Samsung M8 Smart Monitor review: the display ultimatum

Samsung M8 Smart Monitor

MSRP $700.00

“The Samsung M8 Smart Monitor is filled with features, but all of them appear to live in separate worlds.”


  • Works as a sensible TV or a monitor
  • Supports Samsung Gaming Hub
  • Attractive design
  • 65W USB-C power delivery
  • Good SDR image quality


  • Limited HDR performance
  • No VESA mount and limited stand adjustment
  • Webcam features aren’t available on a PC

Samsung is on a mission. It’s a mission to redefine what makes the most effective monitors the most effective, and Samsung’s gambit is to blur the lines between TVs and monitors. That’s what the Samsung M8 is. It’s not solely a monitor or a TV — it’s each.

It’s rife with features bolstered by Samsung’s TV operating system, including Samsung SmartThings, AirPlay, and a magnetic webcam. It looks like the whole package, but generally, the M8 makes you choose from should you desire a monitor or a TV without quite a lot of wiggle room to blur the road between them.

Samsung M8 specs

Screen size 32 inches
Panel type VA
Resolution 3840 x 2160 (4K)
Peak brightness 400 nits
HDR Yes (HDR10+)
Response time 4ms GtG
Refresh rate 60Hz
Curve None
Speakers 2.2-channel speakers
Inputs 1x Micro HDMI 2.0
USB ports 1x USB-C 3.0, 1x USB-C (65W PD)
Adjustments 130mm height, 15 degrees tilt
USB-C charging power 65W
Wireless Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 4.2
Dimensions (WxHxD) 28.1 x 22.6 x 8 inches
List price $730

A splash of Samsung color

A colorful image on the Samsung M8 Smart Monitor.Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

Samsung has made an excellent-looking monitor with the M8. It gives off heavy M1 iMac vibes, with a screen that’s lower than half-an-inch thick and superthin bezels. The most important similarity is available in colours, with Samsung offering Warm White, in addition to the muted Spring Green, Sunset Pink, and Daylight Blue options (the last three include a $30 upcharge). I tested Sunset Pink, and the contrast between the soft pink and textured white backing looks implausible.

You get a height-adjustable stand that matches the colour of the monitor within the box, but it surely only has 130mm of height adjustment, without swivel adjustments, and a negligible 15 degrees of tilt. That’s normally not a giant deal, however the M8 doesn’t have any VESA mounting holes. You may’t use it with a monitor arm without picking up a 3D-printed adapter on Etsy.

The back of the Samsung M8 Smart Monitor.

samsung m8 smart monitor review 18

Across the back of the monitor, you get a mini HDMI connection, DisplayPort over USB-C, and a USB-C port with 65 watts of power delivery. We’re seeing 90W hubs now, but you’ll still give you the chance to hook up something just like the MacBook Air M2 to the Samsung M8 with a single cable.

TV or monitor? You select

The M8 is a TV and a monitor, but switching between those modes isn’t as easy because it could possibly be. You’re getting the Tizen operating system that’s available on Samsung TVs just like the S95B OLED, so you should utilize all your media apps like Netflix, YouTube, Apple TV+ — the list goes on. And resulting from the incontrovertible fact that the M8 has a distant and its own Wi-Fi connection, you should utilize all of those apps freed from a PC.

Samsung TV OS running on the M8 Smart Monitor.Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

That’s great, however the more exciting facets of the M8 lie elsewhere in software. It includes Samsung Gaming Hub, which lets you use cloud gaming services like Xbox Game Pass, Google Stadia, and Nvidia GeForce Now. Like the traditional apps, you should utilize all of those individually from a PC, hooking up a keyboard and mouse or a controller via the monitor’s Bluetooth 4.2 connection.

It also supports Samsung Workspace, should you’re willing to hassle through it. Workspace lets you remotely hook up with a PC, use some Microsoft 365 programs (and only Microsoft 365 programs), and benefit from Samsung DeX if you ought to work off of your phone.

Samsung Gaming Hub on the Samsung M8 monitor.

Picture-in-picture option on the Samsung M8 monitor.

DeX works, but remoting right into a computer or using a Microsoft app is like attempting to run Windows apps on a sensible TV processor; briefly, it’s not good. All the media and productivity apps are a giant selling point of the M8, but I’d take using the apps on a PC any day. The bundled apps are only a bonus.

This isn’t a TV and a monitor. It’s one or the opposite. Although you utilize Samsung Multi-View to see a built-in app and your computer at the identical time, it’s not the most effective experience. Multi-View is laggy, and it’s a hassle to transfer control between windows. Multi-View works, but I wasn’t inclined to apply it to the M8 like I used to be on Samsung’s Odyssey Ark. Still, the M8 supports proper picture-in-picture should you don’t mind your cursor lagging a bit behind.

Taking control of the M8

Remote on the Samsung M8 Smart Monitor stand.Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

The TV/monitor duality of the M8 struggles on the subject of changing settings. You may control the monitor with the included distant, a four-way joystick on the back, or Bluetooth peripherals. Samsung leaned into the TV side of the display, though, so that you don’t have a typical OSD or fantastic control over picture settings just like the Acer Predator X28 offers.

You may still adjust the image, with settings for brightness, contrast, sharpness, etc. My fundamental issue is how long it takes to access these settings. You’ve to navigate to the house screen, go all the way down to settings, tab over to picture settings, and eventually adjust what you would like. A dedicated settings button would go a great distance here, because it takes 30 seconds to even find the setting you ought to tweak.

An ideal picture, but not for HDR

A video of a paintbrush running on the Samsung M8 Smart Monitor.Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

The M8 looks implausible, given you’re not dead set on HDR. It’s higher than budget-bin monitors but still a good bit below the standard of premium 4K displays just like the Dell UltraSharp 32 4K. A giant reason why is color coverage. You get 100% of the sRGB spectrum based on my test results, as you’ll expect from a $700 monitor, but 83% of AdobeRGB and 89% of DCI-P3.

Those are great results, but they’re just wanting providing a real wide gamut for impressive HDR. HDR on the M8 just doesn’t do much, just like cheaper DisplayHDR 400 monitors just like the HP Omen 27c. You’ve solid contrast with the VA panel the M8 uses (2,860:1 based on my testing), however the display never managed to crack the 400 nits ceiling Samsung advertises. I topped out at 396 nits with HDR on.

The screen doesn’t get shiny enough to support HDR, and it doesn’t have a neighborhood dimming feature (much less Full Array Local Dimming just like the Sony InZone M9 offers).

HDR aside, the screen is solid. The darkest parts of the monitor never washed out while I watched YouTube videos and played some Destiny 2, suggesting a worldwide dimming feature. Although the screen can wash out a bit at low brightness, the backlight continues to be strong enough to combat heavily lit rooms. I had no issues with glare even with direct sunlight pouring into the windows in my office and with the backlight cranked up.

The thing is that you would be able to get the identical screen for less. The Dell UltraSharp U2720Q and LG 27UK850-W offer similar image quality for around $150 lower than the Samsung M8 (and so they’re amongst the most effective 4K monitors you may buy). You get quite a lot of extra goodies with the M8, sure, but you may get a monitor with the identical raw image quality for less, or a monitor with higher image quality for a similar price. And that’s very true on the subject of gaming.

Color accuracy isn’t a priority, with the M8 hitting a Delta-E (difference from real color) of just over 1. That’s suitable for video or photo editing, but a calibrated display just like the Asus ProArt PA329CV offers a wider color range for around the identical price.

Gaming on the Samsung M8

Destiny 2 running on the Samsung M8 Smart Monitor.Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

The M8 isn’t a gaming monitor, but Samsung still includes several features tailored toward gamers: Gaming Hub, a dedicated 21:9 ultrawide mode, and a low-latency game mode.

Gaming isn’t great on the M8, though. The apparent hurdle is that the monitor is locked to 60Hz, so you may’t benefit from a high refresh rate like most gaming monitors offer. Playing in 4K at 60 frames per second (fps) continues to be demanding for even the most effective graphics cards, though. I played Destiny 2 and little bit of the recently released Rollerdrome on a PC, and I didn’t have any issues. While 60Hz isn’t ideal, it really works for gaming on a 4K monitor.

Given how some ways you should utilize the M8, it’s disappointing that it doesn’t have a more robust port selection.

The true limitation is available in the port selection. You’ve the alternative between mini HDMI and USB-C, which vastly limits the chances for gaming. You’ll need a USB-C connection in your GPU should you’re using a PC, and HDMI 2.0 should you’re using a current-gen console. Given how some ways you should utilize the M8, it’s disappointing that it doesn’t have a more robust port selection to hook up several devices and toggle between them.

I also tried out Gaming Hub with Xbox Game Pass for a bit, giving Outriders one other go after abandoning it. The low-resolution stream doesn’t look great when blown up on a 32-inch, 4K display, but the actual issue is the Bluetooth connection. You’re locked to Bluetooth 4.2, which feels laggy when combined with the latency cloud gaming already imposes.

The M8’s tricky webcam

A hand installing the webcam on the Samsung M8 Smart Monitor.Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

Outside of all the bundled apps, the opposite killer feature of the M8 is its magnetic webcam. You get one within the box, which attaches on to the back of the monitor through a USB-C pogo connection. It’s completely magnetic, too, so you may throw it on the back of the display out of sight, in addition to store the included metal privacy shield.

It has features like face tracking and auto-framing, but they only work with Google Duo. In reality, the included webcam only works with Google Duo should you’re connecting on to the monitor. Video calls with out a computer is a plus, but it is advisable unhook the webcam from the display and plug it into your PC if you ought to use Microsoft Teams, Discord, or another video chat app. And you may’t use the face tracking or auto-framing in that case.

The back of the Samsung M8 Smart Monitor's webcam.

The webcam on the Samsung M8 Smart Monitor.

The standard is great in a well-lit room, though it tends to get grainy while you turn some lights off. That doesn’t make an enormous difference — an external webcam continues to be the most effective for quality — however the usability hurdles sting. A built-in webcam just like the Dell P2418HZm offers makes a lot more sense so that you don’t must change up your connections to let Windows take control of the webcam.

Our take

The Samsung M8 will likely be the exact monitor that a small group of individuals want. When you want one screen that may pull double duty as a monitor and a TV, there’s nothing else quite like what Samsung is offering.

Most persons are out there for a TV or monitor, though. In that case, the M8 is either too expensive or barely lacking in quality, as the additional smart TV features make up about $100 of its price tag.

Are there any alternatives?

There are a couple of alternatives to the Samsung M8:

  • $4330 Samsung M7 — You get principally every thing you get with the M8 with the M7, including the apps, a 4K resolution, and a 60Hz screen, for $370 less. Nevertheless, the stand is way worse with none adjustments, and also you don’t get the magnetic webcam.
  • $766 Asus ProArt PA329CV — It’s a bit dearer than the M8, but it surely offers much wider color coverage and accuracy for content creators. It also features a 90W USB-C hub.

How long will it last?

Assuming Samsung will proceed updating its TV operating system, you should utilize the Samsung M8 for several years without issues.

Must you buy it?

Yes, but only should you need the varied features the M8 offers. Solely as a monitor, there are higher options for less. The M7 is an awesome alternative, too, assuming you don’t need the webcam and might pick up a monitor arm.

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