An honest, unbiased Samsung Frame TV Review and our thoughts after several years.
I hesitated for years over buying the Samsung Frame TV. The Frame is much more expensive than other TVs, and it is all connected to an ugly black box I would need to hide. But show me another TV that is as beautiful! This is my honest, unbiased review!
Our Experience With The Samsung Frame TV
When I originally wrote this post, we only owned one Frame. Spoiler alert (you may have seen it on my Instagram) we hung a second Frame TV over our fireplace in our living room. This year in 2022, we redid both sides of our bedroom fireplaces and hung another Samsung Frame TV there.
But my husband – who cares about tech more than just looks – has an opinion on the quality and the technology! While I don’t think the TV is right choice for everyone’s needs, we are clearly big Frame TV fans and I can realistically share all the pros and cons! I will also share who the Frame TV is not a good product for.
Before The Frame:
With our 55″ Frame TV:
Samsung Frame TV Review: What Is It?
The Samsung Frame TV is a 4K TV, also called a picture frame TV. It acts like a chameleon – it turns itself into beautiful art or photos of your choice when not in use! You can leave the screen on art mode all the time without damaging the screen because it has LED Quantum Dot technology, so images can’t be burned on the screen. (On a regular television, an image left on the screen for long periods of time will burn the screen permanently). You can also keep the the TV off but have the art click on with the Frame’s motion detector – so when the TV senses movement in the room. Actual frames for the TV can be purchased, making it look even more like art.
The TV has a “no gap mount” meaning it is mounted flush directly against the wall like a hanging piece of art. (Most televisions leave a few inches of space.) The Frame TV is every home decor lover’s solution!
The Fame TV comes with just one single Invisible Wire (a thin, clear wire) that connects to a One Connect Box, which then needs to be plugged in. More on that below.
Does It Come With A Mount?
The no gap wall mount is included with TV! I LOVE this mount because it is simple enough to mount on your own – without hiring help. The TV can still be tilted, or flush with the wall.
What Is The Frame (Called a TV Bezel) All About?
This is essentially just a TV in a picture frame – it is an art TV! A framed television that looks like a painting. A home decor lover’s dream! It is the best invention ever for people who find televisions ugly and intrusive to the design of a room (hi, me!).
Now that the Frame TV is up I don’t feel any need to add something to that wall.
The TV comes with a thin black frame, called a “bezel”. You can purchase other colors of bezels (frames) separately. There are currently five colors: White, Teak, Brown or Brick Red. The frame is offered in a modern thin shape or a beveled shape.
Photo Source: Samsung Website
It is annoying to purchase the TV bezels separately. But on the other hand, you can still switch out the bezel if your decor changes.
See the difference between the black (no frame) and the white below:
The bezel (frame) is actually metal and is magnetic. The bezel snaps right onto the TV with 4 strips that click together like magic. I thought putting on the bezel would take a bit – it took me 30 seconds. Sadly, the magnetic frame only fits onto The Frame TV, not other televisions.
Samsung Frame TV Review: Does It Actually Pass for Art?
The million dollar question in any Samsung Frame TV Review. Here is my answer.
Don’t buy this with the expectation that this will trick everyone into thinking you own a large Monet. But yes, it could pass as art, especially at first glance and in photographs!
But keep your expectation that this TV will simply make your space look SO much better. It’s not just pretty in comparison to a big black television on your wall. It is simply just REALLY is pretty to look at!
Just the frame around the TV is a game changer! Once you hide the box (more info on how to do that below), you will have a beautiful picture frame TV that sits flat onto the wall and looks strikingly similar to framed art.
You can change the settings on the glow, brightness and the colors so they are warmer/cooler and less bright. The Frame TV is backlit, so it all your art has a bit of a glow. The resolution is gorgeous though. We just adjust the white balance and brightness with each piece of art we choose to make it look most natural.
The first bedroom Frame TV we purchased is the 55″ Samsung Frame TV.
What about cheaper alternatives for a picture frame TV? Does displaying art on a regular smart television makes it the same as a Samsung Frame TV?
You can “diy” a picture frame TV by making a screen saver of art on your smart TV, and its a clever little trick! However, the Frame TV has a few advantages over this “hack”:
- The Frame TV has an actual picture frame around itself
- It has a no gap mount (included) that puts the television directly onto the wall, exactly like a piece of art. Several inches of space are left behind regular TVs with diminish the look.
- Other TVS don’t look beautiful when they are off – but the Frame TV can all day/night! The Frame TV has a motion sensor. Set it to either always display art, or use the motion sensor to activate the art when you walk into the room.
- There is a mat option, making it more realistic for some prints. You pick the colors of the mat – not just white.
- On some TVs, leaving an image on the screen for a long periods of time will burn the image into the television’s display. Samsung has LED Quantum Dot technology, which is fancy tech talk for “won’t burn the screen” and “a very realistic, sharp image”.
Where Do You Put The One Connect Box and The Invisible Wire?
Speaking from an interior design perspective (this is, after all, a home decor blog) you want to hide the invisible wire and most especially, the One Connect Box! The One Connect Box is where the data is all stored, minimizing clutter by allowing you to connect all your devices in one place. Anything like cable boxes, Blu-Ray players, gaming consoles, Apple TV, Fire Sticks etc. connect here. They very in size depending on what year Frame TV you have. Our 2021 Frame TV has a box measuring 12.9″ width x 12″ depth x 1.7″ height.
The box works on radio frequency – this means the One Connect Box doesn’t have to be in direct sight of the remote to work! Behind a cabinet or a wall in a nearby room should work.
For our living room Frame TV (above), we placed the One Connect Box in that cabinet to the left. This meant we drilled a hole in the left cabinet, and fished the Invisible Wire through the empty fireplace into the hole. Read more mounting a Frame TV over the fireplace in this post.
For our bedroom Frame TV (above), our laundry room cabinets are in another room directly behind the wall where our bedroom Frame TV is mounted. We put the One Connect Box inside the cabinet in our laundry room, and drilled a small hole through the back of the cabinet which leads right to the back of the TV in our bedroom.
We fished the Invisible Wire through the hole in the cabinet and wall to the Frame TV so it doesn’t show, and put a plate over the holes to clean them up. The black box now sits inside that laundry cabinet, tucked neatly (away under the iron nobody uses!).
If your TV is simply over a media cabinet, I would advise hiding the One Connect Box inside. Cut a small hole in the back of the cabinet for the Invisible Wire, and drill a hole in the wall for the Invisible Wire to be fished through.
If you must leave the wire hanging, hide it or use a paintable cord cover.
What Is the Quality of the Samsung Frame TV From a Technology Standpoint?
Full disclosure here: Although this is a Samsung Frame TV Review, it’s my husband that cares about tech and gadgets – while I care about looks.
That being said, my husband loves the TV and was blown away with the way it looks in our house. We always comment how crisp the image is. The picture on the screen is brilliantly sharp. The sound is clear too, at high volume as well. I love that it hooks up to our Alexa. Even if you don’t have Alexa, you can use the voice activation and talk to it. We don’t use this feature much – but it’s there!
At the same time, he does find it outrageously expensive. It is one of the most expensive televisions on the market. When spending that amount of money on a TV in general, you can get a TV with better technology for sure (albeit uglier). That being said, he isn’t unhappy with the Frame’s quality. Just know that you are paying a lot up front for the Frame’s looks.
Who shouldn’t purchase the Frame TV?
Essentially, the price pays for a look that no other TV can rival or touch, and a high quality television, but it sure is expensive. If you are just after the best most technologically advanced TV on the market and looks aren’t important to you, skip the Frame TV. It’s not for you!
Above in our new house, our 2021 65″ Frame TV we just recently purchased.
The remote is cute, white and thin, and looks nice out on a table. (I know most of the population will not care about this. But for me, it was a happy surprise!)
What is the biggest sign of our satisfaction? The buyer’s of our previous home wrote both Frame TVs into the contract and negotiated for them. We agreed, and bought 2 more Frame TVs after moving into our new home.
Where Is The Best Deal On a Picture Frame TV and How Much Does It Cost?
Most people like to shop Amazon and that is where we bought our television, here. The best deal just depends on what time of year it is or if you want it delivered right away. The best time to buy is around Black Friday.
For our last Frame TV we purchased, the 2021 65″ 4k Quantum HDR, we paid approximately $1,500. It was not on sale at the time.
We bought our white frame (called the bezel) on Amazon, here, and paid $150.
How Do I Upload Art / Pictures Onto The Samsung Frame TV?
The most fun part, right??!
Samsung offers a few free options (nothing special), an Art Store subscription (current cost is $5.99/month), or you can buy one piece of art for $24.99… but I like FREE!!
In addition, you can upload your own image for free (and this include photographs of your family!), right from your phone. Obviously, screenshots aren’t going to look great. You need the pixels and sizing to be right.
Your best bet for art is Etsy – they sell art made for the Samsung Frame TV for just a few dollars! Search Etsy using the words frame tv art, and then filter (abstract, beach, etc.) Play around with cropping or the mat to get it sized just right. Below are some pieces I loved from Etsy:
Once you have your art on your phone, add the (free) Smart Things app to your phone and connect it to The Frame and upload your photo / art right to the TV. If you have trouble with sizing I would reach out to the Etsy shop owner.
4 Things I Dislike That Should Be Mentioned In A Samsung Frame TV Review
1. I am picky about art and I found the free art options the TV comes with to be lame – and who wants to pay monthly after the television was so expensive? There are ways around this by downloading the (free) Samsung SmartThings app, or buying art for just a few bucks on Etsy. Both options I spoke in detail about above.
2. The Frame itself says the word Samsung on the top. It is very small print, but… why? Why is this there?
That advertising is hurting the whole purpose of the product itself.
3. The art mode lighting is hit or miss depending on the image – especially if you are picky about color balance like me! You have to play around with the settings and the mat colors to get it all just right each time you choose art.
In my opinion, some art just looks better than others. It really just depends on the colors in the art you use and the lighting in your room.