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Reviewed on Nov 20, 2018 , Simon Barbier, Yannick Khong

Samsung CF398
MONITOR REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.0

Test Benches:

  • 1.0: Fall 2017
6.9
Mixed Usage
Score components:
Size : 27 "
Resolution : 1920x1080
Refresh Rate : 60 Hz
LCD Type
What it is: Type of LCD technology used by the monitor.
When it matters: Different technologies have different viewing angle properties.
:
VA
Variable Refresh Rate
What it is: Feature that allows the monitor to synchronize its refresh rate with the input device's output and reduces stuttering and screen tearing.
When it matters: Almost every usage, but is most noticeable in gaming where constant fluctuation in framerate cause distracting artifacts.
:
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

Check Price

7.0

Design

Score components: Subjectively assigned
Samsung CF398 Design Picture
Curved : Yes
Curve radius : 1800R
Weight (without stand) : 8.0lbs (3.6 kg)
Weight (with stand) : 9.0lbs (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
Samsung CF398 Stand picture
Width : 18.5" (47.1 cm)
Depth : 9.6" (24.3 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.

1.5 Ergonomics
What it is: How much the position of the screen can be adjusted to match the viewing preference of the user.
When it matters: All usages, but especially office and gaming use.
Score components:
  • 46% Height Adjustment
  • 18% Switch portrait/landscape
  • 18% Swivel Range
  • 18% Tilt Range
Samsung CF398 Ergonomics picture
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
Samsung CF398 Back picture
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
Samsung CF398 Borders picture
Borders : 0.6" (1.4 cm)

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

Thickness
Samsung CF398 Thickness picture
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
What it is: How well built and sturdy the monitor is, and how good the materials used to build it are.
When it matters: All usages.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Samsung CF398 Build Quality picture

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.

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
What it is: Brightness difference between white and black. This is the main component of picture quality.
When it matters: Always, but especially when watching dark scenes.
Score components:
Samsung CF398 Checkerboard Picture
Native Contrast
What it is: Ratio of the white brightness divided by the blacks measured on our checkerboard test pattern with a white target of 100 cd/m².
When it matters: Dark scenes in a dark room.
Good value: > 3,000
Noticeable difference: 500
:
2909 : 1
Contrast with local dimming
What it is: Ratio of the white brightness divided by the blacks measured on our checkerboard test pattern with local dimming turned on (maximum) with a white target of 100 cd/m².
When it matters: Dark scenes in a dark room.
Good value: > 3,000
Noticeable difference: 500
:
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
What it is: The lights behind the LCD layer adapt to the picture displayed, improving the contrast ratio.
When it matters: Dark scenes viewed in a dark room.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Local Dimming
What it is: Whether it has a feature that controls the LEDs behind the LCD layer, to match the picture and darkens the dark portion of it.
When it matters: On LED TVs only. Dark scenes viewed in a dark room.
:
No
Backlight
What it is: Configuration of the lights of the backlight.
When it matters: Effectiveness of the local dimming.
Good value: Full-array/direct lighting is better for local dimming. As for the uniformity of the screen, it depends on the implementation. Some edge-lit monitors have more uniform blacks than some full-array monitors.
:
Edge

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

6.5 SDR Peak Brightness
What it is: How bright the screen can get. Measured with local dimming and with SDR content.
When it matters: Bright living rooms; bright objects; SDR content.
SDR Real Scene
What it is: The maximum luminosity the TV can obtain while playing a movie or while watching a TV show. Our Real Scene was selected to represent a more regular movie condition. All measurements are made with the TV set to be as bright as possible, but with a 6500k white. Measured with local dimming on, max backlight and with an SDR signal. Scene: here.
When it matters: When watching movies and TV shows in SDR.
:
218 cd/m²
SDR Peak 2% Window
What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 2% of the screen, with the monitor set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: Bright highlights, present on screen for a short time
:
239 cd/m²
SDR Peak 10% Window
What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 10% of the screen, with the monitor set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: Bright objects, present on screen for a short time
:
239 cd/m²
SDR Peak 25% Window
What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 25% of the screen, with the monitor set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: When watching in a bright room.
:
239 cd/m²
SDR Peak 50% Window
What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 50% of the screen, with the monitor set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: When watching in a bright room.
:
239 cd/m²
SDR Peak 100% Window
What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 100% of the screen, with the monitor set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: When watching in a bright room.
:
239 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 2% Window
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 2% of the screen, with the monitor set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: Bright highlights, persistent during a scene.
:
239 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 10% Window
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 10% of the screen, with the monitor set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: Bright objects, persistent during a scene.
:
239 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 25% Window
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 25% of the screen, with the monitor set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: When watching in a bright room.
:
239 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 50% Window
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 50% of the screen, with the monitor set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: When watching in a bright room.
:
239 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 100% Window
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 100% of the screen, with the monitor set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: When watching in a bright room.
:
239 cd/m²
SDR ABL
What it is: The standard deviation of the SDR sustained brightness, after linearizing for noticeable differences in luminosity
When it matters: Content with large bright areas, such as for PC or video game use, and sports such as hockey
:
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
What it is: How bright the screen can get. Measured with local dimming and with HDR content.
When it matters: HDR content
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
What it is: Color accuracy when viewed from the side.
Samsung CF398 Horizontal Color Shift Picture
Color Shift from Left
What it is: Angle where the colors noticeable shift compared to when viewed from directly in front of the monitor. 0 ° means directly facing the monitor. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: When sharing your monitor with people on your left
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
43 °
Color Shift from Right
What it is: Angle where the colors noticeable shift compared to when viewed from directly in front of the monitor. 0 ° means directly facing the monitor. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: When sharing your monitor with people on your right
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
41 °
Samsung CF398 Horizontal Brightness Picture
Brightness from Left
What it is: Angle where the brightness drops to 50% of the brightness directly in front of the monitor. 0 ° means directly facing the monitor. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: When sharing your monitor with people on your left.
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
53 °
Brightness from Right
What it is: Angle where the brightness drops to 50% of the brightness directly in front of the monitor. 0 ° means directly facing the monitor. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: When sharing your monitor with people on your right.
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
51 °
Samsung CF398 Horizontal Black Level Picture
Black Level from Left
What it is: Angle where the black level drops to 50% of the black level directly in front of the monitor. 0 ° means directly facing the monitor. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: When sharing your monitor with people on your right.
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
22 °
Black Level from Right
What it is: Angle where the black level drops to 50% of the black level directly in front of the monitor. 0 ° means directly facing the monitor. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: When sharing your monitor with people on your right.
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
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
What it is: Color accuracy when viewed from the top or bottom.
Samsung CF398 Vertical Color Shift Picture
Color Shift from Below
What it is: Angle where the colors noticeable shift compared to when viewed from directly in front of the monitor. 0 ° means directly facing the monitor. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: When looking at a monitor from below.
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
39 °
Color Shift from Above
What it is: Angle where the colors noticeable shift compared to when viewed from directly in front of the monitor. 0 ° means directly facing the monitor. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: When looking at a monitor when standing up.
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
41 °
Samsung CF398 Vertical Brightness Picture
Brightness from Below
What it is: Angle where the brightness drops to 50% of the brightness directly in front of the monitor. 0 ° means directly facing the monitor. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: When looking at a monitor from below.
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
53 °
Brightness from Above
What it is: Angle where the brightness drops to 50% of the brightness directly in front of the monitor. 0 ° means directly facing the monitor. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: When looking at a monitor while standing up.
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
54 °
Samsung CF398 Vertical Black Level Picture
Black Level from Below
What it is: Angle where the black level drops to 50% of the black level directly in front of the monitor. 0 ° means directly facing the monitor. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: When looking at a monitor from below.
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
13 °
Black Level from Above
What it is: Angle where the black level drops to 50% of the black level directly in front of the monitor. 0 ° means directly facing the monitor. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: When looking at a monitor while standing up.
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
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
What it is: Evenness of colors onscreen (not just gray).
When it matters: Solid colors. Sports, panning shots.
Score components:
Samsung CF398 50% Uniformity Picture
50% Std. Dev.
What it is: Average squared difference of pixels when displaying a mid 50% gray.
When it matters: Solid colors. Sports, panning shots.
Good value: < 2.5%
Noticeable difference: 1%
:
2.224 %
50% DSE
What it is: Dirty Screen Effect. High-frequency variance of uniformity. Dark spots on the screen.
When it matters: Solid colors. Sports, panning shots.
Good value: < 0.165%
Noticeable difference: 0.025%
:
0.099 %
Samsung CF398 5% Uniformity Picture
5% Std. Dev.
What it is: Average squared difference of pixels when displaying a mid 5% gray.
When it matters: Dark scenes.
Good value: < 1.15%
Noticeable difference: 1%
:
0.760 %
5% DSE
What it is: Dirty Screen Effect. High-frequency variance of uniformity. Dark spots on the screen.
When it matters: Dark scenes.
Good value: < 0.116%
:
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
What it is: Evenness of blacks.
When it matters: Dark scenes viewed in a dark room.
Score components:
Samsung CF398 Native Black Uniformity Picture
Native Std. Dev.
What it is: Average of the squared difference of the blacks.
When it matters: Dark scenes viewed in a dark room.
Good value: <2%
Noticeable difference: 1%, but keep in mind that it varies a lot by unit, even of the same model; yours likely will not end up exactly like ours.
:
1.812 %
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
What it is: Average of the squared difference of the blacks with Local Dimming enabled
When it matters: Dark scenes viewed in a dark room.
Good value: <2%
Noticeable difference: 1%, but keep in mind that it varies a lot by unit, even of the same model; yours likely will not end up exactly like ours.
:
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
What it is: Monitor's color accuracy before a full calibration. The measurements are taken with out of the box 'factory setting'.
When it matters: All video on an uncalibrated TV. This represents most people's use cases.
Score components:
Samsung CF398 Pre Calibration Picture Samsung CF398 Pre Gamma Curve Picture Samsung CF398 Pre Color Picture
Picture Mode
What it is: The picture mode that was used to do the pre-calibration reading. We usually go for the picture mode that gives us the more control over all the picture quality setting.
:
Custom
Luminance
What it is: The luminance at which the pre-calibration reading was done. This represents the luminance of the monitor when it is at the factory default settings.
:
273 cd/m²
Luminance Settings
What it is: The luminance settings, often named 'Brightness' on monitors, usually range from 0 to 100.
:
100
Contrast Setting
What it is: The monitor contrast setting, usually ranging from 0 to 100.
:
75
RGB controls
What it is: This is the value for each color (red, green, and blue) used in the monitor internal RGB cuts/gains controls. If the monitor does not have an internal RGB cuts/gains controls, then the color temperature setting will be used instead, and the color temperature that gives us the best result will be used.
:
50-50-50
Color Temperature
What it is: The color temperature is a measure of the color of light. A colder color temperature (7000K) will look bluer and a warmer color temperature (4000K) will look yellower/redder. 6500K is the standard color for PC monitors and also for the sRGB color standard.
When it matters: When you care about color reproduction and accuracy.
Good value: 6500K
Noticeable difference: 400K
:
5934 K
White Balance dE
What it is: Average inaccuracy of shades of gray.
When it matters: Overall color temperature of all video.
Good value: < 3
Noticeable difference: 1
:
4.71
Color dE
What it is: Average inaccuracy of colors.
When it matters: All colors.
Good value: < 3
Noticeable difference: 1
:
3.64
Gamma
What it is: Brightness of shades of gray.
When it matters: Shadows.
Good value: Between 2.1 and 2.3 (our target is 2.2)
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
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
What it is: Monitor's color accuracy after a full calibration with a spectrophotometer.
When it matters: All graphics and video content on a monitor that has been professionally calibrated.
Score components:
Samsung CF398 Post Calibration Picture Samsung CF398 Post Gamma Curve Picture Samsung CF398 Post Color Picture
Picture Mode
What it is: The picture mode that was used to do the calibration reading. We usually go for the picture mode that gives us the more control over all the picture quality setting.
:
Custom
Luminance
What it is: The luminance at which the calibration was executed. We aim for a luminance level of 100 cd/m².
:
100 cd/m²
Luminance Settings
What it is: The luminance settings, often named 'Brightness' on monitors, usually range from 0 to 100.
:
33
Contrast Setting
What it is: The monitor contrast setting, usually ranging from 0 to 100.
:
76
RGB controls
What it is: This is the value for each color (red, green, and blue) used in the monitor internal RGB cuts/gains controls. If the monitor does not have an internal RGB cuts/gains controls, then the color temperature setting will be used instead, and the color temperature that gives us the best result will be used.
:
40-43-50
Color Temperature
What it is: The color temperature is a measure of the color of light. A colder color temperature (7000K) will look bluer and a warmer color temperature (4000K) will look yellower/redder. 6500K is the standard color for PC monitors and also for the sRGB color standard.
When it matters: When you care about color reproduction and accuracy.
Good value: 6500K
Noticeable difference: 400K
:
6491 K
White Balance dE
What it is: Average inaccuracy of shades of gray.
When it matters: Overall color temperature of all videos.
Good value: < 3
Noticeable difference: 1
:
0.50
Color dE
What it is: Average inaccuracy of colors.
When it matters: All colors.
Good value: < 3
Noticeable difference: 1
:
0.67
Gamma
What it is: Brightness of shades of gray.
When it matters: Shadows.
Good value: Between 2.1 and 2.3 (our target is 2.2)
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
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
What it is: The palette of colors the monitor can display
When it matters: General content consumption or production
Score components:
Samsung CF398 Color Gamut s.RGB Picture
s.RGB xy
What it is: Coverage of the s.RGB colorspace on CIE 1931 xy.
When it matters: Almost all content. Includes websites, standard windows environment and SDR movies
Good value: > 95%
Noticeable difference: 5%
:
95.5 %
Samsung CF398 Color Gamut ARGB Picture
Adobe RGB xy
What it is: Coverage of the Adobe RGB colorspace on CIE 1931 xy.
When it matters: Professional photography.
Good value: > 90%
Noticeable difference: 5%
:
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
What it is: How much of the SDR color spaces the monitor can reproduce
When it matters: General usage and SDR media creation
Score components:
Samsung CF398 s.RGB Color Volume ITP picture
s.RGB in ICtCp
What it is: How much of the s.RGB colorspace a monitor can display at different luminosity levels
When it matters: Most content, including web, SDR video games, and SDR media creation
:
97.4 %
Samsung CF398 Adobe RGB Color Volume ITP Picture
Adobe RGB in ICtCp
What it is: How much of the Adobe RGB colorspace a monitor can display at different luminosity levels, normalized to the monitor's peak brightness.
When it matters: Professional media creation
:
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
What it is: The monitor's ability to reproduce HDR color spaces
When it matters: HDR content consumption or media creation
Score components:
Wide Color Gamut
What it is: Whether the monitor can support wider color gamuts
When it matters: HDR content and media creation
:
N/A
DCI P3 xy
What it is: Coverage of the DCI P3 colorspace on CIE 1931 xy
When it matters: When consuming or producing HDR content.
:
N/A
Rec. 2020 xy
What it is: Coverage of the Rec.2020 colorspace on CIE 1931 xy.
When it matters: When consuming or producing HDR content.
Good value: > 90%
Noticeable difference: 5%
:
N/A

HDR is not supported on this monitor.

0 HDR Color Volume
What it is: How much of the HDR color spaces a monitor can display at different luminosity levels.
When it matters: HDR content consumption and production. Includes streaming services, UHD Blu-rays and HDR games.
Score components:
DCI-P3 in ICtCp
What it is: How much of the DCI-P3 colorspace a monitor can display at different luminosity levels, normalized to the monitor's peak brightness output.
When it matters: HDR content.
Good value: 80%
Noticeable difference: 5%
:
N/A
Rec. 2020 in ICtCp
What it is: How much of the Rec. 2020 colorspace a monitor can display at different luminosity levels, normalized to the monitor's peak brightness output.
When it matters: HDR content.
Good value: 80 %
Noticeable difference: 5 %
:
N/A

HDR is not supported on this monitor.

10 Image Retention
What it is: How much a static image is retained on a monitor screen after a certain amount of time.
When it matters: When working or playing video games on your PC monitor.
Samsung CF398 Image Retention Picture
IR after 0 min recovery
What it is: Image retention measured right after the static image exposure, without recovery time.
When it matters: When changing use or right after changing the type of on screen content (i.e. stopping playing video game to watch a movie).
Good value: 0 is perfect.
Noticeable difference: 0.015%
:
0.00 %
IR after 2 min recovery
What it is: Image retention measured after a recovery time of 2 minutes.
When it matters: When changing use or right after changing the type of on screen content (i.e. stopping playing video game to watch a movie).
Good value: 0 is perfect
Noticeable difference: 0.015%
:
0.00 %
IR after 4 min recovery
What it is: Image retention measured after a recovery time of 4 minutes.
When it matters: When changing use or right after changing the type of on screen content (i.e. stopping playing video game to watch a movie).
Good value: 0 is perfect.
Noticeable difference: 0.015%
:
0.00 %
IR after 6 min recovery
What it is: Image retention measured after a recovery time of 6 minutes.
When it matters: When changing use or right after changing the type of on screen content (i.e. stopping playing video game to watch a movie).
Good value: 0 is perfect.
Noticeable difference: 0.015%
:
0.00 %
IR after 8 min recovery
What it is: Image retention measured after a recovery time of 8 minutes.
When it matters: When changing use or right after changing the type of on screen content (i.e. stopping playing video game to watch a movie).
Good value: 0 is perfect.
Noticeable difference: 0.015%
:
0.00 %
IR after 10 min recovery
What it is: Image retention measured after a recovery time of 10 minutes.
When it matters: When changing use or right after changing the type of on screen content (i.e. stopping playing video game to watch a movie).
Good value: 0 is perfect.
Noticeable difference: 0.015%
:
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
What it is: How finely levels of color can be displayed.
When it matters: Details in shadows, sky and skin tones. Matters more for HDR content.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Samsung CF398 Gradient Picture
Color Depth
What it is: Number of bits per pixel to represent a specific color. Note: we consider 8-bit with dithering to be equivalent to 10-bit, as long as the 10-bit gradient looks smooth.
When it matters: HDR content like HDR video games or HDR UHD movies. Won't matter for regular Blu-ray movies, SDR video game or desktop environment content displayed from a Windows PC. Those are limited to 8-bit color.
Good value: 10-bit.
Noticeable difference: 1 bit.
:
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
What it is: How much the color from one area of the screen affects the color in another area of the screen.
When it matters: All usages, but especially media creation.
Score components:
Samsung CF398 Color bleed horizontal
Pixel row error
What it is: The amount of bleed that appears across the screen horizontally.
When it matters: General usage of a PC monitor, can appear when browsing the web or with media creation like graphics.
Good value: <0.2%
Noticeable difference: 0.1%
:
0.000 %
Samsung CF398 Color bleed vertical
Pixel column error
What it is: Amount of color bleeding that appears across the screen vertically.
When it matters: Most uses of a PC monitor. Can appear while browsing the web or when editing images or graphics.
Good value: <0.2%
Noticeable difference: 0.1%
:
0.000 %

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

8.0 Reflections
What it is: How much light is reflected by the TV.
When it matters: Bright rooms.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Samsung CF398 Average room Samsung CF398 Average room off picture Samsung CF398 Bright room off picture

Great reflections handling. There should be no issues using the CF398 in a bright room.

7.9

Motion

Score components:

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
What it is: The performance of the pixel response time. Poor response time causes trails to follow moving objects. Response time is one of a few sources of motion blur.
When it matters: When there's fast movement on screen, such as during video games and sports.
Score components:
Samsung CF398 Motion Blur Picture Samsung CF398 Response Time Chart
80% Response Time
What it is: How quickly pixels can reach 80% of a full transition from one color to another.
When it matters: When there's fast movement on screen, such as during video games and sports.
Good value: < 8 ms
Noticeable difference: 4 ms
:
5.4 ms
100% Response Time
What it is: How quickly pixels can fully transition from one color to another.
When it matters: When there's fast movement on screen, such as during video games and sports.
Good value: < 20 ms
Noticeable difference: 10 ms
:
14.3 ms
Best Overdrive Setting
What it is: If the monitor has adjustable pixel overdrive settings, which one produces the best response time with minimal overshoot.
When it matters: When adjusting the monitor's settings to get the least possible motion blur.
:
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
What it is: Luminosity pattern when displaying images
When it matters: Nearly all the time during PC monitor use, but especially during fast movement such as video games
Samsung CF398 Backlight Picture
Flicker-free : Yes
PWM Dimming Frequency
What it is: Flickering pattern at different luminosities.
When it matters: For people sensitive to flickering.
Good value: N/A or high frequencies (> 300 Hz). Frequencies that are multiples of 60Hz are better.
:
0 Hz
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
What it is: Option to turn screen black between frames
When it matters: Reduces eye tracking blur in motion
Good value: Yes
:
No
BFI Maximum Frequency
What it is: Highest possible frequency of flickering pattern
When it matters: Reduces eye-tracking blur in motion
Good value: Matches the native refresh rate
Noticeable difference: 20 Hz
:
N/A
BFI Minimum Frequency
What it is: Lowest possible frequency of flickering pattern
When it matters: Reduces eye-tracking blur in motion
Good value: 60 Hz
Noticeable difference: 20 Hz
:
N/A

The 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
What it is: How frequently the monitor can refresh and show new frames, and whether it can vary its refresh rate in real time using technologies like G-sync and FreeSync.
When it matters: Mostly for gaming, but does provide a little better motion during normal usage.
Native
What it is: The frequency at which the monitor is capable of displaying images every second
When it matters: General usage, but better results are most important for gaming
Good value: >100 Hz
Noticeable difference: 15 Hz
:
60 Hz
Factory Overclock
What it is: The frequency at which the monitor's can be boosted to using its internal menu.
When it matters: Gaming and other usages where high frame rate content is consumed.
Good value: >100
Noticeable difference: 15
:
N/A
Variable Refresh Rate
What it is: Feature that allows the monitor to synchronize its refresh rate with the input device's output and reduces stuttering and screen tearing.
When it matters: Almost every usage, but is most noticeable in gaming where constant fluctuation in framerate cause distracting artifacts.
:
FreeSync
VRR Maximum
What it is: The maximum frequency covered by the Variable Refresh Rate feature of the monitor.
When it matters: Any time the VRR feature is enabled.
Good value: Matches Refresh rate
Noticeable difference: 10 Hz
:
72 Hz
VRR Minimum
What it is: The lowest frequency covered by the monitor's Variable Refresh Rate feature.
When it matters: When using the VRR feature of the monitor at lower frame rates.
Good value: 30 Hz
:
48 Hz
VRR Maximum With OC
What it is: The maximum frequency covered by the Variable Refresh Rate feature when the monitor's overclocking feature is used.
When it matters: When both the overclocking and VRR features are used.
Good value: Matching the overclocked refresh rate.
Noticeable difference: 10 hz
:
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.

8.3

Inputs

Score components:

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
What it is: Delay between input and onscreen reaction.
When it matters: General usage of the mouse and gaming.
Native Resolution
What it is: Lowest input lag possible at the center of the screen, when the monitor is displaying its native resolution at its native refresh rate.
When it matters: General usage and while playing video games.
Good value: < 15 ms
Noticeable difference: 5 ms
:
9.2 ms
Non-Native Resolution
What it is:

Lowest input lag possible at the center of the screen, when the monitor is displaying an alternative resolution at its native refresh rate. The non-native resolution tested depends on the native resolution of the monitor, following this pattern unless otherwise specified in the Input Lag text:

Native Resolution Non-Native Resolution Tested
4k UHD QHD
QHD FHD
FHD 1600x900
3440x1440 2560x1080
2560x1080 1920x1080
When it matters: General usage as well as gaming.
Good value: < 15 ms
Noticeable difference: 5 ms
:
9.2 ms
Native Resolution @ 60 Hz
What it is: Lowest input lag possible at the center of the screen, when the monitor is displaying its native resolution at a refresh rate of 60 Hz.
When it matters: General usage as well as gaming.
Good value: < 15 ms
Noticeable difference: 5 ms
:
9.2 ms
Variable Refresh Rate
What it is: Lowest input lag possible at the center of the screen, when the monitor is using its Variable Refresh Rate feature at its native resolution.
When it matters: General usage as well as gaming.
Good value: < 15 ms
Noticeable difference: 5 ms
:
8.0 ms
HDR
What it is: Lowest input lag possible at the center of the screen, when the monitor is displaying an HDR signal at its native resolution and refresh rate.
When it matters: General usage as well as gaming.
Good value: < 15 ms
Noticeable difference: 5 ms
:
N/A
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
What it is: Lowest input lag possible at the center of the screen, when BFI is enabled and the monitor is displaying a signal at the highest supported BFI refresh rate.
When it matters: General usage as well as gaming.
Good value: < 15 ms
Noticeable difference: 5 ms
:
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
What it is: The number of pixels the monitor can display, and the surface area of its screen.
When it matters: All usages, but especially for office and media editing.
Score components:
Native Resolution : FHD, 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
What it is: Additional features found on the monitor
Score components:
Speakers
What it is: Whether or not the monitor features standalone speakers.
When it matters: When using your computer without headphones or a dedicated pair of speakers.
:
No
HDR10 : No

The CF398 has no significant additional feature. There is no HDR support and it doesn't have internal speakers.

On-Screen Display (OSD)
Controls
Samsung CF398 Controls picture

The 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
Samsung CF398 In The Box picture

  • 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

Samsung CF398 Group Shot Picture
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 and the best 1080p monitors.

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.

HP 27F

The HP 27f and the Samsung CF398 use different types of panels, each with their own 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.

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.

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Conclusion
SEE PRICE
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6.9Mixed Usage
Score components:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Samsung C27F398FWN does not support HDR. For a good HDR monitor, check out the Samsung CHG70.

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