The Frame TV brings fine decor and art to your wall. It’s excellent in that role, though it doesn’t deliver Samsung’s very best motion video technology.
If you’re looking for the ultimate TV that doesn’t appear to be a TV, look no farther than Samsung’s The Frame.” It’s a quantum-dot LCD styled to appear as a wall-hung picture frame that displays art when you’re not watching video of some sort, and it looks amazingly convincing in that role.
Design and specs
To better mimic a wall-hung picture, The Frame uses a rectangular replaceable bezel that juts out slightly beyond the 60Hz, 10-bit, 3840 x 2160 (4K UHD) LCD panel. The back is completely flat, with a recess where the included, shallow-profile wall mount is attached. Yup, it fits perfectly against the wall, just like a picture frame.
Having had this TV for almost a month now, I can safely say that there is nothing I want more than to come home and sit in front of it for hours on end.
As normal power and connection cables would sully the aesthetics, The Frame also features Samsung’s One Connect single-cable connection. This clear (except for the wire) cable connects to a breakout box that houses most of the electronics and all the ports. Given a suitably light-colored wall, the cable is hard to spot. It will stand out more against dark surfaces.
Its connectivity also includes four HDMI ports (one of which supports ARC), two USB ports, ethernet, coaxial (for a TV antenna), digital optical (Toslink) audio output, and a 3.5mm RS232C jack for integration. 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are also provided, and the latter supports low-latency connections so you can use headphones and other speakers without undo lag.
Art Mode / Ambient Mode
Obviously, a picture frame is useless without pictures, and Samsung supplies about 1,400 of those in its Art Store por purchase. Users are also able to use their own pictures as the Art Photos too. One of The Frame’s most distinctive features is Art Mode: a setting that displays artworks, paintings, landscapes, or your own personal photos instead of a black TV screen.
Notably, Samsung has partnered with a number of renowned museums and galleries, including the V&A and Saatchi Gallery in London, the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam, and plenty others from around the world. Out of hundreds of artworks, you technically only get 20 for free, and you will need to upgrade to a paid monthly subscription to get a wider variety of paintings and the like – but there’s plenty of other background fodder to use without paying a penny.
We’re told by a Samsung rep that Art Mode uses around 30% of the power that streaming a movie on Netflix would, meaning it’s not as eco-friendly as simply turning the TV off, but is a good option for when you’re around the house a lot or having company over.
Ambient Mode is also well worth a look, utilizing – you guessed it – ‘ambient’ animations and customizable color gradients to help generate a calming atmosphere (or just match the wallpaper as precisely as possible). The various clock faces and floating rubber duckie are some personal favorites, but there’s plenty to try out here, including real-time weather information and news headlines supplied by Samsung’s news app.
The Frame delivers a very good picture. It’s everything it needs to be for its intended role and offers excellent viewing angles and screen conformity.
Samsung The Frame TV may look good, but how does it sound? You’ll get a pretty standard 20W output here, without Dolby Atmos surround sound or any fancy built-in driver arrays.
The Frame is more for looking than listening, then – but the sound still holds up for general usage. Dialogue is brilliantly clear, too, with an overall balanced sound, though you can start to hear some audio distortion when you get to higher volumes. This last point isn’t a huge issue, but enough to mean you’ll want a dedicated soundbar if you want to use The Frame for loud music or big-impact movie scores.
Besides the exceptional functions meantioned, The Frame also enable multi screen viewing with mobile phones, tablets and PCs too. With Samsung DeX and SmartThing apps, it also enables us to use the TV as a screen projector too.
Pricey but worth it
The Frame is all about looking good on a wall displaying art, and it does that extremely well—far better than any other TV we’ve seen. For that, it’s a stellar product and very, very good overall TV. There are two sizes for The Frame — 55- and 65-inch. The one major difference between both sizes though is its price. At 55-inches, you’ll be paying RM6,479 while its 65-inch is at RM10,749.
Basically the 55-inch is more than enough to satisfy your home. It still carries all the same features and specs in the 65-inch one, just a slightly smaller frame. But when it’s all said and done, a smart TV is a necessity in one’s home given its future-proof technology that will only get better with time.
If you’re worried about whether it will fit into your home decor, fret not as Samsung has got you covered with its accessories. For a small addition to the cost of the television, though, you can buy a variety of bezels that attach magnetically for a full-on picture frame aesthetic: colors include white, black, brown, beige, burgundy red, and clay beige.