Samsung M8 smart monitor review

Finally, computers and computer monitors are becoming more consumer friendly and more fun. A large part of this has to do with Apple’s release of the colorful iMac and the new all-encompassing Studio Display. Samsung has certainly taken note with the release of the colorful new M8, which takes over the previous generation M7, adds some extra features, lots of colors to choose from and more.

The M8 is also…much cheaper than Apple’s Studio Display. While the Studio Display is a solid product, it also costs $1,600 — putting it out of reach for many. The M8 is less than half that and retails for $730. Sure, it still isn’t cheap product, but it’s also not unreasonably expensive, at least on paper.

But is the Samsung M8 smart monitor enough to justify this price? After all, the Studio Display isn’t its only competition, and much of the rest of the market is even cheaper than it. I’ve been using the Samsung M8 Smart Monitor for a while to find out.

Samsung M8 monitor

Rating: 4 stars

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advantages

  • Good picture quality
  • All in one
  • Comes with webcam and microphone
  • 4K resolution
  • Lots of smart features

Disadvantages

  • Speakers are just fine
  • Structure could be better

Samsung M8 monitor theme

The Samsung M8 looks very similar to Apple’s new iMac, including the stand that supports it and the larger bottom bezel. It’s not bad at all – and I actually like it. Colors not only make the monitor more interesting, but also more accessible.

Speaking of colors, the monitor comes in a range of colors – including white, green, pink and blue. I review the blue model and it looks great.

The processing of the monitor is not bad at all. It’s mostly plastic but seems generally strong enough for most uses. It’s certainly not as premium in build quality as Apple’s recent monitors, but it’s pretty much on par with the rest of the market.

Samsung M8 angledImage source: Christian de Looper for BGR

There’s one big difference though – the webcam pops up at the top of the display. It doesn’t look bad, but it’s not as seamless as the built-in webcam on the iMac or Studio Display. That said, there are some advantages, like the fact that you can cover it up with the built-in cover and remove the webcam entirely if you need to, as it really just attaches with a USB-C connector and some magnets on the back of the screen.

The monitor itself is 32 inches, which is quite large. Not everyone is going to need a monitor that’s anywhere near TV-sized, but if you like having multiple windows open on the screen at once, like I do, it definitely does the trick.

The stand on the device is also pretty well designed and is more in line with the premium stand that Apple sells for the Studio Display. That means it’s both height and tilt adjustable, meaning you can position it in the perfect position for your needs. Both offer more than enough range than most people need.

Samsung M8 standImage source: Christian de Looper for BGR

The M8 comes with a few different connections on the back, but the selection is somewhat limited. There is a micro HDMI port as well as a USB-C port for connectivity and a USB-C port for hub use. You do get a micro HDMI to HDMI adapter in the box, though, which is handy.

There is also the design of the remote control to consider. The remote makes it relatively easy to control the software on the monitor, and it has quick access buttons to some of the most popular streaming services. It is

Samsung M8 monitor display

The actual display of the M8 also looks great. It’s not quite as sharp as the Studio Display and doesn’t offer quite the same range of viewing angles. But those are things we can easily overlook given the price.

When it comes to specs, the Samsung M8 offers 4K resolution with a 16:9 aspect ratio and 3000:1 contrast ratio. It supports HDR10+ and has a maximum brightness of 400 nits, which is okay but not amazing. The refresh rate is perhaps unfortunately limited to 60 Hz.

Samsung M8 sideImage source: Christian de Looper for BGR

In general, the display looks great. It is not quite as sharp or as colorful as some other options, but the fact that it’s nice, big, and has a 4K resolution means it’s more than good enough for most productivity uses. I love the 32 inch size – it has definitely helped my productivity. And while it’s not quite as contrasty as I would have liked, colors generally looked vibrant and bright.

Hardcore gamers will be a bit disappointed with the 60Hz refresh rate, although the low input lag might make up for that a bit. Most will want a refresh rate of at least 120Hz, although those looking for something that focuses primarily on productivity and just casual gaming will be perfectly happy with what’s on offer.

Samsung M8 monitor software

One of the big differences between this monitor and many others is that it can essentially act as a TV. It has the same software as Samsung’s TVs, Tizen, which means it supports streaming apps and services, Samsung Gaming Hub and more.

In general, if you’ve used a Samsung TV before, navigating Tizen on that monitor is relatively easy. And the monitor offers some smart features that some might find useful. You can install all your favorite streaming apps and services and create your own picture-in-picture view – meaning you can have a Netflix window over your desktop when you’re working. Unfortunately, you cannot have the two different inputs on the display at the same time.

Samsung M8 softwareImage source: Christian de Looper for BGR

The display also supports a few other connected smart features. It has built-in AirPlay 2 and built-in Samsung DeX support. You can even access Microsoft’s cloud office apps without connecting a computer to the monitor, which is pretty handy.

Finally, the monitor supports Samsung’s Gaming Hub, which connects all connected consoles and installed game streaming services. Microsoft just unveiled a new version of its Xbox Game Pass app for Gaming Hub, which means you can stream your Xbox games straight to the monitor without needing a real Xbox. In general, many here see gaming in the future, and after trying it out at an event with Microsoft and Samsung, it seems to be working great.

Samsung M8 monitor webcam

The Samsung M8 comes with a webcam that plugs into the back and is held in place magnetically. The fact that it’s detachable means you can use your own webcam if you want, which is really helpful for those who want a little higher quality.

I wish the webcam was built into the monitor, but being able to cover it and remove it when needed is a nice touch. It just looks a little odd at the top of the monitor, although obviously it’s less intrusive than the larger webcams that many will be used to.

Samsung M8 webcamImage source: Christian de Looper for BGR

Unfortunately, the webcam cannot really be adjusted due to the placement. I wish I could have tilted it down a bit considering the size of the monitor.

However, the actual quality of the webcam is pretty good. It has a resolution of 1080p and while not quite as colorful or vibrant as some more expensive webcams, it’s definitely capable of providing a good webcam experience. Live streamers will probably still want something high-end.

Samsung M8 monitor speakers

The Samsung M8 also has built-in speakers, so there’s no need to use external speakers if you don’t want to. Well, to be safe I still recommend most who want a decent listening experience, but in a pinch these get the job done.

Samsung M8 webcam rearImage source: Christian de Looper for BGR

Perhaps the worst thing about the built-in speakers is that they mostly lack bass, making listening to music not the best experience overall. But for things like video calls and listening to podcasts, the speakers aren’t bad and get pretty loud. Again, those wanting to use the speakers for listening to music will likely want to grab a decent pair of external speakers, but for speech, the monitor’s own speakers are perfectly fine.

Monitor microphone Samsung M8

The microphone quality is quite similar to the speaker quality. That means it’s fine for voice calls and in a pinch, but don’t expect anything beyond that.

But that’s no big deal. Most will use the built-in mic for video chatting — not things like live streaming. However, if you’re using it for live streaming, I recommend turning elsewhere.

Conclusions

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The Samsung M8 is a killer all-round monitor option for those who don’t want to worry about assembling a monitor, webcam, and speakers together for themselves. But even without the webcam and speakers, it’s still a great option, with good picture quality and a design that should look good in any environment. Not to mention the smart features.

The competition

Given that it’s so much more expensive than the M8, it’s hard to consider the Apple Studio Display a true competitor, but those looking for a do-it-all monitor might consider it competition. If you’re deciding between the two, the Studio Display is technically the better option – despite the smaller size and lack of smart features. It offers a better design, better build quality and better image quality. But whether it’s worth the extra money is up to you to decide.

It’s also worth considering the last-gen Samsung M7 monitor, which is quite a bit cheaper while still offering many of the same features as the M8.

Should I Buy the Samsung M8 Monitor?

Yes. It’s an excellent monitor at a good price.

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