It was probably 6 months ago when I asked my Instagram followers if The Frame TV was worth all the hype and the responses came rolling in. The answer – a resounding YES! So we waited 6 months for it to go on sale for Black Friday and we bought one! The 55” matte display to be exact. I can’t wait to make a frame for it…I’m thinking a chunky wood frame.
Now that we’ve had it for about 1 1/2 months and we’ve had a chance to discover its features, would I say it’s worth it?
The main differences I’ve found between a standard smart TV and the newest Frame TV are three things –
Picture mode with screen adjustments
The mounting system
The built in Xbox.
Of course the biggest draw to the Frame TV is that it can display artwork. The ability to make a bulky TV blend in with the rest of your living room decor and artwork is a big pull. I’m sure you already know the basics, but to bring everyone up to speed – you can upload your own artwork to the TV and make screen adjustments (such as brightness and warmth). Displaying the artwork can be done simply by tapping the power button on the remote and switching artwork is easy with the SmartThings app.
We also opted to get the matte screen option because we hung the TV across from 2 windows and we knew the glare would be a problem with the traditional screen. We’ve been so impressed with the non glare screen. Even with direct sun on the TV, it’s hardly a hinderance. This is a major pro.
The viewing screen quality is incredible! I was worried the matte screen would dull the colors, but it doesn’t! The clarity is amazing.
The main con that I have noticed with the art mode is that despite it being a matte screen with color adjustments, it still looks like a photo on a screen to me. I’ve tried countless art prints, I’ve adjusted the brightness and warmth, and I can get it to look pretty dang close to real art…but not totally. It always has a slight illumination effect that gives it away. Maybe I had unrealistic expectations. But if the alternative is a blank black screen, I’ll take a Frame TV every day. (PS I found that moody art tends to look more realistic.)
If you have a regular smart TV, Cass from @cassmakeshome uses the Pixo app to display art on her TV without the need of the Frame TV. I’m not sure if you have the ability to make brightness/color adjustments with the app, but this is a good alternative if you’re not ready to upgrade to the Frame TV.
One thing I absolutely love is the mounting system that comes with the Frame TV. It looks complicated straight out of the box, but it’s really not too bad and Samsung includes a template to make things even easier. I very much appreciate that (with the newest TV model) slight tilting adjustments can be made after hanging the TV to make it level. No need to pull the TV down and move the wall bracket a hair in hopes that it’ll be level. Just push down one corner of the TV and it tilts. Why can’t all TV brackets do this!?
The TV can also spin to a vertical orientation! I personally don’t have a need for this, but I’m sure there are specific scenarios where this would be beneficial. Screen sharing your phone videos onto the TV for the family to see perhaps?
But of course, the biggest draw to the Frame TV mount is its ability to sit so close to the wall…making it even more art like. This I can vouch for. It really does hang incredibly close, nearly flush with the wall. We have an outlet cover behind the TV making it bump out just a hair, but if we were to take the outlet cover off, I think that would take care of the small gap. The gap (with the outlet cover bumping it out) is about 3/8”. I think a normal gap would be about 1/4” or less.
Samsung partnered with Xbox to include a built in Xbox with the newest Frame TV’s. We’re not big gamers, so we didn’t even know that was included until we brought it home. From the main menu, you can switch over to the gaming mode. A subscription to Xbox Game Pass (for $14 a month) is necessary to gain access to all the thousands of games. We tested it out for one month and it was actually pretty fun! The down side…as of now, only one person can play at a time.
The Frame TV does not in fact come with a frame! You have to purchase that separately and to be honest, I’m not a huge fan of the slim modern frames they offer. I much prefer the more decorative frames you can find on Amazon, but unfortunately those cost anywhere from $300-$1,000 depending on the size of your TV. Which is why we see so many people making their own frames at a fraction of the cost. Thought you should know.
You can also make a frame for a regular smart TV, but you’ll need to make sure the sensor is visible for your remote to work. Additionally, the frame may need to be extra thick to account for the larger gap behind the TV. Depending on how big the gap is, a frame may just look silly.
Yes and no. I really value aesthetics and the only reason we didn’t have a TV in our house for 6 years was because I didn’t like the look of it in our living room. But I can get on board with a TV that looks artsy. I’m much more picky about a TV in a public room (aka where guests go) than I am about a bedroom or basement. I’d opt for the Frame TV in a living room, above a fireplace, or a well designed family room every time. The easy access to the built in art mode and the slim mount makes it worth it 100%. But in a basement, TV room, or a bedroom, I think I’d opt for a regular smart TV and use the hacks I listed above to make it look more artsy while saving money.
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