AOC AG353UCG 35-Inch Monitor Review
We take AOC's AG353UCG for a spin to see how it stacks up against some of the markets leading contenders!
Over the years, AOC has been well known for providing the market with a flurry of well-priced gaming monitors that seem to prioritize value and budget over high-end specs and general performance levels. However, with the arrival of the AOC AG353UCG, that characteristic was about to change.
The 35-inch, 200Hz gaming monitor arrives as part of the AGON lineup – AOC’s premium range of gaming panels. Alongside a rapid refresh rate, the monitor also offers HDR1000, 2ms resp0nse time, 100%DCI-P3 color accuracy, backlight RGB, and a whole host of other exciting gaming features – such as G-sync Ultimate and full-array local dimming (FALD).
In the following article, we’ll be putting the AG353UCG through its paces to see how it stacks up against some of the market’s leading alternatives. We’ll be looking at color accuracy, panel uniformity, build quality, gaming performance, and overall value for money.
So, with plenty to get through, let’s waste no further time and dive straight into it!
- Very responsive
- Extremely wide color gamut
- Rapid 200Hz refresh rate
- 2ms GTG
- G-sync Ultimate
- Higher end of the price spectrum
- Build quality doesn't feel fantastic
What's In The Box
The AOC AG353UCG comes well packaged inside a sturdy box that showcases the monitor and most of its features (including some marketing shots) around the outside. Inside, the monitor is separately packaged, with the stand and the panel coming disassembled.
The assembly of this monitor is toolless and extremely self intuitive. However, you will need to construct the monitor inside the box, ensuring not to damage the panel upon assembly.
Alongside the panel and the stand, users will find the following items:
- AOC AG353UCG monitor
- HDMI Cable
- USB 3.0 Type A
- User manual
- Kettle Plug
Design And Features
With specifications out the way, let’s take a more comprehensive look at the build quality, design, and mechanical features the AG353UCG comes equipped with.
Starting with the design, the AG353UCG is a little hit and miss for me personally. It offers AOC’s classic red-on-black theme, alongside some cool RGB that is found on the rear and the underside of the panel. AOC has utilized a wide V-shaped stand that contrasts nicely against the 1800R curvature of the panel.
The AGON branding can be found on the bottom bezel of the panel alongside Nvidia’s G-sync ultimate logo. The rear of the panel is where most of the design features lie, with an RGB loop being the main focus. The stand is fairly slender in design and certainly feels that way too – we’ll get onto that shortly. Support aside, the stand looks pretty cool – equipped with a cut out for aiding in the movement of this panel.
Two headphone holders slot into the side of the panel itself, allowing you to seat two sets of headphones on the monitor at any given time The AG353UCG doesn’t offer any cable management solution, making tidiness a little problematic. Furthermore, the monitor itself is definitely on the chunky side. Whilst this is to be expected, it still stands out and makes the panel look quite cumbersome.
As we said in the introduction, AOC isn’t exactly renowned for its stellar build quality. That said, this is one of their premium AGON offerings – it’ll be interesting to see how it differs from the standard AOC line of panels.
My first impressions of the build quality were not good, not good at all. The first thing I noticed was the alarming amount of wobble the monitor experienced. Comparing this to other poor stands – Odyssey G9 & Acer Nitro VG270 – the AG353UCG is the worst of the bunch. There’s a tonne of movement in the stand, something that shouldn’t really be the case with a monitor of this price point. You really need to be using this monitor on a rock-solid desk – if not, you’ll probably experience seasickness after a while.
Moving away from the stand, the rest of the monitor doesn’t feel too bad. The panel itself feels sturdy and scored highly in our robustness tests. Like other AOC monitors, this one also offers a decent amount of plastic – in a bad way.
For me, the build quality isn’t the best. If this was a budget panel, you could forgive it for these small flaws. However, it isn’t – it sits at the higher end of the price spectrum, making the build quality seem even worse.
Like many modern panels, the AG353UCG makes use of an anti-glare coating with a 3H hardness. The matte finish of this panel does a solid job of mitigating both natural and man-made light sources.
The bezels on this monitor were pretty good, coming in at a mere 9mm (top and sides). The bottom bezel was closer to 20mm (as you’d expect), showcasing the AGON branding and Nvidia’s G-Sync logo.
Whilst we’ve already touched upon the robustness and build quality of the stand, we haven’t yet gone over the adjustability it offers. In this department, it actually scores quite well – offering good height, tilt, and swivel functionality.
If you’re the kind of person that likes to view your monitor from different positions, chances are you’ll be utilizing this adjustment quite a lot. Furthermore, as the VA panel inside this monitor doesn’t offer the greatest viewing angles, you’ll want to make use of all the functionality this stand provides.
Below are the full adjustments available with this particular panel:
- Forward Tilt – 5 degrees
- Backward Tilt – 21.5 degrees
- Left Swivel – 32 degrees
- Right Swivel – 32 degrees
- Height – 120mm
AOC has equipped this monitor with a decent amount of input/output options, allowing you to link any number of devices and peripherals to the screen itself. Display inputs include 4 x USB 3.1 ports, 1 x HDMI 2.0, 2 x DisplayPort 1.4, and 3 x 3.5mm audio ports (headphones, line-in, line-out).
See specifications for a full list of this monitor’s inputs
Lastly, we have the on-screen display. Like the other monitors within the AGON family, the AG353UCG comes equipped with a joystick for navigating the On-screen display – thank god. It also comes with a handy little keypad for navigating the OSD in case you find the joystick problematic.
Controls aside, the OSD itself has a tonne of options to customize. Alongside your generic luminance, contrast, color, and preset settings, users can also set their game presets as well. With the option to enable the overdrive feature, alongside bespoke G-Sync controls, gamers will be happy with the number of options that are available.
Panel RGB can also be altered in the ‘Light FX’ settings – with all the usual suspects on offer here too. This panel also comes with a tasty pair of speakers, with volume and DTS options available in the OSD.
The design of the OSD hasn’t changed a great deal from the other AGON monitors we’ve tested – but that’s not a bad thing, it pretty much covers everything you could want.
Color Accuracy & Picture Quality
Alongside the gaming features this monitor offers, AOC has also advertised an extremely wide color gamut too. Whilst this isn’t necessary for gaming, it definitely adds to the immersion and is great for individuals who want to do color accurate work.
In the following section, we’ll be testing the AC353UCG for color accuracy, picture quality, panel uniformity, and luminance.
|Preset||White Point||Black Depth||Contrast Ratio||Average ΔE*00||Gamma|
|Out The Box - Color Temp Normal||6410K||0.073 cd/m²||1643.3:1||1.86||2.17|
|Game Preset - FPS||6492K||0.2961 cd/m²||1958.9:1||1.94||2.13|
|Game Preset - Game Mode Racing||6499K||0.2875 cd/m²||1957.3:1||2.23||2.05|
|Color Profile - User||6469K||0.0725 cd/m²||1584.8:1||1.8||2.07|
We started off by performing a quick out the box, which for this monitor was ‘normal’ color temperature, Game mode off, and SDR colors sRGB enabled. As you can see from the results above, the pre-calibrated color presets for this monitor were OK, but nothing spectacular. The out the box settings offered a decent white point (6410K) alongside an equally acceptable 0.073 black depth. Contrast ratio was way below the advertised 2500:1, coming in closer to 2000:1 instead. Average deltaE out of the box was Ok at 1.86, but for a monitor of this price point, you probably expect a little bit better.
We moved onto a gaming preset next, choosing FPS as our starter. Results were very similar to that of the out the box – which is unusual considering most manufacturers like to saturate their gaming presets. With a deltaE of 1.94, color accuracy in this game mode was quite good – considering the circumstances. Equal white point and black depth were recorded to that of the out the box settings, with gamma resulting in a 2.13 score.
We tested two further game modes after this, one being racing mode in normal color temp and a final test in cool color temp. As you’d exect, Cool offered us the worst of the results, resulting in a blueish hue at all times. Game mode racing wasn’t a great deal better, but white point was perfect at 6499K. A black depth of 0.287 did seem quite high and contrast ratio was punished as a result. Average deltaE for both presets came in at 2.03 and 2.23 which, whilst not amazing, are not the worst we’ve tested.
|Preset||White Point||Black Depth||Contrast Ratio||Average ΔE*00||Maximum ΔE*00||Gamma|
|sRGB Indepth||6485K||0.0553 cd/m²||2167.9:1||1.8||3.15||2.08|
|Calbirated User Profile||6476K||0.0772 cd/m²||1550.3:1||1.38||3.64||2.21|
We wasted no time and decided to run a more comprehensive test on the most accurate color profile the AG353UCG offered. For this particular test, we used game mode in off and sRGB colors in the monitor settings. As you can see, the results were not that bad. White point was solid as was black depth – resulting in the best contrast ratio from any monitor we tested. Average deltaE was also acceptable at 1.8 – with a maximum deltaE of 3.15, respectively.
Calibrating the monitor did require a bit of tweaking, but eventually, we ended with game mode OFF and color temperature set to USER – with RGB values set to 49/45/50.
Calibrating the monitor did lead to better results, but nowhere near what I would have liked. Whilst white point was perfect and black depth was low, the contrast ratio still took a hit, dropping to 1550:1. The average deltaE did come down to 1.38, but that is still much less accurate than you would expect after calibration. Furthermore, with a max deltaE of 3.64, I felt very underwhelmed with the results we recieved.
Panel uniformity is a test we run to check how uniform the luminance and colors are across the entirety of the screen. During this test, the center square is used as the reference space. Every other square is then tested to see how far it differentiates from the reference.
In an ideal world, we want every square to be green, meaning it hasn’t broken the differential threshold – something we can set at the start of the test.
Note: results will differ from panel to panel.
As far as panel uniformity goes, the AOC AG353UCG performed to a very high standard. As you can see from the image above, almost every quadrant resulted in a green score (equal to or below 10% deviation from the reference square). There was one square that resulted in a red score (poor) which was found on the left-hand side of the panel. Whilst this does feel a little peculiar, it’s perfectly normal for a monitor of this size.
Around the corners the panel uniformity did falter a little, but nothing too much where you can physically see the difference when viewing gaming or movie content. Overall, you’d have to give the AG353UCG a pretty good score when it comes to panel uniformity.
The viewing angles on the AOC AG353UCG were pretty good. Viewing this panel from obscure angles (60 degrees+) was perfectly acceptable. Despite the panel experiencing some color shift, it was nothing too off-putting.
You could easily use this monitor for co-op gaming and multi-person viewing – with no real downsides to doing so.
As part of the calibration process, the DisplayCal will give an accurate measurement of the color gamut the monitor can provide. Below are the results of the color gamut test:
Looking at the color coverage of the AOC AG353UCG and, despite it not living up to the advertised figures, it’s still very good when compared to some of the markets leading gaming panels. Let’s not forget, this monitor is geared towards gaming – often with color being compromised for speed and response. Having said that, we recorded 126% of the sRGB color space, 87% of the Adobe RGB space, and just shy of 90% DCI-P3.
As you can see from the graph above, the AG353UCG far exceeds the color space of sRGB. For that reason, I wanted happily recommend this monitor for color-accurate work within that specific spectrum. Remember though, if you are interested in purchasing this screen, I would also recommend getting a colorimeter to iron out the colors beforehand.
Maximum And Minimum Brightness
We ended the color accuracy and picture quality testing by checking the maximum brightness, minimum brightness, and 120 candelas level on this panel. The results are below:
|120 Brightness||120 cd/m²|
AOC AG353UCG: Gaming Performance
So, with color accuracy and picture clarity out of the way, it’s time to put the AC353UCG through a few gaming scenarios to see how