Samsung The Frame (2023) review: a work of art

An anti-reflective screen designed for artwork, but is great for movies and gaming too: The Frame is a TV masterpiece

T3 Platinum Award
Samsung The Frame 2023
(Image credit: Samsung / Salvador Dali)
T3 Verdict

If you’d rather your 4K TV look like a work of art (when you're not watching Portrait Artist of The Year), then Samsung's The Frame is for you. Choose from a variety of painterly optional bezels, subscribe to Samsung's Art Store service, and you'll have a virtual gallery in your home whenever you want one…

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Solid 4K picture, anti-reflective coating

  • +

    Unique customisable design

  • +

    Tizen Smart TV platform

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    No Dolby Vision HDR compatibility

  • -

    External One Connect Box not for all

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The Frame, Samsung's artistic 4K flatscreen with a significant anti-reflective panel, enjoys some subtle enhancements for this latest iteration compared to the 2022 The Frame. It's a less conventional set than many of the best TVs, but for displaying artworks even when 'off' it's a great option.

An interiors-friendly fusion of technology and design, this versatile QLED-toting model offers punchy pictures, is compatible with 4K 120Hz games consoles, and has an excellent Smart TV platform in the shape of Samsung’s Tizen OS too.

So let's delve into the details in our The Frame 2023 and see if this latest lifestyle TV is truly a masterpiece. It might seem peculiar to publish this review as CES 2024 begins, a giant show where there's a likelihood that Samsung will release a 2024 model, but that could introduce great discounts for this artistic option...

Samsung The Frame 2023: Price & Availability

The Frame is available in 43-, 50-, 55-, 65-, 75-, and 85-inch screen sizes, priced at £899, £999, £1,099, £1,299, £2,199 and £2,799 respectively. We're testing the 55-inch model specifically for this review. 

In the US, The Frame is available in the same sizes, priced at $999, $1,299, $1,499, $1,999, $2,999 and $4,299 respectively. In Australia sizes begin from the 50-inch model, with pricing at AU$1,799, AU$2,099, AU$2,599, AU$3,499 and AU$5,299 respectively. 

Like I say, those prices will fluctuate no doubt, and should a 2024 The Frame come to market then chances are they'll only go south in a positive-for-your-purchase-decision fashion.

Samsung The Frame 2023 review: Design & Features

Samsung The Frame 2023

(Image credit: Future)

Straight from the box, The Frame may look like any other Samsung flat-screen, but its true nature emerges when you dress it with optional artwork-style frames. There’s a wide variety of frames available, from minimalistic to extravagant.  

There’s also the option of a tripod-style Studio Stand, which adds another interiors option.

If you don’t want to hang the set on the wall or park it on a stand, there are a pair of plastic slot-in feet provided in the box for regular AV furniture.

Connectivity is handled by an external One Connect box, which minimises cable clutter - all your sources connect to this rather than the screen itself.  The One Connect Box boasts four HDMI ports, with eARC compatibility on HDMI 3 and 4K 120Hz support on HDMI 4. 

It also has a digital optical audio output, Ethernet, dual-band Wi-Fi, USB ports, and a CI card slot. A single cable runs from the One Connect Box to the screen, which provides power, as well as sound and vision.  

As found on all Samsung Smart TVs, the Tizen Smart platform offers a rich array of streaming services, including Netflix, Prime Video, and Disney+. There’s also SmartThings integration and a dedicated Game Hub. A handy Game Menu provides an overlay of relevant settings, including VRR (Variable Refresh Rate), HDR and input lag.

Samsung The Frame 2023

(Image credit: Future)

There’s no significant change to the way you use the Tizen-connected platform.  Content is arranged in themed and curated rails. There’s also an Ambient Mode if you want to display your own JPEGs.

Voice control is available via Bixby, Google Assistant, or Amazon Alexa. There’s also support for Apple AirPlay. Smartphone compatibility includes Multi-View and screen mirroring modes.

You might also want to subscribe to Samsung’s Art Store service which provides a vast selection of licensed artistic content, making The Frame a true digital canvas.

As we’ve seen from other Samsung QLEDs, there are actually two Game Mode settings: Original and Game Motion Plus. The latter adds extra processing for more picture embellishment. We measured input lag at 10.7ms (1080/60) in Game Mode, and 13ms (1080/60) with Game Motion Plus engaged, both of which can be considered good figures. 

The Frame comes with two remote controls, a solar-powered Bluetooth pointer, and a standard button-strewn wand. Both have shortcut buttons for streaming services, as well as Samsung TV Plus, the brand’s own internet-delivered FAST (Free Advertising Supported TV) channels.

Samsung The Frame 2023 review: Performance

Samsung The Frame 2023

(Image credit: Future)

The 55-inch 2023 The Frame TV doesn't actually offer a significant improvement in picture quality compared to its 2022 predecessor. Instead, Samsung has focussed on reducing power consumption (down to 84kWh/1000h, compared to 103kWh on its predecessor) following changes to energy regulation in 2023. 

Running the show is Samsung’s Quantum Processor 4K, the same silicon used in the 2022 model.

Picture presents comprise Dynamic, Standard, Natural, Movie and Filmmaker Mode. There’s also an Intelligent Mode which adjusts images based on ambient light in your telly room.

I found the default Standard preset delivers bright and colour-rich pictures, and is comparable to regular QLED models.

A key point of difference between The Frame's display and regular QLED screens is the use of a matte finish. This minimises room reflections, and has been adopted specifically to create a more painterly appearance for your digital artworks.

The matte treatment doesn’t impinge on clarity or dynamics, and I found it something of a boon when watching in a room lit with table lamps. It's really impressive.

Samsung The Frame 2023

(Image credit: Future)

Predictably Samsung offers no support for Dolby Vision, although high dynamic range is catered for in HDR, HLG and HDR10+ options.

I measured HDR performance at 687 nits (with a 10 per cent measurement patch), which is a good enough result for a model of this calibre. There are far brighter options out there, of course. But pictures are punchy enough to bring out the specular highlights in lamps, fireworks and reflections.

I wasn’t expecting too much from The Frame’s sound system, but it’s actually not too bad. With 40W of amplification, and a 2.0.2 speaker configuration, it goes loud enough in a modest-sized room, and exhibits a decent amount of mid-range slam.

Samsung's Object and Voice Tracking Sound system adds an additional dimension to the audio experience, enhancing the impression of sonic steerage. I wouldn’t rush to add one of the best small soundbars, particularly if I wanted to preserve the gallery vibe. That said, the screen will work in Q-Symphony mode with Samsung Q-Series and S-Series soundbars, meaning both soundbar and TV speakers work together in unison creating a larger soundstage.

Samsung The Frame 2023: Verdict

Samsung The Frame 2023

(Image credit: Future)

The Frame can be considered a slightly more refined version of Samsung's best-selling lifestyle TV. With its lower power consumption, solid picture performance, and above-average sound, it maintains its status as a top choice for those seeking a TV that seamlessly integrates into any living space. 

The absence of Dolby Vision will irritate cinema enthusiasts, but it’s not the demerit you might expect, given that this can hardly be considered a home theatre TV. If anything its anti-reflective coating is what really helps it stand apart from the crowd. That, for art lovers and design aficionados certainly, makes The Frame a highly recommended lifestyle TV option. 

Also consider

Philips' OLED 808 adds Ambilight mood lighting to enhance your room, making this high-performance OLED model a great option for those looking to upgrade their viewing. Running the Google TV OS, there’s no shortage of streaming services to watch, and there’s the option of high-end gaming too, as two of the four HDMI inputs support 4K 120Hz gameplay. Picture quality is excellent, courtesy of Philips latest 7th Gen P5 AI processor, and a highly dynamic OLED EX panel.   

Alternatively there's Samsung's The Sero, which is another lifestyle 4K TV from the brand. Again, it's no normal telly: the  Sero can rotate from widescreen to 9:16 vertical picture ratio at the touch of a button, making it ideal for watching TikTok videos. Not for everyone, but a fun option if you're on the market for something different. 

Steve May

For over 25 years, Steve has been casting his keen eyes and ears over the best that the world of TV and audio has to offer. He was the creator of Home Cinema Choice magazine, and contributes to huge range of technology, home and music titles along with T3, including TechRadar, Louder, Ideal Home, the i newspaper, and more.