The Samsung Frame TV has been hailed as a work of art, literally. It’s an innovative product that blends aesthetics and technology in an attempt to enhance your living space while delivering top-quality television performance. But as the saying goes, no product is perfect. And Samsung’s Frame TV is no exception to this rule.
In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at the Samsung Frame television and its potential downsides. We aim to provide a balanced view to help consumers make informed decisions. We’ll delve into the areas of cost, performance, and usability and give a special mention to some often overlooked issues.
The Price Tag
Before diving into the technical aspects, it’s essential to address one of the most noticeable negatives associated with the Samsung Frame TV: the cost.
Samsung’s Frame television is undeniably pricey, particularly when compared to other 4K UHD TVs with similar specifications. You’re paying for the design and aesthetic appeal as much as the technology inside. For the cost-conscious consumer, this could be a significant deterrent.
- Comparatively, other models offer similar or even superior technical specifications at lower prices.
- The unique design and aesthetic appeal of the Frame television come with a premium price tag.
Cost of Art Store Subscription
If you want to take full advantage of the Art Mode feature, you’ll need a subscription to Samsung’s Art Store. This adds an ongoing cost that you wouldn’t encounter with a conventional television.
- The Art Store subscription cost is not included in the price of the TV.
- Without the subscription, your choice of artwork is severely limited.
While Samsung’s Frame TV excels in design, it has certain performance limitations that consumers should be aware of.
Limited Brightness and Contrast
Compared to Samsung’s flagship QLED models, the Frame TV has a lower peak brightness. This means it might not perform as well in brightly lit rooms.
- Peak brightness is lower compared to other Samsung QLED models.
- HDR content might not pop as much as it would on a TV with higher peak brightness.
Average Sound Quality
In terms of sound, the Frame television leaves a bit to be desired. With its ultra-slim design, it simply doesn’t have the space for large, high-quality speakers.
- The sound quality is merely average without an external sound system.
- For the best audio experience, you’d need to invest in a soundbar or a home theater system, adding to the overall cost.
While Samsung’s Frame TV is generally user-friendly, there are some usability issues that may cause frustration.
Cumbersome Art Mode Interface
While the Art Mode is a key selling point of the Frame TV, the interface is not as user-friendly as it could be. Browsing and selecting art can be a time-consuming process.
- The interface lacks intuitive navigation, making it challenging to browse the extensive art collection.
- Changing artworks or settings can be cumbersome and slow.
Inconvenient Placement of Ports
The Frame television’s design results in an unusual placement of ports. They’re located in the One Connect box, which can be inconvenient depending on your setup.
- All the HDMI and USB ports are located in the separate One Connect box.
- Depending on your setup, this could lead to awkward cable management.
Dependence on One Connect Box
Samsung’s One Connect box is a unique feature that consolidates all your cable connections into one. While it offers clear benefits, it also introduces potential drawbacks that are worth considering.
Single Point of Failure
The One Connect box is not just a hub but also houses essential components of the TV. This centralized approach introduces a single point of failure. If the box stops working, your entire television goes down with it.
- The TV itself has no ports or tuners; they’re all in the One Connect box.
- If the box is damaged or stops working, it would be as though your entire TV is broken.
Limited Placement Options
Given the importance of the One Connect box, its placement becomes critical. This can limit your setup options, especially if you’re planning to wall-mount the TV.
- The box needs to be near the TV but not so close that it’s visible, which can limit your setup options.
- The length of the cable from the TV to the box is fixed, which can further limit where you can place the box.
Smart TV Software Limitations
While Samsung’s Tizen OS has many strengths, it also has several limitations that can hinder your experience with the Frame television.
Limited App Selection
Despite having most of the major streaming apps, Tizen OS’s app store is not as comprehensive as those of Android TV or Roku TV.
- Some less mainstream streaming services are missing from Tizen OS.
- The selection of games and utility apps is also more limited compared to other platforms.
Potential Privacy Concerns
Like many smart televisions, the Frame TV collects data about your usage to provide personalized recommendations and ads. While you can opt-out, this is a concern for some users.
- While you can opt-out, the settings to do so are buried deep in the menu.
There are a few additional issues that don’t fall under the main categories but are still worth noting.
Wall Mounting is Almost Mandatory
One of the main selling points of the Frame TV is its ability to mimic a piece of art. To fully take advantage of this, wall mounting is almost mandatory, which may not be suitable for everyone.
- Although a stand is provided, the TV looks best when wall-mounted.
- Wall mounting may not be feasible in certain spaces or for those who frequently move their television setup.
While the Frame television does allow some customization in terms of bezel color and artwork, it is still limited. There are only a few bezel colors to choose from, and you’re restricted to the artwork available in Samsung’s Art Store.
- Only a limited range of bezel colors are available.
- You cannot display personal photos or images in the same way as the curated artworks.
Is the Samsung Frame TV expensive?
Yes, the Samsung Frame TV is considered expensive compared to other TVs with similar specifications. The premium price is mainly due to its unique design and art features.
Does the Samsung Frame TV support Dolby Vision?
No, it doesn’t. This can be a downside for those who prefer this HDR format, which is increasingly becoming the standard.
What is the sound quality of the Samsung Frame TV?
The sound quality of the Samsung Frame TV is considered weak. While it has a 40W output, it lacks bass, which can affect the overall cinematic experience. It is recommended to invest in an external soundbar or speaker system for a better audio experience.
Is the Samsung Frame TV’s Intelligent Mode reliable?
The Intelligent Mode, designed to offer the best image quality based on the content you’re viewing, can be inconsistent. It can be too aggressive with motion smoothing for films and takes different approaches to individual streaming apps.
Does the Samsung Frame TV have a subscription cost?
Yes, to access the Art Mode feature, which allows you to display thousands of works of art on the screen when it’s in standby, you need to pay a monthly subscription fee.
Does the Samsung Frame TV support 120Hz in all sizes?
No, only sizes above the 43-inch version support 120Hz. The 43-inch model and the 32-inch model support up to 60Hz.
Is the Samsung Frame TV’s design customizable?
Yes, but the customizable bezels are sold separately, which adds to the overall cost.
Does the Samsung Frame TV have a good black level?
While the Samsung Frame TV has decent black levels, it won’t match the performance of OLED screens.
While the Samsung Frame TV is an innovative and aesthetically appealing product, it’s not without its downsides. The high cost, performance limitations, usability issues, and other concerns make it a less-than-perfect choice for certain consumers. However, for those who value aesthetics and have the budget to accommodate, it could still be an appealing option. The key is to make an informed decision based on your unique needs and circumstances.