The Samsung The Frame TV (QN65LS03AAFXZA) delivers a unique design for fashionistas, with stunning 4K resolution on a QLED panel. Even when powered down, it adds life to your living room by displaying your favorite artwork or family photos.
- Impressive 4K QLED screen
- Ambient Art Mode is beautiful
- Displays artwork when powered off
- Excellent image quality
- Customizable bezels
- Mediocre sound quality
- No Dolby Vision
If you’re reading this Samsung The Frame TV (QN65LS03AAFXZA) review, then maybe you’re considering buying a new TV. But the Samsung Frame isn’t just a TV, it doubles up as a piece of art or digital photo frame on your wall as well. It may not be for everyone, but if you love art, be sure to read on.
The model we’re reviewing today – the QN65LS03AAFXZA model – is the 2021 version of Samsung’s growing line of great-looking sets that sport stylish designs and are packed with smart features. Unlike your traditional-style TVs, The Frame TV is unique in that it displays works of art in standby mode and comes in a customizable frame that mimics a wall hanging. It’s functionally as good to watch as it is stylish to have around your living room.
In our best TVs guide, Samsung always makes a strong appearance, thanks to their focus on delivering fantastic quality paired with impressive smart features and outstanding design that makes their range of TVs very appealing.
Samsung The Frame (2021) makes it to that coveted list yet again, it’s a 4K television set that is available in different sizes and will blend well with the décor of any modern home. For this review, we are looking at the 65-inch model, but you can buy the same TV in different sizes, and we hope that our recommendations will apply to the other sets in this line.
Samsung The Frame TV Specs
- Sizes: 43-inch, 50-inch, 55-inch, 65-inch and 75-inch
- Resolution: 4K, 3,840 x 2,160
- Processor: Quantum Processor 4K
- Frequency: 100/120 (50/60 in 43-50″) Hz
- App platform: Smart TV Powered by TIZEN
- Voice assistants: Built-in Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Bixby
- HDMI connections: 4
- HDR: HDR10, HDR10+, HLG
- Dolby audio: Dolby Digital (AC-3), Dolby Digital Plus (E-AC-3)
- Special features: One Connect, Game Bar
Price and Availability
Samsung The Frame TV (2021) is available in different sizes and customizations, meaning you simply have to select one that matches your décor. At the bottom, there’s the 32-inch model with a 1080p resolution, while all other options are at 4K resolution. It starts at around $599 / £499 for the 32-inch model, but in between, there are also 43-inch, 50-inch, 65-inch, and 75-inch options, with the prices going up to around $2,999 / £2,599 for the largest models.
Though the prices here signal a top-tier spec sheet, it isn’t quite flagship level, but you’re paying the premium for the unique-eye-friendly look of The Frame TV.
To put things into context, you can’t compare the Samsung The Frame TV directly with other offerings in the market as it’s not only a TV – it’s décor. But the market has some nice-looking models that don’t come with art models but look equally stylish, like LG’s Gallery Series OLED TV. The LG OLED C1 was released around the same time as the Samsung QN65LS03AAFXZA we’re reviewing.
Granted the LG has a higher price than The Frame, but it does not only look great it is the better overall TV. Compared to other non-art models in the market, the Samsung The Frame TV costs a little more, but improvements in picture quality make it a much better purchase this time around.
Samsung The Frame TV Review: Design
Normally we tend to separate our TV discussions around design and software interface, but The Frame is fairly different since the two aspects work hand in hand. So, don’t be surprised to find some design elements on the performance side or software features that complement the industrial design as well.
In a world where TVs are designed to exist as black holes in our living rooms when not powered on, Th Frame TV is created to complement existing décor. Out of the box, this set doesn’t look like much, just a simple black frame, but Samsung offers a range of clip-on bezels (sold separately) that can be used to blend the set to a range of decors; they range from bold color finishes to wood-like frames.
Once fixed to the TV ad wall-mounted, those bezels create the impression that you have a wall hanging on your wall, rather than a TV. This can be further accessorized via Samsung’s Art Mode app – a monthly subscription service – that gives you access to thousands of artwork that can be displayed on the screen in standby mode, with collections from galleries including the Louvre and Van Gogh Museum, and contemporary artists like Sutianto to classics like Monet.
The app also includes a handful of free designs if you don’t fancy the subscription, and the “My Collection” section lets you upload up to 16GB / 1,200 images of your own. Whichever approach you take, Samsung has ensured that The Frame TV looks as ornamental and blends with your décor as much as possible.
The Samsung Frame TV is surprisingly one of the simplest TVs to set up. When not wall-mounted, it completely flushes to the wall thanks to a fairly thin, flat design that sits on two separate feet, which can be set at two different heights to accommodate a soundbar below the screen. The legs simply slot and click into place on either end of the TV on the back of the screen, you don’t need a screw. Alternatively, you can opt for a sold-separately tripod-like Studio mount.
To make the setup process even simple, Samsung includes the handy One Connect box. This is a standalone box that connects to the screen with a single clear fiber optic cable, and houses all the connections you’d ever need for external devices.
On the box, there are four HDMI ports (one eArc compatible, another HDMI 2.1 compatible for 120Hz VRR gaming), a digital optical output, an Ethernet connection, a CI card slot, and a pair of USB ports. It also supports terrestrial and satellite tuners, as well as dual-band and Bluetooth for wireless peripherals including headphones, keyboards, and mice.
Also bundled into the package is a pair of remotes. Each of the remotes has shortcut buttons for Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Samsung TV Plus – a free streaming service.
One of the remotes has a full array of rubbery volume, playback, and channel select options among other controls, the other one is a stripped-back remote with just the commonly used functions having dedicated buttons. It’s straightforward to use, but most of its useful features are hidden on the back – a solar panel that means you’ll never have to replace its batteries.
Samsung Smart TV Platform – Tizen
The Art Mode and all other functions on the Samsung QN65LS03AAFXZA are based on Samsung Tizen operating system, which does a nice job on this set.
First, on the basics, there’s a robust selection of streaming apps available for download and use on The Frame TV, including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV+, Disney Plus, and all other local providers such as BBC iPlayer and SKY Now TV. You also get a selection of free streaming channels tied into the Samsung TV Plus app.
In addition to the Art Mode, there’s also Samsung’s Ambient Mode that’s usually found on the company’s TV models, which you can use as a screensaver of sorts when the TV isn’t being actively used. The screen can also be used as a SmartThings hub – that is Samsung’s branded home controller, letting you access connected devices on your network from smart lights to security systems and pretty everything in between.
The Samsung Frame TV also does a good job when it comes to mirroring other devices on its display. Simply download the PC On TV app on your computer and you can show your desktop right up on the big screen, complete with a mouse and keyboard support. The SmartThings app for Android phones allows you to mirror your smartphone screen on the TV, and it also supports Apple’s AirPlay content beaming. It also has support for voice controls through a selection of smart assistants, including Bixby, Google Assistant, and Amazon Alexa.
Picture Quality and Sound
Having reviewed a few other Samsung The Frame TVs before, we’ve come to realize that beyond the impressive designs, they sometimes struggle when it comes to actual picture quality.
However, for 2021, Samsung seems to have addressed issues with picture quality. The Frame TV (2021) is now a QLED set that at the very least a match for Samsung offers in the upper end of its mid-range lineup. As we’ve come to expect from Samsung QLED technology, you’re now assured of rich colors on The Frame TV, with Samsung using a Dual LED backlight system and bringing together two color temperatures to produce the best possible image out of its Quantum Dot filter array.
While it won’t match the OLEDs of this world, QLEDs still deliver black levels that are deep and believable, with excellent performance emanating from the backlight ensuring no one spot on the display appears washed out with light leak.
The Quantum Processor 4K is impressive too, handling motion with aplomb and pushing 4K content that’s pin-sharp. The real showstopper is how the screen handles lower-resolution content. Standard definition content might appear a little staggered, but it remains watchable, and 1080p content scales incredibly well and looks rich and punch on the Samsung QN65LS03AAFXZA TV.
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For HDR support, The Frame TV includes HLG and HDR10+, but as with some other Samsung sets, the lack of Dolby Vision is a major drawback as it is increasingly becoming the HDR standard, it is now even supported by the Xbox Series X. Still, The Frame TV’s HDR performance is impressive, with a particular vibrant pop to highlights in HDR10+. The Frame TV also supports other modes, including Intelligent Mode which is designed to offer the best image quality based on the content being viewed as well as enhance audio based on the content as well.
Talking of sound, the Samsung QN65LS03AAFXZA’s 40W output has power when it comes to volume, but there is a characteristic lack of bass when it comes to giving any sense of the cinematic depth of content. It’s a problem The Frame TV shares with all other flatscreen TVs, so prepare to invest in an external soundbar or speaker system if you’re looking to be completely immersed in what you’re viewing.
Should I buy the Samsung The Frame TV?
The Samsung Frame TV (2021) isn’t for everyone. It is a thing of beauty, displaying artwork and photos when powered down is a big plus for anyone who loves art, but for the rest of the people, it might come across as overcomplicating things.
This applies to customizable bezels as well. While some will appreciate the fact that you can match them to the room the TV is going to be in, some may see it as adding unnecessary clutter. Samsung’s focus on room aesthetics is unique, and I think with The Frame TV they’ve done a splendid job, although you won’t quite get the full effect unless the TV is mounted on a wall.
Away from design and artwork, the Frame TV offers genuinely great image quality, especially compared to its predecessors. But you’re paying a premium for design here, rather than the absolute heights of image and sound quality that a similar price tag might get you elsewhere, even with Samsung’s non-Frame range.
If you’re not fully immersed in the business of artwork, there are great alternatives out there that can be had for around the same price but offer solid image quality, superb sound, and other incremental performance enhancements. Both the LG OLED Evo C2 (OLED65C2PUA) and the Samsung OLED S95B (QN65S95BAFXZA) are such excellent 65-inch alternatives to consider.
Otherwise, the Samsung The Frame TV remains a fantastic choice for anyone looking for a TV with extra features to improve the look of the room it is placed in. The 2022 Samsung The Frame TV is now available, you can give it a look as well.
Last update on 2022-10-04 at 10:41 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API