When it comes to 34-inch 1440p ultrawide screens running at gamer-friendly refresh rates, it feels like we’ve seen it all before. So, the Huawei MateView GT has its work cut out standing out from the crowd and brushing off existing favourites, like the MSI MPG Artymis 343CQR (opens in new tab). There’s plenty of competition.
Of course, Huawei absolutely has the resources to come up with something special, and the £499 MateView GT (opens in new tab) is definitely not a cookie cutter monitor. It does things differently. For starters, its design and engineering are on a different planet. It's so much better built than your average all-plastic gaming monitor, with its lush alloys, integrated sound bar, and funky RGB lighting.
Not that those things are exactly central to a good gaming experience. But at least they haven’t pushed up the pricing. The MateView GT with soundbar tips the scales at an appealing £499 in the UK (for now, it's not available in the US, probably for reasons). Whatever, arguably more important are the panel specification and performance. Here, it’s mostly good news, too.
As per the usual 34-inch refrain, we’re talking 3,440 by 1,440 pixels and a 21:9 aspect ratio. Like many competing panels, the MateView is curved, in this case with a 1500R radius. That’s not as extreme as the crazy 1000R curve of the aforementioned MSI MPG Artymis 343CQR, but you definitely notice it.
Panel size: 34-inch
Panel technology: VA
Native resolution: 3,440 x 1,440
Aspect Ratio: 21:9
Refresh rate: 165Hz
Response time: 4ms GtG
Colour: 90 percent DCI-P3
Brightness: 350 cd/m2
Video Inputs: DisplayPort 1.2 x1, HDMI 2.0 x2
Other: AMD FreeSync Premium
Price: £499 (opens in new tab)
As for panel tech, this is a VA model. With that come the usual pros and cons versus the IPS alternative. On the upside, the claimed contrast is a stellar 4,000:1, the best we’ve seen for static contrast on any LCD monitor and miles better than the usual 1,000:1 or 1,300:1 of typical IPS monitors. It's way better, even, than the 2,000:1 of a new class of IPS panels that have recently been announced.
It bodes well for HDR performance given this panel doesn't have a fancy miniLED backlight. The Huawei MateView GT does support HDR10 signal processing but doesn't have local dimming of any kind. However, that level of inherent panel contrast promises better-than-average HDR performance for screens without dimming, even with a brightness rating of 350 nits. We'll see. For the record, Huawei pegs the MateView GT’s colour accuracy at 90% coverage of the DCI-P3 digital cinema space. Which is OK, but certainly nothing special.
The downside of VA, often enough, is pixel response. Huawei claims 4ms, which is a tad tardy in a gaming context. However, on-paper pixel response specs rarely tell the whole story, so hold that thought. Meanwhile, the MateView's refresh rate tops out at 165Hz. While that's nothing special in this age of 360Hz-plus panels, it's also enough for all but a small fringe of gamers who need the absolute lowest possible latency.
Anywho, the proof as ever is in the viewing. No question, this is a great looking panel when it comes to colours and contrast. It's plenty punchy enough, and it's also very contrasty for a panel with no local dimming. Indeed, this is about as good an HDR experience as you'll get without a trick miniLED backlight.
That said, the colour balance and contrast of SDR content in HDR mode is a little skewed (a very common issue with monitors offering basic HDR support), so it's not viable to leave the MateView in HDR all the time.
What about those response numbers, then? Huawei provides four levels of user-configurable overdrive in the OSD menu. It can also be turned entirely off. None provide pixel response performance that we're totally happy with. Level two and below is pretty blurry. The fastest setting, level four, is certainly sharper, but also comes with some fairly nasty overshoot and ghosting. Level three has a bit of blur and a whiff of overshoot, but is probably the best compromise.
There's no getting away from the fact that pixel response is not this display's strongest point. However, when you're actually in-game, as opposed to forensically inspecting test animations and jiggling windows about looking for issues, it's actually pretty tolerable.
It all depends on where your priorities are. These kinds of displays aren’t cheap, but even then you're going to have to make compromises. There are faster panels in this segment, including that MSI monitor we've already mentioned. But then you'll probably have to give up something else, such as the MateView's outstanding contrast, or the lush build quality, and megabucks looks.
Wrapping things up, it's worth noting a couple of other minor issues. The quality of the audio from the slick-looking sound bar is, as it turns out, rubbish. It's muddy and flat with little to no stereo separation. The MateView can be had without the bar, but then you’d miss out on the RGB lighting strip that also doubles as a touch panel for controlling various functions. It's irrelevant to gaming, really, but it does add a certain feel-good factor to the overall ownership proposition.
On the connectivity front, along with DisplayPort and HDMI, there’s also a USB-C interface with power delivery and hence support for a single-cable setup with a laptop. Or at least that would be true if the power delivery wasn’t limited to a measly 10W. That’s not enough to keep a thin-and-light laptop properly juiced, let alone a portable gaming beast.
Overall, the Huawei MateView GT isn’t a slam dunk as a pure gaming panel. The mediocre pixel response sees to that. But as an all-round, do-everything screen that looks great in both image quality and styling terms, it's got a lot going for it, especially when you consider the competitive pricing.
We like, then, albeit with some caveats.