Not everyone cares about the absolute best TV specs or pristine picture quality. It turns out there are a lot of people who do to hate having a traditional TV—that ugly black rectangle—that spoils the atmosphere and decor of her living room. These are the same people who made Samsung’s The Frame TV such a big hit. I have family members and colleagues who have all bought The Frame in the last year because it disguises itself as a work of art so well when not in use. You can customize the TV’s bezels and switch between different options to get exactly the look you want when it’s hanging on your wall.
However, some of these people may soon wish they had waited a little longer before making their purchase. Because for 2022 Samsung has introduced a matte display This significantly reduces glare and makes the artwork presented by The Frame look almost like a canvas. I recently had the chance to look at the matte frame and compare it side-by-side with last year’s model, and while the older frame was by no means what I would call a ‘glossy’ display, the difference was quite noticeable. It was to the point where I was wondering if I was looking at a real TV and had to get up close to check for pixels. They were actually there.
The new frame still has the same customizable bezels and now comes in more sizes, from 43 inches ($999.99) to an 85-inch giant that costs over $4,000. If you’re into gaming, stick to 55-inches and up, as you’ll lose out on 120Hz games as you go smaller.
But that matte screen is the star of the show. Samsung’s Art Store has thousands of pieces to choose from, and the artworks look more realistic and convincing than ever. The effect is aided by The Frame’s ability (in Ambient mode) to optimize both display brightness and white balance for each room and environment.
However, I’m curious if the switch to a matte finish will affect the clarity and sharpness of the TV. Samsung told me it doesn’t expect big compromises, but I suspect The Frame won’t compete the company’s new OLED or the latest mini LED TVs in terms of picture quality when actually watching content. Maybe the target market for The Frame doesn’t care either.
Even putting that question aside, The Frame still isn’t the most impressive TV on paper: there’s no local dimming whatsoever, which at these prices is definitely a bummer. But it supports 4K gaming at 120Hz, so… could it be worse? The framework is basically a good enough TV that looks far classier than any of its competitors. My LG OLED has an art mode, but nobody mistakes it for a framed print. Samsung owns this market so far.
Personally, I’m someone who can do with a regular TV in their living room and would go for an OLED set over The Frame every time. But for the contingent of customers who simply refuse to go down that route, the 2022 edition of Samsung’s Wall Art TV is an impressive achievement, and I look forward to reviewing it in the coming weeks.
Photography by Chris Welch / The Verand