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Samsung Frame TV Review | Unsponsored

With another big shopping day coming up, I wanted to share my (unsponsored) Samsung Frame TV review in case anyone has plans to buy a new TV.  If you saw my tutorial on how to build a bump out to hang a TV (which was a genius solution for our too high mantel and inconveniently placed vents), then you might have spotted our new TV.  When we first rearranged the living room to accommodate the sectional sofa, the old TV we had got a little farther away and (this makes us sound soooo old) we had both been struggling to see the menu or subtitles ever since.  Once the bump out carved out space for a bigger TV, we decided to finally upgrade to a bigger and better TV.  After weighing the pros and cons, the Samsung Frame TV was a good choice for us and hopefully my Samsung Frame TV review will help you decide if it’s the right choice for you. (Note: this blog post features the Frame TV in two different sizes because the store offered us a smaller loaner after the size I ordered was backordered – the larger TV is the one we actually chose and bought).

Honest and Unsponsored Review of Samsung Frame TV

What is the Samsung Frame TV?

The Samsung Frame TV is a QLED 4K TV that sits flush against the wall.  It’s a smart TV that you can use all of your favorite apps with (like Netflix and Disney+) or connect your other devices to, but it can be disguised on a wall as art.  With its minimalist design, and only one cord that is thin and almost clear, it’s less obtrusive than other TVs.  But the best part is that, when not being used as a TV, it can be enjoyed in “Art Mode” to display artwork on the screen.  This feature helps it blend into home decor because you no longer have to look at a big black rectangle when your TV is off.  To save energy, you can set up this feature to turn off when no one is in the room, and automatically turn back on when someone enters.  What makes the Samsung Frame TV special is that there is no risk of screen burn when displaying photos and art.


How Good is the Picture Quality on the Samsung Frame TV?

The Frame TV boasts 4K UHD technology, so the images are definitely sharp and detailed, although ultimately the quality of a lot of programming is still underwhelming – I think the technology there needs to catch up to the televisions a bit.  With the thinner frame of the TV, the focus is much more on the programming and not the TV itself, which is a benefit to the thin frame beyond the aesthetic quality.  It’s well documented in other reviews that you don’t pay for extremely good picture with this TV – you can get an equally good picture for much less money in a less pretty TV, or spend the same amount and get an amazing picture but, again, in a less pretty TV.  You’re paying a lot for the package but I have no complaints about the picture quality.  Granted, our old TV was nearly a decade old so it would have been difficult not to wow us!  When the new TV was installed and turned on, both dogs started barking at the picture quite aggressively and it happened for the first week or so, so I do think the picture is much more crisp.  Two out of two annoying dogs agree that the quality is worth barking about, lol.

Samsung Frame TV Review | Unsponsored Review of the Frame TV with Pros and Cons | Dans le Lakehouse

What is the One Connect Box and How Many Cables Does the Frame TV Have?

What ultimately sold me is that the current Samsung Frame TV has only ONE cable!  I was confused reading a Samsung Frame TV review on Amazon because previous versions had a power cord and a cord that runs to the One Connect Box, but now they have only one cable, which is thin and clear, making it the ideal choice for our fireplace installation.  This cable connects to the “One Connect Box,” which we have put in our new metal media cabinet.  Everything we want to connect to the TV connects to that box instead, so we were able to say goodbye to the huge bundle of cords dangling from the back of the TV.  I asked at the local shop if any other TVs had this One Connect Box and they incorrectly told me no.  At the time of writing, there are other, more expensive Samsung TVs, like the QLED 4K UHD 9 Series Smart TV, which also sits flat against the wall for a sleek look and boasts the One Connect Box.  The One Connect Box was a major selling point for me because the one thin cord is easy to hide.  Right now it’s just clipped under the mantle but when we get our Frame TV and return this loaner, I’ll really hide the cable well and you’ll never see it.

Hide TV Cables Under Fireplace MantelHow to Hide Cables on Wall Mounted TV

What is the Samsung Frame TV Remote Like?

The remote is very sleek and simple – and not intuitive at all, haha – so I’ve had to do a lot of Googling to figure out where different settings are.  You can actually control a lot from this one, fairly button-less remote, but it means you have to open up menus nested under one another which is fine once you learn where everything is.  It’s a bit of a learning curve, but I love that there is just one remote.  There’s also a phone app, but I can’t see myself downloading that because my phone is too full.  The really cool thing about the remote is that it works on radio frequency, which means you can hide your One Connect Box out of sight!

Samsung Remote Control Review

How Flat Does the Samsung Frame TV Sit Against the Wall?

The No-Gap Wall Mount was another major reason to buy this TV, because it sits completely flush with the wall:

TV That Fits Perfectly Flush to Wall

The Frame TV is really touted for its “art” look and it really does have the same profile and depth as a piece of art.  If you check out this old post about our old TV, you can see just how thick our old TV was and, from the side view, it’s very bulky – even though the Ikea wall unit we had hid the wires, it still looked very much like a big TV.  This Samsung Frame TV fools the eye because the shape and style are so different from the standard flat screen.  It’s definitely not cheap, but at least it looks expensive.  Again, other Samsung TVs, like the Q9, have the same no-gap wall mount.

How Flush Does Samsung Frame TV Fit to the Wall?

Does the Samsung Frame TV Actually Look Like Art?

If I’m being honest with my Samsung Frame TV review, at first I was a little underwhelmed with the art feature.  I don’t know what I was expecting but it just really glowed like a TV, even when I lowered the brightness (it was on default settings when I snapped the photos below, I’ve since made the art mode less bright).  The TV apparently has a “Brightness Sensor” which detects the ambient light and automatically balances the screen’s brightness and colour tone for a natural illumination.  I am not super impressed with the sensor and find that adjusting the settings myself helps produce a more realistic picture.  I did read that for 2022, the Frame TV has a new matte, anti-glare display that makes the art more realistic.  But I have made one big realization: the type of art displayed also makes a big difference.

Art Mode Pros and ConsDoes Art Mode Look Realistic?Is Art Mode Natural?

The Best Art for the Samsung Frame TV:

[Update 2023]: Since enjoying our Frame TV for five years, I’ve realized that the type of art makes the biggest difference – some pieces look better/more realistic than others.  I became so interested in Samsung Frame TV art, that I have even created my own Samsung Frame TV art for sale, which plays with subtle glow of the TV in art mode.  My luminescent photographs are enhanced by being displayed on the TV and I am now frequently asked about “the art above the fireplace” from people who newly find my website or social media and don’t already know that’s a Frame TV.  So if you’re disappointed with the art mode, take the time to find or create art that suits it and you’ll love the end result.  I encourage you to take your own photos – you can’t go wrong with nature photography, as the glow from sunsets, flowers, water, clouds, etc., all work with the glow from the TV.  Play around with editing photos and also the display settings on your TV (for example, I prefer no mat) to perfect the experience of Samsung Frame TV art in your space.

The Frame Pros and ConsSamsung Frame TV Christmas Art for Sale

How Do I Make My Samsung Frame More Realistic?

My first tip to making Samsung Frame art more realistic is to skip the mat.  As you can see from my example photos, I tend not to use the “mat” on my Samsung Frame TV because I think it just doesn’t always look realistic.  This will totally be a personal preference for you, and easy to change in the settings, but try without a mat first.  Below you will see the same photo displayed on the Frame TV without a mat.  Next, as mentioned above, choose artwork that benefits from the subtle glow of the TV, and then turn down the brightness in settings.  Finally, adjust warm/cool tones to your preference, which will help the art feel more realistic.  If all else fails, vintage black and white photos always look amazing!

Lake Superior Digital Art for DownloadLake Inspired Digital Art for Sale

How Big Should My Frame TV Be?

Because the Samsung Frame TV is both a TV and a work of art, it’s a little more complicated to determine how big your Samsung Frame TV should be.  Ultimately, choose a size you enjoy (and bigger is always better for viewing)!  But if you’re thinking about design rules, and treating the Frame TV like art to be hung above a mantel or console, your TV as “art” should be 3/4 as wide as what is below it.  You don’t want a massive TV and then a really skinny fireplace or tiny console beneath it because the proportions will be off.  Because my fireplace wall is just that – a wall – I decided to go bigger with my TV because I have a large, expansive space to balance it out.  To determine the best size for viewing, some sources suggest measuring the distance between your head and the TV wall in inches and then dividing by 1.6 or 3  – and that’s the size of TV that will be ideal.  According to Samsung, the best viewing distances are:

  • 5.5 ft distance = 55″ TV
  • 6.5 ft distance = 65″ TV
  • 7.5 ft distance = 7.5″ TV
  • 8.5 ft distance = 85″ TV

I ordered the 65″ Samsung Frame TV, because that was the largest size at the time – and what filled the bump out we created.  Because it was backordered much longer than expected, I was provided a 55″ floor model, which you can see in some of the photos.  The 65″ was the largest at the time, but the Samsung Frame TV is now available in the following sizes: 32″ 43″ 50″ 55″ 65″  75″ and 85″.

TV That Displays Art When it's Not Being Used

What is the Disadvantage of the Samsung Frame TV?

I learned this when I was researching, but it was something that surprised me: no frames are included and to buy them is around $200+ depending on where you buy them.  After paying so much for a good looking TV, I was disappoint that the frames were an additional cost.  I looked at the frame in store and it’s a very thin frame that is held on with magnets.  You’re not paying for anything super high quality (it’s the thinnest piece of veneer ever) but you’re paying for the idea.  Because our fireplace is dark, we’re ended up sticking with the plain black just to save money, although I did originally think I’d want to order the walnut.  Now there are many styles available, including this antique gold and silver bezel style.  I think this is something that could easily be DIY’d for less money, if you already have the tools.  Other than price concerns (the TV itself is moderately expensive and the frames are an added cost), I really love my Samsung Frame TV and have not experienced any other disadvantages.

Pros and Cons of the Samsung Frame TV

Does the Frame TV Use a Lot of Electricity in Art Mode?

According to Samsung, Art Mode consumes about 30% of electricity that just using the TV does, but there is a setting where the Art Mode will only turn on when someone is in the room.  I will admit, I do not use Art Mode 100% of the time.  Sometimes I just need some visual quiet and the TV is completely off.  Other times, like during the holidays, I display my art on the TV anytime I’m in the room – which is a lot, in the winter.  After five years of use, I have noticed absolutely no change in my electricity bill – if you live somewhere that electricity is really expensive and you notice that using your TV to watch programming has a really big impact on your monthly bill, then Art Mode may not be for you.

Do You Have to Buy Art for Samsung Frame TV?

No, the Samsung Frame TV comes pre-loaded with a good selection of free art, with many different themes and styles.  After you get bored of those, you can get a monthly subscription to access more art from Samsung, but you can also buy individual pieces from artists (I sell Samsung Frame TV art!) or even upload your own photography or digital art.

Would I Recommend the Samsung Frame TV?

First, I should be honest and explain that I did justify the expense because I earn a living from my website and social media channels, and having a better looking TV situation is important for me as a DIY and home blogger – as well as just being a design obsessed home owner.  The look of a TV might not be as important to someone who doesn’t share tons of photos of their home online, so consider my values and priorities in this Samsung Frame TV review.

Lake Inspired Samsung Frame TV Art

For anyone who has a rec room or family room tucked into a basement, it might make more sense to save your money and get a bigger/better TV.  Lots of other TVs these days are thinner and hang more tightly against a wall compared to flatscreen TVs from a decade ago, so there might be better options for a family room set up.  But for anyone like me, who only has one living space and it’s always on display, this TV is amazing.  AMAZING!!  Our space is open concept and you can see our TV from the kitchen, dining and living room – even from the deck.  I love how the Samsung Frame TV looks, even when it’s not in art mode.  It’s modern, minimal, and streamlined.  It sits flat against the wall, with one tiny cord!  It would be beautiful in a bedroom too, where a lot of folks have TVs but don’t want a techy look.  Again, the Samsung Q9 boasts similar features (the One Connect Box and No-Gap Wall Mount), but it’s more money and this was already at the top of our budget.  The image is crisp, the sound quality is much better than our old TV (although we also installed paintable wall mounted speakers), and it’s just really enjoyable to watch this TV.  I love it and would buy it again in a heartbeat.  I have 0 regrets about buying the Frame TV.  Update 2023: I am still very happy with my purchase and have had no issues or complaints in the five years since buying this TV.

Samsung Frame TV Review

Is Black Friday the Best Deal for a TV?

My only regret is that I bought my Frame TV on Black Friday.  I braved the nutty crowds because I was promised it was at the best price.  Lo and behold, the price dropped by $500 after Black Friday, but the store credited me the difference.  I just wish I hadn’t even bothered going out on Black Friday because my truck was almost hit by two different crazed shoppers that day!  If you buy this, make sure you have a price drop guarantee for at least a month or so because I’ve watched the price go up and down a lot.

Hopefully this unsponsored Samsung Frame TV review is useful!  If you have any questions, comments of your own (or your own Samsung Frame TV review to share), pop them in the comments!

Is the Samsung Frame TV Worth the Price?

Shop My Lake Inspired Samsung Frame TV Art:

If you’d like to bring the lake home and display my lake inspired art on your Frame TV, check out what’s new in the shop!

P.S. Don’t Forget to Pin for Later!

HONEST Samsung Frame TV Review



  1. Christine
    December 22, 2018 / 11:50 am

    Thank you for writing this review, Tanya! We like the look of the Frame, but are hesitant… I appreciate your thoughtfulness, and it’s refreshing to read an unsponsored review. (Even though people CLAIM their sponsored reviews are unbiased, I don’t really trust that.) Happy holidays!

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      December 22, 2018 / 2:03 pm

      I’m happy this review was helpful Christine. Even as a blogger myself, I’m starting to get super overwhelmed by just how much sponsored content is out there. I think there used to be a better balance and I really miss unsponsored product reviews myself. Happy Holiday to you and thanks for taking the time to leave a comment 🙂

  2. Oona
    January 1, 2019 / 6:48 pm

    I’m joining Christine in thanking you for reviewing exactly the model and living space issues I have been pondering, Tanya. Our home is super small. We don’t want the whole world to see our television when they drive by. We’d love not to have to figure out a way to cover the screen when it’s not in use just to keep from having that empty-frame look… So it’s really helpful to have your thoughts about the quality of the art feature (and to know there will be follow-ups), and also about the likely need for speakers. Do you have more thoughts about the height of your now over-mantel screen? How comfortable is it to sit on your usual sofa and watch? Again, many thanks. The room does look gorgeous!

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      January 1, 2019 / 8:09 pm

      I’ve been waiting to get our TV (in the proper size we ordered) to update my review but after spending some more time with it, I love this TV even more. I learned that some of the art options are better than others in terms of realism, so I found a few I’m really happy with – although I still want to upload my own when we get our TV and can give this loaner back. At night, the art still does glow so it’s less convincing, but I’m more happy with the daytime look and I do leave it on art mode occasionally. But the overall look of the TV is so sleek and unlike a TV – it really does look like a frame – that I think you’d be happy with it. The height is good – we’re lucky that we’re pretty far. If we were closer, I’d probably find it a bit high? But it’s just the perfect height for the distance – I should really measure and add that to the post. But for this distance, it’s perfect!

      • Oona
        January 2, 2019 / 2:57 am

        Thanks so much! I’ve just gone back over all your updates on windows and the #%!!@* sliding door… And have to say that you’ve done an amazing amount of work this year… Love the new roof, the siding color, the porch light… These things that show a lot have to make you proud. So glad for you that you can relax a bit and admire the elegant miter joints on that brilliant bump out!

        (Do you have Gorilla Tape in your hardware stores? It’s the same width as duct tape, but *extremely* strong and very adhesive. If you decide to try covering the annoying strip of off-white on your door frame, that might be an option.)

        • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
          January 2, 2019 / 3:50 pm

          Thanks so much! Sometimes it feels like we move so slowly lol. I will definitely look into Gorilla Tape – I’m sure we have it because I’ve used their glues and if not, there’s always Amazon 🙂 Thanks for following along and always leaving such nice comments! Happy new year!

  3. Brian T
    April 19, 2020 / 10:37 am

    Tanya, thanks for your review. A question I have is about the art mode. In art mode, is the TV still using power/electricity? Or is it the default power off setting?

    Have you noticed an uptick in electricity charges on the monthly bill?

    • April 19, 2020 / 11:09 am

      Hi Brian, happy to help! The art mode does use electricity. From what I have read, it’s approx 30% of TV mode. I saw one figure say the TV mode is 180 watts and art mode is 48 watts, but that depends on how bright you make it and also the room (brighter settings use more power). I have not noticed an uptick in electricity bills, however. Our bills have stayed pretty much the same, we even saw a dip this year because I’ve been turning off lights when I’m not in a room lol. So since buying it, I cannot say power consumption went up. But I do turn it off completely at night and when I’m out. And I go for periods of time when I forget to put on the art, so it’s not like it’s either in use or in art mode 100% of the time, if that makes sense. You can set it up so the art mode is motion activated, so I believe that saves some power but even when it’s off, it’s using “vampire power,” as all electronics do (uses just 1 watt when off). I’m not sure when the art mode goes to “sleep” if that’s off-off or some middle ground. I still LOVE this TV and have zero complaints – I even started uploading my own photography art, which is really fun.

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