It finally looks like wall art

Samsung’s Frame is a TV meant to look like a piece of art hanging on the wall when it’s not on. I was impressed with the 2021 version of the Frame when I tested it last year, but it still took a bit of imagination to be convinced that it was a real dedicated work of art. This year, however, the 2022 version of the Frame is truly elevated: its matte display, anti-glare enhancements and Art Mode make the screen useful throughout the day.

The Frame TV benefits from new software features, including an NFT gallery to display your tokens. But beyond its glare reduction and some on-screen tweaks, there’s not too much of a difference from the 2021 version of the Frame. If you don’t need or want a TV to act as wall art, you can skip this year’s model. There are cheaper and more technically advanced televisions. If a slim wall-mounted TV that can easily be used to display photos and paintings is of interest, the 2022 Frame is probably the one for you.

TL;DR

Advantages:

  • Fantastic anti-glare technology
  • Customizable with additional snap edges

The inconvenients:

  • Smart software on TV seemed slow
  • The Nifty NFT app is lackluster at best

Will buy Samsung.

The best feature

Samsung The Frame 2022
A comparison between the frame (front) and the LG OLED TV behind it reveals the difference in finishes and the reflectivity of their screen in a bright room.
Tyler Hayes

I tested a 55-inch Frame TV with the standard black frames. It’s a 4K QLED TV with HDR. It has all the modern smart features you expect from a TV, such as downloadable apps, AirPlay and a selectable voice assistant. The TV enticed me to watch multiple shows at once with its split-screen software. But the best thing about this TV is its matte screen with anti-glare technology.

Yes, the matte screen is a huge win for bolstering the TV’s Art Mode. It gives the frame the appearance of a hand-selected interior design piece, more so than previous models. But the anti-glare technology, combined with the matte screen, also makes watching shows and movies much more enjoyable in sunny rooms. My current LG OLED TV looks beautiful with vibrant colors and impossible dark blacks, but it’s hard to see throughout the day because of the way it reflects light.

I was blown away when I installed the frame directly in front of the LG TV; the same angles and lighting conditions produced no noticeable reflections on the frame. The LG TV looked like a mirror in comparison. I’ve moved the frame to different locations around my house to view it in various lighting conditions, and the results have all been excellent. Even in rooms with minimal reflections, it was much nicer to see no trace of shiny objects on the screen.

In terms of color, the matte screen doesn’t seem to interfere with colors significantly. There are different pre-configured viewing modes such as Dynamic and Movie which I think make a difference depending on the content I was watching. During the broadcast The force awakens, the image in Film mode was less blown out than it was in Dynamic. Dynamic’s selection was more suited to reading MLB: The Show on the Nintendo Switch, however.

Even though the black and dark colors weren’t as deep and crisp on the frame as they were on my LG OLED, I was still happy with the visual results. There were few, if any, moments that I can remember where shadows or dark scenes in shows looked gray and washed out. Adjusting the settings should help most people get closer to their desired viewing preferences.

There’s a sensor to automatically adjust screen brightness and colors, but I preferred to tweak the settings myself. In the brightest rooms, the sensor was just too finicky and its changes on the screen were too sudden and jarring. Likewise, I haven’t had much luck with the motion sensor which tries to detect if you’re in the room. For some people the sensor might be useful, but I found it a little frustrating.

Samsung The Frame 2022
The biggest difference between the 2021 and 2022 versions of the Frame is the new matte display.
Tyler Hayes

NFT gallery and more

The software of the 2022 framework is different from the 2021 model. The layout is different and the same applications are not available. Probably the most notable example is the Nifty app for showcasing NFTs you’ve purchased through the platform. Samsung touted this feature when announcing this new TV earlier this year. I haven’t seen any convincing symbolic experience. It would be more helpful for Samsung to partner with OpenSea for NFT owners, but for now it’s still not very easy to view the NFTs you own.

On the 2021 Frame TV, I found the Art mode to be the slow, sluggish part of the overall experience. I didn’t notice the same on the 2022 version. Moving through the artwork felt natural and lag-free. As I moved around the other parts of the TV interface, I noticed slight lags which became frustrating over time. Once, while watching a baseball game with the MLB app, clicking the settings button on the remote caused the app to freeze and then crash. I would recommend getting a Roku or an Apple TV for all your streaming needs.

The 2022 frame still comes with the Slim One Connect case. It’s worth mentioning how awesome this feature is. A very thin opaque cable runs from a box of ports to the back of the TV. This cable also provides power. Instead of having to reach behind the TV to plug in HDMI cables, I was able to easily access this Slim One Connect box in my entertainment center. There may be circumstances where not having the HDMI ports directly on the TV can be a problem, but in all my testing and use I’ve come to find it useful rather than annoying.

Should you buy Samsung’s frame (2022)?

For the past decade, I’ve focused on the listed specs of new TVs to see which ones had the latest features. There hasn’t been much utility offered in the TVs beyond the visual appearance of the panel. This is what led me to my current LG OLED TV. It’s fantastic, when I can see it. Its glossy screen makes it reflective from every angle in the room, so it’s hard to watch shows throughout the day.

For the first time, I am seriously considering trading in an electronic device with higher specifications for a less qualified device. The frame is no slouch when it comes to its visual performance, but it’s not the most technically advanced either. Instead, its matte screen and anti-glare technology are very appealing to my situation and more compelling than I initially expected.

Sometimes a TV is only suitable for one place in a room, and if there are uncovered windows or bright lights, you just have to deal with them. Now, the latest version of Frame provides a solid solution to this problem. Additionally, it can display photos and paintings when not broadcasting.

Buy from Samsung from $599 (32-inch model).

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About Debra D. Johnson

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