interiors / review

the samsung frame TV — my review and some FAQ

01.22.21

i get asked all the time either about if i think our frame tv is worth it, OR “what is that tv that looks like art?!” i’ve had a samsung frame tv now for years and i can safely say i think it’s worth the extra money. i’ll explain why in this post! 

to start, i wanted to show you a before and after with what a regular tv looked like in our bedroom versus now. obviously the biggest difference is that a regular tv is just a big black rectangle on your wall, so just visually it’s a very different look!! so basically, if you are a visual person who obsesses about things looking good (like me), this tv is life changing (lol yes thats a dramatic way to put it but i stand by it).

samsung frame tv FAQ

how is it flush against the wall?

the tv comes with a “no gap wall mount”, this means it can get completely flat against the wall without any gap whatsoever. this is a big part of why it looks so good and so much like art, because even the thin modern tvs aren’t flush against the wall like that. the frame itself TRULY looks like art on the wall.

how do you get a wood frame for it?

the tv comes with a thin black frame, but you can customize your TV with a bezel. the magnetic bezels come in beige, brown, white and black (the black is thicker than the one that it comes with). they’re an extra $100-$200 depending on the size of the tv but i think they’re definitely worth it. there are third party shops that sell frames as well, but they don’t seem much cheaper or as modern. the third party ones have more antique type frames than these ones.

does it look like real art?

don’t expect it to fool everyone who walks into your house, it looks like art compared to a TV, but it still is a screen and isn’t the exact same as a real piece of art. i will say, i’ve had some people come into the house who did mistake it for art! and in photos, people ask what the “art” is all the time. 

i think the most important thing is not that it would disguise as real art, but that it just looks so much better than a regular TV. the screen is definitely low gloss compared to other TVs, so it has a nice art-like matte finish. 

where are the cords hidden?

we have a hole in our wall behind the TV where the cords are fed through and come out below. we had these holes in the walls when we bought the house so i can’t really advise and it’s definitely something a professional should do– but this is similar to the part we have.

the TV comes with a “one connect box” which is how it’s powered and how you connect your cable box, apple tv, video games etc. you can hide the box inside any cabinet below your TV for a super streamlined look. also, the frame is a smart TV so it comes with netflix, hulu, etc. 

the remote for the box runs on radio frequency so you can keep it hidden and not have to worry about opening the door or having it straight ahead of you or anything like that. also helpful if you don’t have a cabinet and have to concoct an alternate solution for hiding the box.

and if you’re not able to hide the cords inside your wall, you can also use things like this cable hider.  but i don’t think you would even necessarily need it because it has one single clear cable that you barely see. 

where do you plug things in if you can’t plug them into the back?

you plug everything right into the one connect box! rokus, apple tvs, video games– everything plugs in there. super easy!

does it use more power being on all the time?

so from what i’ve googled, art mode is designed to consume the least possible power as the photos will display for a long period of time. and the energy consumption in art mode is only 30% of the energy used in regular TV mode. 

the sensor detects when theres no activity in the room and then shuts off. you can set the sensitivity so it turns back on easier when you enter the room if you prefer that, you can also set a timer so it auto shuts off.

because that means it actually does spend most of the time off, it’s not too bad. and there is no chance of the image burning onto the screen or anything like that (i mean they designed it to display art so of course it doesn’t!)

why does it turn off all the time? is it annoying?

actually yes, i would say it’s off more than it’s on. so even though it has a motion sensor, like when we come in in the morning it usually doesn’t turn itself on, i have to manually turn on art mode. 

where do you find art for the tv?

i did a big roundup of lots of sources for beautiful and inexpensive digital art you can download and upload to your tv– you can see that here!

there’s also an art subscription service in the samsung store, where you’re able to download art and they have tons of pretty options, but it’s either $6/month or $25 per art piece, so i usually buy art on etsy because they’re usually priced around $5, which is nice because it’s low commitment so you can swap out the art often.

how do you add art?

you download this samsung app called smart things and inside the app you can control all of the art. you sync your tv with the app and once they’re connected its easy– but i’ve had a lot of issues with the connection. sometimes it takes me forever to pair them, but that might just be mine or my wifi. would love to hear if others have the same issue.

since i have so many photos in my camera roll, it takes a long time to load the photos to upload, so what i did was create an album called “frame tv art” and whenever i have art to upload i add it to that album. in the app, i just open that album and it takes a lot less time to load. 

can i upload any photos?

if you want to upload your own photos, you just have to use a mat. they have an option for one, two or three photos. it can be very fun for holidays like i do every christmas with arlos santa photos. (fyi this is my older frame tv below, the first gen (yes the one arlo broke) which def had worst screen quality than our new one).

can i add any art i find?

technically you can. if you found art on google or pinterest and you wanted to use it on your tv, you could– it’s just a question of how good it would look. if the image size is small, it obviously might look blurrier.

also if the image isn’t perfectly sized to the tv dimensions, then it automatically adds a mat, so if you wanted to have no mat, you’d have to size it yourself.  for reference, the size is 3840 x 2160 pixels. i don’t actually think the mat looks bad, i think it just depends on the art. 

how do you make the art look more real?

with in the art mode on the app, you can control how the art looks. you can adjust the brightness (it usually looks a little better darker) and adjust the warmth (i lean towards more warm than cool). you’re able to play around a bit with the settings to figure out how it looks the best. 

do they come with a white remote?

yes! the remote is very pretty. and ours can control our apple tv as well. the one issue i have, not so much with the remote, but it’s related, is that when you turn on the tv, it has a menu pop up on the bottom of the screen promoting it’s apps and movie rentals — the pop up takes FOREVER to go away on it’s own– like literally feels like 2 minutes or something, so its an extra step when you turn the tv on.

how do you add or remove the mat (white border)?

in the art mode settings you can modify the mat. you can display the art with no mat like mine are above, or you can adjust the mat. they have a thicker and thinner mat option, and you can change the color of the mat as well. 

is it a smart tv?

yes! the frame is a smart TV so it comes with netflix, hulu, etc. all the apps so that you could theoretically not have to use any additional equipment. 

what size tvs do you have?

in our bedroom we have the 49″ and in our living room we have the 65″. if it were up to me i would probably have gone smaller with both but gid is only into giant TVs lol.

how did you decide what height to hang them?

this is tricky! for our living room, we went lower because our couch is low– when you are deciding your height it’s best to sit wherever you’ll be sitting to watch and really decide what feels most comfortable. i don’t really want to be looking up or down, i would prefer to keep my head tilted straight so that helped our decision.

now for our bedroom, i ended up going too high because our living room was so low and i didn’t like it. it looked too high hahah. so i had the guy come and put it 5 inches lower and now the height looks much better to me. this is all just a matter of opinion!! 

do you have advice for installation? do you need to hire a pro?

yes, i would always advise to hire a professional to install unless you have experience. for the price you’re paying for the TV itself you’re gonna make sure you hang it properly. 

is it worth it if i can’t mount it?

i still think yes. my friend brittni has hers sitting on a cabinet and it still looks great. no matter WHAT, i always think it looks better than a regular tv. 

how is the picture compared to “good” 4k Tvs?

i asked gid for this question because he knows better than me. he says “the picture isn’t 10/10 but i’ve been really happy with the quality of the 4k picture for gaming and what not. we don’t watch a lot of 4k movies though.” also we don’t watch sports, so i don’t really know how football shows up on here but while it might not be the best 4k tv there is, i think it’s a pretty good compromise.

do they ever go on sale?

they definitely go on sale, but they aren’t ever super cheap it seems like. we got both of ours on sale, but they were only a few hundred dollars off. i’ve checked closely around typical sale holidays and when they release new models, but as of now they don’t ever seem to be more discounted than that.

our 65″ was $400 off when we bought it, and our 49″ was $200 off the prices they’re at now. so that is still suppper pricey compared to how much high quality TVs sell for now. there are also cheaper models (older, without 4k, etc) where it seems like you can save some money.

is it safe above a fireplace?

i have seen them hung above fireplaces often, so i think it’s probably safe as long as it’s a certain distance above the heat and depending on how hot the surface of the outside gets? but i am not an expert on this!

hopefully my next house has a fireplace and i can update this post!

how do i convince my husband we need it? (got this one a lotttt lol)

again i asked gid for this one: “you get an 8/10 huge tv AND a happy wife, or you get to keep dreaming about a man cave you’ll never actually build. or you can try to spend 3k on another tv and somehow not fight about that”

so is it worth it?

i strongly believe it is! it’s not functionally the best TV you can get, and it’s one of the most expensive, but it’s definitely the best looking TV there is. so if aesthetics matter to you, then i think it’s absolutely worth the extra cost!!


ok i think that’s it!! i hope i answered everything but let me know in the comments if you have any other questions!

18 comments on “the samsung frame TV — my review and some FAQ”

  1. Eeekkk I can not wait to get mine! We are in the middle of a giant renovation and I have been telling my husband for years that after we renovate, we are getting a Frame for the living room and our room. He isn’t thrilled (he is a big tech guy and I guess it’s not the best TV per se) but like I said, I gave him a multi year warning and he has accepted his fate :)

  2. You could try plugging in an Ethernet cable into the box then your router, seems to be more stable than Wi-Fi for me! Just make sure you go in and change the connection settings after that you are wired in. Hope that helps!

  3. Thanks for all of the info— super helpful in adding to my ever-growing must-have list :) I hate having a black void in my living space.

  4. It sounds like you can’t have a slideshow? I think you are saying that you can only have 3 photos? I am an amateur photographer and would like to rotate through my photos. Thank you for the article. Best one that I’ve found on the Frame TV.

    1. thank you! i think you can do a screen saver (so i’m assuming you could do a slideshow) — i don’t know much about this but i feel like i’ve seen the option somewhere in the settings.

      1. I actually landed on this page as I was looking for people who have tried setting up a slideshow on the Frame. You can setup a slideshow, but you have to go to the menu option where you can find your device, and then run the slideshow. If you want to purposely run the slideshow it works well. You can load images from a network drive, a PLEX server, etc, or you can just hook up a USB drive with the photos.

        What I haven’t been able to do is is use Art Mode with a slideshow. That’s what I want to see if it’s possible. The idea is that when you turn off the TV, it automatically goes into Art Mode playing the slideshow. Haven’t been able to get this to work. When The Frame is in Art Mode it seems to display only one image, the one you selected for Art Mode.

  5. We have had a lot of problems with our Frame.
    First it quit within the first week completely, as in no picture and wouldn’t turn on, but they wouldn’t replace it (their customer service, at least in Canada, is absolutely abysmal). So they sent a tech, who completely took it apart and replaced the screen and scratched the crap out of our walls hanging it back up. It more or less worked ok picture-wise after that, but it never would connect to the app after that and Samsung just closed our service ticket and wouldn’t reply to our service requests because by that time it was after the 30 day window.
    Although I love the look, I would NEVER buy another samsung and hopefully their patent runs out soon so other companies can release similar models.

  6. A tip for the “always turning off” issue: The art only clicks on via motion sensor if art mode was the last thing on the tv when the it goes to sleep. If you leave it on Apple TV or an app and the tv goes to sleep, the art mode will never click on via motion sensor! I was so happy when I figured this out, because it bugged me that it wasn’t clicking on all the time.

    Now I just switch to art mode every time we finish watching tv. I also turn on art mode before we go to bed and have art mode set to sleep after 15min. When we walk out in the AM it clicks right on 100% of the time!

  7. We got one with similar reasoning (not gonna fool anyone into thinking it’s art, but at least it’s a nice looking TV)—and to my surprise multiple people we’ve had over assume we do not have a TV because this blends in with the art so discreetly.

  8. Regarding the “Why does it turn off all the time”…….I had a mind blowing realization after owning my frame for a few weeks and being frustrated by the motion sensor not clicking on the art. For the TV to automatically click on the art via the motion sensor, art mode needs to have been the last thing on the TV before the TV goes to sleep or shuts off automatically. For example, if you let the TV turn off automatically from apple tv, an app, or the last show you watched the motion sensor won’t activate art mode next time you walk by. I make sure to click back to art mode when we are done watching TV and that ensures the art is always activated when we walk by! I also set art mode on 15min to sleep so it doesn’t shine into our bedroom from the living room for too long but still turns on in the AM when we wander out.

  9. What mount did you use to get it to sit flush to the wall? We will be setting our Frame tv up at the end of February. So excited!

  10. Wood frame — you mention that you can buy the magnetic bezels from Samsung in beige, brown, white, black. Are these magnetic bezels wood? Is the one you have from this Samsung collection of bezels, and if so is it beige or brown?

    Ps. Thank you for such an informative post!!

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