The Dell S3221QS is a good 4k monitor that's well-suited for a wide variety of uses. Its 32 inch curved screen allows you to work comfortably with multiple windows opened side-by-side and delivers an incredibly immersive gaming experience in atmospheric games like RPGs. It has a VA panel that can produce deep blacks, which is great for those who like gaming in the dark. Its response time is decent, input lag is low, and it supports FreeSync to help minimize screen tearing. Unfortunately, there are some downsides, as it has mediocre viewing angles and poor ergonomics. It has HDR support; however, the overall experience is unremarkable due to its low HDR peak brightness.
The Dell S3221QS is a good monitor for most uses. It has a large screen and high resolution, making it a good choice for work, gaming, or watching videos online. It has low input lag, decent response time, and supports variable refresh rate for a nearly tear-free gaming experience. It performs well in dark rooms and gets bright enough to fight glare in well-lit environments. Unfortunately, it has mediocre viewing angles and limited ergonomic adjustments.
The Dell S3221QS is a good office monitor. It gets bright enough to overcome glare in most lighting conditions and handles reflections well. Its large screen size lets you open multiple windows side-by-side, and text looks exceptionally sharp thanks to its high pixel density. Sadly, it's difficult to adjust the monitor to your preferred viewing position due to its poor ergonomics. Also, its mediocre viewing angles make it harder to share your work with coworkers.
The Dell S3221QS is good for gaming. It has low input lag, decent response time, and variable refresh rate support to help reduce screen tearing. It's great for atmospheric games like RPGs, as it has a large screen and high resolution to deliver an incredibly immersive experience. Unfortunately, the refresh rate is limited to 60Hz, and its poor ergonomics make it hard to adjust the screen to your optimal viewing position.
The Dell S3221QS is good for media consumption. It has a large 32 inch screen with a 4k resolution to deliver an immersive viewing experience. It has a high contrast ratio to produce deep blacks, making it a good option for dark rooms. Unfortunately, it has poor ergonomics and mediocre viewing angles, so it isn't ideal for sharing content.
The Dell S3221QS is good for content creation. Its large screen allows you to work comfortably, and its high resolution lets you see the fine details of your work. It has a high contrast ratio, full sRGB coverage, and decent color accuracy out-of-the-box. It isn't the best option for sharing your work, though, as it has mediocre viewing angles and poor ergonomics.
The Dell S3221QS is okay for gaming in HDR. It has low input lag and decent response time, and it supports FreeSync to help reduce screen tearing. It delivers good picture quality with its high contrast ratio and wide color gamut, but it lacks local dimming and doesn't get bright enough to bring out highlights in HDR content.
The Dell S3221QS has a simple design that fits well in most office settings. It looks almost identical to the Dell S2721D we tested, but with a curved screen. It has thin borders on three sides with a slightly thicker bottom bezel.
The stand doesn't take up much desk space and supports the monitor well. There's almost no wobble.
Unfortunately, this monitor has poor ergonomics. There's no swivel adjustment or rotation to portrait mode. The screen can rotate about 5 degrees in each direction, but it just ends up making the screen look lopsided.
The back of the monitor is plain. All the inputs are bottom-facing, and there's a small cutout in the stand for cable management. There are screws behind the quick-release backplate if you want to VESA-mount the monitor.
The borders are thin and aren't distracting, great for multi-monitor setups.
The screen is thick due to its curvature and sticks out when wall-mounted. That said, the stand doesn't take up much space.
The Dell S3221QS' build quality is good. The stand is very sturdy, as it has a metal frame covered with high-quality plastic and supports the monitor well. The tilting hinge is good too and allows for easy and precise adjustments. The plastic back feels well-made; however, it flexes a bit at the edges and detaches easily from the frame. Also, the borders feel cheap, as it doesn't follow the screen's curvature, creating small gaps in some areas.
As expected of most VA panels, the Dell S3221QS has a great contrast ratio, producing deep blacks for a good dark room viewing experience. Note that the contrast ratio can vary between units. The posted result is a pre-calibration measurement and is in line with the advertised 3000:1 contrast ratio. Calibrating the monitor caused a drop in contrast, lowering it to 2395:1.
This monitor doesn't have a local dimming feature. The video above is provided for reference only.
The Dell S3221QS has good SDR peak brightness. It's very consistent across different content and bright enough to overcome glare in most lighting conditions. However, it can still struggle a bit in very bright settings.
The posted results are the pre-calibration measurements. The calibration caused a significant drop in brightness, lowering the real scene brightness to 213 cd/m². We measured the SDR peak brightness in the 'Custom Color' Picture Mode, with Brightness set to max.
Mediocre HDR peak brightness. It's again very consistent, with almost no variation across different content, but it isn't bright enough to deliver a satisfying HDR experience.
We measured the HDR peak brightness in the 'Game HDR' Picture Mode, with Brightness set to max.
The Dell S3221QS has mediocre horizontal viewing angles, though pretty decent for a VA panel. Gamma shift happens quickly when moving off-center, but colors remain relatively accurate until you reach moderate viewing angles.
The Dell S3221QS has sub-par vertical viewing angles. This makes images look inaccurate if you have the monitor mounted above eye level.
Our unit of the Dell S3221QS has excellent gray uniformity. The edges are slightly darker, but it shouldn't be noticeable in most content. There's almost no dirty screen effect, and uniformity is better in near-dark scenes. Note that gray uniformity can vary between individual units.
Black uniformity on our unit is mediocre. There's visible backlight bleed along the top and bottom edges, and some clouding throughout the screen. Note that black uniformity can vary between individual units.
Before calibration, the color accuracy is decent. Most color inaccuracies are minor and hard to spot, but white balance is visibly off. The color temperature is a bit cooler than our 6500K target, resulting in a slight blueish tint. Gamma doesn't follow the sRGB curve all that well, making dark scenes too dark and bright scenes too bright. Color accuracy can vary between individual units.
After calibration, the color accuracy is exceptional. The remaining color inaccuracies shouldn't be noticeable without the aid of a colorimeter. White balance is nearly perfect, and the color temperature is much closer to our 6500K target. Gamma is much better, but near-dark scenes and very bright scenes are too bright.
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.
The Dell S3221QS has an outstanding SDR color gamut. It has full coverage of the commonly-used sRGB color space, and great coverage of the Adobe RGB color space used mostly for photo editing.
Exceptional SDR color volume. Even though this monitor has a high contrast ratio, it has a bit of trouble displaying very dark and saturated colors.
The Dell S3221QS has a decent HDR color gamut. It has great coverage of the DCI P3 color space used in most HDR content, but its coverage of the wider Rec.2020 is much more limited.
Note:The DCI P3 coverage is lower than the advertised 90%. This is due to the way we measure DCI P3. We measure DCI P3 by sending a Rec. 2020 signal, but unlike most reviewers, we limit the colors to the DCI P3 primaries. This results in a lower, but arguably more accurate measurement.
Decent HDR color volume. Like in SDR, it has difficulty displaying dark and saturated colors. It also has trouble with bright blues, though that's typical for LCDs.
There are no signs of image retention on this monitor; however, it can vary between individual units.
Gradient handling is superb. You shouldn't see any banding in most content.
There's no color bleed on this monitor.
The Dell S3221QS has good reflection handling. You shouldn't have any visibility issues in most rooms, but it's best to avoid very bright environments as the screen doesn't get bright enough to overcome intense glare.
Due to its high pixel density, the Dell S3221QS has exceptional text clarity. Turning on Windows ClearType makes text look bolder (top photo), but you might not need it. The pixels look blurry due to the matte anti-reflective coating.
|Overdrive Setting||Response Time Chart||Response Time Tables||Motion Blur Photo|
The Dell S3221QS has decent response time at its maximum refresh rate. It should be good enough for slow-paced games, but there's visible motion smearing behind fast-moving objects. We recommend using the 'Normal' overdrive setting, as it's the option with the least amount of overshoot.
The backlight is flicker-free at all brightness levels, great for minimizing motion duplication and reducing eye strain.
This monitor doesn't have a Black Frame Insertion feature.
Update 10/23/2020: We incorrectly indicated that it's certified as G-SYNC compatible. It works with G-SYNC, but it isn't officially certified by NVIDIA.
The Dell S3221QS supports FreeSync to reduce screen tearing when gaming and is certified as G-SYNC compatible. G-SYNC only works over DisplayPort.