The Dell S3220DGF is flicker-free, which helps reduce eye strain.

0
Motion
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
No
BFI Maximum Frequency
N/A
BFI Minimum Frequency
N/A

This monitor doesn't have a black frame insertion feature.

9.2
Motion
Refresh Rate
Native
144 Hz
Max Refresh Rate
165 Hz
Variable Refresh Rate
Yes
FreeSync
Yes
G-SYNC
Compatible (Tested)
VRR Maximum
144 Hz
VRR Minimum
< 20 Hz
VRR Supported Connectors DisplayPort, HDMI

The monitor has a native refresh rate of 144Hz that can be easily overclocked, and supports FreeSync VRR technology to reduce screen tearing.

Inputs
9.5
Inputs
Input Lag
Native Resolution
4.0 ms
Native Resolution @ 60Hz
8.5 ms
Variable Refresh Rate
4.4 ms
Variable Refresh Rate @ 60Hz
10.2 ms
10 Bit HDR
6.1 ms
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
N/A

This monitor has an extremely low input lag and delivers a very responsive gaming experience that will please even competitive gamers.

8.3
Inputs
Resolution And Size
Native Resolution 2560 x 1440
Aspect Ratio 16:9
Megapixels 3.7 MP
Pixel Density
92 PPI
Screen Diagonal 32.0 inches
Screen Area 438 sq inches

This is a fairly large monitor with a great native resolution. You can display a lot of your work on the screen, avoiding having to scroll too often.

Inputs
Inputs
Inputs
Total Inputs
DisplayPort 1 (DP 1.4)
Mini DisplayPort No
HDMI 2 (HDMI 2.0)
DVI No
VGA No
DisplayPort Out No
USB 2 (USB 3.0)
USB C No
Analog Audio Out 3.5mm 1
Microphone In 3.5mm No
Digital Optical Audio Out No
Analog Audio Out RCA No
Power Supply Internal
Features
Features
Additional Features
RGB Illumination
No
Speakers
No
HDR10 Yes
Multiple Input Display
No

Update 10/30/2019: The original text incorrectly listed a crosshair feature - this has been updated, as it is instead a display alignment feature.

There are a few additional features apart from the support of HDR10. Through the monitor's menu, you can enable a grid on the screen to help align multiple displays or a 'frame per second' counter to test your graphics card. You can also display a timer on the screen, which can be handy.

Features
On-Screen Display (OSD)
Features
Controls

The controls are located on the right side of the underside and are easy to use.

Features
In The Box

  • User Manual
  • Power cable
  • HDMI cable
  • DisplayPort
  • USB-A to USB-B cable

Differences Between Sizes and Variants

We tested the 32 inch Dell S3220DGF, which is the only size available.

If someone comes across a different type of panel or if their S3220DGF doesn't correspond to our review, let us know and we'll update the review. Note that some tests, such as gray uniformity, may vary between individual units.

The Dell S3220DGF we reviewed was manufactured in August 2019.

Compared to other monitors

The Dell S3220DGF is a curved gaming monitor with great gaming performance. It has a low input lag and supports FreeSync, but its response time is slower than other 165Hz monitors. See also our recommendations for the best gaming monitors, the best curved monitors, and the best 1440p monitors.

LG 27GL850-B
SEE PRICE
BestBuy.com

The LG 27GL850-B and the Dell S3220DGF have very similar overall performance, with the LG being marginally better. The LG has an IPS panel with much wider viewing angles, it gets brighter, and it has better reflection handling. The LG's response time is much faster, but the Dell has a slightly higher refresh rate, a bigger screen, and a higher contrast ratio thanks to its VA panel.

Samsung CHG70
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Samsung CHG70 is slightly better than the Dell S3220DGF. The Samsung has an optional black frame insertion feature to help the appearance of motion, and a better ergonomic stand that allows you to place the monitor in a comfortable position with ease. The Dell, on the other hand, displays more uniform blacks, which is important when working in a dark room.

AOC CQ32G1
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Dell S3220DGF is better overall than the AOC CQ32G1. The 144Hz refresh rate on the Dell can be overclocked to 165Hz, it has a much better response time, it supports HDR, and the screen has better uniformity. However, the AOC gets brighter, it has wider viewing angles, the out-of-the-box color accuracy is better, and it has a black frame insertion feature to clear up motion blur.

LG 32GK650F-B
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Dell S3220DGF is better than the LG 32GK650F-B. The Dell has a much better build quality, significantly better reflection handling, and much better gradient performance. Also, the Dell has better gray uniformity and supports HDR, but the LG has better ergonomics, much better color accuracy, and has an optional black frame insertion feature to reduce the appearance of motion blur.

ASUS TUF VG32VQ
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The ASUS TUF VG32VQ and the Dell S3220DGF are very much alike, as they both have a 32" screen, a 1440p resolution on a VA panel, and they both support FreeSync. The main difference between them is that the Dell's refresh rate can be overclocked up to 165Hz, it has better black uniformity than the ASUS, and better color accuracy. However, it can't get as bright as the ASUS in SDR content, it has worse reflection handling, and doesn't have a black frame insertion feature, which the ASUS does.

ASUS TUF VG27AQ
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

Overall, the ASUS TUF VG27AQ is a better monitor than the Dell S3220DGF for most uses. Although it has a smaller screen size, the Asus has the same 1440p resolution as the Dell. The ASUS has an IPS panel with wide viewing angles, but the Dell's VA panel offers a much better contrast ratio, and it can also get brighter to fight glare in bright rooms. The ASUS has a faster response time, a black frame insertion feature, and its ergonomics are better than the Dell's.

LG 32GK850G-B
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

For most uses, the Dell S3220DGF performs better than the LG 32GK850G-B. For gaming, the main difference is that the LG is a native G-SYNC monitor, while the Dell supports FreeSync. Also, the Dell has a curved screen and it supports HDR, but its response time is a bit slower than the LG's.

Dell S3219D
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Dell S3220DGF is much better than the Dell S3219D. The S3220DGF has a much faster refresh rate and a lower input lag, which is great for gaming. The D3220 also supports HDR, and its more versatile stand allows you to place it in a comfortable position with ease.

Dell Alienware AW3418DW/1900R
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Dell Alienware AW3418DW and the Dell S3220DGF have different panel types, each with advantages and disadvantages. The Alienware has an IPS panel with wider viewing angles, which is great for co-op gaming, while the S3220DGF has better dark room performance thanks to its VA panel. The Alienware offers you more space to work on thanks to its larger screen size and better resolution, but the S3220DGF supports HDR, so you can enjoy the latest HDR games.

ASUS ROG Swift PG348Q
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The ASUS ROG Swift PG348Q and the Dell S3220DGF have different panel types, each with advantages and disadvantages. The Asus has an IPS panel and maintains an accurate image for wider viewing angles, which is great if you do collaborative work. The Dell, on the other hand, has a VA panel that delivers deeper and more uniform blacks, which is great if you often game in a dark room. The Dell has a much faster refresh rate and supports HDR, whereas the ASUS is larger with a higher resolution that displays more of your work, minimizing scrolling.

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