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Compared: Apple Studio Display vs Samsung Smart Monitor M8

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Samsung's Smart Monitor M8 adds cloud and smart TV features to what could be taken for an Apple-like display, but is it a good alternative to Apple's consumer-aimed screen, the Studio Display?

Apple and Samsung haven't had the best relationship, with the rivals often butting heads regarding product designs. When Samsung introduced the Smart Monitor M8 in January, it seemed that it was another display Samsung made to muscle into territory occupied by the 24-inch iMac.

However, after Apple revealed the Studio Display in March, at around the time Samsung opened up preorders for its screen, it seemed the two competitors suddenly had competing products once again. Both are vaguely similar-looking displays that could be connected to a Mac, and each attempts to offer more than a typical display would to users.

Specifications

SpecificationsApple
Studio Display
Samsung
Smart Monitor M8
Size (inches)2732
Resolution (pixels)5120 by 28803840 by 2160
Color rangeP399% sRGB
BacklightingLEDLED
HDRNoneHDR 10+
Peak brightness600 nits400 nits
Refesh Rate60Hz60Hz
True ToneYesNo
Webcam12MP ultra-wide1080p detachable SlimFit camera
Ports1xThunderbolt 3
3xUSB-C
1xmicro HDMI
1xUSB Type-C Up,
1xUSB Type-C Down
Wireless ConnectivityNoneWi-Fi 5,
Bluetooth 4.2
Audio6-speaker system2x5W with tweeter
MicrophoneYes, array of threeFar Field Voice microphone
Nano-textureYes, OptionalNo
Remote ControlNoYes
Stand optionstilt, tilt + height, VESATilt and Height
Other FeaturesCenter Stage,
"Hey Siri" support (Mac),
96W host charging
Smart TV functionality,
Video conferencing,
Workspace cloud services,
SmartThings Hub,
AirPlay support,
65W USB-C charging
Price$1,599$729.99

Samsung Smart Monitor M8 vs Apple Studio Display: Design and Dimensions

Since its launch, the Apple Studio Display has been likened to an iMac, consisting of a relatively thin panel on a relatively simple L-shaped bracket. It's a well-known and well-loved aesthetic and one that Samsung appears to borrow for its display.

The Samsung Smart Monitor M8 follows the same idea of a thin screen on a very similar-looking bracket. A few minor elements differ, such as the small section to the bottom left that sticks out a bit and the existence of a thin chin on the Samsung, but they're seemingly close on the basic design front.

Samsung seemingly took a lot of inspiration from the 24-inch iMac.
Samsung seemingly took a lot of inspiration from the 24-inch iMac.

Apple's display is physically smaller than Samsung's, primarily due to having a smaller 27-inch screen compared to Samsung's 32-inch version.

The Studio Display is 18.8 inches tall, 24.5-inches wide, and 6.6 inches deep on the tilt-adjustable stand. The M8 is taller at 22.6 inches with its stand, broader at 28 inches, and deeper at 8 inches.

There's also a weight difference but a small one. The M8 weighs 6.7 kilos (14.8 pounds), while the Studio Display is 6.3 kilos (13.9 pounds).

Though, naturally, the Samsung screen is heavier because it's bigger, consider that the weight difference is a mere pound. This makes Apple's display denser, weight-wise.

Then again, we are talking about displays to be kept on a desk. When you're moving them, you'll notice the weight, but not in everyday use.

Samsung Smart Monitor M8 vs Apple Studio Display: The Screen

The obvious difference is the already-mentioned size, a 27-inch screen on Apple's side against 32-inches on Samsung's. These are both good-sized monitors for desk use, with the 32-inch lending itself to more further-away viewing for content consumption.

Apple does squeeze in the higher-resolution 5K screen in its version, with its 5,120 by 2,880 resolution giving it a pixel density of 218ppi. The 3,840 by 2,160 4K screen used by Samsung has a much lower pixel density of 138ppi.

Apple's Studio Display has a far higher 5K resolution than Samsung's 4K screen.
Apple's Studio Display has a far higher 5K resolution than Samsung's 4K screen.

Also in Apple's court is the brightness, with its 600 nits beating Samsung's 400 nits. Both also use an LED backlighting system rather than mini LED but still offer HDR capabilities.

In terms of color representation, the Studio Display has Wide Color (P3) support, with it offering a variety of reference modes to help creatives produce video and still images. Samsung's screen has 99% coverage of sRGB and can display 1.07 billion colors.

Both displays are limited to a maximum refresh rate of 60Hz, though Apple does slip in True Tone support as an extra feature.

Samsung Smart Monitor M8 vs Apple Studio Display: Connectivity

Apple is not known for offering a wide array of physical connection options in its products. Still, weirdly, Samsung's adoption of Apple's minimalist approach may have given Apple a slight advantage.

The Studio Display has just four connections on the back, with the Thunderbolt 3 intended to be connected to the host Mac, while three USB-C ports handle peripherals.

This seems low, but it's slightly more than Samsung's selection. On the M8, there's one micro HDMI for video, one USB-C intended for an upstream connection and video, and one more for the downstream.

The Studio Display has just four ports, but Samsung's Smart Monitor M8 has only three.
The Studio Display has just four ports, but Samsung's Smart Monitor M8 has only three.

There's also a limitation at play if you intend to use the monitors to recharge connected notebooks. The Studio Display can provide 96W to a host, while the M8 can only manage 65W.

M8 ports
The ports on the M8

The more considerable connectivity element is wireless, as the M8 includes Wi-Fi 5 support and Bluetooth 4.2. This isn't stellar, but it does enable the display to connect to the Internet and other hardware.

This includes AirPlay support so that you can use it as a display for your iPhone or iPad. It also enables smart home connectivity, acting as a SmartThings Hub for supporting devices.

Apple's Studio Display doesn't do this, or any wireless networking. But, since you could use AirPlay to Mac, mirroring is available if you've connected up a Mac. It's not an independent feature.

Samsung Smart Monitor M8 vs Apple Studio Display: Smart TV and Smart Working

The aforementioned wireless connectivity is essential for another significant element of the M8. The "Smart" part of the Smart Monitor's name refers to how it offers various services without needing to be hooked up to a host device, like a Mac or PC.

The included M8 remote
The included M8 remote

In short, it can function as a smart TV.

Running on Tizen, the M8 can run many apps over its Wi-Fi connection. This includes a variety of smart TV apps, including Samsung TV Plus, Netflix, Prime Instant Video, Disney Plus, and Apple TV+.

Smart TV apps
Smart TV apps

This makes the M8 a great option for people who want a display to perform double duty as a TV and monitor. This is especially handy in cases like a child's bedroom, where space or funds may be limited.

Using a Bluetooth keyboard, mouse, and Microsoft 365, you could use Samsung's M8 without a host computer for work purposes.
Using a Bluetooth keyboard, mouse, and Microsoft 365, you could use Samsung's M8 without a host computer for work purposes.

Handily, Samsung does include a remote control as part of the package, so users could lounge from the other side of the room as they would for a television.

Of course, Samsung takes this concept a stage further in that it isn't limited to running regular smart TV apps. Instead, Samsung believes it can be used as a standalone workstation without needing a separate PC or Mac nearby.

Using Workmode, the M8 can connect to a remote computer and run Microsoft 365 apps in the cloud when paired with suitable peripherals. Then there's the ability to use Samsung DeX if you have a Samsung smartphone supporting it or AirPlay 2 for working with iPhones and iPads as a larger screen.

Samsung Smart Monitor M8 vs Apple Studio Display: Cameras and Other Features

Apple includes a 12-megapixel Ultra-Wide camera in its Studio Display, embedded in the top of the bezel. With support for Center Stage, the 122-degree field of view can be cropped down so that only the person involved with a FaceTime call can be seen, not the rest of the room.

Studio Display camera
Studio Display camera sample

Samsung does offer a camera but in a different way. Instead of embedding a camera into the bezel, it includes the wireless SlimFit Cam, designed to be attached to the back of the top of the display using pogo pins.

M8 camera sample
M8 camera sample

Sticking out of the top, the SlimFit Cam offers a 1080p image at 30fps. It also has a Face Tracking feature to center the view on the user's face and Auto Zoom to zoom in on the face when they are speaking.

Though it can be used with a host computer, the SlimFit Cam can also be used with onboard video conferencing apps, including Google Duo.

Samsung's SlimFit Cam attaches to the back of the monitor.
Samsung's SlimFit Cam attaches to the back of the monitor.

Both monitors offer microphone support, with Samsung including a high-sensitivity far-field voice mic, while Apple employs a "studio-quality three-mic array with high signal-to-noise ratio and directional beamforming."

Naturally, there's support for each company's virtual assistant, with Apple's "Hey Siri" usable with a connected Mac. Bixby and Alexa is supported by the M8, though it can do so on its own without needing a host device connected to it.

For audio, Apple includes six speakers with force-canceling woofers in the Studio Display, complete with wide stereo sound and support for Spatial Audio when listening to Dolby Atmos content.

Samsung opts for a 2.2CH setup of 5W stereo speakers with a tweeter. It also has Adaptive Sound+, a system for automatically adjusting the audio based on the type of content and noise levels within the user's environment.

Samsung Smart Monitor M8 vs Apple Studio Display: Pricing

Apple sells the Studio Display starting from $1,599. Adding Nano-texture glass, which provides an anti-reflective coating to the display, costs $300.

Opting for the standard tilt-adjustable stand or the VESA mount adapter doesn't change the price, but going for the tilt- and height-adjustable stand adds $400. At the highest, you could be paying $2,299 for a Studio Display with the height-adjustable stand and the Nano-texture glass.

Samsung sells the Smart Monitor M8 for $699.99 to $729.99.

While Apple only has the Studio Display in its usual aluminum attire, Samsung borrowed the idea of color options from the 24-inch iMac. You can get the M8 in four colorways: Warm White, Sunset Pink, Daylight Blue, and Spring Green.

Apple Studio Display

Apple Studio Display


The Apple Studio Display is a 27-inch 5K monitor with a 12MP Ultra Wide camera that supports Center Stage.
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Use coupon code APINSIDER with this pricing link in the same browsing session to save $50 on AppleCare.

All-arounder vs Premium

On one hand, you have Apple's Studio Display with its superior resolution, notable styling, color representation, and the brand's premium value. On the other, Samsung provides a larger screen with a lower resolution, one that isn't quite as bright, and copies the iMac range a bit too much.

Samsung offers a choice of colors for the Smart Monitor M8. You have only one option for the Apple Studio Display.
Samsung offers a choice of colors for the Smart Monitor M8. You have only one option for the Apple Studio Display.

Samsung is offering the Smart Monitor M8 as more than just a monitor. It is a fully-functioning smart TV that provides all of the benefits without needing a host computer connected to it all the time.

In cramped living locations, like a small apartment or a child's bedroom, it's not too hard to imagine the M8 handling both television and monitor duties, and without too much hassle. Yes, you can use the Apple Studio Display to watch videos or other content, but you still need to connect things up to it.

Then there's the price, in that you could easily buy two Smart Monitor M8 units for the same as one Apple Studio Display, and still have money left over for cables. That is a huge thing in Samsung's favor.

That's not to say there isn't an audience for Apple's screen, as the brand-loyal and those who care about high resolution and picture quality will err towards the pricier option.

For everyone else, Samsung brings to the table a very compelling argument to go with the Smart Monitor M8 instead.

Where to Buy

The Samsung M8 display starts at $699.99 and is available for purchase at Samsung.com and at B&H Photo Video.

On the Apple Studio Display side, AppleInsider readers can save $50 on AppleCare for the monitor at Apple Authorized Reseller Adorama. To activate the promotion, you must shop through this cost-saving activation link and enter promo code APINSIDER during checkout. Step-by-step activation instructions can be found on this help page.

Want to see how the offer stacks up? Comparing prices across leading Apple resellers is easy in our Apple Display Price Guide.