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Reviewed on Nov 20, 2018

Samsung CF398
MONITOR REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.0
7.0
Mixed Usage
7.1
Office
7.5
Gaming
6.8
Multimedia
6.7
Media Creation
5.5
HDR Gaming
Size : 27 "
Resolution : 1920x1080
Refresh Rate : 60 Hz
LCD Type
:
VA
Variable Refresh Rate
:
FreeSync

The Samsung C27F398 is a decent 27" VA monitor that delivers okay picture quality. It has excellent low input lag, very good motion handling, and it supports FreeSync, which is great for gaming. It has a very good native contrast ratio, that delivers good dark scene performance. Unfortunately, it has a fixed stand that can't be easily adjusted to an ideal viewing position, and it can't get very bright.

Test Results
Design 7.0
Picture Quality 6.6
Motion 7.9
Inputs 8.3
Pros
  • Good dark scene performance
  • Low input lag and FreeSync support
Cons
  • Can't get very bright
  • Fixed stand with only basic ergonomics
Update 1/17/2019: We tested the monitor's compatibility with NVIDIA's new FreeSync driver. See our full investigation into NVIDIA's FreeSync Drivers here.

Check Price

7.0

Design

Curved : Yes
Curve radius : 1800R
Weight (without stand)
:
8.0 lbs (3.6 kg)
Weight (with stand)
:
9.0 lbs (4.1 kg)

The Samsung C27F398 has a decent, but basic design. Overall it is similar to the LG 24MP59G. It can be VESA mounted, which is nice as the stand has only basic ergonomics, and there is no cable management. It has decent build quality, but is made of plastic and feels cheap. Overall, you shouldn't have any issues with it though.

Stand
Width
:
18.5" (47.0 cm)
Depth
:
9.6" (24.4 cm)

The stand has a very large footprint, similar to the CHG70. When the monitor is nudged there is little wobble, but the stand doesn't feel very sturdy.

2.8 Ergonomics
Height Adjustment
:
N/A
Switch portrait/landscape : No
Swivel Range : N/A
Tilt Range : -22.5° to 2.5°

Unfortunately, the Samsung CF398 has terrible ergonomics. The stand can only tilt, so it is hard to place it in an ideal viewing position, and it may be preferable to VESA mount it.

Back
Wall Mount : VESA 75x75

The back of the Samsung C27F398FWN is very plain. There are grooves across the entire back, and all of the inputs face out of the back, which isn't ideal if VESA mounted. There is no cable management.

Borders
Borders
:
0.6" (1.5 cm)

The borders are thin and look good. There is very little gap between the bezel and the first pixels.

Thickness
Thickness (with stand)
:
7.5" (19.1 cm)
Thickness (without stand)
:
4.2" (10.7 cm)

Due to the curvature of the screen, the C27F398 is thicker than most monitors. There is a small part of the stand that cannot be removed, which may cause issues when VESA mounted.

6.5 Build Quality

Decent build quality overall. It is pretty basic, similar to the LG 24MP59G, and although it is entirely made of plastic there shouldn't be any issues with it.

6.6

Picture Quality

The Samsung C27F398 delivers decent picture quality. It has a very good native contrast ratio, which is great, but it has only mediocre black uniformity. It has excellent coverage of the sRGB color space, but less than ideal coverage of the wider Adobe RGB color space. Unfortunately, the CF398 isn't very bright and has a hard time overcoming glare in a bright room, and the image degrades when viewed at an angle.

7.8 Contrast
Native Contrast
:
2909 : 1
Contrast with local dimming
:
N/A

The Samsung CF398 has a good contrast ratio, very similar to the CHG70, but worse than the MSI Optix G27C. Unfortunately, it does not have a local dimming feature to improve the contrast ratio.

0 Local Dimming
Local Dimming
:
No
Backlight
:
Edge

There is no local dimming feature on this monitor. The video is for reference only.

6.5 SDR Peak Brightness
SDR Real Scene
:
218 cd/m²
SDR Peak 2% Window
:
239 cd/m²
SDR Peak 10% Window
:
239 cd/m²
SDR Peak 25% Window
:
239 cd/m²
SDR Peak 50% Window
:
239 cd/m²
SDR Peak 100% Window
:
239 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 2% Window
:
239 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 10% Window
:
239 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 25% Window
:
239 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 50% Window
:
239 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 100% Window
:
239 cd/m²
SDR ABL
:
0.000

Decent peak brightness, slightly dimmer than the larger CF791. The brightness remains constant, regardless of scene changes, which is great.

0 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

HDR is not supported on this monitor.

5.7 Horizontal Viewing Angle
Color Shift from Left
:
43 °
Color Shift from Right
:
41 °
Brightness from Left
:
53 °
Brightness from Right
:
51 °
Black Level from Left
:
22 °
Black Level from Right
:
23 °
Curve Radius : 1800 R

Disappointing horizontal viewing angles, but better than most VA monitors that we've reviewed with the exception of the Sceptre C325W. The brightness drops to half of the peak brightness at about 52°, which is decent, and colors degrade gradually when viewed off-center.

6.6 Vertical Viewing Angle
Color Shift from Below
:
39 °
Color Shift from Above
:
41 °
Brightness from Below
:
53 °
Brightness from Above
:
54 °
Black Level from Below
:
13 °
Black Level from Above
:
14 °

Decent vertical viewing angles, again, better than most VA monitors. Unfortunately, the black levels increase rapidly when viewed even slightly off center.

8.9 Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
:
2.224 %
50% DSE
:
0.099 %
5% Std. Dev.
:
0.760 %
5% DSE
:
0.067 %

The Samsung C27F398 has excellent gray uniformity. The center of the screen is a bit brighter than the edges, but this shouldn't be noticeable under most viewing conditions, and there is very little dirty screen effect. In near-black scenes the uniformity is even better, and there are no issues.

6.3 Black Uniformity
Native Std. Dev.
:
1.812 %
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
:
N/A

Mediocre black uniformity. There are a few flashlighting spots that are noticeable when viewed from directly in front. The black uniformity appears noticeably worse when viewed at an angle, due to the bad black levels at an angle.

6.1 Pre Calibration
Picture Mode
:
Custom
Luminance
:
273 cd/m²
Luminance Settings
:
100
Contrast Setting
:
75
RGB controls
:
50-50-50
Color Temperature
:
5934 K
White Balance dE
:
4.71
Color dE
:
3.64
Gamma
:
2.10

The Samsung C27F398FWN has mediocre accuracy out of the box. The color temperature is very warm, and the color error is high enough that most people will notice it. White balance error is even higher, and gamma doesn't follow the target curve.

9.6 Post Calibration
Picture Mode
:
Custom
Luminance
:
100 cd/m²
Luminance Settings
:
33
Contrast Setting
:
76
RGB Controls
:
40-43-50
Color Temperature
:
6491 K
White Balance dE
:
0.50
Color dE
:
0.67
Gamma
:
2.19

After calibration, the CF398 is nearly perfect. Gamma follows the target curve nearly perfectly, and the color temperature is almost spot on the 6500 K target. Color and white balance errors are nearly entirely corrected, but there is still a high blue error, but this shouldn't be very noticeable.

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

8.5 SDR Color Gamut
sRGB xy
:
95.5 %
Adobe RGB xy
:
75.3 %

s.RGB Picture Mode: Custom (calibrated)
Adobe RGB Picture Mode: Custom

Excellent SDR color gamut. Coverage of the smaller sRGB color space is nearly perfect, but coverage of the wider Adobe RGB color space is less than ideal for professional photo and video editing. Unfortunately, the color gamut isn't as wide as that of the MSI Optix G27C.

9.0 SDR Color Volume
sRGB in ICtCp
:
97.4 %
Adobe RGB in ICtCp
:
81.8 %

s.RGB Picture Mode: Custom
Adobe RGB Picture Mode: Custom

Excellent color volume. In the s.RGB color space it can fill out the gamut at most brightness levels, but it can't produce dark colors very well, and like most monitors, it can't produce very bright saturated blues. Adobe RGB coverage is limited by the color gamut, and isn't ideal for professional video editing.

0 HDR Color Gamut
Wide Color Gamut
:
N/A
DCI P3 xy
:
N/A
Rec. 2020 xy
:
N/A

HDR is not supported on this monitor.

0 HDR Color Volume
DCI-P3 in ICtCp
:
N/A
Rec. 2020 in ICtCp
:
N/A

HDR is not supported on this monitor.

10 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 %

Perfect image retention performance, as there was no residual image even immediately after showing our high contrast test image for 10 minutes.

8.4 Gradient
Color Depth
:
8 Bit

Great gradient performance, there is some banding noticeable in darker shades, but this shouldn't cause any issues under normal viewing conditions.

10 Color Bleed
Pixel row error
:
0.000 %
Pixel column error
:
0.000 %

Perfect color bleed performance, as there is no error whatsoever.

8.0 Reflections

Great reflections handling. There should be no issues using the monitor in a bright room.

7.9

Motion

The Samsung C27F398 has very good motion handling. It has an excellent response time, and there is only slight motion blur behind fast moving objects. The backlight is completely flicker-free, which is great, but it does not have an option to add flicker in order to improve motion clarity. It has a native 60 Hz refresh rate, which may be disappointing to some gamers, however, it can easily be overclocked to 72 Hz, simply by enabling the FreeSync mode in the monitor's settings, even when connected to a computer that isn't compatible with FreeSync.

8.5 Motion Blur
80% Response Time
:
5.4 ms
100% Response Time
:
14.3 ms
Best Overdrive Setting
:
Fastest

Response Time Standard
Response Time Faster
Response Time Fastest

The CF398 has an excellent response time. It has an adjustable Response Time setting, with three modes, and we recommend the 'Fastest' option. In this mode, there is some overshoot in a few transitions, and a small amount of undershoot in a few down transitions, but neither of these are significant enough to be noticeable under most viewing conditions.

Although the monitor's refresh rate can be increased to 72 Hz, the response time was measured at 60 Hz. At 72 Hz the response time is probably a bit better.

7.5 Image Flicker
Flicker-free : Yes
PWM Dimming Frequency
:
0 Hz
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
:
No
BFI Maximum Frequency
:
N/A
BFI Minimum Frequency
:
N/A

The Samsung CF398 is completely flicker-free, which is great. Unfortunately, it does not have an option to add flicker in order to improve motion clarity.

7.7 Refresh Rate
Native
:
60 Hz
Factory Overclock
:
N/A
Variable Refresh Rate
:
FreeSync
G-SYNC Compatible
:
Yes
VRR Maximum
:
72 Hz
VRR Minimum
:
48 Hz
VRR Maximum With OC
:
72 Hz
VRR Supported Connectors : DisplayPort, HDMI

The Samsung C27F398 has a standard 60 Hz refresh rate, and it supports FreeSync, which is great. The refresh rate can be changed to 72 Hz without overclocking, and there are two ways to do this:

  • Enabling the FreeSync mode in the monitor's On-Screen Display will change the CF398's default refresh rate to 72 Hz on any computer, even if it is not FreeSync compatible
  • Setting a custom resolution in your graphics card's control panel

In all cases, 72 Hz is displayed properly with no dropped frames.

Update 01/15/2019: We have retested the CF398 with NVIDIA's new FreeSync drivers, and there were no issues with either FreeSync mode. The image was tear-free up to about 72 Hz.

8.3

Inputs

The Samsung C27F398 has excellent low input lag that should please most gamers. Unfortunately, although the 27" screen is a good size, the 1080p resolution isn't ideal for multitasking, and it doesn't provide a very immersive gaming experience. It has only 2 inputs: 1 HDMI port and 1 DisplayPort, so it isn't great for connecting multiple devices or for legacy devices with only analog outputs.

9.0 Input Lag
Native Resolution
:
9.2 ms
Non-Native Res @ Native Refresh
:
9.2 ms
Native Resolution @ 60 Hz
:
9.2 ms
Variable Refresh Rate
:
8.0 ms
10 bit HDR
:
N/A
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
:
N/A

Excellent low input lag when gaming at the native 1080p @ 60 Hz, and even lower input lag when in FreeSync mode at 72 Hz.

7.3 Resolution and Size
Native Resolution : 1920 x 1080
Aspect Ratio : 16:9
Megapixels : 2.1 MP
Pixel Density : 82 PPI
Screen Diagonal : 27.0 inches
Screen Area : 310 sq inches

The Samsung C27F398FWN has a good sized, 27" screen, but most people will probably be disappointed by the 1080p FHD resolution, as it isn't great for multitasking.

Inputs
Total Inputs
DisplayPort : 1 (DP 1.2)
Mini DisplayPort : No
HDMI : 1 (HDMI 1.4)
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

There is a single HDMI and a single DisplayPort input, but no VGA or DVI. There is a 3.5 mm port that is a headphone port with adjustable volume using the OSD volume setting.

Features

The Samsung C27F398FWN has very few additional features. It does not have internal speakers and it does not support HDR. There are no options to improve gaming performance, but there is a Game Mode that adjusts the contrast and brightness to make it easier to spot other players hiding in the shadows.

Additional Features
Speakers
:
No
HDR10 : No
Multiple input display
:
No

The Samsung LC27F398FWNXZA has no significant additional feature. There is no HDR support and it doesn't have internal speakers.

On-Screen Display (OSD)
Controls

The Samsung CF398 uses a joystick, similar to the CHG70 and to LG monitors. It is very intuitive, and makes the OSD very easy to navigate.

In The Box

  • Instruction manual
  • HDMI Cable
  • Custom Power Brick

Differences between Sizes and Variants

We tested the 27" CF398 (LC27F398FWNXZA), which is the only size available. There are other models available with similar specifications, but we don't know how they perform.

If someone comes across a different type of panel or if their Samsung CF398 doesn't correspond to our review, let us know and we will update the review. Note that some tests such as the gray uniformity may vary between individual units.

Model Size Resolution Refresh Rate Notes
CF398 27" 1080p 60Hz FreeSync, Curved, Black
CF390 24" 1080p 60Hz FreeSync, Curved, Black
CF391 27" 1080p 60Hz Curved, White
CF391 32" 1080p 60Hz Curved, White

The CF398 we reviewed was manufactured in July 2018.

Compared to other Monitors

Left: ASUS VG248QE. Middle: Samsung CF398. Right: ViewSonic XG2402.
Unlike our other photographs, this picture wasn't taken under a controlled environment, so do not draw conclusions from it.

The Samsung CF398 is a decent entry-level monitor. There are much better monitors out there if you are willing to spend even a little bit more. Check our recommendations for the best 27 inch monitors, the best budget gaming monitors and the best 1080p monitors.

HP 27F

The HP 27F and the Samsung CF398 use different types of panels, each with their strengths and weaknesses. The 27F has an IPS panel, so the image remains accurate when viewed at an angle. The CF398 has a VA panel, and it delivers better overall dark room performance. The HP 27F also has a slightly faster refresh rate, although it isn't a significant difference.

Sceptre C325W

The Samsung CF398 is much better than the Sceptre C325W. The Sceptre is a bit brighter and has a slightly better native contrast ratio, but worse black uniformity. The CF398 has a much better response time with significantly less motion blur, and it supports AMD FreeSync. The CF398 also has lower input lag.

MSI Optix G27C

The Samsung CF398 is better than the MSI Optix G27C for most uses, but some people may prefer the Optix for gaming. The Optix is a bit brighter and has slightly better native contrast, but worse black uniformity. The CF398 has wider viewing angles and better black uniformity. For gaming, the CF398 has a faster response time, but the Optix has a much faster refresh rate and lower input lag.

Dell P2417H

The Dell P2417H is a 24" IPS monitor, whereas the Samsung CF398 is a VA monitor. Generally, the P2417H is better than the CF398, but the CF398 is a bit better in some cases. The P2417H has wide viewing angles and a much better, fully adjustable stand, making it a more versatile choice for most people. The CF398, on the other hand, has a faster response time, so motion looks clearer with less blur, and it supports FreeSync VRR.

Samsung JG50

The Samsung CF398 is slightly better than the Samsung CJG50 for most uses. The CF398 has better dark scene performance, and it supports FreeSync for a nearly tear-free gaming experience, but is limited to a 60Hz refresh rate. The CJG50 has a faster refresh rate and faster response time, so it's slightly better for gaming. The CJG50 also has a higher native resolution, so you can see more fine details in games, and it's easier to multitask.

Acer XF251Q

The Acer XF251Q is a 25" TN monitor, whereas the Samsung CF398 is a VA monitor. The XF251Q has better motion handling, thanks to a faster response time. The XF251Q is a bit brighter, but the CF398 has much better native contrast, so it looks better in a dark room.

Samsung Space SR75

The Samsung CF398 and Samsung Space SR75 are very similar overall, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. The SR75 has a higher resolution screen and higher refresh rate, which is great for gaming. The CF398 supports FreeSync, and the image remains accurate when viewed at an angle.

Samsung U32J590/UJ59

The Samsung UJ590 is slightly better than the Samsung CF398. The UJ590 has a higher resolution, 4k screen that is better suited for multitasking. The CF398 is flicker-free, whereas the UJ590 has PWM flicker at low brightness levels.

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Conclusion
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7.0 Mixed Usage
The Samsung CF398 is a decent monitor for most uses. It has a fixed stand that makes it hard to place in an ideal viewing position, and the image degrades when viewed at an angle. It has great reflections handling, but can't get very bright, so it might not be able to overcome glare in a really bright room. It has an excellent response time and low input lag, great for gaming or for watching movies. The 27" screen is good, but it is limited by the 1080p resolution that doesn't allow you to see many fine details in games or movies.
7.1 Office
Decent monitor for office use. The 27" screen is a good size for working, but the 1080p resolution isn't ideal for multitasking. Unfortunately, the image loses accuracy when viewed at an angle, and it has a fixed stand with terrible ergonomics. It has great reflections handling, but can't get bright enough to fight off bright glare in a well-lit office.
7.5 Gaming
The Samsung C27F398 is a decent monitor for gaming. It has an excellent response time, low input lag, and it supports FreeSync VRR, which is great. The standard 60 Hz refresh rate may be disappointing to some gamers. Although it can be easily increased to 72 Hz, this difference is minor and does not significantly improve the performance. Unfortunately, the image degrades when viewed at an angle, and it can't get very bright.
6.8 Multimedia
The Samsung C27F398 is an okay monitor for multimedia use. The 27" screen allows you to see some fine details, but it is limited by the 1080p resolution. Unfortunately, the image degrades when viewed at an angle, so it isn't great for sharing the latest YouTube trends with your friends. It has excellent low input lag, and a fast response time, so motion looks clear with little blur trail.
6.7 Media Creation
Decent monitor for media creation. The 27" screen allows you to see fine details in your project, but the 1080p resolution means you'll have to zoom in and move your project around in order to see finer details. It has excellent coverage of the standard s.RGB color space, but the Adobe RGB coverage is less than ideal for professional photo or video editing.
5.5 HDR Gaming
The Samsung C27F398FWN does not support HDR. For a good HDR monitor, check out the Samsung CHG70.

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