When Samsung’s The Frame was launched, I was seemingly drawn to it as a fan of interior design. The product was marketed as a wall-mounted television set that can instantaneously double as an art piece in virtue of its aesthetical bezels, which are reminiscent of a picture or photo frame (hence its name). I recently got the opportunity to review the 65-inch version of The Frame and here’s my verdict as both a techie and interior aficionado (or somewhat thereof).
But before we begin, I would like to share that the unboxing and setup processes were met with ample challenges. It came fully boxed and requires two of us to take it out and scan through all the accessories. Thankfully, we have a wall-mounted television set, which we can swap out for The Frame, albeit not easily. As a 55-inch unit, The Frame is a pretty weighty television set, which is to be expected. Having said that, it wasn’t a pretty process so we will begin this review where the frame is already fully-installed in our home studio.
Firing Up The Frame
The first probably anyone would notice is the Energy Rating sticker. In this case, The Frame is rated at three stars over six (six being the best and most energy efficient). Nonetheless, it’s a TV and power consumption for a 55-inch is understandably on the average side. Only if we could review it long enough to check our bills… Alas, if you’re fine with it having a three-star rating, then all is well.
Another accessory to take note of is the remote controller. What TV set doesn’t come with one? Anyway, The Frame’s remote controller lets you take charge of practically everything the TV can do, from watching Netflix, scrolling through shows, pausing, playing, volume controls – all in a sleek, slender and slim bar of wonders.
One thing to note during setup is that, The Frame comes with this One Connect “control unit”, which is technically where all the ports are. It also acts as a power adaptor for the TV. The reason for this is to minimize as much cable intrusion as possible on The Frame itself. As The Frame is meant to be a wall’s centerpiece, it only requires one single cable, which routes to this box – that technically acts as the command center.
Here’s a quick look on the unit’s rear, notice how it manages all the cables.
Now, the first thing you might notice is the User Interface/ UI of The Frame, which is a pretty standard thing in smart TVs. It’s a horizontal scrolling bar where you can select the program you want to access or perform settings. And one of the first things you might notice is the “Ambient Mode”, which will allow you to manipulate on-screen visuals into picture-esque motifs – to transform The Frame into a wall-mounted art.
In Ambient Mode, you will get ample images and patterns for your setup. The content are all categorized under several categories. Depending on your fancy, you might stumble upon one that is fitting for your space. I personally prefer fluidic motifs such as this imagery of water ripples. All of them are animated albeit lightly. Some are more static than others and feature glows. You can even adjust the colours and a plethora of pattern changes depending on which image you choose.
There are many options to configure with if you don’t want a ‘black screen’ to dictate the looks of your home!
Here’s an example if you would like to display a world map image. Note that the colors I chose here are dark blues. You can change it if you wish.
And if you’d prefer something more muted but practical, consider this clock. Notice that the image replicates the depth of a photo frame on the edges. While it’s purely aesthetics, it does provide the wall with a sense of pictorial quality in place of an average television set, which would most likely become a piece of black mirror when not in use.
If you like bold and animated patterns, check!
Icy summits on high ultraviolet radiation? Works for some people.
Something that invokes a sense of luxury with golden accents?
Or another golden one to improve the feng shui?
One with a small clock on the side and invokes a sense of being surrounded by people in an office (if you so wish to be reminded of your office when you get home).
Or something that reminds you of what living spaces would look like in the future?
Here, the image’s color actually replicates my wall’s paint job. Under the right lighting conditions (forgive my camera), it technically looks seamless against the wall’s colors. It’s indeed an innovation by Samsung.
Here’s another theme that picks up on your wall’s colors.
And one more that is a tad bit more traditional.
Using The Remote Controller
Navigating around the UI is pretty straight forward. And you could practically do everything including typing using the remote control alone. Here’s browsing YouTube.
You can even use the controller to actually control your connected console. In my case, the PlayStation 4 Pro works without even using the PS4 controller. But of course, you cannot really play games using the remote controller (that’d be wild if you can). But say you want to scroll through your PS4 interface, you can do so too.
Now, watching shows and playing games on The Frame is a delight. Not only for its size but the clarity of visuals too.
You can even browse YouTube directly using the on-board application.
Playing games via the PS4 PRo is spectacular for the 4K resolution and colors!
And you even have the option to select Game Mode to render the best graphical output settings.
And lastly, you can change the sound output to the connected device. This gives you the freedom of choosing the right speaker for your content.
The Frame is one of Samsung’s innovations that merges a television set with the concept of a wall-mounted artwork. It is meant to be highly functional, practical, and high-tech while maximizing its aesthetical values to your space.
As a TV, The Frame is a full-featured 4K-capable smart TV with a myriad of features that would future-proof your need for a new one – for a good while. While as an artwork replacement (technically at only one place), it works as intended albeit the need for perpetual power to remain turned on.
If you are a home owner who is looking for a smart TV that won’t disappoint and has the ability to beautify your living space, then look no further than this.