For those of you who are looking for a more lavish television for your home, Samsung The Frame could be the best buy available at the moment. And before we start, this is not called The Samsung Frame, it is simply, Samsung The Frame. So what makes this Samsung The Frame TV 2020 (LS03T) so special? For starters, combined with the pricey Samsung Studio Stand, this television aims to become a piece of art in your home or office more so than a place to simply binge Netflix. The Samsung Studio Stand transforms the TV from a rather basic-looking display into a canvas thanks to its three-propped leg design.
I have to say, I absolutely love the overall combination of the two. The whole experience is also elevated thanks to Samsung’s One Connect box that tucks away on the other side of the room and uses one fibre optical cable to send all the signal from the devices you plug into it, to the TV. Now I own a Samsung QLED so I can tell you how great the One Connect box is. It is the brains of the entire display. However, the optical cable is fragile. So much so that I have had to replace it already. Thankfully, Samsung has now included the power with the data in the newer cables which makes them stronger thanks to its thicker design. They are not unbreakable but it is a start.
Check out our Samsung The Frame 2020 TV Review in video form down below
With that being said, Samsung The Frame TV is marketed to a different type of person. Someone who appreciates technology and how it has become a way for a tech brand to express its artistic side. This person won’t be living in shambles where a damaged cable thanks to a dog chewing on it or someone tripping over it is the least of their worry. But how does the display perform?
Samsung The Frame TV 2020 (LS03T)
- Display: 65-inch QLED 3840 x 2160
- Quantum Processor 4K
- Motion Rate: MR200
- HDR: HDR 10+
- Colour: 100% Colour Volume
- Dual LED: Yes
- Contrast Enhancer: Yes
- Local Dimming: No
- Dolby Digital Plus: Yes
- Speakers: 2.2CH
- Bluetooth Audio support
- Multiroom Link
- Smart Features
- OS: Samsung Tizen
- Bixby: Yes
- App support: Yes, through a dedicated store
- HDMI: 3x HDMI 2.0 / 1 x HDMI 2.1
- USB: 2 x 2.0
- Ethernet: Yes
- Digital Optical Port: 1 port
- eARC: Yes
- Wireless LAN: Yes, WiFi 5
- BlueTooth: Yes BT4.2
- Anynet: Yes
- Design and Materials: Charcoal Black, two-feet stand design
- Dimensions: 1353 x 829 x 45 mm without stand / 1453.9 x 876.5 x 290.8 mm
- Wall mount support: Yes, Samsung No Gap Wallmount (not included)
- Price: R22,999 – 55″ / R32,999 65″
Samsung The Frame TV (LS03T) Design Set up
Setting up the Samsung The Frame TV was a dream and the best part of a new TV is putting it together. It also helps that Samsung sent me the Studio Stand so the entire experience felt like I was assembling a canvas to display some art on. Samsung The Frame TV is put together like most modern televisions. I slid up the box holding the display inside, took it out and put it onto a table. I could then either install the two tiny feet or open up the Samsung Studio Stand and assemble that.
The Samsung Studio Stand was easy enough to put together. The box contains all the information I needed from the different screws I had to screw into the plate depending on the TV model to the feet that also slide into the elegant back and prop downwards. Keep in mind that The Samsung Studio Stand can be used on a range of TVs so if you like what you are seeing, you can check out the full supported TV sets over on Samsung’s site here.
Depending on your TV, the stand will use different screws but the whole process was quite simple. It beats sliding basic TV stand feet into the bottom of a TV, I can tell you that. Once attached, I then plugged in the One Connect cable, slide the wire down the back led and clipped on a piece of plastic that hid the cable away. This cable then ran across the room to the box. The end result is a gorgeous TV that stands loud and proud by itself on three legs.
The rest of the setup process was simple enough. I had to sign into my Samsung account, tweak some settings and download the apps I needed. Nothing groundbreaking here either but there’s no need for it to be.
Samsung The Frame TV (LS03T) Design
Samsung The Frame is not like your average TV set. Instead of being the thinnest, bezel-free display on the market, Samsung wants it to be bulky a feature a thick bezel frame that gives you the illusion that it is a picture frame. This the whole design philosophy of Samsung The Frame and it works. If I had to use the two basic feet with this TV I would say it is too thick and the frame is way too fat but the Samsung Studio stand makes the world of difference to the display’s personality.
The panel itself is not very reflective either which is great for bright rooms. Clearly, Samsung really wanted to make this TV look like a canvas and a big push for this was the lack of reflection on the panel.
We then have the One Connect box that is a lot thicker and heavier than ever before. This is thanks to the additional power supply inside of it as the One Connect cable now feeds both signal and power to the display. On the box, you will find all the ports you need for gaming and TV watching. The box is meant to be unseen so no matter how big and bulky it is, you will forget about it.
There’s also a white remote included in the box. This remote is a bit different thanks to the lack of “smart” features. It is sleek and only includes a handful of buttons. There are no Netflix or Showmax logos slapped into the buttons either. A good thing in my opinion. The big change here is the “art button” but I will talk about that later.
Samsung The Frame TV (LS03T) Design Performance
Samsung The Frame comes in a range of sizes so you don’t have to splurge on a massive one to experience this canvas TV. Sizes go from 32-inches all the way to 75-inches depending on your region. This model I reviewed was the 65-inch.
Samsung uses its own Tizen OS for its displays and while I want to love it I don’t. I have been using a Bravia with Android and the sheer amount of freedom that comes with installing APKs makes me never want to go back. It also sucks that the app store on the TV is so limited and quite frankly, dull and boring. This is due to the local restrictions on apps. Other than YouTube, Netflix, Showmax, DStv and Spotify, there’s very little to get excited about.
The user experience is decent on the Samsung The Frame. Menus are easy to navigate around and tweaking settings should be easy to understand for most users. With that being said, the OS on the TV is somewhat slow. I often had an app open and the menu lagged when launching the next one. Navigating often resulted in lag spikes and going from say my PS5 to DStv forced me to restart the app before it opened up a stream.
Samsung The Frame also packs a unique mode on the display called Art Mode. Here I could select an artwork to display on the panel when I was not watching TV. There’s a lot to discover here and there are even options for personal photos and screensavers. It is quite remarkable. However, if you thought R2,999 for a stand was pricey, you also need to pay for the artworks. Sure, there are a handful you get free but if you want more you need to pay a monthly membership of R65 to use more on the panel or R649 a year.
If art is not your thing then perhaps the animations are? There are a range of impressive ambience mode styles that truly come to life on the panel. These are dynamic-styled wallpapers that include clocks, weather forecasts and a date. Others simply show a dynamic artwork that changes. Soft Markings by Scholten and Baijings for example showcased marker pen lines across the display. Another great Ambient Mode wallpaper was Vibe. This included a range of moods with swirling colours and dynamic moving vistas depending on the choice. It is mesmerizing and I could sit for hours and watch it change.
Some of these modes are highly customizable too which is great. The Light Grid, for example, let me tweak the colour of the globes lighting up on the display. I could even choose different patterns and a background shade. Combining the various settings resulted in a gorgeous dynamic screensaver.
If anything, there’s more than enough to enjoy here without having to spend any money on the art subscription. Well, if you want the art then I won’t judge. Samsung also promises that the display uses only 30% of power compared to streaming so it is an ideal state to leave the TV in when you are not watching content and perhaps have family over for dinner. Both of these modes also automatically change the display’s brightness and tone to suit your room so everything looks amazing no matter where you put it.
So what about the general performance of the display. Samsung The Frame is a decent TV for everyday use beyond the fancy Art and Ambient modes. It makes use of QLED technology which means you’re not getting amazing black levels and viewing angles can be a bit shoddy. However, it delivers some great HDR brightness, fantastic vibrant colours and decent contrast.
SDR content reached around 500 nits of brightness while HDR content hit just around 550 nits. While the SDR brightness is great, the HDR was simply okay. There are brighter TVs out there but this should be ample for any bright room. The viewing angle is an issue as the display starts to lose quality at around 20 degrees. Given this display is made for showcasing art, it could have packed a better panel to reduce this problem.
The rest of the display specs I won’t bore you with here but the colour gamut hit 92%, there’s no risk of burn-in here and general response time was great. Of course, this is no Mini LED or OLED display so there are no deep black levels here due to the lack of local dimming. You will know this TV is LED-backlit and there’s no shying away from that. Thankfully, it performs a lot better than most LEDs on the market without local dimming.
When it comes to gaming, Samsung The Frame holds up quite well. The TV boasts 4K 120Hz as well as FreeSync VRR to reduce screen tearing. The Game Mode reduces input lag to 9ms and further down to 5.5ms at 4K 120Hz. It has some incredibly low input lag. But in general, the TV is great for gaming. It has everything you ask for when looking at the latest consoles and 4K 120Hz with VRR. It is the full package and PS5 and Xbox Series X/S will have a great time here thanks to the HDMI 2.1 support.
Samsung The Frame TV 2020 Review (LS03T) Verdict
Samsung has a great display on its hands here. The device boasts some amazing modern-day features such as 4K 120Hz with VRR, FreeSync and ALLM. The panel quality is also amazing as it is able to deliver some higher brightness in SDR and HDR content while at the same time deliver decent contrast and superb colours. The art factor and whole “frame” design might be a tough sell for someone who isn’t looking for this type of experience. However, I could not help but enjoy all the ambient modes available.
Be it listening to music or just leaving the TV to flicker through some RGB light globes while I cooked dinner. It is an awesome add-on feature on top of being a fantastic TV in the first place. Samsung The Frame retails starting at R22,999 for the 55-inch and this 65-inch will set you back R32.999.