Samsung LS03A Review: Excellent images and impressive response time

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Samsung’s The Frame 2021 TVs are the continuation of the QLED line and the successor to Frame 2020. Like its predecessors, the novelty displays works of art or photographs on its screen when the TV is not in use. Frames can be selected to match your decor.

The Samsung 55LS03A TV uses a VA panel with an outstanding contrast ratio, making it an excellent device for viewing in a dark room. Note that the viewing angles of VA matrices are lower than nominal, so this option is not the best choice for a huge audience. Consider the Samsung QE55LS03A 4K HDR review from Samsung’s The Frame 2021 lineup.

Samsung LS03A review

The Samsung LS03A series has acceptable pixel response times and black frame insertion for crisp images in fast moving scenes. Interpolation is available at a lower frame rate for smoother motion.

Despite the response time, the LS03A has low input lag, VRR support and can display 4K @ 120Hz content thanks to its HDMI 2.1 port. Unfortunately, the series in question lacks local dimming, and the maximum brightness for HDR is not enough to bring out highlights on the screen as they appear on advanced models.

Design

It is worth recalling that the Samsung Frame 2021 models belong to the Samsung Lifestyle TV lineup, which includes models such as Samsung The Serif, Samsung The Terrace and Samsung The Sero. Overall, the unique features of the Samsung LS03A make it difficult to compare with other TVs in today’s 4K TV market.

The closest competitor is the Samsung Q60A QLED or Samsung Q70A QLED TVs. Thus, Samsung LS03A is in the middle of these two series, something between Samsung Q60 and Samsung Q70 .

The appearance of the Samsung Frame 2021 is very similar to its predecessor, Samsung The Frame 2020. As before, the series is equipped with One Connect box, so that only one cable leads to the screen, but the TV itself is much thinner than the 2020 models. The legs of the stand have been slightly redesigned. Now it is possible to adjust the height of the screen.

Samsung LS03A design

In general, the bottom border of the screen is now “customizable”. Samsung 55LS03A TV comes with black trim strips. Additional decor colors are beige, brown or white. They are purchased separately and self-install.

The legs of the stand cannot be confused, but they are height adjustable. You can now place a soundbar or flat console such as the Xbox Series X under the Samsung 55LS03A screen. The maximum height that the screen can be raised is almost 9 cm. The legs of the stand are very sturdy and the TV hardly sways.

By the way, this series provides various options for stands, for example, a studio stand. In this form, the picture “turns out” on the easel. Again, this stand is sold separately and is not included.

The back of the 55LS03A TV is made of plastic with horizontal embossing lines. The body has a recess for cable routing, which is the only one. It is located in the central part. The wall mount is gap-free and is included in the scope of delivery.

The screen bezel is slightly thicker than other 2021 Samsung QLED TVs. Samsung’s The Frame 2021 models are much thinner than last year’s variants. And this is a plus, because when using a wall mount, the TV does not protrude far from the wall.

The build quality of the Samsung QE55LS03A TV is excellent. You can feel the professionalism of the designers. The model hardly bends. The TV is stable on a horizontal surface. One connection port on the TV is covered by a decorative cover.

Picture

Samsung’s The Frame 2021 series TVs have an outstanding contrast ratio, which contributes to deep blacks, making them an excellent choice for dark environments. This indicator is at the level of 5600: 1. However, the LS03A also has disadvantages. Like its predecessor (Frame 2020), the novelty did not receive local dimming and global improvements in black levels should not be expected.

SDR content

Samsung QE55LS03A has impressive SDR brightness. The settings are similar to Frame 2020. The brightness is enough to dampen some glare even in well-lit rooms. After calibration, the SDR luminance in Film mode with Warm 2 hue and MAX luminance results in a range of 500 to 520 nits.

If someone prefers to get a brighter image, but lose a little in the accuracy of the image, then you can set the “Dynamic” mode with the brightness to MAX. Then the brightness in a 10% window will be about 590 nits. As a reminder, these models lack local dimming, but rather Edge LED backlighting.

HDR content

HDR brightness is ok. The picture is not as bright as in last year’s version, but, unlike its predecessor, it is more realistic. The image is bright enough to emphasize the highlights of the image. But there is still a long way to go to “true” cinematic HDR.

The measured HDR brightness in Movie HDR picture mode with maximum contrast and brightness, color tone (set to Warm 2) is 630 nits in a 10% window. In this case, the “Dynamic HDR” mode was turned on, the contrast enhancement slider was set to “High”.

Some additional tweaks can slightly improve the picture if the HDR content is too dim. Here you can set Contrast Enhancer to MAX and ST.2084 to MAX. Such adjustments will result in a much brighter image. By the way, the HDR brightness in game mode is slightly brighter than in normal mode. Black uniformity is good.

Viewing angle and glare

As expected, with most VA panel TVs, and Samsung’s The Frame TV does that, we get “sub-parallel” viewing angles. In 2021, the situation is slightly better than in the 2020 models, but the image still looks inaccurate with a large deviation from the center of the screen. It is strange that the manufacturer, positioning these models as a picture on the wall, uses VA technology.

The Samsung QE55LS03A TV has decent screen glare protection. Models are good for most lighting conditions, but it is best to avoid direct hits from bright lights as they are problematic to reflect.

Samsung LS03A view

Matrix and color coating

The QE55LS03A model uses a subpixel arrangement of BGR elements in the matrix. Color depth 8 bit + FRC. This has no discernible effect on image quality, but may result in blurry text. This is especially noticeable in applications when using a TV as a PC monitor.

The color scheme is excellent in the LS03A series from Samsung. The series has excellent DCI P3 color space coverage used in most HDR content. Rec. 2020 is also up to par. But it is believed that there are some problems with reds, which can make them look pink.

Dynamics

Samsung’s The Frame 2021 series has excellent response times. This figure is similar to Samsung The Frame 2020, but in the updated version, the backlight frequency is higher than that of its predecessor. However, artifacts can be observed in dynamic dark scenes. Pixel response time from 4.3 to 11.8 ms (depends on the area of ​​the part of the screen during measurement).

The backlighting in The Frame TV 2021 is PWM controlled. The frequency is about 960 Hz in the “Cinema” mode, which is not noticeable for most users. In game mode, PWM operates at 480 Hz. The 120Hz PWM frequency is set in normal picture modes (Dynamic, Natural, Standard and Cinematic) or Game Motion Plus.

BFI black frame insertion function is present. It improves clarity in fast moving scenes. But to be more precise, this is backlight strobing. We will not give all the settings, you just have to operate it yourself for the best playback of content.

FreeSync and VRR

Samsung LS03A series supports FreeSync VRR technology to reduce discomfort while gaming. TVs do not officially support G-SYNC compatibility, although some reviews say it works. The function provides approximately the same parameters as in the Samsung QN90A QLED. Note that the QE43LS03A and QE50LS03A models have 60Hz refresh rates and do not support VRR.

Intlag

The 2021 Samsung The Frame TV models have exceptionally low input lag, which will appeal to console lovers. To enable the lowest latency, you need to enable Game Mode. Motion interpolation can also be used to keep low frame rate games smooth enough on screen.

Although this significantly increases the input latency. This mode is not recommended. To interpolate motion, set “Game Motion Plus” and “Picture Clarity” to “Custom”.

Like the Samsung QN90A QLED, the true input lag is not obtained with VRR (incorrect 1ms reading). VRR doesn’t seem to work as expected with some graphics cards. From the obtained values, we indicate: at 1080p @ 120Hz – input lag 5.4 ms, at 4K @ 120Hz – 5.5 ms.

Samsung LS03A interfaces

Connections

Before listing the available interfaces, it is worth recalling the supported HDR standards. In the Samsung LS03A series of TVs, these are HDR10, HDR10 +, Dolby Vision, Quantum HDR and HLG. All four HDMI ports are 2.0 compliant, and one HDMI 4 port is 2.1 compliant.

To use it “to its fullest”, you should set the “Game” mode to “Auto”. Two USB 2.0 ports, digital optical audio output, tuner inputs and an Ethernet port. Onboard wireless BT and Wi-Fi connections. Recall that the front-end is located in the One Connect box.

Sound

The built-in speakers of Samsung The Frame 2021 are mediocre. They are reasonably well balanced, but lack the bass notes to reproduce deep sound. The power of the 4.0 CH sound system at 10 W is sufficient, although there is some squeeze at maximum volume.

User interface

LS03A TVs use Tizen OS 6.0. This is a user-friendly platform, which we have already talked about more than once on the UltraHD.su portal. Externally, the controls are very similar to Samsung QN85A QLED or QN90A QLED. As usual, there are ads and recommended content on the home screen and in the App Store – this cannot be turned off.

Samsung’s LS03A series in question, like the other 2021 Samsung QLED lines, has had a slightly redesigned remote. It now has a built-in battery and can be charged via a small solar panel on the back. Charging is also possible via the USB-C port.

No charger or USB-C cable included. In addition, the remote has a microphone for voice control. Commands can be used to change some of the TV’s settings, launch an application, or request information such as the weather. Searching for certain content in the Netflix app, on the other hand, is beyond voice.

Conclusion

Samsung LS03A is well-suited for sports and much more. It has good response times to provide clear images in fast moving scenes. Has a black frame insertion function to improve clarity in fast moving scenes.

The Samsung LS03A does a decent job with on-screen highlights, and overall the image is bright enough to combat glare. However, the VA sensor has narrow viewing angles, which can cause the image to be blurry when viewed from the side. Therefore, this TV is not the best option for watching a large group.