Hey all! Today we are reviewing one of our FAVORITE new home products – the Samsung Frame TV. We upgraded TVs when we remodeled our living room, and, spoiler alert, we have been SO pleased with this upgrade. There’s a lot to love with this smart TV, so let’s dive in!
Overview – The Samsung Frame TV (Smart TV)
The Samsung Frame TV is a smart TV that is built SUPER slim – like less than 2” slim – so that it can look like a piece of art while in “art mode.” The art mode (see pictures above and below) has adjustable settings so that you can make your Frame TV look very little like a TV and very much like a piece of art. It is SO cool. As mentioned before, it’s also a smart tv, which means (among other things) it comes with apps such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Youtube/Youtube TV, installed and ready to go from the minute you set it up. Believe it or not, this is our FIRST smart TV, and we didn’t know what we were missing. Having all these apps on board without any extra devices is SO nice. In addition, the TV comes in plenty of sizes so you can find the perfect solution for your space! The 2021 Model comes in sizes 43” – 75”, and the 2020 Model comes in 32”-75”. When we were originally planning our living room update, we taped out various sizes on our wall and were deciding between the 55” and the 65”. We ended up going with the 65”, and we’ve never regretted it. For reference, the wall it’s on (see pictures above and below) is just over 12’ wide.
Price – 6.5 of 10
If you’ve done much research on reputable smart TVs, you know that there are a lot of different price points. We’re giving it a 6.5 because it’s on the higher end price point of smart TVs available, but we believe the features the Frame TV offer are worth the extra $$ you’re spending. For the quality of the picture and the features it offers as a smart TV, with the addition of the super cool Art Mode, it’s a good investment if you’re looking for TVs at that price point.
IMPORTANT NOTE: We got our Samsung Frame TV on Amazon Prime Day for essentially WHOLESALE COST. That being said, keep your eyes out on Prime Day, Black Friday, etc.
Installation / Set Up – 8 of 10
The installation and setup of this TV are super simple. If you’re planning on installing the TV directly on the wall, there is a little bit of extra work involved. Simple for anyone who is moderately handy, you’ll just want to make sure you have a plan going into your setup!
The whole schtick with the Frame TV is that it’s super thin and can hang on the wall to look like a piece of art. As you can see below, when mounted on the wall, the entirety of the Frame TV sits less than 2” from the wall. The reason the TV is able to be that thin is that the “brains” of the TV live in an external box called a “One Connect Box”. The TV connects to the One Connect Box via an extremely small, single cable. You can see what both look like below. All that to say – if you want the TV to be mounted to the wall and not see any cables, you’ll have to fish the wire through the wall to the brain box. Not a huge deal, but it is something you’ll want to plan for prior to installation!
To mount the TV directly to the wall you’ll use the included TV mounting bracket; it’s super simple. The instructions give you easy-to-understand measurements and help you mark your holes for installation. If you aren’t mounting to studs, you’ll want to use lag bolts or some other kind of sturdy anchor to install the mounting bracket. Overall, very straightforward installation!
Setup is simple too. You’ll need to download the Samsung Smart Things app and sign up for an account, but after that, the TV literally talks you through setup step by step. It’s incredibly easy.
Picture – 9 of 10
I’ll be the first to say we aren’t TV snobs or know-it-alls, so this isn’t a technical assessment of the Frame TV’s picture quality. All we can say is – we think it’s great. Whether you’re getting the 2020 Version (4k QLED – this is what we have) or the 2021 Version (4K Quantum HDR), you’re going to be pleased with the picture quality. Samsung has long been a quality producer of TVs, and the Frame TV line lives up to their standards.
Smart-ness, Usability, Art Mode – 8.5 of 10
As I mentioned above, this is our first smart TV. It is SO nice to have all our apps directly on the TV without having to use an external device like an Apple TV or Amazon Fire Stick/Cube. Nothing against those products at all, but it’s just nice to have it all in one place! The remote control has quick buttons to access Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Samsung TV Plus. Samsung TV Plus is a TV service that comes free on Samsung smart TVs, and its basically a bunch of free TV channels. There aren’t many major channels on there, but there are a number of special interest channels that you may find enjoyable. We don’t use it a ton, but it’s definitely a bonus feature.
The TV also has smart features including smart settings, which can change things like brightness and volume level based on the settings the TV detects in your physical space. For instance, the TV will lower it’s own brightness in the evenings to match the fact that your watching environment is getting darker, or vice versa. You can turn these features on or off individually, which is really nice. Some are more useful than others.
Usability is great. The remote is pretty streamlined and simple, and the TV menu is easy to navigate. Not too much to say here apart from it’s as good or better than I would expect from this quality of TV.
Art mode. This is a VERY cool feature that really sets this TV apart from the rest. In short, this TV has a standby mode that allows you to put art on the screen. You can adjust settings such as contrast and brightness in order for the art to truly look like art in your individual space. It is AMAZING how great this TV can look in art mode! All the pictures shown above and below are of our tv in art mode in our living room. You can see how effective this feature is! It really makes the TV not feel like the center of attention, and also keeps us from just having a black screen taking up half our wall. You can purchase art from the Samsung store or from Etsy (many people sell correctly-scaled digital art for around $5), or you can even upload your own photos to display! We’ve had some of our art pieces professionally scanned and scaled to fit the TV. This really is a standalone feature that the Samsung Frame TV offers, and even as I’m sitting here writing this blog and looking at the art on the TV, I’m amazed at how it truly looks like a piece of art and not a TV.
There are two reasons we aren’t giving it a 10 of 10, and both are kind of user errors. Firstly, any time we hit the channel up or down buttons on the remote, the TV automatically leaves whatever app you’re watching and switches to Samsung TV Plus. This is super annoying if you accidentally hit the button on the remote, which I’ve done fairly often. Not a huge deal, but I do wish the channel buttons were only activated when inside applicable apps. And maybe if you like using Samsung TV Plus, you actually like the quick key to be able to get there. Secondly, we can’t figure out how to turn off Samsung TV +. Every time we turn the TV on, Samsung TV + starts on whatever random channel we left it on previously (I guess like an actual TV, ha). We never intentionally use the Samsung TV Plus feature, and it would be nice if the TV just launched to a generic launch screen or you could set which app you want to launch. Again, probably a user error. If we figure it out, we’ll update to a 10 of 10 🙂
In summary, we are loving our Samsung Frame TV. I would highly recommend this TV if you’re in the market at this price point and care about purchasing a quality smart TV. All other things equal, the art mode is really what sets this TV apart. We don’t like to have the TV be the center of attention in a room. We also didn’t want to just have a large black rectangle taking up half our wall in the living room when the TV was off. The Frame TV has been an excellent solution for us, and we think you’ll love it too!