LG UltraGear 48-inch OLED review: a TV in your desk

LG UltraGear 48-inch OLED (48GQ900-B)

MSRP $1,500.00

“LG’s UltraGear 48-inch OLED gaming monitor does barely enough to stands aside from LG’s OLED TVs.”


  • Unbelievable OLED quality
  • Useful desktop distant
  • FreeSync and G-Sync support
  • Brilliant, vibrant bias lighting


  • Doesn’t support dynamic HDR metadata
  • Pixel density generally is a problem

The introduction of huge, OLED gaming monitors begs an interesting query: What makes a gaming monitor, a monitor? In comparison with the multitude of similar-sized OLED TVs on the market, it’s not at all times easy to inform.

LG’s UltraGear 48-inch OLED gaming monitor (48GQ900-B) made me face that existential query with recent appreciation. This one does have a number of features to set it aside from an OLED TV, comparable to a series of highly capable and PC-ready ports, but don’t attempt to idiot yourself: This gaming monitor feels quite a bit like a TV, for higher or worse.

  LG UltraGear 48-inch OLED (48GQ900-B)
Screen size 48 inches
Panel typeO OLED
Resolution 3840 x 2560 (4K)
Peak brightness 135 nits
HDR Yes, HDR 10
Response time 0.1ms GtG
Refresh rate 120Hz (138Hz w/ overclock)
Curve None
Speakers 2x 20W
Inputs 3x HDMI 2.1, 1x DisplayPort 1.4
USB ports 2x USB 3.0, 1x USB-B
Adjustments None
List price $1,500

What makes a monitor

The remote for the LG 48-inch UltraGear monitor.Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

It also comes with a wireless desktop distant, not unlike the controller for the Samsung Odyssey Ark. It feels hole and a bit low-cost considering it is a $1,500 monitor and the distant doesn’t hold a candle to LG’s Magic Distant included with TVs just like the C2. Still, it is sensible for a correct monitor and makes navigating the menu a breeze.

You will have access to a number of dedicated buttons for picture modes, together with the expected assortment of input, power, and menu buttons. Every little thing is centered around a big dial in the center, which you possibly can twist to the proper or left to regulate controls and navigate the menus. It’s super intuitive and far more useful than a standard distant for a desktop setup.

My only gripe is that you just aren’t capable of store custom color profiles within the menu, which can be useful for quickly adjusting features just like the black stabilizer and LG’s Dynamic Motion Sync (DAS).

Menu on the LG UltraGear 48-inch OLED monitor.Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

You will have several built-in profiles, though, including 4 game profiles you access through a dedicated button on the controller. These profiles make an enormous difference, and I discovered myself toggling between them quite a bit more often than I did on a display just like the Sony InZone M9. In Destiny 2, for instance, the usual Gamer 1 profile was a bit too dark, however it provided a pleasant boost in color in Forza Horizon 4.

LG’s exclusive DAS feature is a welcome addition, even when it doesn’t make a ton of sense on a screen like this. DAS essentially allows the monitor to bypass buffering through your cable, shooting data over the cable because the panel refreshes for a real-time sync. It’s a feature of esports monitors, but going for a better refresh rate just like the one offered on the Asus ROG Swift PG32UQX will provide more up-to-date information for essentially the most competitive players.

All gamers can appreciate the inclusion of FreeSync and G-Sync, though. The display is certified for FreeSync Premium and it’s compatible with G-Sync, though it doesn’t have Nvidia’s dedicated G-Sync module inside. Regardless, you’re getting variable refresh rate, which now works over the HDMI 2.1 ports for consoles just like the Xbox Series X in addition to PCs.

OLED makes HDR

A steaming pot video on the UltraGear 48-inch OLED monitor.Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

Strapping the colorimeter on the screen, it’s clear why OLED is such a destination for gaming and other types of media. LG advertises a typical brightness of 135 nits, but I measured closer to 180 nits. That sounds low, however it’s not the brightness that matters with OLED. It’s in regards to the contrast. The UltraGear 48-inch OLED has a contrast ratio of somewhere above 1,000,000:1. My SpyderX only measured around 600,000:1, however it really doesn’t matter.

A traditional LED monitor goes to have a contrast ratio of around 3,000:1 at most, which displays just like the Sony InZone M9 must compensate for with an area dimming feature. OLEDs are like having dimming zones on every pixel. Each pixel can control its brightness (including going completely off), offering the perfect contrast you possibly can get from currently available display tech.

You’re getting spectacular HDR performance here.

Brightness takes a success, though, which is why the UltraGear 48-inch OLED is so dim. Glare is an enormous issue because it normally is with OLED panels, so a brighter monitor just like the Alienware 34 QD-OLED is healthier should you’re in a shiny room. The matte anti-glare coating helps with reflections a bit, far more than the glossy finish seen on LG’s OLED TVs, but brightness is the foremost issue here.

Still, you’re getting spectacular HDR performance. The UltraGear 48-inch OLED is an HDR monster on the extent of the highest OLED TVs. It’s transformative for moody games like Destiny 2, and it makes the perfect HDR games like Cyberpunk 2077 pop off the screen.

Destiny 2 on the UltraGear 48-inch OLED monitor.Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

It’s great for movies, too, but that’s where the monitor/TV duality turns right into a negative for the UltraGear 48-inch OLED. It only supports HDR10, while LG’s OLED TVs support Dolby Vision and dynamic tone mapping, as well. HDR10 is all that’s available for PCs, but the dearth of Dolby Vision means you possibly can’t make the most of dynamic metadata on a console just like the PlayStation 5 or a streaming box just like the Nvidia Shield.

Despite that quibble, you’re still getting the perfect of the perfect when it comes to HDR: inky blacks, vibrant highlights, and color that puts some other panel technology to shame. LG advertises 99% coverage of DCI-P3 (I measured 98%, for the record), which provides you a ton of additional room in content that may transcend sRGB. LG features a dedicated sRGB mode if you wish to limit the colour range, which is an ideal point to reference should you’re doing any creative work on this screen.

Where gaming suffers

Cyberpunk 2077 on the UltraGear 48-inch OLED monitor.Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

Outside of the DisplayPort connection and the unique distant, LG pushed this monitor just a little further than it might its TVs. The display has a max refresh rate of 120Hz, but PC gamers using the DisplayPort connection can overclock the monitor to 138Hz. And this overclock doesn’t produce the nasty smearing artifacts you discover on VA panels. OLED pixels have a response time somewhere near 0.1ms, so nothing hangs around too long, even at higher refresh rates.

For gaming, the plain query is size. Does 48 inches make sense for you? Although the huge size was incredible in Marvel’s Spider-Man and cinematic adventures like Elden Ring, it’s a bit tough to administer in keyboard and mouse-focused games like Destiny 2 and Cyberpunk 2077. You want to push the screen to the back of your desk and lean back just a little to get the proper view, which is far more comfortable to do with a controller than it’s with a keyboard and mouse.

At native resolution, it’s much easier to identify aliasing on the screen because the pixel density goes through the ground.

The scale has big implications for image quality, too. The screen looks great, but you would like probably the greatest 4K graphic cards to drive this screen. Even with an RX 6700 XT, I couldn’t crack a smooth 60 fps in Destiny 2 or Cyberpunk 2077 at native resolution.

There are tools like AMD’s FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR) and Nvidia’s Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) to assist with performance, but the dimensions of the UltraGear 48-inch OLED limits their effectiveness. Even at native resolution, it’s much easier to identify aliasing on the screen because the pixel density goes through the ground in comparison with something like a 27-inch 4K monitor.

Pixelation in Cyberpunk 2077 on the LG UltraGear 48-inch OLED.That grittiness isn’t coming from film grain in Cyberpunk 2077. Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

It is sensible. At TV-esque sizes, you’re speculated to view 4K a number of feet away from a display. Using this monitor as a correct monitor exposes why that’s the case. Text isn’t as clear, Windows scaling needs some adjustments, and high resolutions don’t feel quite as sharp as they need to. There are downsides to a bigger display as a monitor, and pixel density is chief amongst them.

As you may suspect, you possibly can’t adjust the monitor, either. You possibly can’t adjust most TVs, granted, however the stand is smaller and connects to a small sliver on the back of the monitor. It doesn’t feel flimsy, however it doesn’t feel like a correct monitor stand, either. In the event you can, I’d mount the UltraGear 48-inch OLED on a wall with the VESA mounting holes.

Quite a lot of room to play

The Digital Trends logo on the UltraGear 48-inch OLED monitor.Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

The screen is very large and unmanageable for loads of people, however it does wonders for productivity. You’re essentially getting a grid of 4 24-inch monitors, and with Windows Snap Layouts, you possibly can drag windows around to occupy all corners of the screen. The UltraGear 48-inch OLED may look unpractical for day-to-day use, however it’s quite a bit more practical than something just like the Samsung Odyssey Ark (and quite a bit cheaper, besides).

The scale affords some seriously powerful mood lighting, too. You will have two big LED bars across the back of the monitor that supply a soft underglow. Unlike loads of these bias lighting features, the UltraGear 48-inch OLED’s bars get shiny enough that you just don’t have to buy a $15 RGB strip to stay behind the monitor. You don’t have a ton of color options, but you possibly can still arrange 4 static color presets within the menu, in addition to select a cycling effect.

Bias lighting on the back of the LG UltraGear 48-inch OLED.Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

Thankfully, you don’t have to dedicate an additional desk space to speakers with the UltraGear 48-inch OLED. The built-in speakers are incredible, with deep resonant bass, a ton of volume, and clarity within the mids and highs. They’re not on the extent of the perfect PC speakers, but I played through some Destiny 2 and Tales of Arise on the built-in speakers, and I don’t have any complaints.

Most PC gamers use a gaming headset, and the UltraGear 48-inch OLED has you covered there, too. There’s a headphone jack on the front of the monitor, which even supports DTS Headphone: X. I watched a number of movie trailers and played Cyberpunk 2077 with the HyperX Cloud Stinger 2 headset wired up, and I could see myself settling in only effective.

Must you buy the LG UltraGear 48-inch OLED?

A still from a video of a cup of water with mint surrounded by cut fruit on the UltraGear 48-inch OLED.Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

A small touch just like the headphone jack up front is what makes the UltraGear 48-inch OLED a correct monitor, not a TV. Individually, not one of the features justify buying this monitor over a more recent, higher TV in the identical size for a similar price. Collectively, they make using the display as a monitor far more practical.

That functionality is simply bolstered by the wonderful image quality afforded by OLED. There isn’t one other monitor with a standard LED backlight that may hold a candle to what LG is offering here, at the very least when it comes to image quality. It’s no secret that monitors are well behind TVs in technology, however the UltraGear 48-inch OLED balances the scales — even when 48 inches is much too big for most people to feel comfortable with.

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