The star of Samsung’s lifestyle TV range, this updated version of The Frame can easily pass as a wall-mounted work of art. With an all-new matte finish screen, it doesn’t look like a regular TV panel at all. Just clip on an (optional) picture frame bezel, and the illusion is truly complete.
The Frame (2022) can display the works of the Old Masters – Art Store subscription required, though – or your own photographs when in standby, but it also functions as an everyday 4K HDR smart TV.
Eat your heart out van Gogh…
Samsung The Frame 2022: Price & Availability
Given that The Frame isn’t just another cookie cutter design, you would expect it to come with a price premium.
Available in 32- 43-, 50-, 55-, 60-, 65-, 75- and 85-inch screen sizes, The Frame 2022 is priced at £449, £899, £1,099, £1,149, £1,399, £2,049 and £2,799 respectively. Our review sample is the 55-inch model. Be aware that the 32-inch model is not 4K (it's only Full HD), like the rest of the range.
The Frame 2022 is available with the same screen size options Stateside, priced at $549, $899, $1,099, $1,199, $1,999, $2,999 and $4,299 respectively.
The Frame 2022 review: Features & What's New?
You’ll not sacrifice regular smart TV functionality if you opt for this lifestyle set. The set runs the Tizen platform, which comes with a full list of premium streaming apps and catch-up TV services, as well as Samsung’s own Samsung Plus IP TV channel selection. It’s compatible with Google Assistant and Alexa, and can act as a hub for any of your SmartThings connected devices.
With Disney+, Netflix, Prime Video and AppleTV+, The Frame has got all the premium services covered. On the UK edition, Samsung still snubs Freeview Play, but all the key catch-up services are available, including ITVX, BBC iPlayer and All4.
New on this iteration of the Tizen OS is the Samsung Game Hub, which offers access to both gaming services and connected consoles. There’s also a dedicated pop-up gaming interface that groups together relevant Game settings, including Game Picture Mode, Screen ratio, MiniMap zoom, and input lag.
Perhaps surprisingly, The Frame actually makes a pretty decent gaming display. I measured input lag at 10.5ms with Game mode selected (1080/60), and 13.8ms with Game Motion Plus selected. The latter option applies a modicum of image processing to sharpen up the gaming visuals. That's impressive.
The Frame 2022 review: Images & Sound
Lifestyle aesthetics aside, there’s impressive picture tech onboard The Frame (2022). The panel delivers rich, convincing QLED hues, and is blisteringly sharp.
Motion handling effortlessly enhances clarity, but be wary of the Auto setting as it imparts a slippery soap opera feel to everything, which can be distracting with movies and cinematic TV shows as they'll be too smoothed out.
The matte-style screen, now standard across the entire Samsung lifestyle range, works spectacularly well when displaying digital artwork. It really does create the illusion of canvas. It also combats glare, which makes the TV very tolerant of placement.
Also working in its arty favour is its inherent brightness, which is high. This makes The Frame (2022) a good choice for a bright room and daylight viewing.
The set puts in a respectable high dynamic range performance too. I measured peak HDR brightness at 700 nits. Specular highlights are reassuringly intense, and help add depth to images.
The set is HDR10+ and HLG compliant, but doesn’t support Dolby Vision. This omission would warrant an automatic demerit on a regular flatscreen, but on The Frame it barely merits a hard stare. That’s because no one will buy this model for serious home cinema use.
The set can manage picture settings automatically, utilising an AI-optimised Intelligent picture setting, courtesy of Samsung’s Quantum Processor 4K. Generally this works fine. You can always opt out of AI control, and browse more traditional image presets if required.
These cover Dynamic, Standard, Movie and Filmmaker Mode. The Standard preset would be my go-to for most content, however the Dynamic option lends itself well to digital art.
The Frame's black level performance is limited, with the result that low-level shadow detail can get a little greyed out.
There’s also clear evidence of backlight blooming, those splashes of indiscriminate light when bright objects are rendered on black backgrounds. You’ll notice both traits when watching letterboxed movies, for example.
Audio isn’t an afterthought here. The set uses Samsung’s Object Tracking Sound system, which helps provide a sense of sonic movement, and there’s support for Dolby Atmos object-based surround sound too. The set itself has dedicated up-firing drivers which effectively expand the soundstage.
The Frame is compatible with Samsung’s Q-Symphony soundbars, where TV and soundbar speakers work in tandem.
The Frame 2022 review: Design & Usability
Without its arty cladding, the Frame looks much like any other flatscreen. The bezel is nondescript, not least because it’s designed to be covered with an optional magnetic frame (our sample was supplied without any arty adornment, which is kinda disappointing). The Samsung logo is relegated to the top side of the right-hand bezel.
There’s plenty of clip-on frames to choose from. Colours span beige, teak, brown, and white, and there’s a variety of styles, from minimal to Art Deco.
The back panel is a uniform depth so that the set hangs close to the wall. There’s a Slim-Fit wall mount included in the box. If you’re not wall-hanging, the two slot-in feet are height adjustable.
Connectivity is via Samsung’s One Connect Box. All source components, be they games consoles or media streamers, plus aerial feed, connect here.
There are four HDMI inputs, one of which is eARC enabled, and another 4K 120Hz capable. There’s also a digital optical audio output, Ethernet jack to support Wi-Fi, and common interface slot.
The One Connect Box then uses a single clear cable to feed the panel. It's a neat idea, and a neat delivery, although the box itself is rather large as you can see from my picture above. You'll need somewhere sensible to put it.
The Frame comes with two remote controls: a standard IR wand, and a white version of the brand's solar-powered Bluetooth controller.
Usability is good. The Tizen UI is easy to navigate, with a sidebar offering quick access to menus for Search, Art, Game, and Media. When you switch to Art mode, you'll have a choice of complimentary digital artworks, or you can subscribe to the Samsung Art Store for £3.99 per month to unlock some 1600 more. If you prefer to display your own artwork, you can load JPEGs via USB or send them from your smartphone.
Naturally there’s voice assistant support, with Bixby, Amazon Alexa, and Google all offering control options. The set is also AirPlay 2 enabled.
Samsung The Frame (2022) review: Verdict
The 2022 iteration of Samsung's The Frame is a uniquely classy TV offering, with a matte screen that enhances its considerable interior design appeal.
The lack of reflections is astounding, making it look genuinely like a painting on the wall. That doesn't affect the overall picture performance either: this QLED panel delivers punchy HDR and excellent colour, although black level depth is limited. Consider this set best for bright room viewing, ultimately.
The One Connect box simplifies wall-hanging by reducing cable-to-screen clutter, but it’s quite large. Smart connectivity, courtesy of Samsung’s Tizen platform, is top notch though. Audio performance is surprisingly decent too.
Overall, we rate The Frame as a bit of a masterstroke. It comes highly recommended if you’re looking for something a little different from the norm, to use as an always-on art frame in your home when it's not acting as TV.
If you're non-plussed about the non-reflective screen or high-art angle then we think the best alternative, and perhaps the best TV for most people at the time of writing, is the LG C2 OLED. It's a fantastic panel that's fairly priced for the kind of picture quality on offer.