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Reviewed on Dec 21, 2018

Samsung U32J590/UJ59 MONITOR REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.0
7.1
Mixed Usage
7.3
Office
7.3
Gaming
7.1
Multimedia
7.0
Media Creation
5.5
HDR Gaming
Size : 32"
Resolution : 3840x2160
Refresh Rate : 60 Hz
LCD Type
:
VA
Variable Refresh Rate
:
FreeSync

The Samsung U32J590 is a decent 32", 4k monitor. It delivers decent picture quality, with a very good native contrast ratio and decent black uniformity. It supports FreeSync VRR and has a great response time. Unfortunately, it can't get very bright to overcome glare in a bright room, and the image degrades when viewed at an angle. It also has a fixed stand that can only tilt, so you might not be able to place it in an ideal viewing position.

Test Results
Design 7.0
Picture Quality 6.8
Motion 7.5
Inputs 9.0
Pros
  • Good dark room performance
  • Lots of screen real-estate
Cons
  • Disappointing peak brightness
  • Terrible ergonomics
  1. Update 5/10/2019: We have retested FreeSync on the UJ590 with NVIDIA driver version 430.39, and FreeSync is now working properly on recent NVIDIA cards.
  2. 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.

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7.0

Design

Curved : No
Curve radius : N/A
Weight (without stand)
:
12.8 lbs (5.8 kg)
Weight (with stand)
:
13.7 lbs (6.2 kg)

The Samsung UJ59 has a decent design. The stand supports the monitor well, but it has a large footprint. The monitor is mostly made of plastic, but there shouldn't be any issues with it. Unfortunately, the stand has terrible ergonomics, making it difficult to place in an ideal viewing position without VESA mounting it.

Stand
Width
:
18.5" (47.0 cm)
Depth
:
9.8" (24.9 cm)

The Samsung U32J590 has a decent stand. It is slightly thicker than the stand on the CF398, and it supports the monitor better. The monitor does wobble quite a bit though, even from the vibrations caused by typing aggressively.

1.9 Ergonomics
Height Adjustment
:
N/A
Switch portrait/landscape : No
Swivel Range : N/A
Tilt Range : -15° to 2.5°

Unfortunately, the UJ590 has terrible ergonomics. The stand can be tilted, but has a smaller tilt range than the UE590 and CF398.

Back
Wall Mount : VESA 100x100

The back of the monitor is very plain. There is a single vent that spans nearly the entire width of the monitor. The inputs can be difficult to access when the monitor is VESA mounted. There is only very basic cable management.

Borders
Borders
:
0.6" (1.5 cm)

The borders are thin and look good. There is almost no gap between the border of the monitor and the screen.

Thickness
Thickness (with stand)
:
7.3" (18.5 cm)
Thickness (without stand)
:
2.1" (5.3 cm)

The stand on the U32J590UQN sits back from the monitor, and prevents it from being placed flush with a wall. When the stand is removed to VESA mount it, the UJ590 is very thin.

7.0 Build Quality

Overall, the Samsung UJ59 has decent build quality. It is a bit more sturdy than the CF398, but not quite as good as the BenQ EW3270. Most of the monitor is made of plastic, but there don't appear to be any significant gaps or issues.

6.8

Picture Quality

The Samsung U32J590 delivers decent overall picture quality. It has a very good native contrast ratio and decent black uniformity. It has above average viewing angles for a VA panel, but the image degrades when viewed at an angle. Unfortunately, it can't get very bright, so it isn't a great choice for a bright room. Overall, the U32J590 delivers nearly identical picture quality to the LG 32UD59-B.

7.8 Contrast
Native Contrast
:
2799 : 1
Contrast with local dimming
:
N/A

The Samsung U32J590 has a very good native contrast ratio, nearly identical to the CF398. This is a significant improvement over the previous model, the UE590, which had a TN panel and low native contrast.

0 Local Dimming
Local Dimming
:
No
Backlight
:
Edge

This monitor does not have a local dimming feature, the above video is for reference only.

5.9 SDR Peak Brightness
SDR Real Scene
:
188 cd/m²
SDR Peak 2% Window
:
205 cd/m²
SDR Peak 10% Window
:
206 cd/m²
SDR Peak 25% Window
:
206 cd/m²
SDR Peak 50% Window
:
206 cd/m²
SDR Peak 100% Window
:
206 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 2% Window
:
205 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 10% Window
:
205 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 25% Window
:
206 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 50% Window
:
206 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 100% Window
:
206 cd/m²
SDR ABL
:
0.000

Disappointing peak brightness, the worst we've tested so far. The Samsung UJ59 is not an ideal choice if you have a bright room.

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 the U32J590

5.7 Horizontal Viewing Angle
Color Shift from Left
:
41 °
Color Shift from Right
:
45 °
Brightness from Left
:
53 °
Brightness from Right
:
55 °
Black Level from Left
:
20 °
Black Level from Right
:
18 °
Curve Radius : N/A

Disappointing horizontal viewing angles, nearly identical to the Samsung UE590 and LG 32UD59. The black levels rise rapidly at even moderate angles. Colors stay accurate even at wide angles, which is great, and the brightness only drops to half at an even wider angle, which is great.

7.1 Vertical Viewing Angle
Color Shift from Below
:
27 °
Color Shift from Above
:
33 °
Brightness from Below
:
36 °
Brightness from Above
:
43 °
Black Level from Below
:
30 °
Black Level from Above
:
30 °

Decent vertical viewing angles, as good as the LG 32UD59, and above average for VA panels. Whether you are looking at this monitor from above or below doesn't matter, the image remains accurate even at moderate angles. At around 30° the colors become inaccurate and the black levels are too high.

8.1 Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
:
2.283 %
50% DSE
:
0.155 %
5% Std. Dev.
:
1.325 %
5% DSE
:
0.072 %

Great gray uniformity. Again, the UJ590 is nearly identical to the CF398. When playing sports games or browsing the web, there is below average dirty screen effect (DSE), which is great. In near-dark scenes the uniformity is even better, with very little DSE.

6.5 Black Uniformity
Native Std. Dev.
:
1.658 %
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
:
N/A

The Samsung UJ590 has decent black uniformity. There is some clouding noticeable, but very little backlight bleed or flashlighting.

7.5 Pre Calibration
Picture Mode
:
User
Luminance
:
218 cd/m²
Luminance Settings
:
100
Contrast Setting
:
75
RGB controls
:
Cool 1
Color Temperature
:
6875 K
White Balance dE
:
2.88
Color dE
:
3.11
Gamma
:
2.22

Out of the box, the Samsung U32J590UQN has good accuracy. The white point and color error are high enough that some enthusiasts might notice it, but not high enough to be noticeable by most people. The gamma curve is a bit high, so some darker scenes appear too dark. Finally, the color temperature is a bit on the cool side.

9.3 Post Calibration
Picture Mode
:
User
Luminance
:
101 cd/m²
Luminance Settings
:
22
Contrast Setting
:
75
RGB Controls
:
37-35-44
Color Temperature
:
6602 K
White Balance dE
:
1.08
Color dE
:
0.77
Gamma
:
2.19

After calibration, nearly all inaccuracies are corrected. The gamma follows the target curve nearly perfectly, and any remaining inaccuracies in the white balance and color are not noticeable. The color temperature is much closer to the calibration target of 6500 K.

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.

9.3 SDR Color Gamut
sRGB xy
:
99.1 %
Adobe RGB xy
:
87.6 %

s.RGB Picture Mode: User (Calibrated)
Adobe RGB Picture Mode: User

The Samsung UJ59 has an excellent SDR color gamut. It almost perfectly covers the smaller s.RGB color space, and has excellent Adobe RGB coverage as well, great for professional photo and video editing. These results are nearly identical to the CF398 and LG 32UD59-B.

9.6 SDR Color Volume
sRGB in ICtCp
:
99.4 %
Adobe RGB in ICtCp
:
93.5 %

s.RGB Picture Mode: User
Adobe RGB Picture Mode: User

Outstanding SDR color volume. The Samsung U32J590 can produce bright and dark colors across the entire color gamut at almost all brightness levels.

0 HDR Color Gamut
Wide Color Gamut
:
No
DCI P3 xy
:
N/A
Rec. 2020 xy
:
N/A

The U32J590 does not support HDR, and so it cannot display an HDR color gamut.

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

HDR is not supported on the U32J590UQN.

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 %

There are no signs of temporary image retention on the UJ590, even immediately after displaying our high contrast static test pattern for 10 minutes.

9.2 Gradient
Color Depth
:
10 Bit

Excellent gradient handling. There is some banding visible in darker scenes, but not enough to cause any issues under normal use.

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

There are no pixel errors whatsoever, which is great.

7.5 Reflections

Decent reflections handling, similar to the VG245H and the Samsung UE590.

7.5

Motion

The Samsung U32J590 has good motion handling. It has a great response time that results in low motion blur behind fast moving objects. It supports FreeSync, which is great, but has a maximum refresh rate of 60 Hz that may be insufficient for more demanding gamers. Unfortunately, there is PWM flicker at low backlight levels, but this shouldn't be a problem for most people, as the monitor can't get very bright, so most people will want to keep the backlight above this level.

8.1 Motion Blur
80% Response Time
:
6.2 ms
100% Response Time
:
16.7 ms
Best Overdrive Setting
:
Standard

Standard
Faster
Fastest

The U32J590 has a very good response time. There is a slight blur-trail behind fast moving objects, but this shouldn't be very noticeable with normal content.

There are some duplications noticeable in our photo due to the PWM flicker. This should not be noticeable under normal viewing conditions, as most people will have the backlight set bright enough that there is no flicker.

The Response Time setting can be adjusted to customize the Overdrive. There are three levels, but we recommend using 'Standard'. The other two modes provide slightly faster response times, but with higher levels of overshoot that may bother some people.

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

Unfortunately, the Samsung U32J590 uses PWM to dim the backlight. There is flicker at a setting of '30' or below. Since the monitor is not very bright, this shouldn't be an issue for most people, as there is no flicker at higher brightness settings.

7.8 Refresh Rate
Native
:
60 Hz
Factory Overclock
:
N/A
Variable Refresh Rate
:
FreeSync
G-SYNC Compatible
:
Partial
VRR Maximum
:
60 Hz
VRR Minimum
:
40 Hz
VRR Maximum With OC
:
N/A
VRR Supported Connectors : DisplayPort, HDMI

Update 05/10/2019: We have retested the UJ590 with NVIDIA drivers 430.39, and FreeSync is now working properly on our GTX 1060 6 Gb, but only with the FreeSync setting on the monitor set to 'Ultimate'.

The maximum refresh rate is 60 Hz, which may disappoint some people. It supports FreeSync over HDMI and DisplayPort.

FreeSync has two modes on this monitor: Ultimate Engine provides the widest FreeSync range, and results in the least amount of screen tearing. In some cases, there may be some noticeable screen flicker in this mode, which can be reduced by switching to the Standard Engine, although this mode has a reduced VRR range of 50-60 fps.

9.0

Inputs

The Samsung UJ59 has excellent low input lag across any mode. It has a great screen size and resolution that is great for gaming or office work. It also has a good selection of inputs, but unfortunately, only one of the two HDMI ports supports 4k @ 60 Hz.

8.8 Input Lag
Native Resolution
:
9.6 ms
Non-Native Res @ Native Refresh
:
9.8 ms
Native Resolution @ 60 Hz
:
9.6 ms
Variable Refresh Rate
:
10.0 ms
10 bit HDR
:
N/A
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
:
N/A

Excellent low input lag in any mode, even with FreeSync enabled.

9.2 Resolution and Size
Native Resolution : 3840 x 2160
Aspect Ratio : 16:9
Megapixels : 8.3 MP
Pixel Density : 139 PPI
Screen Diagonal : 31.6 inches
Screen Area : 426 sq inches

The 32", 4k screen is great for multitasking, as it provides a great deal of screen real estate. It also provides for a more immersive gaming experience.

Inputs
Total Inputs
DisplayPort : 1 (DP 1.2)
Mini DisplayPort : No
HDMI : 1 (HDMI 2.0), 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
Power Supply : External Brick

The U32J590UQN has two HDMI ports, but only HDMI 2 supports 4k @ 60 Hz, whereas HDMI 1 is limited to 4k @ 30 Hz.

Features

The Samsung U32J590 has a few additional features. It can display the image from two sources simultaneously, either side-by-side or picture-in-picture. It also has a Game Mode, that adjusts the gamma and contrast to make it easier to see objects hiding in shadows. The OSD is simple and easy to use, but the controls can be confusing at times.

Additional Features
Speakers
:
No
HDR10 : No
Multiple input display
:
PIP + PBP

UPDATE 06/11/2019: We initially reported that this monitor has internal speakers. It does not have speakers, but has a headphone jack with adjustable volume from the monitor's OSD.

The UJ590 has no internal speakers, and it doesn't support HDR. It has a few additional features:

  • Game Mode: Adjusts picture settings, including contrast, to make it easier to spot to see fine details in some scenes.
  • Picture-In-Picture/Picture-By-Picture: Allows you to display the image from multiple inputs at once, either side-by-side, or as a floating image.
  • On-Screen Display (OSD)
    Controls
    In The Box

    • Manual
    • Power Adapter
    • HDMI Cable
    • Stand Hole Cover

    Differences between Sizes and Variants

    We tested the Samsung U32J590 version LA01 (lu32j590uqnxza), which is the only size available.

    If someone comes across a different type of panel or if their Samsung U32J590 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
    U32J590 32" 4k 60 Hz  FreeSync
    U28E590D 28" 4k 60 Hz FreeSync
    C27F398 27" 1080p 60 Hz FreeSync

    The U32J590 we reviewed was manufactured in October 2018.

    Compared to other Monitors

    Left: LG 27UK650. Middle: Samsung UJ590. Right: Samsung UE590.
    Unlike our other photographs, this picture wasn't taken under a controlled environment, so do not draw conclusions from it.

    The Samsung U32J590 offers decent performance, but there are similar monitors that outperform it. See our recommendations for the best 28-32 inch monitors, the best 4k gaming monitors, and the best 4k monitors.

    LG 32UD59-B
    SEE PRICE
    Amazon.com

    The LG 32UD59-B is better than the Samsung UJ590. The LG has a completely flicker-free backlight, and the stand has an adjustable height. The LG is also much brighter and has two full-bandwidth HDMI 2.0 ports that support 4k @ 60Hz.

    BenQ EW3270U
    SEE PRICE
    Amazon.com

    The BenQ EW3270U is better than the Samsung UJ590. The BenQ supports HDR, and the backlight is completely flicker-free. The BenQ EW3270U is also much brighter than the Samsung UJ590, and it has two full-bandwidth HDMI 2.0 ports that can display 4k @ 60Hz.

    Samsung UE590
    SEE PRICE
    Newegg.com

    The Samsung UJ590 is better than the UE590. The newer UJ590 has a much better native contrast ratio, thanks to the VA panel. It also has better viewing angles, and much better Adobe RGB color volume. The older UE590 is a lot brighter.

    Samsung CF398
    SEE PRICE
    Amazon.com

    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.

    7.1 Mixed Usage

    Decent monitor for mixed usage, but it doesn't excel at any one usage. It delivers decent picture quality, but can't get very bright, and it has disappointing viewing angles. The stand has terrible ergonomics, making it difficult to place. Good motion handling for gaming and movies, but there is PWM flicker at low backlight settings.

    7.3 Office

    Decent monitor for office use. The large, high resolution screen, and picture-in-picture/picture-by-picture support are all great for multitasking. Unfortunately, although it has good reflections handling, it can't get very bright to overcome glare, and the stand has terrible ergonomics.

    7.3 Gaming

    The Samsung UJ59 is an okay monitor for gaming. It has decent motion handling and a great response time, as well as FreeSync support, which is nice. It also has excellent low input lag. Unfortunately, there is PWM flicker at low brightness levels, and the max 60 Hz refresh rate may disappoint more serious gamers.

    7.1 Multimedia

    Decent monitor for multimedia. The large, high resolution screen is great for watching the latest 4K movies. It can't get very bright, but has good reflections handling, a very good contrast ratio and a great response time. Unfortunately, the image degrades when viewed at an angle and it doesn't support HDR.

    7.0 Media Creation

    Okay monitor for media creation. The large, high resolution screen allows you to see more of your project at once. Unfortunately, the stand has terrible ergonomics, and the image degrades when viewed at an angle.

    5.5 HDR Gaming

    The U32J590UQN does not support HDR. For a decent HDR Gaming monitor, take a look at the CHG70, also by Samsung.

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