AOC AG493UCX Monitor Review
A more comprehensive look at the behemoth that is AOC's AG493UCX gaming monitor - a 49inch super ultrawide that ticks a lot of the right boxes.
Monitors have been increasing in size and speed for years now, with the latest gaming monitors boasting impressive specs that provide new levels of immersion and fluidity. The AOC AG493UCX fits nicely into this category, sitting at an eyewatering 49inches yet still providing a quick 120hz refresh rate alongside a low 1ms (MPRT) response time.
The massive curved (1800R) monitor also brings a DQHD (Dual QHD) screen resolution to the table – effectively two 27″ 2560 x 1440 monitors stuck together. That not only gives you an absolute tonne of desk real-estate but also offers a significant uplift in picture quality over 1080p alternatives. A VA panel sits at the heart of this monitor, equipped with VRR support for both G-sync and FreeSync.
Offering up a wide color gamut – said to be in the region of 90% DCI-P3 – alongside a 3000:1 contrast ratio and 550 nits of brightness – this monitor seems to tick all the right boxes. We’ll be putting all the specifications of this monitor to the test, including color accuracy, picture quality, and gaming performance, concluding with our thoughts on the AG493UCX’s value.
So, with plenty to get through, let’s waste no further time and dive straight into it!
- Large screen real-estate
- Very immersive experience
- Quick 120Hz refresh rate
- Low 1ms MPRT
- Good value for money
- On the expensive side
- Poor HDR performance
What's In The Box
The AOC AG493UCX comes in a massive box – no surprises there. The 49inch monster is well-packaged and seperate from the accessories box and stand. Unboxing the monitor can be a little troublesome, requiring two people to do so in a safe manner.
This monitor is not a tool-less design – four screws need inserting at the rear of the monitor to attach the stand securely. That being said, it’s a fairly easy process and does add extra robustness to this panel’s design.
Below is a comprehensive list of everything users will find inside the AG493UCX box:
- AOC AG493UCG monitor
- HDMI Cable
- USB 3.0 Type A
- Remote control
- User manual
- Kettle Plug
- Calibrated Color Documents
Design And Features
With specifications out the way, let’s take a more comprehensive look at the build quality, design, and mechanical features the AG493UCX comes equipped with.
The first thing that strikes you about this monitor is just how expansive it is. Users that are familiar with the Samsung 49inch G9 might think these two monitors are the same size – however, that is not the case. The less 1800R curve adds a tonne of additional length to this monitor, making it much larger.
That said, it is an impressive monitor, sporting all the premium features you could want from a monitor of this price point. The panel itself is a sleek shape with a matching ‘V’ shaped stand that is finished in a glossy gunmetal grey. The bottom bezel plays host to a brushed aluminum finish, with the AGON logo proudly displayed in the centre.
Moving to the rear of the monitor and, despite its size, this thing is actually quite thin by design. Comparing it to the likes of AOC’s AG353UCG, this panel offers a much thinner side profile – only further adding to the premium feel of this display. The rear of the panel is fairly basic, not really offering too much in terms of design features. AGON’s logo can be seen once again at the top of the stand – and that’s about it. No lighting, no etchings, just a clean design that I feel many will enjoy.
Often with monitors of this size, build quality can be a little hit and miss. That being said, the AG493UCX seems to be pretty rock solid.
The most important factor (with a monitor of this size) when it comes to build quality, is the stand – and thankfully, the AG493UCX offers a great stand. It is completely metal by design and offers a robust and sturdy base for the panel to sit. Granted, there are some wobble issues, but overall, the stand feels pretty good.
The panel itself feels excellent and scored highly in our robustness tests – especially the rear that houses the more vulnerable components of the display. There didn’t seem to be any flimsy plastic used, with all fittings being well secured and tightly finished – if that makes sense. The dual-stage bezels feel robust and the bottom bezel looks extremely premium – albeit made from plastic.
Ultimately, from a build quality standpoint, there isn’t much this monitor does wrong.
Like most modern panels, the AOC AG493UCX comes equipped with an anti-glare coating with a matte finish – providing excellent protection against glare during daylight hours. Despite the panel coating doing a superb job of mitigating both manmade and natural light sources, the AG493UCX will always suffer from some level of glare if near powerful light sources.
The bezels on the AOC AG493UCX are dual-stage and offer an almost borderless design. Whilst they aren’t the thinnest we’ve ever tested, they are relatively thin when compared to the enormity of this display. The top and side bezels measure in at 11mm, whilst the bottom bezel measure in at 23mm.
As we mentioned earlier, the stand on this monitor is extremely robust and provides great stability to this huge monitor. As far as adjustments go, the AG493UCX is more versatile than you might imagine. With tilt, height, and swivel adjustments, you’ll easily be able to find the perfect viewing position with this display.
Unfortunately, and unlike other monitors within the AGON range, this monitor does not come with a carry handle. Whilst we attributed this to the massive size of the panel, after doing some tests, we concluded that it would have probably benefitted from such a feature.
Below are the full adjustments available with this particular panel:
- Forward Tilt – 5 degrees
- Backward Tilt – 15 degrees
- Left Swivel – 15.5 degrees
- Right Swivel – 15.5 degrees
- Height – 100mm
Like many of the monitors within the AOC range, the AG493UCX offers a tonne of input options – making this a great option for individuals that like to pair multiple devices to a single panel.
The inputs are all located at the rear of the monitor and need inserting in a verticle fashion – as per usual.
See specifications for a full list of this monitor’s inputs
Lastly, we have the on-screen display. I often criticize AOC for having poor OSD controls and, unfortunately, that is the case here. AOC has actually implemented joystick controls on many of the newer panels – however, that is not the case here.
Underneath the bottom bezel, users will find 5 buttons that operate the OSD and its menus. Like other monitors that utilize a similar OSD system, actually navigating the OSD menus on the AG493UCX is like trying to unravel the mysteries of the universe. It’s quite confusing and often you end up exiting the menu completely – which gets real annoying when you’re testing several different presets.
Navigation aside, the AG493UCX does offer plenty of performance-tailored options that make the overall viewing experience much more enjoyable. Whether you’re looking to up the pixel response speed via the overdrive/ MBR settings, or just want to add a crosshair to your game, the AG493UCX really does offer most settings you might 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 feeling of immersion and is great for individuals who want to do color accurate work.
In the following section, we’ll be testing the AC493UCX for color accuracy, picture quality, panel uniformity, and luminance.
|Out The Box
|Game Mode FPS
|Game Mode Gamer 1
|Game Mode Gamer 3
Like always, we tested the AC493UCX straight out of the box to see how accurate the panel was right off the factory line. For this monitor, no game mode was set, color temperature was ‘Warm’, and luminance was cranked up to 100 – roughly 459 nits of brightness. We immediately reduced the luminance to around 120 candelas and ran a short test. The results weren’t as bad as I expected. The white point was OK (6993K) and black depth was what you’d expect from a monitor of this caliber (0.18). The contrast ratio was below the advertised 3000:1 and gamma was a little high 2.42. An average deltaE of 2.87 was recorded in this preset, making it not suitable for color-accurate work.
We tested the pre-calibrated sRGB mode next – a preset AOC says should be accurate to 0.77 DeltaE. Like most AOC monitors, putting the AG493UCX into sRGB preset would lock the contrast and luminance values. We tested this specific preset and results were decent. The white point was a little high (6948K) and black depth was good at 0.153. The contrast ratio did take a little hit (2316:1) but average deltaE was much better, averaging 0.91. Gamma sat at 2.2.
We went on to test three separate gaming modes (FPS, Gamer 1, and Gamer 3), all of which were not as accurate as the sRGB spectrum – to be expected. All three presets had a high white point of over 7000K, with Gamer 1 having the worst 10,207K. Remember, these presets aren’t necessarily meant to be accurate, they are tailored to specific game modes only. FPS had a slight blueish hue and looked OK in games like CS:GO and COD. Gamer 1 was a much warmer preset, offering a little more vibrance than both FPS and Gamer 3. The last gaming preset, gamer 3, was much cooler in comparison, giving you a blueish preset that looks OK in racing games.
|Calbirated User Profile
We wasted no time and decided to run a more comprehensive test on the most accurate color profile the AG493UCX offered. For this monitor, we used the sRGB preset. As you can see, the results were pretty good. White point was a little high – as was black depth (0.2643). That being said, average deltaE over the larger test was 1.09 – good enough for most color-accurate work within the sRGB color spectrum. A maximum deltaE of 4.44 was recorded, meaning some colors were noticeably offer what is classed as ‘True’.
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 50/42/44.
As always, calibrating the monitor lead to much better results across the board. White balance was just below ideal (6381K) with black depth offering a very respectable 0.08 score. Contrast ratio, however, was massively below the expected 3000:1, coming in at 859:1. Average deltaE was now 0.5, with a maximum deltaE of 2.36 – making the calibrated profile excellent for color-accurate work within the sRGB spectrum.
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.
From a panel uniformity standpoint, the AG493UCx performed to an extremely high standard. As you can see from the graph above, almost every quadrant returned a green result – offering excellent uniformity when compared to the reference quadrant. There was a slight falter in the top-right and bottom-right corners, but nothing too substantial. When compared to other monitors of this size, the AG493UCX performs to an exceptionally high level.
The viewing angles on the AG493UCX were what you would expect from a VA panel. Overall, better than TN but not as good as IPS. Whilst you can still view this monitor from obscure angles, you do start to see some pretty aggressive color shifts and brightness drops after around 45 degrees.
That said, this monitor is huge and could easily accommodate two to three people.
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 AG493UCX, we were pretty pleased with the results it offered. As per the specs, this monitor should offer around 121% sRGB and 90% DCI-P3. As you can see from the results above, the monitor exceeded the sRGB spectrum by 4%, coming in at 125.4% sRGB (99.3% total coverage).
DCI-P3 was slightly below advertised, resulting in 88.8% DCI-P3 volume – equal to 85.9% coverage. Whilst DCI-P3 was a little behind what we were expecting, this monitor still sits highly in this particular category – showcasing great potential for any color-accurate users.
As you can see from the graph above, the AG493UCX far exceeds the color space of sRGB. For that reason, I would happily recommend this monitor for color-accurate work within that specific spectrum. With the pre-calibrated sRGB preset, you could easily get away with using that for less-important work. However, if you want a truly accurate experience, be sure to calibrate the monitor with a colorimeter.
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:
AOC AG493UCX: Gaming Performance
So, with color accuracy and picture clarity out of the way, it’s time to put the AC493UCX through a few gaming scenarios to see how it performs in both single-player and fast-paced competitive titles.
Let’s start off with the latter. The AOC AG493UCX surprised me when it came to competitive games – mainly because the 120Hz refresh rate wasn’t nearly as sluggish as I thought it might be. Playing games like CS:GO and COD actually felt pretty fluid. Now, don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t like playing on a high-end 240Hz gaming monitor, but it certainly wasn’t a terrible experience. I didn’t really experience that much smearing or trailing, with general gameplay feeling pretty smooth for the most part. We played around with numerous settings within the OSD trying to find the perfect balance between picture clarity and responsiveness, but the menus soon became confusing – with various options becoming unavailable in bespoke situations. For example, using the MBR (Motion Blue reduction) feature required both game mode and adaptive sync to be DISABLED, something that the average user may struggle to discover. We tampered with the various overdrive settings to improve pixel response time and ‘medium’ seemed to be the best of both worlds, providing minimal overshoot alongside excellent picture clarity. Ultimately, I was surprised with how smooth competitive games felt. And thanks to modern games now widly supporting the 32:9 aspect ratio, finding a title to play wasn’t a difficult process either.
Moving onto some single-player titles and the experience was absolutely fantastic – providing a feeling of immersion that simply couldn’t be replicated by smaller alternatives. We cranked up the HDR and played Shadow Of The Tomb and battlefield V – both of which were a joy to experience. Your perceived field of view is massive on this 49inch screen – providing a panoramic view of your surroundings that borders on the seriously impressive. The colors on both games popped and HDR did add a little to the equation – albeit only limited. The AG493UCX does offer HDR400 certification – the base level VESA HDR – adding small amounts of detail to both dark and bright spots. Furthermore, with that attractive 1800R curve, you really did feel connected to your world.
The AG493UCX also offers a PBP feature that allows you to effectively split the screen and have two devices running simultaneously. This was particularly useful when multi-tasking, giving you the feeling of a dual monitor setup without the annoyance of bezels ruining your viewing experience. With decent colors that cover almost 100% (99.6) of the sRGB color spectrum, I’d also score this highly for individuals that like to edit video or photos. The huge desktop real-estate allows you to multi-task on a massive scale, all with the stunning picture clarity that comes with 1440p screen resolution.
Overall, the performance of this monitor surprised me. Not only did it exceed my expectations in competitive games, but it also blew me away in more immersive titles like Flight Simulator and racing games.
So, there you have it, our complete rundown of the AOC AG493UCX 49″ gaming monitor. The only real question left to answer is whether or not we feel this panel is worth the cash. And for me, I can conclusively say yes, I think it is.
If you’re in the market for a massive monitor that offers a great gaming experience alongside good colors and an immersive gaming experience, there are few monitors to choose from. Any of the newer alternatives usually retail for north of $1000, making the AOC AG493UCX pretty good value for money. It currently retails at $899 and doesn’t really do that much wrong.
As we said earlier, it offers an extremely immersive viewing experience that is fantastic for single-player titles, media consumption, and movies. Furthermore, it offers the screen real-estate to perform even the highest levels of multi-tasking. Despite this monitor not being tailored towards competitive games, we also found that it provided a great experience in such titles. Pixel response time felt snappy and overall gameplay was pretty fluid.
So, my final impressions of this monitor are extremely positive. Whilst it might not go toe-to-toe with the Samsung G9 – in terms of specifications – it certainly offers a tonne of value for those that want the G9 experience at a reduced price.
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