Hey friends – hope you’re well.
Today, I’ll share the latest Samsung Frame TV, which is Samsung’s well-known QLED TV panel. At first glance, this is a QLED that not only looks amazing even in direct sunlight, but it’s also visually transformed my lounge room.
We know it has an updated matte finish, slim fit wall mount, and framing panels that transform this 65″ TV into a work of art, but what exactly makes this TV one of the best lifestyle TVs for nearly any home?
I’ve spent the last few months with this TV and updating the loungeroom, so hopefully, my review today will give you some idea of just how incredible this tv is. I’m genuinely excited about this review – Samsung has no influence over this video; I bought this TV with my own money.
Setup & Mounting
Everything needed to mount this TV is included. For a clean, cableless setup like this, I had holes drilled into the wall with a single cable running out through an outlet into Samsung’s single cable box, which gives me access to all the ports I need: 4 HDMI outputs, one with eArc, Optical Audio out, Ethernet port, and even 3 USB ports.
The magnetic snap-on bezels are sold separately but are a must-have – the white matches the white walls perfectly.
I was actually inspired by the beauty of the Samsung Frame TV and purchased a new TV cabinet to lift the entire space. I like how the natural oak of this simple television unit complements the all-white aesthetic of the frame and walls.
It looks so much better than the previous very dark and plain setup.
This TV has a VA 4K panel with Quantum Dot or QLED technology and supports 120Hz, VRR, and G-Sync for 55″ and larger panels. I was concerned about the extremely bright living room conditions because this location receives a lot of sunlight, but this TV thrives in well-lit environments.
It has deep uniform blacks and a wider range of colors than LED, but it lacks local dimming and mini LED backlighting like Samsung’s other higher-end TVs.
When I first turned on this TV, there was something I didn’t like because it was so poorly designed.
And that’s due to Samsung’s aging Tizen operating system: the menu design is clunky and unintuitive, and it has this tendency to want to show you the Samsung TV Plus content all the time, even when I just want to change settings – It’s been quite frustrating to navigate.
Fortunately, connecting my Apple TV 4K solved the problem quickly, and I no longer had to deal with the Samsung operating system. The Apple TV looks fantastic on this panel with the bezel frame, thanks to the snappy A15 Bionic chip, 4K and HDR10+ and Dolby Vision support, and the Apple interface is much easier to use.
Another issue is that this TV isn’t cheap, costing more than $2,000 for the 65-inch model here, which is comparable to the Samsung QN90B or even the LG C2 OLED screen. But, there are a lot of sales for the Frame TV floating around – I was able to find this on sale for $1,500, which is a much more appealing price point.
Art Frame Features
The biggest selling point: the TV transforms into framed art, which is what sets the Samsung Frame TV apart.
Before using this TV, I couldn’t understand why anyone would buy this TV to hang as art; it seemed like a gimmick and a feature you’d use a few times and then forget about. I was mistaken; as soon as I turned on this TV and activated Art Mode by pressing the power button once, I was blown away.
Not only does the matte QLED display resemble a canvas, but the image quality is far superior to what I expected – in person, it appears to be a real-life artwork, and I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me.
Of course, as you get closer to the TV, you can’t see the three-dimensional brush strokes; it’s still flat, but from a distance, it looks like a piece of artwork and nothing like a TV.
That is the allure and beauty of the Samsung Frame TV; it blends into your living spaces and has transformed my living room from a typical TV on top of a cabinet to something much more elevated and cleaner looking. It’s far superior to a blank TV screen when it’s turned off.
Now, whether it’s a classic Monet painting or a modern illustration, every artwork looks incredible on The Frame, and the new Matte display works wonders to keep it looking like an artwork even in direct sunlight.
There’s even animated art that can be used, and it’s like watching moving art. All of this is automatically activated when you “turn off” your TV, and based on the inbuilt sensor if no one is around or the room is completely dark, it’ll properly switch off to save energy.
You can even load your own photos onto the TV, and there are numerous customization options available, such as changing the virtual frame type, colors, and brightness.
It’s a shame that the TV comes with only a few pieces of art preloaded. You’ll need to subscribe to Samsung’s Art Store service for $5.99 per month to access all 1,400 pieces of art, but there are plenty of free and legal to use high-resolution images of paintings online that you can manually add to the TV.
Another disadvantage that I must share with you is the viewing angle. Now, the viewing angles on this TV are poor, and the colors fade quickly even before passing the corners. That means that if you plan to use this TV with a large couch in a large room, viewers who aren’t watching it straight on will see distorted, faded colors. It’s not a problem for me because my living space is fairly small, so everyone gets a good view, and we’re not fighting for the middle seat.
Surprisingly, this TV is more than just a pretty art frame; 4K and HDR content look incredible on this QLED panel. Remember, the 4K 120Hz panel is only available on Frame TVs 65 inches or larger.
The 4K content is razor-sharp, and the TV’s high native contrast ratio of 6000:1 provides ongoing deep blacks as well as overall great brightness, which is technically twice as bright as the previous LG B8 OLED thanks to edge-lit technology. It’s so bright that I had to turn it down during the test.
As a result, the high brightness, contrast ratio, and anti-glare display look fantastic for almost any content, but especially sports content. F1 and mixed martial arts are two sports I enjoy watching, and Samsung’s upscaling and picture processing capabilities produce brilliant picture quality from live HD sports broadcasts.
And using the Intelligent Mode Adaptive Picture ensures that the picture quality looks close to perfect in any setting, night or day, so it’s a great feature to set and forget so the TV adjusts the brightness.
I can’t get over the amazing matte finish on this display because my previous LG B8 OLED looked like a mirror during the day, and the Frame TV is by far the best TV in brighter rooms. It’s even a big step up from the older Frame TV models that didn’t have the matte finish.
Color accuracy is very good on this TV after a quick color calibration with Apple TV and an iPhone – it makes it super easy to calibrate by simply placing my phone in front of the TV here.
If you want to take color accuracy to the next level, The Frame’s Filmmaker Mode disables all image processing, locks in the technically correct settings for watching movies, and changes the color temperature to 6500 degrees Kelvin, which gets you as close to movie-calibrated viewing as you can get without having it professionally calibrated.
This TV has a hidden weapon: it’s a surprisingly good 4K gaming display that checks almost every box required for gaming on the PS5, Xbox X, and Switch.
Using HDMI port #4, you can get 4K at 120Hz with a variable refresh rate, which I didn’t expect from a lifestyle TV.
The motion handling is on par with top-tier displays and is good for gaming. In fact, the input lag time of 9-10 milliseconds is very similar to that of the more expensive S95B OLED.
Then there’s the Samsung Integrated Game Bar, which appears when you press and hold the Play button. This provides information such as FPS and input lag and tweaks key gaming settings. I tinkered with the settings once, messing around with the advanced settings, and I’ve left it alone ever since – it was well worth 20 minutes messing around with it.
Simply plug your console into the HDMI port with the controller icon, or you won’t be able to access the Gaming settings, which initially confused me.
I’ve been putting in a lot of hours into the new Zelda game, Tears of the Kingdom – it’s game of the year contender. It’s obviously not a game that takes advantage of 4K 120Hz – but it’s art direction and rich colors on the matte di 0splay are absolutely stunning; the entire world of Hyrule looks like a portal into an interactive artwork.
Although the local dimming and HDR do not have the eye-catching highlights of other OLED TVs, such as the LG C2, A90K, or S95B, it still holds its own as a gaming TV.
New Samsung TVs, including The Frame, have first access to the Xbox Game Pass app, which allows you to play Xbox games without the console, which is great for people like me who don’t have an Xbox.
I gave it a quick try with my third-party controller here, and it worked really well; it’s essentially cloud gaming. It’s limited to 1080p 60 fps, but the Frame does a good job of upscaling to improve visual quality.
Remote & Sound
The remote control on the Samsung Frame is also noteworthy. It looks really sleek and minimal to match the TV, and it can be set up as a universal remote through the settings to control the Apple TV as well, which is a lifesaver.
What makes it unique is the solar technology; there are no batteries to replace. The solar panel on its back charges it, and there is a USB-C port at the bottom if you need to charge it manually. It’s a win for convenience and sustainability, but to be honest, it’s a little annoying that the remote lacks a direct input source change button.
The built-in 40-watt speakers sound good for all types of content, but the bass is lacking, which is to be expected. However, there is support for Dolby Atmos and Samsung Q-Symphony, which uses the TV speakers in conjunction with supported Samsung soundbars to provide a multi-channel sound experience without the need for additional speakers.
I don’t have a Samsung soundbar, but I do have Sonos Arc soundbar in white, which looks great in this setup. It is still one of the best soundbars available today, and it complements the Frame TV both visually and audibly.
They’re paired in a home theater setup with the new Era 300, so I have two of these on a stand next to the couch, and combined with the Arc soundbar and spatial audio capability, it’s one of the best surround sound setups I’ve ever used.
It’s an incredible pairing, perhaps even better than Samsung’s own S800B soundbar, that transforms even the most mundane TV shows into epic soundscapes.
Here are my final thoughts. If you’re looking for the best lifestyle TV you can buy right now that will look great in any room when mounted, the Samsung Frame TV is the one to get – there’s nothing else like it at the moment.
It not only looks great, but it also performs better than I expected when watching movies and playing games. There’s something really satisfying about getting great performance out of a TV that then when turned off, transforms into a work of art. To me, it’s not a gimmick but rather a really welcome transformation to the living room.
You will, however, have to pay for it and deal with the insanely clunky menus and user interface. And for those looking for the best screen performance – such as a home theater setup or a gaming-only TV – there are better alternatives, such as LG’s G3, Sony’s A95K, or even Samsung’s S95C – but you will pay top dollar for them.
If you’re interested in The Frame, I’d recommend saving up for the 55″ or larger size so you don’t miss out on the 4K 120Hz with VRR, which is great for gaming.
So, overall, this was an overwhelmingly positive review that was not influenced in any way by Samsung. In fact, they even approached me with the opportunity to sponsor this video, which I declined in order to share all of my honest opinions with you.
I’ll leave a video here of my home theater projector setup, which is fantastic for large-screen movies and gaming.