Samsung The Frame 2021 Review • Much more attractive this time around
Samsung The Frame 2020 is equipped with a premium QLED panel, powerful Quantum 8K processor and is available in a wide variety of diagonal sizes. Compared to the first The Frame, which was released in 2018, Samsung’s new designer TV is much more attractive, although not without some flaws.
Samsung The Frame is an interesting concept that combines both an interior item and a TV. Design without visible wires, great view when wall-mounted, interchangeable frames that give the screen the look of a painting, a special mode for showing masterpieces of painting – all this attracts well-deserved attention.
The first The Frame of 2018 was also a fine example of a stylish TV, but its picture quality left much to be desired. Inexpressive brightness and color overshadowed its beautiful appearance.
Two years later, we have the third coming of The Frame. The model now features a premium QLED display and is offered in as many as five diagonal versions. The 2020 Frame is an eye-catching TV, although there are still some remarks about black depth and color accuracy.
The presence of frames in different colors, which is not difficult to change, and a wide selection of works of art, textures and screensavers that can be displayed on the screen, allow The Frame to successfully fit into any interior. The variety of looks that the TV can accept, its versatility and even mobility (thanks to additional stand options) will undoubtedly please many buyers.
Prices at the time of the review range from 81 thousand for the smallest size to 219.9 thousand rubles. for the largest, which in the QLED hierarchy places The Frame between the Q70T and Q80T .
The design is undoubtedly the main strength of The Frame. This is a model for which appearance comes first. The idea of the developers is clear: in most cases, the TV is idle for hours in the homes of their owners, not working, and is a dull black panel “flaunting” in the most conspicuous place in the hall. Therefore, the main purpose of The Frame is to harmoniously blend into any interior thanks to its unique features.
The inner frame of the TV is made of dark metal with a beautiful brushed finish. For a small additional cost, you can purchase external frames in various colors, which are attached with magnets, giving the screen the appearance of a real painting. There are 6 options to choose from: white, black, brown, beige, red and walnut.
The TV case with a solid frame is not super thin, but it has a very flat profile with no protruding parts. The rear panel has a recess for a bracket, which allows for wall mounting with a snug fit. The mount also allows you to tilt the screen. In the lower part of the case, there are sockets for legs, which are simply inserted into them without the need for screwing, which is very convenient. However, all the splendor of The Frame comes into play, of course, with wall mounting.
This TV, like the flagship QLED models, is equipped with an external One Connect module, which contains all the connectors, including power, HDMI, USB, etc., which eliminates the need to pull a bunch of wires to the TV. This is a good solution, giving the TV a neat and aesthetic appearance. Surprisingly, the functions of all connections of the outdoor unit are provided only by a thin, barely visible cable that connects it to the TV.
Like other premium Samsung models, The Frame comes with two remote controls. One of them is the main one with many rubberized buttons, and the second is stylish and sleek with a few basic functions. Despite the minimal configuration, the latter is much more pleasant to operate. To understand its commands, you will have to read the instructions, but there is nothing complicated about it (hint: a single short press on the power button switches between TV mode and Art mode, and pressing and holding – turns off).
The Tizen platform is one of the best on the market, as we can see once again with The Frame. Its main feed with applications is displayed on top of the viewed program along the bottom edge of the screen. When you select any icon above, the second row with available content opens.
You can customize the appearance of the main feed according to personal preferences by pinning your favorite applications, arranging them in a certain order, and deleting unnecessary ones.
There are two programs for voice control – Amazon Alexa and Samsung Bixby.
Picture and Ambient modes
Art Mode Painting is one of The Frame’s main unique features. When activated, the TV screen displays objects of painting and other fine art, natural landscapes or your own photographs.
To make this regime possible, Samsung has partnered with a number of renowned museums and galleries, including V&A and Saatchi from London, the Van Gogh Museum from Amsterdam, and many other institutions around the world. The Frame catalog contains hundreds of works, but only 20 of them are available for free use. Full access requires a monthly subscription. However, even without paying, The Frame can offer you a lot of background graphics to fill your screen.
In Picture mode, the TV consumes about 30% of normal power consumption. In our opinion, this is quite a lot, but such is the price for the special atmosphere that The Frame is able to create.
Another close to “Picture” mode is Ambient. It includes animated images and customizable color textures that match your mood and can dissolve the TV against the wall. The choice of graphics in this mode is extensive, in addition, you can display the clock, weather information and headlines of the main news on the screen.
The Frame is unique in terms of design, but not the most outstanding picture quality.
Of course, compared to the original The Frame of 2018, a significant step forward has been taken. Thus, the new model is equipped with a powerful Quantum 4K processor, which provides an excellent transformation of standard TV programs and films on old discs into high quality close to 4K.
The TV perfectly conveys dynamic scenes, which is facilitated by the “Picture Clarity” function, although The Frame does an excellent job without it. We looked at programs from every source available to us on screen, and almost all of them looked great with a few exceptions.
We are used to the high brightness of QLED panels, amounting to thousands of nits, but The Frame is somewhat more modest in this regard, giving out only a few hundred nits. This is, in principle, a normal figure for daily TV viewing. After all, you don’t want to be dazzled by the Gioconda with its 2000 nits of light. However, the picture in The Frame is not as spectacular as in some other Samsung TVs.
The image quality in SDR format is excellent with excellent color reproduction, as befits a TV picture. Best of all, The Frame delivers HDR with vivid and colorful tones. However, we were somewhat disappointed by the unnatural bodily tones, especially from non-white races. We tried different settings, but we couldn’t get the colors of the characters’ faces accurate.
Our other comment concerns the depth of black tones. Movies dominated by dark scenes lack clarity in the shadows, which often merge into one continuous piece. For moviegoers, this is hardly good news.
The audio system in The Frame produces standard 20 watts of power and does not stand out in anything special. There is no Dolby Atmos support or a set of speakers with spatial sound effect here.
At the same time, the audio system performs its main function well, clearly conveying dialogues. The sound is generally balanced, but distortion appears at high volumes. For fans of loud music or movies with special effects, we recommend adding a separate soundbar to The Frame.
If audio is important to you, then you might want to consider the LG OLED GX Gallery , which has a similar concept of TV-picture. It delivers an impressive 60W of power and supports Dolby Atmos surround format. However, the price of this competitor is much higher than that of The Frame.
The Frame is a designer model with a wide range of diagonal sizes and interchangeable frames to perfectly match your decor. A separate outdoor unit with OneConnect connections provides the TV with additional aesthetics.
A unique art mode turns The Frame into a painting showcasing the best of art from a variety of museums and galleries around the world, and culturally enriches your home.
Today’s market is saturated with similar TVs, while The Frame stands out with its style, design and artistry.
Who is The Frame 2020 not suitable for?
For those looking for high cinematic quality
The Frame has difficulty detailing in dark scenes, has less than the highest brightness, and comes with standard 20W audio. Not the best home theater solution.
For those who value the price-functionality ratio
There are cheaper TVs on the market with similar specifications. The Frame is more expensive due to the quality of the materials used in its manufacture, its style and other features that do not directly affect the image quality.
For those looking for a spectacular picture with high contrast and vivid colors
This category of buyers should look at other QLED or OLED models in the same price segment.