Up until this month I was unsure why anyone would buy a Samsung ‘The Frame’ TV. It seemed excessive and really just a product to flash around the fact you have enough cash to spend on another TV that sits in a room big enough to sit on a stand.
I had so many opinions on The Frame. But I really hadn’t spent much time with one, so I was open to having my mind changed. Clearly, as you’ve read the headline, my mind changed and I am now eating a 55-inch Samsung Frame TV-flavoured humble pie.
What is The Frame TV?
The idea behind The Frame is basically that you have a TV that behaves like an artwork when not in use. You can choose from a number of artists and their works (more on that later) – as Samsung says: “The Frame turns your space into an endless gallery of masterpieces”. The Frame has been around for a while, but the one I’m reviewing is Samsung’s 2022 55-inch QLED 4K Frame TV.
What didn’t I like about it?
I mentioned above I didn’t think much of the Samsung Frame TV. So what didn’t I like? Well, to start with: why would you want another TV that isn’t your main TV but it takes up more space due to its stand? I have to admit this was mostly neglecting to consider some people do have space and that they don’t live in an apartment in Sydney. I also neglected to take into consideration the fact The Frame can be mounted, which leads me to my second issue: how is this practical with a dog, cat or young child? Well, Asha, you can mount it. But you also know what? Not everyone has a dog, a cat or a young child and if they do, they might just have enough space to have Samsung’s The Frame TV enough out of the way that said dog, cat or young child cannot knock it off the stand.
A reoccurring theme here was that I decided I didn’t want one, therefore I questioned why anyone else would.
If we go back to my first issue, however, the Frame doesn’t have to be your second TV, it can be your first (or only) screen. It’s $2,000 and not all that much different to other 55-inch TVs, except its picture is utter perfection (I’ll get to that soon).
Another issue I took with Samsung’s The Frame TV was, ‘Why would I want artwork to be displayed on a screen?’ I assumed the screen would make it look tacky, as was showcased by the otherwise great LG QNED91 TV. Oh-boy was I wrong about that one.
The picture is second to none
I’ve reviewed a number of TVs since joining Gizmodo Australia and each one, including the latest 75-inch Neo QLED from Samsung, surprises me with the picture quality. Even still, somehow, Samsung’s The Frame shits all over these other TVs when it comes to picture. Here’s a close up photo of the Frame, taken with an iPhone 13 Pro Max:
You honestly can see the texture, it looks wet. If this is how good it looks photographed, I hope you can imagine what it looks like up close.
I also spent wayyy too long watching a car drive around the side of a mountain. Motion isn’t captured too well in this shot, but you’d have become mesmerised, too.
I also didn’t see the need to have artwork. Now I do, as you can see in the close up shot of a flower above, it’s phenomenal quality. While in The Frame TV’s ‘Art Mode’ you can access the Art Store. You can choose from the selection Samsung has (there’s over 16,000 pieces of artwork) or you can upload your own (via USB or a Samsung phone). Of those 16,000, 20 are free but paying $24.99 will allow you to purchase an individual piece of art. A Samsung Frame Art Store subscription will set you back $5.99 per month after a three-month free trial. If you buy art, however, you can take it with you when you get a new Samsung Frame TV.
Of course you can opt for a digital display of the Mona Lisa, but a lot of the commissions go back to the artist, and for Australians, there’s a tonne of local artists’ works to buy – they get monthly royalties from the Samsung Art Store (it’s based on how many people are displaying their art, so buy Aussie works, y’all). Just a note that if you like the art used in the hero pic for this article, head over to Mulga’s website to see some more.
You can also customise the bezels, The Frame’s frame finish and it can be wall mounted, too. If you wall mount it you can get some spin happening:
It can still do TV stuff
The Samsung Frame does all of the stuff a normal TV does, just plus art. You should look at the art part as an extra.
If you want to go into ‘Art Mode’ you just press the power button once, doing this also reduces electricity usage (but I couldn’t tell you by how much) versus TV mode. If you press it again, you’re back on TV mode. Pretty darn simple. Holding the button down for five seconds turns it off, off. Oh, and the Samsung Frame automatically turns on to display your artwork when it senses you’ve entered the room. Leave the room, and it turns itself off.
But how does it sound?
Quite good, actually. With The Frame TV, Samsung still gives you its inbuilt up firing speakers and True Dolby Atmos support, which can also wirelessly transmit the Dolby Atmos signal to a Samsung Soundbar. While I think Samsung’s latest Q990B Soundbar is pure perfection, The Frame still holds its own.
I found even at half-way the sound was loud and perfectly audible, full volume it became a little loud, but not distorted.
This 55-inch Samsung Frame TV-flavoured humble pie tastes real good. I wouldn’t get one in an apartment without the possibility to mount it, and my cat would have a field day with the stand. But it’s a good TV with a great picture, if you’ve got a spare $2,000 and you like art.
The Frame TV is available in 32, 43, 50, 55, 65, 75 and 85-inch models, with rotating accessories starting at $499 for the wall-mounted rotator (a stand-mounted rotator is $599).
Where can I buy Samsung’s The Frame TV?
Prices for the new The Frame TVs range from $799 for the 32-inch model and go all the way up to $4,999 for the 85-inch model. The 2022 55-inch model I reviewed will set you back $2,095 from Samsung.