Samsung Smart Monitor M7 review
- Type: smart monitor
- Screen curve: no
- Matrix Type: VA
- Backlight Type: White-LED
- Diagonal: 32″
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Maximum resolution: 3840 x 2160 (UHD)
- Refresh rate: 60Hz
- Response Time: 8ms (grayscale to gray)
- Contrast (static): 3000:1
- Brightness: 250 cd/m2, typical value
- Coating: Glossy, anti-glare
- Color gamut: 16.7 million colors, 8 bit color depth
- Built-in audio system: two 5W speakers
- Optional: OS Tizen 5.5, support for HDR10, AirPlay 2 and Wireless DeX, Smart TV applications, voice assistant Bixby, Flicker Free technology, built-in power supply (108W), adjustable height and rotation angle of the monitor, support for wall mounting VESA 100×100
- Accessories: monitor, stand bracket, metal stand, remote control, two AA batteries, HDMI cable and USB Type-C, power cord (1.5 m), documentation, quick guide
- Dimensions (with stand): 71.6 x 51.7 x 19.4 cm
- Weight (with stand): 6.5 kg
- Color: black
- Model Index: S32AM700UI
- Price : 370$
“It’s a Smart TV! This is a monitor with AirPlay 2!”, – the reaction to the hero of the review can be varied. Despite the validity of both options, the truth is somewhere in the middle. The manufacturer itself resorts to the phrase “lifestyle monitor”, which does not give a clearer understanding of the positioning. Underneath it hides a lot of useful multimedia and working functions, which will be discussed in this article.
Samsung Smart Monitor M7 is the senior model in the relatively new line of “smart” monitors. Both M5 models received FHD resolution of 27 and 32 inches. Another difference top version is the presence of USB Type-C connector, through which you can connect and charge the device, the port capacity – 65 watts.
Appearance, ergonomics, connectors
From the moment you open the box to turn on the Samsung Smart Monitor M7 – just a few actions and about five minutes of time. The foot of the monitor is inserted into the grooves, then screwed with two screws to the backrest and with one screw to the solid metal stand. There are no problems with assembly, everything is simple here. It should be noted straight away that there are no height regulation and horizontal swivel function, but you can tilt the monitor forward and back within the range of -2 to 22 degrees.
The rear panel is made of textured ribbed plastic, from the point of view of a neat exterior design it’s an excellent solution because you can see absolutely no fingerprints here. The panel is durable, can not be compressed and does not make any noise. In the center of the panel there is a VESA 100×100 standard mount, for such a monitor on the wall or just on the bracket seems to be quite justified.
The front panel does not have any visual or functional elements, except for a small platform with the manufacturer’s logo. On the bottom of it there is a single physical button on the housing, where a combination of long and short pressing can switch the power on, select a connection source and adjust the sound volume. Full control of the monitor is provided by the supplied remote control. And here occurs one of the few ergonomic questions: what if the user loses or breaks the remote control? There is a chance that you can find on sale a compatible solution from one of the Smart TV models, but it is not accurate.
The remote control itself is simple and easy to use, the control is intuitive and logical, and the design is pleasant. The remote control is powered by two thumbtack batteries, they are included in the package.
To the left of the center there is a socket for the power cable, the block is placed in the case and its wire is neatly fastened with a special element on the foot. This is a plus for those who can’t stand superfluous elements and wires on their desktop.
On the right side there are connectors: three USB Type-A for peripherals, one of them is a service connector, on the panel just below there are two HDMI and the aforementioned Type-C. To transfer content in 4K quality and 60 frames per second you need a cable that supports this resolution, not all Type-C is equally modern. When you connect an external device, Samsung Smart Monitor M7 automatically adjusts the image from the incoming video signal, saving the user from having to choose the right item in the settings.
I would call the set of ports adequate, quite enough for both home and office use. There is a subjective point about the design: there is a lack of additional external panel, which would hide and smooth the cutout for connectors in the back of the monitor, as is done, for example, in the gaming model from Xiaomi.
Wireless connectivity protocols
Intelligence comes into play. Users can connect their devices to the monitor out of the box. First and foremost, of course, is Wireless DeX, a wireless variety of software that turns supported Samsung smartphones with One UI 3.1 into a kind of mini-PC with image output to a large display. Except in this scenario, no wires are required: you just need to activate the DeX tile in the smartphone’s quick settings and select Samsung Smart Monitor M7.
When connected, the smartphone can act as a touch pad to move the cursor, you need to activate a separate item in the settings. As with the wired DeX, the monitor will run any of the applications installed on the smartphone, capture screenshots, edit settings – in general, fully work with your smartphone.
After logging into the Samsung account, the voice assistant Bixby, integrated with the Smart Things platform, will also be available, which can be used to control, for example, playback. For Samsung smartphones starting with the Galaxy S8 model, working on Android 8.1 and above, a quick pairing is available, Tap View function, embedded in the mentioned platform, works. You need to bring your smartphone to the frame of the monitor, and the image will be broadcast on a larger diagonal.
Android-smartphone users will be able to natively transfer video from the YouTube-client in a built-in application on the monitor, the speed of switching is pretty fast, as in many Smart TVs. Owners of Apple equipment will not be left out, Samsung Smart Monitor M7 supports AirPlay 2, which allows you to quickly connect a laptop to the monitor and use it as an additional or primary screen. The function also works with smartphones from Cupertino, you can safely display your favorite movie or TV series from Apple TV. Sometimes the pairing with Apple gadgets is even faster than with Android.
Of course, if you want, you can also transfer images via USB via ConnectShare, as well as the available Type-C, in any case the set of wireless options looks cool, it’s likely that users will find the scenario that will be closer and more familiar to them. It’s always good to have flexibility and choice. This blurs the usual understanding of the monitor, and in the best sense.
Display, settings, multimedia
As already mentioned, the Samsung Smart Monitor test model has a resolution of 3840×2160 pixels at a diagonal of 32 inches. Pixels in the VA matrix transmit less light than the same IPS, so black in a dark room looks really like black, does not go into gray. The viewing angle is 178 degrees, it is unlikely that you will often look at such a monitor from the side, at least when testing, I did this solely to evaluate the quality of the matrix. Distortion of the image and colors in such a scenario is present, as well as a slight glow effect.
The official support of color ranges is not declared. The brightness margin is average, for most scenarios it is enough. I will note the lack of glare across the display, this is a plus. In the settings there is a mode of adaptive brightness, adjusting this parameter to the environment. I liked the relatively thin and symmetrical frame on the sides and top, the bottom of the panel is a little thicker, this is expected.
I would like to see the refresh rate a little higher, yes, it is not obvious in the working scenario, but you could take another step in the direction of gamers. So far, the only setting for gaming is the Ultrawide Game View mode, available when connected to a PC or laptop. In it, the image automatically switches to 21:9 format for better coverage of the picture in the game.
In the Samsung Smart Monitor M7 settings there are 5 modes of content display, a visual protection mode, flicker turning off and off timer. The settings are the most basic, in addition to them, you can configure individual sound settings, activate special features, switch the power to economy mode. You can manage the application cache (4 GB available) and diagnose the display yourself.
Installed speakers with a total capacity of 10 watts give adequate sound in terms of volume and frequency spectrum, for work, movies and games is definitely enough. If desired, you can connect Bluetooth headphones, protocol 4.2 is supported. Wired headphones and AUX-devices can not connect, the connector is not provided.
Experience in operation, impressions
Subjectively, the 32 inch diagonal is more than enough for work. It is important to select the right monitor for your workplace, for example, my desktop is not wide enough to comfortably place the monitor at a distance, on the other hand, the 27″ version with UHD resolution is not available. In terms of content display, everything is on a good level: there are no problems with scaling, font rendering or contrast.
Samsung Smart Monitor can be used once the device is connected to Wi-Fi. No settings are required, 10 apps are available by default on the home screen, and several dozen more apps are available in a categorized catalog. Netflix, Kinopoisk, Okko, Spotify and similar services require an active subscription. There is no TV tuner, but in the built-in browser you can go to the website of the TV channel and watch the air, if there is a need specifically for television. Switching between applications is fast, there is a feeling that in the background is kept no more than three applications. Application crashes during the entire test was not.
An additional feature of the monitor is a remote control. That is you can get access to a remote PC, setting up the pairing in advance. Microsoft 365 software is installed for working with files directly in the device memory, so, in fact, you need a monitor, peripherals and network access for two devices, and you can work/study remotely, the relevance of such functionality is hard to overestimate now.
In fact, Samsung Smart Monitor M7 is not quite the usual (at least for me) multimedia and work “combine” with a quality display and wide functionality for home and office, including remote, as well as games, provided that you do not need a higher refresh rate of the screen. A wide range of wired and wireless connection interfaces makes the model curious and relevant to a wide range of users.
Is all this worth 370$? Why not, the bundle works quite decently, a similar form factor fit well in my scenarios, the experience is definitely interesting. It’s all in one, you don’t need any extra gadgets or gadgets, except a webcam for video conferencing. If we solve the remote control issue and add some control buttons to the monitor body, we’ll get a decent option at all. Let’s look at the further evolution of the series, the beginning is not bad.