Samsung M8 vs Studio Display: In-Depth Monitor Comparison

Thinking of splurging on a premium monitor that looks as great as it performs? Apple and Samsung have compelling new offerings that should be on your shortlist.

The sleekly designed Apple Studio Display pushes the boundaries of image quality with a striking 27-inch 5K Retina panel. Meanwhile, Samsung‘s aptly named Smart Monitor M8 adds nifty quality-of-life features to a sharp 4K display. Both command premium price tags in line with their premium experiences.

But which pro-level monitor gives you better value? I‘ve tested and researched both displays extensively to break things down into an easy-to-understand feature comparison. Let‘s dive in!


First, some context on why Apple and Samsung launched these new monitors in early 2022.

Apple was aiming to replicate the success of its niche-dominating Pro Display XDR – a 6K reference monitor aimed at professionals that sells for $4,999. The Studio Display distills down high-end capabilities into a more compact and affordable package. It launched alongside the Mac Studio desktop to provide a complete ecosystem for creative pros.

Samsung took a different approach with the M8 Smart Monitor – integrating premium display tech with smart TV and smart home control features. The focus seems to be on versatility beyond just great visuals. Samsung also wanted to make a splash in the monitor space similar to how their TVs rule the roost globally.

Both displays generated plenty of buzz upon launch. Let‘s examine how they compare based on all key aspects beyond just their slick designs and branding.

Display Quality and Panel Specifications

Let‘s kick things off by looking under the hood of the two displays:

SpecificationSamsung Smart Monitor M8Apple Studio Display
Screen Size32 inches27 inches
Aspect Ratio16:916:9
Resolution3840 x 21605120 x 2880
Pixel Density140 PPI218 PPI
Panel TypeVAIPS
Refresh Rate60 Hz60 Hz
Response Time8ms14ms
Contrast Ratio2500:11300:1
Peak Brightness400 nits600 nits
Viewing Angle178° (H) / 178° (V)178° (H) / 178° (V)
Color Gamut95% DCI-P3P3

Size is a matter of user preference – some may prefer the expansive 32-inch real estate of the M8 while portability-focused users might enjoy the Studio Display‘s smaller footprint.

The Apple monitor pulls far ahead when it comes to resolution and pixel density. At 218 PPI, images and text look beautifully sharp, optimized for 4K and 5K content. The Samsung M8‘s lower 140 PPI appears more pixelated in comparison.

Interestingly, Samsung uses a VA panel here while Apple opts for IPS – two of the most popular display technologies. VA panels offer better contrast ratios but IPS excels at off-angle viewing and color accuracy. This contributes to some of differences we see in brightness and color gamut support.

So if visual finesse is your priority, the Studio Display‘s 5K IPS panel is better suited than the M8‘s 4K VA screen. But during daily use, most users would still find the M8‘s display quality perfectly adequate, especially at this price.

Apple Studio Display vs Samsung Smart Monitor M8 compared

The Samsung M8 goes bigger while the Apple Studio Display prioritizes pixel density

(Image credit: Samsung)

Both monitors have a 60 Hz refresh rate which is standard at this price segment. That allows for smooth gaming and video playback rather than super-fast 144 Hz+ speeds needed for high fps competitive gaming.

When it comes to high dynamic range (HDR) though, the Samsung M8 supports HDR10 content processing for richer contrast and an expanded range of color palettes. The Apple Studio Display monitor lacks any kind of HDR support unfortunately.

Connectivity Options

The Samsung M8 pulls ahead when looking at wired ports and wireless connectivity.

For wired video input sources, the M8 gives you both USB Type-C and a micro HDMI port. This allows compatibility with a wider variety of laptops without needing any adapters. The Apple Studio Display has more USB-C ports at 4, but lacks HDMI entirely.

The Samsung M8‘s USB-C port also supports display input and lets you connect external drives or accessories. The Apple monitor‘s USB-C ports can only transmit video signal and provide host power charging – you cannot hook up hard drives or other peripherals to them directly.

And here‘s where Samsung‘s smart monitor capabilities shine through. The M8 packs built-in Wi-Fi 5 and Bluetooth 4.2 integration. This means you can access cloud gaming services or stream apps wirelessly without taking up the physical video input ports. Network connectivity also enables seamless casting from your mobile devices via AirPlay 2 support.

The Apple Studio Display requires you to plug in via a Thunderbolt 3 cable for both video and power. Wireless features are completely missing here with no Ethernet, Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.

So while hardcore Mac setups usually rely on Thunderbolt anyways, the Samsung M8‘s connectivity options give you more flexibility. Mobile warriors and multi-device households benefit greatly from hassle-free wireless casting and smart TV capabilities.

Built-in Webcam, Microphones and Speakers

Here Apple redeems itself by integrating far more advanced audiovisual capabilities compared to Samsung‘s modular approach.

Let‘s start with the webcam. The Apple Studio Display packs a 12MP Ultra Wide front camera that supports Center Stage – an AI powered auto-framing and tracking feature. So you stay in the frame smoothly during video calls without adjustments.

Samsung‘s implementation is more DIY – you mount an external magnetic 1080p webcam called the SlimFit Camera onto the bezel if needed. It matches Apple‘s neat auto tracking and zooming but being detached, requires separate installation.

Coming to audio, Apple simply knocks it out of the park with a premium six-speaker setup. There are four force-canceling woofers and two high-performance tweeters, creating a potent spatial audio system. Combined with Dolby Atmos support, the loudness and clarity matched only by premium soundbars.

The Samsung M8 isn‘t too far behind with adaptive 2.2 channel audio tuned by AKG. There‘s a respectable 5W tweeter which helps boost treble. But bass is understandably weaker than the Studio Display‘s beefy woofer arrangement leading to tinnier audio.

Microphone quality is excellent on both with minimal background noise during calls. But Apple‘s three-mic array is more advanced with beamforming tech to eliminate ambient sound.

If you do heavy duty creative work, depping into Apple‘s seamless video calling experience can make life much easier. But Samsung gives you the flexibility to pay only for the camera tech you need.


Smart Capabilities

This round goes to the Samsung M8 for bringing smart TV features that expand functionality beyond just acting as an external display.

Being a monitor first and foremost, the Apple Studio Display requires an external streaming device or computer to play media or access apps. You cannot install platforms directly – it works solely as external display albeit a very advanced one.

The story is very different with the Samsung M8 monitor which runs the company‘s Tizen smart TV platform. That opens up direct access to popular services like Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+ Hotstar, Apple TV+ and so on. For cable TV replacement scenarios, the ability to stream content directly is super convenient.

Gaming is also a clear win for the M8. Being an smart TV, it can tap into cloud gaming platforms like Nvidia GeForce Now and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. Sophisticated gamers will still prefer having an actual console or gaming rig. But for casual gaming, playing AAA titles sans any downloads appeals tremendously.

And similar to their smart TV lineup, Samsung has integrated IoT device control capabilities via SmartThings Home integration. From the M8‘s screen itself, you can monitor and manage connected smart home gadgets like robot vacuums, security cameras, sensors and so on.

While the Apple Studio Display has better core panel performance, it‘s missing the nice extra features that make Samsung‘s offering a true smart monitor. If you love the versatility of modern smart TVs, the M8 delivers that in spades.


Adjustability and Ergonomics

This aspect is crucial for user comfort, especially over long working hours. Thankfully both Apple and Samsung haven‘t cut corners here.

The Samsung M8 monitor can be raised or tilted freely right out the box for both height and viewing angle adjustments. You have around 3 inches of smooth vertical travel and the tilt mechanism is sturdy enough for constant tweaking.

Apple‘s tilt-only mechanism feels similarly robust but height adjustment requires splurging further on their tilt-and-height adjustable stand. So ergonomics feels like an upsell here rather than being table stakes. Swivel adjustment is missing across the board.

Coming to mounting options, both monitors use standard VESA brackets. The M8 uses a less common 75 x 75 mm hole pattern while Apple has adopted the more popular 100 x 100 mm standard. This allows using third-party arms or wall mounts for cable-free, space saving setups.

Personally, I wish Apple just bundled better ergonomics rather than trying to extract more dollars here. Power users will end up spending extra on Apple‘s premium height-adjustable mount or even pricier tilt-to-portrait rotation option!

Pricing and Wrap Up

Let‘s wrap up with a high level view of how the monitors compare based purely on pricing:

DisplayScreen SizeResolutionPortsWirelessWebcamSpeakersSync FeaturesPrice
Samsung M832-inch4K2x USB-C, 1x HDMIYes1080p (External)Dual + TweeterAirPlay, Gaming Streaming, SmartThings$699.99
Apple Studio Display27-inch5K3x USB-C, 1x ThunderboltNo12MP Ultra Wide6-speaker Sound SystemContinuity Camera$1,599.00

It‘s evident that the Samsung M8 provides tremendous value at under $700. You get a superb 4K screen, extra connectivity, built-in smart TV platform and solid adjustability. Yes, the Apple monitor delivers noticeably better panel quality and audiovisual capabilities – but that comes for over twice the price!

As their name suggests, the Studio Display prioritizes visual creative pros who demand consistency across Apple devices. The M8 smart monitor goes for versatility – acting as an external display yet also streaming media natively while linking your wider smart home ecosystem. If those expanded features appeal, the Samsung monitor shines as a sub-$1000 do-it-all star.

So which monitor ultimately provides better value? I‘d pick the Samsung M8 for most everyday users and budget-focused buyers. But for Mac power users who rely on exceptional color accuracy and piped-in audio, the Apple Studio Display is worth the premium. Hopefully this detailed comparison gives you more clarity picking between these impressive new high-end monitors!

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