I’ve always had a soft spot for curved monitors. They’re just that much more immersive, with the wider view less straining on my peepers. What can I say? I’m getting old. Dammit. So when Dell approached us to review their new Dell 32 Curved Gaming Monitor S3222HG, I said ‘Hell Yeah!’.
Ok, not per se…but you get my drift.
I was all set to get down and dirty reviewing the monitor.
Then doom (or perhaps it was a blessing in disguise) struck.
I got Covid-19 (a pox upon the person who gave it to me!) and had to spend the next 10 days of my quarantine order (which was extended to 20 days) in my room with the brand new monitor.
Guess what I did during that time of blissful, uninterrupted peace?
If you said, tested the hell out of the Dell 32 Curved Gaming Monitor S3222HG…you’re damn right.
What is the Dell 32 Curved Gaming Monitor S3222HG ?
The Dell 32 Curved Gaming Monitor S3222HG is a 31.5″ Full HD (1080p) widescreen monitor featuring a 165Hz refresh rate with a 1ms (MPRT) response time. It’s also capable of sRGB 99% color coverage with high-contrast ratio, comes with AMD FreeSync technology and is packing a curved 1800R screen. The display’s capable of a slight tilt (-5 to 21 degrees) but is otherwise immobile.
The monitor comes with a HDMI DisplayPort 1.2, 2 x HDMI 2.0 ports and an audio jack. Weirdly, the monitor’s completely lacking in USB ports. There’s not even an SD card reader or something extra to make out for that glaring omission.
Finally, all assembled, the monitor weighs a hefty 6.85KG.
With an MSRP of SG$1,079, the monitor is currently on sale for a sweet SG$589 on DELL’s website.
First impressions count and the Dell 32 Curved Gaming Monitor S3222HG makes a great one.
The massive box it came in had me salivating at the thought of the goodies inside! Talk about building anticipation.
That excitement I got from the box quickly turned to regret as I had to lug it up to my attic on my fourth floor, where my workstation is situated. I had to take a break at each level due to the sheer size and weight of it. 6.85KG might be nothing to carry around short distances, but man, it’s hell carrying it up flights of stairs.
I might need to install an escalator or a dumbwaiter or something soon.
Like most monitors nowadays, you’re going to need to apply so elbow grease to put the thing together. It’s not preassembled but it’s nothing too strenuous, so don’t worry if you’re not mechanically inclined.
The components are quite minimal which is good! In the box, you’ll find the monitor, the VESA compatible monitor stand and base, the power cord and a DisplayPort 1.2 cable.
As expected, set-up was a breeze; I took less than 5 minutes to put it together.
Just plug the VESA compatible monitor stand into base plate, connect it into the monitor and you’re ready to go.
WHAM! BAM! Thank you, ma’am.
The VESA quick-release mount is also compatible with VESA compatible wall mounts, monitor arms or multi-monitor stands so it should cater to most setups out there.
It’s pretty generic but I really like the design of the swivel screw. Yeah yeah, it’s a weird thing to note, but I’ve always loved this style of screw, especially whenever I’m assembling monitors.
Dell’s not the first to use this (and probably won’t be the last) but still, kudos! No hassle at all assembling.
Once the monitor’s up and running, the thing that’ll hit you when you take a step back to look at it is how beastly it is! Tall, dark and handsome, with curved edges everywhere. Mmmm…delicious.
It’s sturdy as hell too. I tried to push it over with some force (not too much) and it didn’t even wobble. This could withstand a fair bit of abuse, not that I approve of any…but it’s solidly built, real sturdy!
The Dell 3222HG offers a 1800R curved screen which means that it requires a curvature radius of 1.8meters to form a full circle. Although better than a flat screen, I still had to adjust myself constantly to take everything in. Sitting in the center at my usual distance from a monitor, the edges of the screen go past my visual range.
I would’ve preferred if it was a 1500R or even better a 1000R for a gaming monitor. A flatter monitor, yes, but one that’s easier to see everything at once.
I’ve mentioned earlier how I love the design aesthetics of the monitor so I’m not going to touch on how it looks again. Instead, let’s take a look at the back of the monitor.
A large portion (about a quarter I reckon) of the monitor’s rear comprises of air vents. These massive slits are meant for heat dispersal so that the circuits inside the monitor don’t get BBQed when the temperatures go up.
That’s great news for me!
I don’t really turn off my desktop and its screen, preferring to keep them on standby 24/7. Even so, I don’t really feel the monitor generating much heat when I touch it. Sure, there’ll be the usual warmth radiating from it after using it for a couple of hours…but that’s well within normal tolerances. It’s not like there’s a blast furnace going off every time you use it.
The monitor can be adjusted up and down for it height with a range of 100mm and a tilt angle of -5/+21. However, you will not be able to swivel it left and right. Is it a deal breaker? For some it might be. For me though? Not at all.
Shortcut buttons for OSD menu can be found on the lower right corner of the monitor. You might need to familiarize yourself with the buttons as there aren’t any indicators on the edge. It’s an annoyance as you can’t really tell by feel what button does what. You’re going to need to experiment every time you need to adjust something…not my idea of fun.
I’m mostly a FPS gamer, so games like Overwatch, Counterstrike and Halo are my go to games when I am stressed. You know what’s stressful? Doing a 20 days quarantine while fighting for my life. Yeah, I got hit with Covid-19 pretty bad and was almost warded at one point due to my low oxygen levels!
To take my mind off my mortality, I gamed. I gamed a hell of a lot. I was up all hours of the day and night gaming. Due to that, I’m confident that I put the Dell 32 Curved Gaming Monitor S3222HG through hell…and then some.
First thing I noticed was the image quality and smoother rendering during gameplay. The 165Hz refresh rate, combined with AMD’s FreeSync probably did have a hand in it, though I couldn’t really say one way or another, as I’m packing a RTX 2070 in my rig.
Not the best GPU out, but certainly beefy enough to run everything on 1080p at a game’s maximum settings.
There weren’t any noticeable screen tearing I found (even with V-Sync off or on), judder was non-existent and I didn’t notice any sort of input lag at all.
Colors were sharp and vibrant (with no ghosting or bleeding), especially in games like Overwatch or Roblox! With its cartoony, bright art design, they are great picks to see how the colors look. I didn’t even have to configure or tweak anything at all. Of course… there are other reasons why I picked Roblox. It’s a mean of bonding with my child!
Everything looked great right out of the box!
Dell also utilizes a flicker free bluelight lighting tech in the Dell 32 Curved Gaming Monitor S3222HG. While your mileage may vary, I had to take a break every couple of hours or risk getting a killer headache. I’m not sure if it’s the monitor or my eyes (I do have sensitive eyes so that might be it), so don’t take this as a strike against the machine. Rather, think of it as some friendly advice to rest your eyes every 45 minutes.
It’s a pity that I didn’t have the chance to test the monitor with console gaming. The Xbox Series X and Xbox One X support FreeSync monitors but my Xbox One X was fried by Thor’s lightning as per my last posting which you can read it here.
I did stream a number of Marvel movies from my Disney+ account though.
As compared to my 4K smart TV, the Dell 32 Curved Gaming Monitor S3222HG does seems to be less stellar. The 1080p resolution doesn’t really bring out the best of Marvel’s finest. I mean 1080p is fine if that’s all you have, but for multimedia, 4K really is the standard. The colors do pop though, so that’s a plus in favour of the monitor.
Otherwise, it’s sad to say but the Dell 32 Curved Gaming Monitor S3222HG is going to wow anybody with its movie playing capabilities.
The Bottom Line.
The Dell 32 Curved Gaming Monitor S3222HG is a solid gaming monitor, but one without a lot of bells and whistles. It’s decent for what it does (which is gaming on 1080p) but questionable omissions like the lack of USB port or an SD card reader detract from what it offers.
The point I’m trying to make is that I’m a tad disappointed in the monitor, because it has a ton of unrealized potential. It has great color reproduction and the AMD FreeSync tech is always a plus to have but there certainly could’ve been more thought put into its design.
Minor details like not being able to feel what button is what for navigating the OSD makes all the difference for determining a great monitor and a good monitor. It’s here that the Dell 32 Curved Gaming Monitor S3222HG is sadly found wanting.
Great 1080p gaming monitor but one with a couple of issues.
- Fast refresh rate of 165Hz.
- Vibrant color reproduction.
- FreeSync is a boon.
- Aesthetic design is great.
- No USB ports.
- No SD card reader.
- 1800R screen not optimal for gaming.