LG UltrGear 32GP850-B gaming monitor review
Let's take a closer look at LG's well-priced 1440p 180Hz gaming monitor
The LG UltraGear 32GP850-B is one of the brand’s latest gaming-tailored monitors, offering up a high-performance 32″ Nano IPS panel, solid refresh rates, and variable refresh rate technology for both AMD and NVIDIA systems. The 32GP850-B also delivers excellent picture quality and color accuracy thanks to a 1440p screen resolution and 98% DCI-P3 coverage. Aiding in the removal of annoying screen artifacts, the LG 32GP850-B also boasts a low 1ms GTG response time, overclocking support for a 180Hz refresh rate, and high peak brightness too.
Overall, the latest 32″ 1440p UltraGear from LG looks set to impress almost any type of user. To see how this panel really stacks up, we’ll be running a number of different tests on the 32GP850-B, comparing it to some of the market’s leading alternatives. We’ll be looking at gaming performance, color accuracy, build quality, and panel uniformity – concluding with our thoughts on the value this gaming monitor brings to the table.
In an attempt to forget the whole bribe-gate saga that surrounded LG and this monitor, we’ll be focusing more on performance in this completely unbiased review.
LG UltraGear 32GP850-B monitor: Specifications
- Clear 1440p screen resolution
- High 180Hz refresh rate (Via overclock)
- Low 1ms response time
- Good motion handling
- Poor HDR performance
What's In The Box
The LG 32GP850-B ships in a fairly shallow box that houses the panel and the stand in protective styrofoam packaging. Inside, the monitor and stand are separately packaged, meaning some assembly is required. Luckily, LG has utilized a toolless design that is incredibly intuitive. Simply clip the back of the stand into the monitor and screw the base of the stand into the neck via a simple thumbscrew to begin using it.
The box is fairly basic in design, displaying marketing material and imagery on the exterior. The main specifications can be seen on the outside of the box, alongside some basic branding to complete it.
Alongside the monitor and stand, the following items can be found insider the box:
- LG UltraGear 32GP850-B Monitor
- Powerpack + cable
- HDMI cable
- DisplayPort cable
- USB cable
- Quick Start Guide
- Calibration report
With specifications out the way, let’s take a closer look at the build quality, design, and mechanical features this monitor comes equipped with.
The LG 32GP850-B looks almost identical to aging models within the UltraGear family. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, the lack of variation is a little disappointing. Gripes aside, the LG 32GP850-B is an OK-looking monitor – albeit a little on the plasticky side.
The front panel is characterized by thin bezels and a wide V-shaped stand that certainly gives this monitor a ‘gamey’ styling. The bottom bezel (or chin bezel as some like to call it) showcases the LG logo alongside NVIDIA G-sync branding too – despite the monitor only offering NVIDIA G-Sync compatibility. Red accents can be found underneath the stand and on the rear of the panel to give the 32GP850-B its unique LG look.
Speaking of the rear, there really isn’t a great deal to talk about – apart from the large-ish stand and red ‘halo’ which encompasses the ports. The stand is, again, completely plastic but does offer a cable management solution (or headphone holster?) in the shape of a small hook around halfway up the neck.
Like many of the LG monitors we’ve tested, the build quality of the 32GP850-B feels OK but nothing spectacular. The entire frame of the monitor is plastic – albeit with metal running through the center of the stand. Unfortunately, due to the materials used, the monitor does offer a slightly flimsy feel when tested, with flexing noticeable when putting the panel under pressure.
As far as functionality goes, the stand maneuvers nicely and adjustments feel solid. That being said, despite the panel not offering swivel functionality, it still provides a little bit of wobble when moving the monitor in that direction.
The OSD controls feel well-made and purposeful, however, the overall feel of this panel definitely leans more towards the budget than the premium.
Like most modern gaming monitors, the LG 32GP850-B comes with an anti-glare matte coating with a 3H hardness. Used across many monitors, this particular coating is excellent at mitigating both natural and manmade light sources. Not only does this benefit gamers that play in bright rooms, but it also adds an additional layer of protection to the panel itself.
Unfortunately, this coating does fall victim to marks and dirt – with regular cleaning required.
The bezels for the LG 32GP850-B are neither small nor large. They’re fairly average in size and measure in at around 7-8mm. The bottom bezel – or chin bezel as some call it – is the largest on the monitor and showcases the LG branding and VRR support.
With a screen of this size, 7-8mm bezels are ideal – adding to the general levels of immersion that one feels during gameplay or content consumption.
As far as stand adjustments go, the 32GP85-B does provide adequate functionality. With height, tilt, and pivot options, you should be able to find a comfortable viewing position. Unfortunately, the stand does not swivel. Thanks to the panel’s wide viewing angles, this isn’t overly problematic.
Below are the exact specifications of the stand:
- Forward Tilt – 8 degrees
- Backward Tilt – 24 degrees
- Left Swivel – N/a
- Right Swivel – N/a
- Pivot – 90 degrees
- Height – 130mm
The LG 32GP850 does offer a feature-rich selection of inputs, including USB 3.1, HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort 1.4, and a 3.5mm audio jack. All inputs are positioned at the rear of the panel facing outwards. While this is great for access, it does look a little on the untidy side – especially when you consider the limited cable management that this monitor provides.
A full list of inputs will be listed below:
- 2 x HDMI 2.0
- 1 x DisplayPort 1.4
- 2 x USB Type-A
- 1 x USB Type-B
- 1 x 3.5mm audio jack
- HDCP 2.2
I actually really enjoy both the styling and functionality of the GP850-B’s on screen display. It can be operated via the joystick found directly under the LG logo at the front of the monitor and is incredibly self-intuitive to use. Inside the OSD, all the usual settings are available, including picture, color, presets, and game mode options.
As far as game modes are concerned, users do have the option to adjust the monitor’s response time via the overdrive options. A bunch of additional gaming features can also be found for this monitor, including crosshairs, FPS display, refresh rate overclock, adaptive sync, and more.
A full list of the monitors main OSD features can be found below:
- Game Modes
- Motion Blur Reduction
- Black Stabilizer
- Response Time
Color Accuracy & Picture Quality
Great colors and excellent picture quality are two of the main factors that help create immersion while you’re gaming. Despite the importance of good color, monitor manufacturers don’t always calibrate the color of their panels to what is deemed accurate within specific color spectrums – sRGB/Rec.709 etc.
We like to test each monitor for color reproduction to see how they would perform in color-accurate scenarios.
Here are the results for the LG UltraGear 32GP850-B.
NOTE: The 32GP850-B does come with a ‘Display Quality Assurance Report’ which suggests some form of calibration has occurred in factory.
Like always, we started off the color accuracy testing portion of this review by loading up our colorimeter and running a test right out of the box. Below are the results:
|Preset||White Point||Black Depth||Contrast Ratio||Average ΔE*00||Gamma|
|Out The Box||6188K||0.1405 cd/m²||856:1||2.6||2.2|
|HDR Effect||6351K||0.4803 cd/m²||854:1||5.95||2.19|
Out of the box, I thought the LG performed to a fairly decent standard, offering up a 6188K white point, low 0.14 black depth, and acceptable 856:1 contrast ratio. The average deltaE for the monitor using the sRGB space was 2.6 which, when compared to other monitors, isn’t actually that bad at all. Brightness was set to 254 candelas (more than the recommended for daily usage) and gamma was perfect at 2.2.
I quickly moved on and tested the sRGB emulation mode expecting much better results. White point was increased to 6780K and black depth saw a slight rise up to 0.15 cd/m2. Contrast ratio rose slightly and gamma now measured 2.29. Like most monitors that offer an sRGB emulation mode, the LG 32GP850-B did see a large uplift in color accuracy when switching profiles. The monitor now showcased a 0.91 average deltaE which borders on the acceptable for color-accurate work.
I tested the HDR Effect color preset out of curiosity and overall accuracy was not great. It was easily the worst out of the presets tested, returning a 5.95 deltaE on average when using the sRGB space. Gamma read 2.19 while contrast ratio measured in at 845:1.
Like always, I wasted no time and decided to calibrate the monitor to see how accurate we could make it. I utilized the
It’s worth mentioning at this point that only a few of the ‘Game Mode’ presets allowed for custom RGB values (a requirement to calibrate your panel). Modes such as RTS, HDR, sRGB and so on all blocked altering the RGB settings – with some locking brightness too.
Regardless, we used the “gamer 1” preset and set the Color Temp to ‘Custom’, using the following RGB figures 49/50/48
Here are the results:
|Preset||White Point||Black Depth||Contrast Ratio||Average ΔE*00||Maximum ΔE*00||Gamma|
|Calibrated Profile||6427K||0.1373 cd/m²||873:1||0.22||1.8||2.2|
As you can see, the results after calibration were greatly improved. White balance was now read 6427K while black depth reached a low of 0.13 cd/m2. Contrast ratio stayed around the 870:1 mark and gamma read a perfect 2.2. Best of all, the average deltaE score now read 0.22 (with a maximum deltaE of 1.8). While this isn’t the best we’ve recorded, it is certainly accurate enough to deliver good color reproduction for editing.
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.
Looking at the panel uniformity results for the 32GP850-B, you can clearly see that large portions of the panel are far from uniform. Large portions of the right-hand side of this monitor resulted in an amber score – only just passing the nominal tolerance. Despite this looking quite poor on the surface, actually picking up on this when viewing everyday content is quite rare.
Like most IPS panels, the LG 32GP850-B offered up excellent viewing angles that are on par with the 178/178 degree marketed specificaitons. This makes the LG monitor a great choice for individuals that like to play co-op games or showcase data to a larger group of individuals.
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:
Taking a look at the gamut coverage and volume of the LG 32GP850-B does reveal some disappointing figures. Despite the monitor’s website stating that the panel could reach 98% DCI-P3 and 100% sRGB, that doesn’t seem to be the case for the panel we received. That being said, the 32GP850-B product page does suggest the following – “*DCI-P3 : Typical 98%, Minimum 90%“
Looking at the physical gamut graph, you can clearly see where the LG 32GP850-B exceeds the sRGB spectrum – showcased by the dotted line. We’ve also attached the color gamut graphs for both the DCI-P3 space so you can see exactly where the panel falls short.
Maximum And Minimum Brightness
We ended the color accuracy and picture quality testing by checking the maximum brightness, minimum brightness, and 120 candelas points on this panel. The results are below:
|100% Brightness||425.43 cd/m²|
|14 Brightness||120 cd/m²|
For those who want to use our calibrated color profile, you will find a link below where you can download the zip file.
LG UltraGear 32GP850-B: Gaming Performance & Response
With color accuracy out of the way, it’s time to put the LG UltraGear 32GP850-B through a number of different gaming scenarios to see how it stacks up in pixel response, input lag, and overall responsiveness. Let’s dive straight into it!
Like always, I begin the gaming part of this review by firing up a few competitive titles to see how responsive the panel felt. Of course, gaming is the main focus with this monitor, equipped with a native 165Hz refresh rate (180Hz overclocked), adaptive sync VRR for both AMD and NVIDIA systems, and a low 1ms GTG response time. Additionally, the monitor also comes with a variety of response time overdrive settings and a blur reduction feature as well (only accessible when disabling adaptive sync and having the monitor in its 165Hz native refresh rate). All this combined should lead to a very responsive gaming experience.
I loaded up CS:GO and visually the game looked excellent. I ran the game in the monitor’s native 1440p screen resolution and the graphics looked sharp and immersive. Looking at general motion, I’d have to say that the LG 32GP850-B performed to a high standard. I didn’t really notice any obvious ghosting or smearing, even when switching the overdrive settings off altogether. That being said, using the monitor’s ‘Faster’ overdrive setting did lead to some annoying overshoot artifacts which were noticeable. We’ll be doing a bunch of pursuit camera ghosting tests shortly so you can visualize how this monitor performs.
I wasted no time and fired up a more immersive game to see how the panel performs on a general level. Playing Shadow Of The Tomb was an excellent experience thanks to the good colors and crispy image quality delivered by the 1440p screen resolution. The thin bezels also played a key part in the monitor’s general immersive qualities. Unfortunately, the monitor’s HDR performance was exceptionally poor, not meeting half the requirements needed to deliver a true HDR experience. Furthermore, with a sub 1000:1 contrast ratio, blacks were far from perfect and haloing was definitely noticeable.
So, there you have it, our comprehensive review of the LG 32GP850-B – the brand’s latest 32″ 1440p 144Hz gaming monitor.
Overall, I felt the LG 32GP950-B performed to a pretty decent level when you consider the market’s leading 1440p 144Hz alternatives. Despite the monitor offering a fairly basic design alongside flimsy materials, the 32GP850-B still hits all the right notes when it comes to what’s important – picture quality and gaming.
Thanks to the monitor’s responsive LG panel, the 32GP850-B delivers excellent performance when it comes to motion handling and general image quality. Granted, there were some artifacts when using the monitor’s fastest overdrive setting, but that’s pretty standard across the board in today’s market. Using the monitor’s overclockable 180Hz refresh rate led to incredibly lucid gameplay in both competitive and single-player titles. Unfortunately, the 32GP850-B didn’t offer the best HDR experience, with limited dimming zones and under the necessary 95% DCI-P3 coverage.
Ultimately, it’s hard to knock this monitor as far as performance is concerned. At its current pricing, the LG 32GP850-B offers great value for money and continues LG’s strong UltraGear lineup.
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