If you're after an ultrawide monitor in SA you don't have many options to choose from. Of those available, the MateView GT 34in Sound edition is the latest offering and one of the more expensive ultrawide VA displays. Its shortcomings aren't dealbreakers and its performance is adequate, especially when you find it on special.
The MateView GT is Huawei’s first attempt at a gaming monitor. It comes in two sizes, a 27in standard edition and a 34in ultrawide sound edition. Huawei sent us the latter to review. The 27in standard edition isn’t available in SA so there wasn’t much choice on the matter.
We spent some time with MateView GT, using it for both work and gaming. Its performance surprised us. You may also be impressed, but is it worth R14,000? We have other questions too. Mostly, why? Why pick a 34in curved ultrawide to introduce your brand to the gaming market? We’ll focus on that conundrum in a bit.
Simple but effective design
‘Simplicity’ was the lone word on the memo passed around at Huawei HQ’s design lab. The build is largely black plastic, with slim bezels along the top and sides. A slightly larger band acts as the chin. The only branding visible is the central Huawei logo. The rear echoes the same sentiment. There’s a place for a magnetically mounted panel that covers the inputs, for a clean rear design.
It’s evident gamers aren’t the only market segment Huawei is making eyes at. This monitor wouldn’t look out of place on an office desk. The extra screen real estate can do wonders for your productivity. You have the option of using the included stand or mounting it on an arm for some extra desk space. If you mount it (VESA 100×100) you’ll miss out on the built-in soundbar. But you wouldn’t be missing much. Audio from the two 5W speakers is muddy and flat. We’d avoid using it where possible. You’ll also lose the only bit of flash — Huawei’s 18cm touch-sensitive RGB bar.
You get two USB-C ports, one for power input and the other for data transfer, video input, or 10W power output for charging. While you get two HDMI 2.0 ports (the 18Gbps ones) there isn’t an HDMI cable included so you’ll need to supply your own. DisplayPort 1.4 support and an included cable take a little of the sting out of the previous omission.
Unpacking and setting up this monitor was one of our easier setups. The stand comes preassembled and simply clicks into place. No need to fumble with screwdrivers, no screws to drop. The stand allows for height adjustment and provides a few degrees of tilt, but no swivel. It has a rather large desk footprint so if you can mount it, we’d recommend that instead.
The 34in ultrawide uses a 1500R curved VA panel and offers a native resolution of 3,440 x 1,440p with an aspect ratio of 21:9. Expect a 165Hz refresh rate and while it isn’t explicitly stated, there is unofficial support for variable refresh rate in the form of AMD’s Freesync.
Variable refresh rate means the display is able to vary the number of times it updates per second (hertz) according to the framerate of whatever is being displayed. This eliminates screen tearing when the frames per second and refresh rate don’t match.
This doesn’t appear anywhere on the official product page though and you have to fiddle around in the On-Screen Display (OSD) settings to enable it. It could’ve been better implemented but it’s definitely worth having.
Huawei says the MateView GT provides 90% DCI-P3 and 100% sRGB colour gamut coverage, which is to be expected from a VA panel. While those might sound like impressively large numbers, they’re just okay. Anything less would raise our eyebrows. Those numbers let you get away with casual colour-sensitive work. True professionals would do better looking elsewhere.
That VA panel and its 4,000:1 contrast ratio do their best to make good on the promise of HDR support. But the DisplayHDR 400 certification means it only just scrapes in with the lowest certification possible. If HDR is a big selling point for you, prepare to be disappointed. That said, games and content viewed in SDR mode look decent thanks to the contrast ratio and general VA panel performance. This is best experienced in a dark room where it doesn’t get all that bright. Huawei says it’ll do 350 nits of typical brightness but after some calibration, expect that to be lower.
Bold strategy, let’s see if it pays off for ‘em
The choice to use a VA panel is an odd one. Sure, you’re going to get a much higher contrast ratio compared to an IPS panel so blacks will look nice and deep with none of that backlight glow that plagues IPS monitors. But viewing angles, brightness, and pixel response times are going to be worse. All of those things matter to gamers. This brings us to the question we asked initially. Why did Huawei pick a 34in ultrawide curved VA panel for use in their first gaming monitor?
The immediate answer is probably cost. A flat ultrawide high refresh IPS panel is significantly more expensive than the VA panel used here. But why ultrawide in the first place? According to Steam’s latest survey, 67% of gamers still use 1,920 x 1,080 as their main display resolution. Only around 2.2% of Steam users use 2,560 x 1,080 or 3,440 x 1,440 resolution monitors. There’s also unreliable ultrawide support in many games, especially older titles. It’s still a relatively new form factor that has yet to see mainstream adoption. We don’t think that’s about to change in a hurry.
Huawei MateView GT 34in Sound Edition Verdict
Questionable choice of form factor aside, the MateView GT Sound Edition is a fairly decent monitor from Huawei. The design is plain enough for an office desk but not so plain that it feels like you’re getting ripped off. The panel performs as well as any VA panel and the shortcomings aren’t glaringly obvious if you’re not looking for them. They are also easy enough to overlook when you do find them. The only offensive part, the soundbar, is thankfully detachable.
All of that, together with the fact that, in South Africa, you’ll struggle to find many options for a 34in ultrawide means that we’ll begrudgingly recommend the MateView GT 34in Sound Edition if you’re after what it has to offer. That recommendation upgrades slightly if you can find it on special.
Huawei’s MateView GT 34in Sound Edition is available from the Huawei store for R14,000.