Dell UP3216Q Review – 32 inch 4K Ultra HD LCD UltraSharp Monitor
Dell’s Ultrasharp 4K and other monitors are definitely winners when it comes to general performance quality. They may not be absolutely spectacular but they do definitely deliver some great and versatile specs for high resolution display performance for gamers, office users, casual home users and even visual design professionals, and on top of all this, their physical design is top notch in terms of flexibility.
In this regard, the UP3216Q is a definite winner with the same deeply sharp 4K resolution of its other 4K ultra HD Ultrasharp cousins, and one particularly stunning display performance as one of the few UltraSharp displays with wide color gamut and some extra fine display calibration specs. The 32 inch display of the UP3216Q may not be as roomy as some professional 4K graphic editing monitor displays we’ve seen but it’s a great choice for users who are looking for a more compact package that still manages to deliver some refined display specs and a highly versatile level of display functionality.
More than anything else, the Dell UP3216Q more than meets most imaginable expectations for sheer display quality and top of the line PC display connectivity as well. With these two general specifications locked down, this is one very impressive piece of professional visual technology.
As far as 4K UHD (2160p) PC monitors go, the UP3216Q delivers just as well as you could want, especially as a professional design monitor or home office tool. It is a definite powerhouse of a PC display with all the key specs necessary for a highly versatile piece of visual hardware. Motion blur is kept low thanks to a high refresh rate and this in particular makes the UP3216Q good as a display for high intensity PC games such as first-person shooters and so forth. Furthermore, the matte screen of this model does a great job of keeping ambient light glare at bay without ruining picture quality in any meaningful way.
Additionally, color performance in the UP3216Q is particularly excellent by the standards not just of UltraSharp monitors but even when compared to a majority of higher-end PC displays on the market. Dell has added wide color gamut technology into this model and this is further augmented by Dell PremierColor and CustomColor software customization features. The end result is a level of modification flexibility that’s downright excellent. However, even right out of the box, the UP3216Q performs admirably on color and many users will probably not even need to tinker with calibration specs much at all.
This color performance translates itself particularly well to image and graphic editing, with the level of color accuracy and range being superb for editing visuals to a professionally refined degree. This model is an IPS (In-plane Switching) display panel monitor and this further helps in how well colors display while also allowing for very broad 178 degree viewing angles.
In terms of gaming performance, the UP3216Q has a few refresh, connectivity and display advantages over many 4K monitors but an even better choice in this area would be the UP3216Q’s 1440p cousin the 27 inch UP2716D in that its lower but still amazingly crisp resolution makes this particular display much friendlier to heavy-duty gameplay at a higher refresh rate of 100Hz or more with the right kind of GPU. On the other hand, 4K PC gaming is still a difficult thing for even many of the best graphics cards on the market to achieve at frame rates close to 60fps and this will be an issue with the 3840 x 2160 resolution of the UP3216Q.
4.1 - 48 Reviews
For the most part, the generally excellent UP3216Q suffers from few serious flaws in our view. However, since no monitor is perfect, a few things are worth noting, though none of them are a major reason to avoid buying this honestly solid performer of a monitor.
First of all, there are definitely some issues with the otherwise excellent IPS panel build of the UP3216Q. For one thing, the display of this particular model creates a sort of slight “IPS Glow” which tends to deliver too much brightness along the display’s edges and as a result, luminance uniformity and black uniformity in particular are both affected at times, especially when the monitor is being used in darker rooms. At times finer details of content even almost disappear along the edges and this in particular can be annoying for this expensive and otherwise great piece of display hardware.
Secondly, while the UP3216Q serves effectively as a gaming monitor in most cases, it doesn’t quite have the sort of response time some gamers might want, especially Full HD high frame rate gaming fans. IPS panels tend towards higher response times of anywhere from 4 to 10 milliseconds –in contrast to the more typical 1 to 2 milliseconds of TN display panels in most gaming-specific 4K monitors we’ve looked at before—and in the case of the UP3216Q a 6ms response time is just above the ideal for PC gameplay under certain settings.
Finally, while the color accuracy and rendering performance of the UP3216Q is for the most part downright superb, with plenty of variation and vibrancy to boot, this monitor does have a few minor problems with color temperature uniformity across its display space. Even with the UP3216Q’s “Uniformity Compensation” feature activated, some greater than ideal variation in color temperatures and even luminance across the screen is definitely notable.
While not the absolute best gaming monitor on the market due to a slightly slow response time, and not the best professionally color calibrated 4K designers monitor we’ve seen, the UP3216Q is a stellar piece of hardware for home and office users who are serious about some very refined color coverage and great display performance. It also comes with some superb color calibration features.
• Screen Size: 31.5 inches
• Response Time: 6 ms
• Aspect Ratio: 16:9
• Backlight Technology: LED
• Panel Technology: In-plane Switching (IPS) Technology
• Maximum Resolution: 3840 x 2160
• Standard Refresh Rate: 60 Hz
• Color Support: 1.07 Billion Colors
• Contrast Ratio: 1100:1
• Brightness: 300 cd/m²
• Ports: 2 x HDMI, 1 x DisplayPort 1.2, 1 x mini DisplayPort 1.2, USB Hub: 4x USB 3.0, 2 x USB 3.0 Upstream ports
• Speakers: No
• Stand adjustability: Yes, for tilt, swivel, Pivot, height
• Height: 19.0-22.5″ (depending on height adjustment)
• Width: 29.5″
• Depth: 8.4 (with stand)″
• Weight (without stand): 18.92 lb
The overall design of the UP3216Q can best be described as simple, functional and highly versatile. These words can be used to describe just about all of Dell’s UltraSharp monitors but with the UP3216Q, we could also include a large splash of elegance to the design features. This is because the UP3216Q comes with an elegantly professional and modern looking design that would be at home in any office or home studio. The UP3216Q lacks the sort of elegantly narrowed bezel edge that its 27 inch QHD cousin the UP2716D has but it also doesn’t have quite the thick and slightly clunky looking bezelling we’ve previously seen in UltraSharp models. Its 31.5 inches of display space feel wonderfully spacious and we definitely appreciate the elegant touches in the UP3216Q’s silver, black and grey body design. We should furthermore note that the UP3216Q display comes with a high quality anti-glare matte coating which works well to reduce light reflection without compromising color performance, contrast or how vibrant the display looks in general. This was a nice little detail to see at work.
Ergonomic flexibility in the UP3216Q is very high, with plenty of convenient and user friendly features built in for both serious office use and relaxing home use or gaming. For starters, the matter grey and glossy silver support stand is both sturdy and highly flexible when it comes to adjustment (as is common with Dell’s premium monitors in particular). Thus is has plenty of adjustment options for tilt, pivot, swivel and rotation as well as height. With these, this UltraSharp model can be tilted forward 5 degrees or 21 degrees backwards, it can swivel about 45 degrees in either direction, the whole display can be rotated 90 degrees from a landscape to a portrait presentation and finally, height can be adjusted upwards or downwards by several inches, with the lowest height adjustment leaving the display just over 2 inches above the desk surface in landscape mode.
This supporting stand can of course also be removed and replaces with a VESA mount since the UP3216Q comes with the proper VESA compliant holes behind a panel along its back. Furthermore, users who want to daisy-chain two UP3216Q’s together can easily do this through the built in HDMI or DisplayPort connectivity ports, and joining two of these monitors together in a VESA-mounted array is also remarkably easy through dual monitor arms which are commonly sold on Amazon.com and highly compatible with the UP3216Q.
As for internal features, the UP3216Q from Dell also comes with plenty of those. We’ll cover some of these that relate to display a bit further in our display characteristics section below but to summarize briefly, the UP3216Q’s display features include full and stunning levels of Wide Color Gamut coverage which cover the Adobe RGB and sRGB spectrums completely while also offer 100% REC 709 color space coverage. On top of this, nearly 95% of the DCI-P3 color space is rendered on the screen and this last bit is particularly impressive, on par with what you’d get from many high-end HDR 4K TVs. Additionally, Dell had built into their new UltraSharp monitor some truly great color calibration settings with low-Delta E right out of the box while allowing users to modify colors for their particular needs to a very high level of variation. These calibrations are possible through Dell’s software development kit, which allows for precise calibration of things like RGBCMY saturation, RGBCMY hue, RGB and RGB offset.
4.1 - 48 Reviews
More than anything else about the UltraSharp UP3216Q QHD monitor, its display settings are for the most part stunning.
As we’d already said, this particular PC display is an absolute winner at color coverage and handles full wide color gamut at 1.07 billion colors to a fully fleshed out degree we’ve rarely had the opportunity to see in many of the QHD and even professional 4K monitors we’ve reviewed so far. Its complete coverage of REC 709, Adobe RGB, sRGB and 95% coverage of DCI-P3 digital professional cinema color space are all truly exceptional and as a result deliver excellent color precision for visual and photo editing professional of all types. In this area our only wish is that the UP3216Q offered even more than 32 inches of display space for some serious high resolution visual editing or movie watching for that matter, especially with the model’s superb DCI-P3 color space coverage.
As for contrast and brightness, in this area the UP3216Q deliver very good performance but not quite to the same brilliant caliber as we saw in its color rendering specs. Contrast is nominally set at 1000:1 but in practical reality usually reaches no higher than about 850:1 thanks to the nature of the UP3216Q’s IPS display panel technology. However, this contrast can be expanded further if uniformity compensation is deactivated and brightness set to a maximum, with the contrast capable of going to as high as 950:1, which is very respectable for an IPS monitor. Furthermore a minor degree of IPS Glow is visible along the lower edges in particular from backlight bleed. Furthermore, the UP3216Q comes with Dell’s Zonal Color Space setting technology, which is activated by default when this monitor comes out of the box. While this calibration system allows users to view different color spaces along the left and right halves of the screen, it also comes with a major downside in that it seriously weakens color accuracy, contrast and color consistency. In fact, the general Delta E of the UP3216Q with the factory calibrated settings and Zonal Color Space activated sits at a deeply mediocre 4.21 and most users will quickly want to change this to something more precise. Thus, by simply turning off the Dell Zonal Color Space setting in the monitor’s calibration menu options, a much better overall Delta-E for color drops down to 1.65. Dynamic contrast is also deactivated when Zonal Color gets shut off and as a result, some loss in overall display brightness and contrast is also going to be the case, with the overall contrast ratio falling down to as low as 690:1, depending on brightness level settings.
On a final note, the IPS display panel of the UP3216Q delivers superb viewing angles, as we’d expect from IPS, allowing for full 178 degree viewing of the display with very low color and contrast reductions.
Overall, in the visual specs department, the Dell UP3216Q is a real stunner, especially in terms of color performance, which is the aspect of display caliber that’s most crucial for visual design work and video or photo editing on a professional level.
The connectivity array of Dell’s UltraSharp UP3216Q is absolutely robust in our view. In this regard the monitor mostly excels with only one rather minor flaw marring its connectivity specs. Specifically, while the UP3216Q offers a very complete package of 2 HDMI 1.4 ports with MHL 2.0, 1 DisplayPort 1.2 port along with a second Mini DP 1.2 port and a total of four different UBS 3.0 ports (two upstream and two downstream), we were annoyed by the simple exclusion of HDMI 2.0 instead of 1.4 for its HDMI ports. This is a minor detail and it’s much less important in a QHD monitor than it would be in a full 4K monitor but we’d like to see the superior HDMI 2.0 standard used more often in the premium ultra HD and 1440p PC displays of this year and onwards.
Dell’s UP3216Q 4K UHD IPS monitor is selling for $1,299.99. This is a bit of a steep price for an UltraSharp monitor but with the color specs this model delivers, we consider it to be close to a fair price. The $1,299.99 price tag truly does deliver color specs of a mostly professional caliber that is almost the equal of what we’ve seen in some professional 4K graphic design monitors which cost quite a bit more than the UP3216Q.
4.1 - 48 Reviews
• Absolutely superb color accuracy
• 100% sRGB, Adobe RB and REC 709 color space
• 90% DCI-P3 color coverage
• Elegant design with plenty of display space
• Excellent connectivity
• Solid contrast performance
• Wide IPS viewing angles
• Contrast could be better
• Luminance bleed along bottom edges
• peak brightness a bit weak