As a newish but serious photographer (hobbyist not pro), I decided to buy a high resolution wide gamut monitor that wouldn't totally break the bank but is expensive (~$650) and well-reviewed. I ended up getting the ViewSoinic VP2770 2650x1440 IPS panel to work with my macbook. I bought it because it had the best out of box color calibration and overall reviews for its class (save Asus).
However, though it seems fine to the eye, when I look at my photos on it, via lightroom, they look all wrong, and do not compare to any of my devices (macbook, iphone, ipad). The colors are ok, but they seem to run very hot, like the whites are up too high or they over-saturated in some cases. I tried fiddling with contrast and brightness and color manually, but I just haven't been able to come close to my macbook. And my photos look the same on all my devices but not this monitor. This is a huge problem for me as I bought this expensive thing specifically for my photography (non print).
Now I know that in most cases (especially with wide gamut screens) an external color calibrator, like colormunki or spyder is often necessary to get everything calibrated, but they are really expensive so my questions are these:
1) Is it worth sucking it up and shelling out the dough for a calibrator, especially if don't print? Do these calibrators usually fix all issues like colors running hot and will my monitor be perfect after using one? Are they essential investments?
2) If I do get one, what level do I need (e.g. The Spyder express or the Spyder Pro)?
3) Is there something wrong with my monitor? Should I return this monitor and get a better one or a mac display (which may work better with my other devices)?
I will happily buy the calibrator if it will fix the problems with this monitor, but if it won't then maybe I should just invest in a more expensive monitor.
I only have 15 days to decide what to do before I can't return it anymore.
Any advice or experience for a color newbie?