Android Central Verdict
Bottom line: Xiaomi's ultrawide gaming monitor delivers a minimalist design backed by a great Samsung VA panel with 144Hz refresh rate and AMD FreeSync. While it misses out on HDR, its affordability makes it a standout choice if you're looking for a budget ultrawide monitor.
144Hz Samsung VA panel with FreeSync
Vibrant colors out of the box
Limited global availability
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Xiaomi makes some of the best cheap Android phones you can buy today, but the brand isn't just limited to phones — it makes everything from fitness bands to rice cookers, laser projectors, air and water purifiers, routers, security cameras and so much more. Xiaomi is an ecosystem manufacturer like no other, and it regularly makes its foray into new categories, like monitors.
The Xiaomi Mi Curved Gaming Monitor 34 is the brand's first ultrawide gaming monitor. It debuted in China at the end of 2019, and made its way to select global markets in Q3 2020. Like everything else that Xiaomi sells, affordability is a key trait of the Mi Curved Gaming Monitor, with the monitor retailing for €449 ($545).
The monitor has a minimalist design and features a Samsung VA panel with 144Hz refresh rate and AMD FreeSync. So let's take a look at what Xiaomi's first ultrawide monitor has to offer, and if it is ideal for your needs.
Xiaomi Mi Curved Gaming Monitor 34 What I like
As the name suggests, the Mi Curved Gaming Monitor 34 is a 34-inch curved ultrawide gaming monitor. It has a 1500R curvature, 144Hz refresh rate with AMD FreeSync, 4ms response time, and an elegant design. But the key selling point is the value on offer: retailing for €449, Xiaomi's monitor is one of the most affordable options in this category.
It's clear that Xiaomi paid a lot of attention to the design here, with the monitor featuring ultra-thin 2mm bezels and a minimal aesthetic that belies its affordability. The bottom bezel is obviously larger, but it doesn't detract from the design in any way. The power and menu buttons are tucked away at the back of the monitor, so other than a power indicator LED at the bottom right corner, there are no intrusions at the front.
The monitor has a standard VESA mount if you're interested in mounting it on a wall, and the stand itself has an elegant design. You can easily adjust the height and swivel the monitor sideways, and my favorite feature is the magnetic connector at the back that allows for easy cable routing.
The stand has a removable back panel that attaches via magnets, and you can easily remove it to route the monitor power cord and display cables for a cleaner look.
In terms of connectivity, the Mi Curved Gaming Monitor 34 has two HDMI 2.0b and two DisplayPort 1.4 ports, along with a 3.5mm option. The ports are accessible without too much of a hassle, and there is a shroud that hides the port enclosure.
The Mi Curved Gaming Monitor 34 has a 3440 x 1440 resolution and 21:9 ratio, and the 1500R curvature is ideal; it ensures the monitor doesn't take up too much room, but you don't notice any issues when gaming or reading text on the screen. The 300nit brightness is also decent, and coming from a Dell monitor that went up to 350 nits, I never had any issues in this particular area.
The screen has a matte coating to prevent glare, and colors look great out of the box. Of course, you can always calibrate the monitor to set it up to your preferences, but if you don't want to do so, know that the panel itself has a lot going for it. Colors are accurate, you get great contrast levels, and backlighting is even. The monitor uses a Samsung VA panel — like most other options in this category — and the 4ms response time is perfectly serviceable for most titles.
Before switching to the Mi Curved Gaming Monitor 34, I used a 25-inch QHD monitor. With the added screen real estate, I was easily able to run three windows side-by-side. Having used the monitor for just under four months, I'm fully onboard the ultrawide bandwagon. It genuinely makes a tangible difference in my day-to-day use, and I don't have to deal with the hassle of using multiple monitors.
The monitor holds up just fine for viewing videos and movies, but know that most 16:9 content will show bars on the sides. As for gaming, I played over a dozen games over the last four months, and titles like Assassin's Creed Odyssey, Assassin's Creed Valhalla, Monster Hunter: World, Horizon Zero Dawn, and other AAA games look fantastic on the monitor.
I used the monitor with a gaming machine featuring a Core i9-10900K (opens in new tab) and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 — and then upgraded to a RTX 3080 — and while it lacks G-Sync, I was able to get up to 120fps in a few titles without any issues. But your mileage may vary based on the game.
Xiaomi Mi Curved Gaming Monitor 34 What I don't like
Xiaomi's monitor does not have HDR, and having never used an HDR-enabled monitor before, I didn't miss the feature at all. But then I used ASUS' excellent VG27AQL1A (opens in new tab) gaming monitor for a few hours (my wife is using this monitor for her new gaming machine), and I immediately noticed the difference.
HDR dynamically adjusts brightness levels based on the content that's playing on the screen, and it is a useful addition. Its omission is a letdown, and it's likely Xiaomi chose not to include it to bring the cost down to €500.
On that note, the only other issue with the monitor is its availability. Xiaomi is selling it in Spain and a few select markets in the region, but it is not available in the U.S., India, or most global markets where Xiaomi currently has a presence. That means you will have to pick it up from after-market retailers, and that means inflated pricing and added custom levies based on your country.
Xiaomi Mi Curved Gaming Monitor 34 The competition
The Acer Nitro XV340CK is a decent alternative if you're looking to pick up a budget ultrawide gaming monitor in the U.S. The monitor retails for $436 (opens in new tab), and has a 144Hz IPS panel with FreeSync, and the best part is that you even get HDR10 out of the box. The design isn't as elegant as Xiaomi's monitor, but Acer's monitor is available in the U.S. and comes with HDR10.
Gigabyte's G34WQC is another 34-inch 21:9 ultrawide gaming monitor that's available officially in the U.S. This particular option is more affordable, coming in at just $400 (opens in new tab), and you get a 144Hz VA panel with FreeSync and all the connectivity options you could ask for. Like Xiaomi's gaming monitor, the G34WQC misses out on HDR tech.
Xiaomi Mi Curved Gaming Monitor 34 Should you buy?
You should buy this if ...
- You want an ultra-wide monitor with a great panel
- You're looking for 144Hz refresh rate
- You want a minimal design with easy cable management
You should not buy this if ...
- You want an HDR-enabled monitor
Overall, Xiaomi has a lot to offer with its Mi Curved Gaming Monitor 34. The monitor has an elegant design that allows it to stand out in this category, and the Samsung VA panel itself is great for day-to-day use and gaming.
4 out of 5
The 144Hz refresh rate combined with AMD FreeSync makes it a great choice for gaming, and the monitor delivers immersive visuals with vibrant colors. Sure, there's no HDR here, but for what you're ultimately paying for the monitor, you are getting a great value.
Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.
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