Dell S3222DGM Monitor Review

Tested using Methodology v1.1
Reviewed Aug 09, 2021 at 10:35 am
Dell S3222DGM Picture
7.4
Mixed Usage
7.3
Office
8.3
Gaming
7.2
Multimedia
7.2
Media Creation
6.0
HDR Gaming
Size 32"
Resolution 2560x1440
Max Refresh Rate
165 Hz
Pixel Type
VA
Variable Refresh Rate
FreeSync

The Dell S3222DGM is a decent monitor overall with a 32 inch, 1440p VA panel. Like most VA monitors, it has excellent contrast, resulting in deep blacks in a dark room, and it has decent black uniformity. It also has excellent gray uniformity, a superb SDR color gamut, and impressive gradient handling. Colors out of the box are a bit oversaturated, and there's no sRGB mode, but it's alright overall. Motion handling is excellent, with an excellent response time at the max refresh rate with very little overshoot. It's still plagued by the same issues that normally affect VA monitors, though, as there's significant black smearing in dark scenes, which can be distracting. Unfortunately, the image washes out at an angle, and the stand can't swivel or rotate to a portrait orientation, which limits its versatility a bit.

Our Verdict

7.4 Mixed Usage

The Dell S3222DGM is a decent monitor for most uses. The 32 inch, 1440p screen has a great amount of screen real estate for office use or media creation and delivers a more immersive gaming experience. It's a great gaming monitor, with a fast response time, low input lag, and a few extra gaming features, including support for variable refresh rate technology. It's a bit limited for some uses though, as the image degrades at an angle, and it doesn't support HDR.

Pros
  • Excellent contrast.
  • Very good peak brightness.
  • Fantastic low input lag.
Cons
  • Image washes out when viewed at an angle.
  • Doesn't support HDR.
  • Stand can't swivel or rotate to a portrait orientation.
7.3 Office

The Dell S3222DGM is a decent office monitor. The 32 inch, 1440p monitor is great for multitasking, but it has just satisfactory text clarity and the pixel density is a bit low. It has excellent gray uniformity, decent reflection handling, and very good peak brightness, so glare shouldn't be an issue. Unfortunately, although it should be easy to place in a comfortable viewing position, the stand can't rotate to a portrait orientation and it can't swivel. The monitor also has disappointing viewing angles, so you can't really share your screen with someone else.

Pros
  • Excellent gray uniformity.
  • Very good peak brightness.
  • Superb SDR color gamut.
  • Fantastic low input lag.
Cons
  • Image washes out when viewed at an angle.
  • Stand can't swivel or rotate to a portrait orientation.
8.3 Gaming

The Dell S3222DGM is a great gaming monitor. It has an excellent response time at the max refresh rate, fantastic low input lag, and it supports both FreeSync and G-SYNC variable refresh rate (VRR) technology. Like most VA panels, it doesn't look as good in dark scenes, as there's significant black smear, and the image degrades when viewed at an angle, so it's not a good choice for co-op gamers. It has decent reflection handling and very good peak brightness, though, so glare shouldn't be an issue, and it has excellent contrast.

Pros
  • Excellent response time at the max refresh rate.
  • Fantastic low input lag.
  • Fast refresh rate.
Cons
  • Image washes out when viewed at an angle.
  • Black smearing in dark scenes.
7.2 Multimedia

The Dell S3222DGM is a decent monitor for watching videos. The large screen is great for watching movies, and it looks great in a dark room thanks to its excellent contrast and decent black uniformity. It also has excellent gray uniformity, a superb SDR color gamut, and impressive gradient handling. It's not a very good choice for watching videos with a friend, though, as it has disappointing viewing angles and can't swivel.

Pros
  • Excellent gray uniformity.
  • Excellent contrast.
  • Fantastic low input lag.
Cons
  • Image washes out when viewed at an angle.
  • Doesn't support HDR.
  • Black smearing in dark scenes.
7.2 Media Creation

The Dell S3222DGM is decent for media creation. The large screen makes it easier to see more of your work at once. It has excellent gray uniformity, excellent contrast, and decent black uniformity. It also has a superb SDR color gamut, but its Adobe RGB coverage might be too low for some creators. Unfortunately, the image degrades when viewed at an angle, and the stand can't swivel or rotate to a portrait orientation, so it's not ideal if you often have to share your screen with your colleagues or clients.

Pros
  • Excellent gray uniformity.
  • Excellent contrast.
  • Very good peak brightness.
  • Superb SDR color gamut.
Cons
  • Image washes out when viewed at an angle.
  • Stand can't swivel or rotate to a portrait orientation.
  • No sRGB clamp.
6.0 HDR Gaming

The Dell S3222DGM doesn't support HDR.

  • 7.4 Mixed Usage
  • 7.3 Office
  • 8.3 Gaming
  • 7.2 Multimedia
  • 7.2 Media Creation
  • 6.0 HDR Gaming
  1. Updated Aug 09, 2021: Review published.
  2. Updated Aug 05, 2021: Early access published.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
Curved Yes
Curve Radius 1800R
Weight (without stand)
16.3 lbs (7.4 kg)
Weight (with stand)
21.4 lbs (9.7 kg)

The Dell S3222DGM has a simple design that looks great in any setting. It has thin bezels on three sides, great for multimonitor setups. It looks identical to the smaller version, the Dell S2722DGM, but has a slightly less-aggressive curve. There's a fixed-color ambient downlight feature on the bottom bezel, but no RGB bias-lighting on the back.

Design
Stand
Width
11.4" (29.0 cm)
Depth
9.3" (23.5 cm)

The stand is okay. It has a small overall footprint and still allows you to place small objects in front of the monitor. Unfortunately, it doesn't support the monitor very well and wobbles a lot, even when gently nudged. It wobbles worse than the Dell S2722DGM, which would only wobble when the height adjustment was near the maximum extension.

4.8
Design
Ergonomics
Height Adjustment
3.9" (10.0 cm)
Switch Portrait/Landscape No
Swivel Range No swivel
Tilt Range -22.5° to 5°

The Dell S3222DGM has an okay height adjustment and an amazing tilt range, but it can't rotate to a portrait orientation or swivel, which limits its versatility. You shouldn't have any issues placing it in an ideal viewing position.

Design
Back
Wall Mount VESA 100x100

The back of the monitor is identical to the Dell S2722DGM. There's no bias-lighting, which is a bit disappointing. There's a cutout in the stand for basic cable management.

Design
Borders
Borders
0.3" (0.8 cm)

The borders are thin on three sides.

Design
Thickness
Thickness (with stand)
7.8" (19.8 cm)
Thickness (without stand)
5.3" (13.5 cm)

Due to the curvature of the screen, the Dell S3222DGM is a bit thicker than flat 32 inch monitors.

7.0
Design
Build Quality

The Dell S3222DGM has decent build quality. It's made of plastic, but feels pretty solid, with no noticeable flex to any of the panels. The bezels feel solid, and we didn't notice any issues. Unfortunately, the stand isn't as stable as the Dell S2722DGM, as there's significantly more wobble.

Picture Quality
8.5
Picture Quality
Contrast
Native Contrast
4,365 : 1
Contrast With Local Dimming
N/A

As expected for a VA panel, the Dell S3222DGM has excellent contrast, resulting in deep blacks in a dark room. These results are higher than we expected, as Dell advertises a typical native contrast ratio of 3000:1 for this model, but it can vary between units. We ran a few sanity checks on these results, and all of our measurements were within the same ballpark.

0
Picture Quality
Local Dimming
Local Dimming
No
Backlight
Edge

The Dell S3222DGM doesn't have a local dimming feature. The video is for reference only, so you can see how the backlight on this display performs and compare it to a similar product with local dimming.

7.8
Picture Quality
SDR Peak Brightness
SDR Real Scene
322 cd/m²
SDR Peak 2% Window
334 cd/m²
SDR Peak 10% Window
334 cd/m²
SDR Peak 25% Window
334 cd/m²
SDR Peak 50% Window
334 cd/m²
SDR Peak 100% Window
333 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 2% Window
334 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 10% Window
334 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 25% Window
333 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 50% Window
334 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 100% Window
333 cd/m²
SDR ABL
0.000

The Dell S3222DGM has very good peak brightness in SDR. There's no noticeable variation in peak brightness with different content, and it's close to the advertised typical peak brightness of 350 cd/m².

These measurements were taken after calibration, in the 'Game 1' Picture Mode, with the backlight at max. The peak brightness can change depending on which mode you're using. We used different settings than the Dell S2722DGM with this monitor, as these settings are the most accurate on this model.

0
Picture Quality
HDR Peak Brightness
HDR Real Scene
N/A
HDR Peak 2% Window
N/A
HDR Peak 10% Window
N/A
HDR Peak 25% Window
N/A
HDR Peak 50% Window
N/A
HDR Peak 100% Window
N/A
HDR Sustained 2% Window
N/A
HDR Sustained 10% Window
N/A
HDR Sustained 25% Window
N/A
HDR Sustained 50% Window
N/A
HDR Sustained 100% Window
N/A
HDR ABL
N/A

This monitor doesn't support HDR.

5.8
Picture Quality
Horizontal Viewing Angle
Color Washout From Left
27°
Color Washout From Right
28°
Color Shift From Left
70°
Color Shift From Right
70°
Brightness Loss From Left
28°
Brightness Loss From Right
30°
Black Level Raise From Left
14°
Black Level Raise From Right
15°
Gamma Shift From Left
13°
Gamma Shift From Right
14°

As expected for a monitor with a VA panel, the Dell S3222DGM has disappointing horizontal viewing angles. Colors remain accurate to a wide angle, but if you move even slightly off-center the black levels rise and gamma shifts, causing the entire image to appear washed out. This can be an issue if you share your screen with someone else, or even if you sit close to the screen. The curved screen can help compensate for this, but our testing doesn't currently account for that.

5.3
Picture Quality
Vertical Viewing Angle
Color Washout From Below
26°
Color Washout From Above
27°
Color Shift From Below
38°
Color Shift From Above
45°
Brightness Loss From Below
26°
Brightness Loss From Above
28°
Black Level Raise From Below
12°
Black Level Raise From Above
13°
Gamma Shift From Below
11°
Gamma Shift From Above
15°

As expected for a VA monitor, the Dell S3222DGM has disappointing vertical viewing angles. In general, colors remain accurate to a very wide angle, but shift ever so slightly beyond our threshold for accuracy at a moderate angle. Like the horizontal viewing angle, black levels rise and gamma shifts at a narrow angle, causing the image to appear washed out.

8.7
Picture Quality
Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
2.660%
50% DSE
0.109%
5% Std. Dev.
0.423%
5% DSE
0.060%

The Dell S3222DGM has excellent gray uniformity. The corners and sides of the screen are a bit darker than the center, but there's very little dirt screen effect. This can vary between units, but it's rarely an issue on current monitors.

7.4
Picture Quality
Black Uniformity
Native Std. Dev.
1.057%
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
N/A

The Dell S3222DGM we bought has decent black uniformity, but this can vary between units. There's almost no clouding, but there's some backlight bleed along the top and bottom of the screen.

6.8
Picture Quality
Pre Calibration
Picture Mode
Game 1
Luminance
164 cd/m²
Luminance Settings
75
Contrast Setting
75
RGB Controls
100-100-100
Gamma Setting
Default
Color Temperature
7,030 K
White Balance dE
3.78
Color dE
3.35
Gamma
2.11

The Dell S3222DGM has alright accuracy out of the box. There are some noticeable inaccuracies in many colors, and as there's no sRGB clamp, the image is oversaturated. White balance is off mainly in brighter scenes, and the color temperature is a bit cool. Gamma is nearly flat close to 2.1, so most scenes are too bright.

Note: The most accurate settings out of the box were different compared to the Dell S2722DGM. We checked the settings we used on the S2722DGM, and they were slightly less accurate on this model.

9.6
Picture Quality
Post Calibration
Picture Mode
Game 1
Luminance
101 cd/m²
Luminance Settings
41
Contrast Setting
75
RGB Controls
98-100-94
Gamma Setting
Default
Color Temperature
6,489 K
White Balance dE
0.52
Color dE
0.57
Gamma
2.19

After calibration, the Dell S3222DGM has nearly perfect accuracy. Gamma follows the sRGB target curve almost perfectly, white balance has no noticeable issues, and the color temperature is almost exactly on our target. Any remaining inaccuracies in colors aren't noticeable, and the image is no longer oversaturated.

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 due to manufacturing tolerances, even for the same model.

9.0
Picture Quality
SDR Color Gamut
sRGB xy
98.1%
Adobe RGB xy
81.9%
sRGB Picture Mode
Game 1
Adobe RGB Picture Mode
Game 1

The Dell S3222DGM has a superb color gamut in SDR. It covers pretty much the entire sRGB color space used by most desktop and web content. It has great coverage of the wider Adobe RGB color space, but it might not be good enough for professional content creators.

9.3
Picture Quality
SDR Color Volume
sRGB In ICtCp
98.2%
Adobe RGB In ICtCp
87.7%
sRGB Picture Mode
Game 1
Adobe RGB Picture Mode
Game 1

This monitor has superb SDR color volume. Despite the relatively high contrast ratio, it still can't produce saturated colors at low luminance levels very well, but this is hardly noticeable.

0
Picture Quality
HDR Color Gamut
Wide Color Gamut
N/A
DCI P3 xy
N/A
Rec. 2020 xy
N/A
DCI P3 Picture Mode
No HDR
Rec. 2020 Picture Mode
No HDR

This monitor doesn't support HDR.

0
Picture Quality
HDR Color Volume
DCI-P3 In ICtCp
N/A
Rec. 2020 In ICtCp
N/A
DCI P3 Picture Mode
No HDR
Rec. 2020 Picture Mode
No HDR

This monitor doesn't support HDR.

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 our unit, but this can vary between units.

8.3
Picture Quality
Gradient
Color Depth
8 Bit

The Dell S3222DGM has great gradient handling. There's some banding in all shades, and as it can only accept an 8-bit signal, there's 8-bit banding in our 10-bit test image.

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

There are no noticeable signs of color bleed on our Dell S3222DGM. This can vary between units, but it's almost never noticeable with regular content.

7.4
Picture Quality
Reflections
Screen Finish
Matte
Total Reflections
5.4%
Indirect Reflections
3.2%
Calculated Direct Reflections
2.2%

This monitor has decent reflection handling. The matte finish reduces the intensity of direct reflections, so glare shouldn't be an issue for most people, unless you have really bright lights or a window opposite the monitor.

7.0
Picture Quality
Text Clarity
Sub-Pixel Layout
RGB

The Dell S3222DGM has decent text clarity. It's a bit worse than the Dell S2722DGM, as the larger screen results in a lower pixel density. We recommend running the Window ClearType wizard if you're on a PC; otherwise, there are some text clarity issues with diagonal lines, as shown in the bottom photo.

Motion
8.7
Motion
Response Time @ Max Refresh Rate
Best Overdrive Setting
Super Fast
Rise / Fall Time
5.1 ms
Total Response Time
10.2 ms
Overshoot Error
2.9%
Dark Rise / Fall Time
9.5 ms
Dark Total Response Time
15.4 ms
Dark Overshoot Error
0.0%

Response Time SettingResponse Time ChartResponse Time TablesMotion Blur Photo
FastChartTablePhoto
Super FastChartTablePhoto
ExtremeChartTablePhoto

The Dell S3222DGM has an excellent response time at the maximum refresh rate. There are three Response Time settings, and we recommend 'Super Fast'. It delivers the best overall performance with the least amount of overshoot. The 'Extreme' setting has a faster rise and fall time, but significantly more overshoot, so we generally don't recommend it.

Like most VA monitors, transitions from dark scenes to brighter ones are significantly slower than most other transitions. This causes a noticeable trail behind fast-moving objects, commonly known as black smear.

Note: There's also a fourth response time setting, 'MPRT', but this isn't actually a response time setting, it just enables the black frame insertion feature. This setting is only available if the refresh rate is between 120Hz and 165Hz.

8.3
Motion
Response Time @ 60Hz
Best Overdrive Setting
Extreme
Rise / Fall Time
6.1 ms
Total Response Time
13.5 ms
Overshoot Error
1.1%
Dark Rise / Fall Time
8.4 ms
Dark Total Response Time
17.2 ms
Dark Overshoot Error
0.8%

Response Time SettingResponse Time ChartResponse Time TablesMotion Blur Photo
FastChartTablePhoto
Super FastChartTablePhoto
ExtremeChartTablePhoto

This monitor has a great 60Hz response time. Unlike at the max refresh rate, at 60Hz we recommend the 'Extreme' Response Time setting. The difference between 'Extreme' and 'Super Fast' at 60Hz is minor, though, so if you want to be safe and not have to adjust it as you change refresh rates, 'Super Fast' is a safe choice.

Like most VA monitors, transitions from dark scenes to brighter ones are significantly slower than most other transitions. This causes a noticeable trail behind fast-moving objects, commonly known as black smear.

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

The backlight is completely flicker-free, which is great as it can reduce eye strain.

6.1
Motion
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
Yes
BFI Maximum Frequency
165 Hz
BFI Minimum Frequency
120 Hz

The Dell S3222DGM has an optional backlight strobing feature that can be enabled by setting the Response Time to 'MPRT'. Enabling this feature locks the overdrive settings. The timing seems very good, with no noticeable crosstalk, but there's still a noticeable blur trail behind fast-moving objects. Unfortunately, it's only available in a narrow refresh rate range and doesn't work at lower refresh rates. Like most monitors, this feature can't be enabled at the same time as the variable refresh rate (VRR) feature. Note that our scoring is based only on the refresh rate range that supports BFI, not how well it works.

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

The Dell S3222DGM has a very fast refresh rate. It's advertised as a FreeSync monitor, but we were also able to use it with G-SYNC, but only over DisplayPort. It has a wide effective refresh rate range for FreeSync and G-SYNC, but over HDMI it's limited to 144Hz.

Inputs
9.4
Inputs
Input Lag
Native Resolution
5.1 ms
Native Resolution @ 60Hz
10.1 ms
Variable Refresh Rate
6.0 ms
Variable Refresh Rate @ 60Hz
11.8 ms
10 Bit HDR
N/A
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
7.0 ms

The Dell S3222DGM has fantastic low input lag. Enabling the variable refresh rate feature results in slightly higher input lag, but it's not really noticeable.

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"
Screen Area 438 in²

The 32 inch, 1440p screen is great for multitasking, but some people might find the pixel density a bit low.

Inputs
Inputs
Inputs
Total Inputs
DisplayPort 1 (DP 1.2)
Mini DisplayPort No
HDMI 2 (HDMI 2.0)
DVI No
VGA No
DisplayPort Out No
USB No
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
Fixed (On/Off)
Speakers
No
HDR10 No
Multiple Input Display
No

The Dell S3222DGM has a few additional features, including:

  • Timer: Displays a countdown timer on-screen.
  • FPS Counter: Displays the current frame rate the monitor is receiving from the source.
  • Dark Stabilizer: Adjusts gamma to make it easier to spot other players/enemies in shadows.
  • Display Alignment: Displays gridlines on the screen to help align multiple displays.
  • Downlight: Dell has added an ambient downlight on the bottom bezel. It's a fixed blue light that can't be changed, it can only be turned on or off.

Features
On-Screen Display (OSD)
Features
Controls

There's a joystick control on the back for navigating the OSD. There are also four quick access buttons that can be assigned to different options. The power button is located on the bottom bezel of the display.

Features
In The Box

  • User manuals
  • DisplayPort cable
  • HDMI cable
  • Power cable

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

We tested the 32 inch Dell S3222DGM, which is part of Dell's S Series of gaming monitors. It's also available in a 27 inch size, but the smaller size has a slightly different panel with a different curve, so this review isn't valid for that size.

Model Size Native Resolution Max Refresh rate Panel Type Curve
S2522HG 24.5" 1920 x 1080 240Hz IPS No
S2722DGM 27" 2560 x 1440 165Hz VA 1500R
S3222DGM 32" 2560 x 1440 165Hz VA 1800R
S3422DWG 34" 3440 x 1440 144Hz VA 1800R

If you come across a different type of panel or your Dell S3222DGM doesn't correspond to our review, let us know, and we'll update the review. Note that some tests, like gray uniformity, may vary between individual units.

Our unit was manufactured in May 2021; you can see the label here.

Compared To Other Monitors

The Dell S3222DGM is a great gaming monitor with excellent motion handling and low input lag at the max refresh rate. It's not immune to the issues that usually plague VA monitors, though, including black smear. Unless the high contrast ratio is really important to you, most IPS monitors deliver a better overall experience.

For more options, check out our recommendations for the best 28-32 inch monitors, the best gaming monitors, and the best 1440p monitors.

Dell S3220DGF

The Dell S3220DGF is better than the Dell S3222DGM overall, but the differences might not matter to everyone. The S3220DGF supports HDR, it has better ergonomics, and it has better connectivity, with a built-in USB hub. For gaming, the S3222DGM is a better choice, as it has an optional black frame insertion feature and a faster response time.

Gigabyte M27Q

The Gigabyte M27Q and the Dell S3222DGM use different panel technologies, each with strengths and weaknesses, but overall, the Gigabyte is a much better monitor. The Gigabyte has much better viewing angles, supports HDR, and has a faster response time. The Dell looks better in a dark room, as it has much better contrast and better black uniformity.

Samsung Odyssey G7 LC32G75T

The Samsung Odyssey G7 LC32G75T is much better than the Dell S3222DGM. The Samsung supports HDR and has a faster refresh rate and a faster response time, so motion looks clearer with less noticeable blur. The Samsung also has a more versatile black frame insertion feature, and the stand has better ergonomics with a better height adjustment and can rotate to portrait orientation and swivel.

LG 32GN650-B

The Dell S3222DGM is slightly better than the LG 32GN650-B. The Dell has a faster response time, especially when gaming at 60Hz, but the LG has a slightly better stand, as it can switch to a portrait orientation. The LG supports HDR, but can't display a true HDR experience, so this doesn't add much.

Dell S3221QS

The Dell S3221QS and the Dell S3222DGM target different users, so which one is best depends on your needs. The S3221QS is better for office users or media creators, as it has a high-resolution screen with fantastic text clarity, and it supports HDR. The S3222DGM is better for gaming, though, with a much faster refresh rate, a better response time, lower input lag, and an optional black frame insertion feature.

MSI Optix G27CQ4

The Dell S3222DGM is better than the MSI Optix G27CQ4. The Dell has better ergonomics, making it easier to place in an ideal viewing position. The Dell is also much better for gaming, as it has a much faster response time, especially when gaming at 60Hz.

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