Is the Samsung Frame TV Worth It? Maybe Not.

If you have ever seen photos on Instagram where the person's TV looks like framed art, it's almost definitely a Samsung Frame TV. After seeing them all over the place, we finally purchased one for our family room and we had very high expectations. Now that we've had our first Samsung Frame TV for well over 3 years and our newest one for over 4 months, I wanted to share my unbiased review of this TV that looks like framed art with you.

The Frame TV is hyped as the only TV that looks like framed art when you aren't watching something. But is that true? And is this “picture frame TV” worth the money? Here's my unbiased review of the 2021 and latest models of the Samsung Frame TV. Spoiler alert… I don't think it's a great fit or necessary for everyone. Keep reading to find out why.

Samsung picture frame tv above fireplace

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. Click here for my full disclosure policy.

We purchased our first Samsung Frame TV in 2021 and have loved it so we purchased our second Frame TV in November of 2023 to hang in another highly visible spot in our home. You can see the exact models we own below.

Our Frame TVs


2021 Samsung frame TV model hanging above fireplace

Samsung Frame TV 2021 Model

We purchased this 2021 model (QN55LS03AAFXZA) several years ago. It hangs in our family room above our fireplace.

samsung frame TV with DIY frame bobbin style

Samsung Frame TV Latest Model

When we purchased our second Samsung Frame TV in November of 2023, we chose the latest model (QN55LS03BAFXZA) with the anti-glare/matte screen feature. It is hanging in our eat-in kitchen nook.

What is the Samsung Frame TV?

The Samsung Frame TV is a QLED HDR Smart TV (4K), so you can use it to stream from Netflix or any of your other favorite streaming services. The Samsung Frame TV is also equipped with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, so you can use voice control features if you want to.

But what makes the Samsung Frame TV different than a regular TV? Well, let's start with the fact that it mounts almost perfectly flat to a wall. But what makes it really different and sets it apart from other TVs is that it displays high-quality artwork and photos when you aren't watching something. That's right–it's a picture frame TV.

It uses a brightness sensor to detect when external lighting conditions change and responds by automatically adjusting screen brightness to keep the colors of your artwork consistent even when external lighting changes. And it uses a motion sensor to turn your artwork on and off based on motion (more on this later).

You can almost mistake it for a piece of original artwork hanging on the wall when you are not watching TV on it. I say almost because since it is backlit, it's never going to look like an original canvas or print hanging on a wall. But the resolution is stunning and you can adjust the white balance/tone to make it look as realistic and natural in your room lighting as possible. And without a doubt, it looks more like art than a big black box on the wall!

Samsung Frame TV Review by Kaleidoscope Living- picture frame tv above fireplace

What I love about our Frame TVs

There are several unique features that are unique to the Samsung Frame TV, many of which I didn't even know about until after we hung it on our wall and started using it. First of all, the no-gap wall mount that comes with the TV is AWESOME. It mounts your TV directly onto the wall, exactly like a piece of art. Typical TV mounts leave several inches of space behind them.

My favorite feature is that when you turn your TV “off” it displays your chosen art. As I mentioned above, the Frame TV has a motion sensor. So when we go to bed, it eventually shuts the screen off entirely. But when we walk back in the room, the art comes right back on the screen.

On some TVs, leaving an image on the screen for long periods of time will burn the image into the television’s display. But Samsung has LED Quantum Dot technology, which apparently means that images can't be burned into the screen. It also means you get very realistic and sharp images on the screen.

The ability to display digital art on our Frame TV is definitely my favorite feature and it's what made it worth the price for our family room. I love, love, love how easy and fun it is to change the digital art display, and I do it pretty frequently. It's especially fun to change it up for the holidays! I added this colorful digital Christmas art to our Frame TV this past Christmas.

Samsung Frame TV Review- picture frame TV displaying holiday art by Tasha Agruso of Kaleidoscope Living

Does the Frame TV actually look like a picture frame hanging on the wall?

As I mentioned earlier in this post, you can almost mistake our 2021 Frame TV for a piece of original artwork hanging on the wall but because it is backlit, it's never going to look like an original canvas or print hanging on a wall. In addition to being backlit, the screen does result in some glare, much like a piece of glass over framed art would have. But the glare from the TV screen coupled with being backlit just results in a different look than a framed art print. So there will be a visible difference between it and other art in your home.

Does the latest model of the Frame TV look more like realistic art than the 2021 model?

The latest Samsung Frame TV model features a new matte, anti-glare display that makes it look more like artwork hanging on your wall. It was made possible by Samsung switching from a semi-gloss screen coating to a matte, anti-glare screen coating.

The Frame TV hanging above our fireplace is the 2021 model (QN55LS03AAFXZA). When we purchased our second Samsung Frame TV in November of 2023, we chose the latest model (QN55LS03BAFXZA). Since we have one of each, we have a really good sense of whether the new anti-glare, matte display makes a difference.

I'm happy to report that the anti-glare, matte display is a VERY NICE feature that is a solid upgrade. Our new TV is situated by a large window that lets in lots of natural light, so glare could definitely be an issue. But I am thrilled to report that there is absolutely no glare when we are watching TV on it.

I also feel like the anti-glare feature makes the art look moderately more realistic than it looks on our 2021 model. That said, the latest model is still backlit, so digital art still looks different from “real art” hanging on your walls. So if you aren't concerned about glare on your TV, I wouldn't upgrade to the latest model just for the moderate difference it makes when displaying digital art. But if your TV will be placed near a window or in a room with tons of natural light, you won't regret getting the model with the anti-glare display.

What can you do with the Frame TV?

As I've already mentioned, you can display artwork on it using what is called “art mode”! This is the biggest draw for most people who want a TV that blends seamlessly into their home decor. You can even choose to display your high-resolution artwork with a digital mat, making it even more realistic.

But you can also choose to display family photos or any photos you choose! You can have your Frame TV display one piece of art or photo at a time or have it cycle through them like a slideshow.

How much does the Frame TV cost?

The Frame TV comes in 7 different sizes. It is EXPENSIVE. The price starts around $575 for a 32-inch TV and climbs all the way to over $4,000 for an 85-inch TV.

What's the best price for the Frame TV and where can you buy it?

We had our fireplace makeover project planned for a while and knew we wanted a Frame TV, so we were hunting for a good deal. In the end, we wound up purchasing the 2021 55″ Frame TV model on Prime Day in 2021 for $1,197, which was the best deal we had found. We also found the best deal on the latest model on Amazon in November of 2023 (we got it for only $1,044). But you may be able to find a coupon or promotion code for another retailer if you hunt around.

The 2021 model is still available and are less expensive than the latest model with the anti-glare feature.

What do you get for your money?

You get a high-quality smart TV (yep, you can use your favorite apps like Netflix and Hulu on it) and beautiful artwork that can be changed with the press of a button! Now, if you are wondering what literally comes in the box, you get a 4K QLED TV, the amount you will need to hang your TV on the wall, and something called a “One Connect Box.”

The One Connect Box runs the whole TV and acts as a hub for all of your cables and connections in one place. That means you can connect all your devices such as cable boxes, streaming devices (Apple TV, Fire Sticks, etc.) and more with the following ports: 

  • (4) HDMI inputs
  • (1) Optical Digital Audio Out
  • (1) Cat 5 Ethernet Port
  • (1) Coax Input
  • (3) USB Input
  • (1) Ex-Link

Then the One Connect Box connects to the Frame TV with one tiny, fiber-optic cord that is referred to as an invisible connection. That cord is all you need to power it and connect all of your devices to the TV. It's pretty cool.

What extras do you have to buy for your Frame TV?

What you don't get for your money is a custom frame for your TV. Out of the box, the frame of the TV is black plastic and it doesn't look like a picture frame. I didn't realize that when we first started looking into it, so I feel it's worth mentioning. You can buy TV bundles that include a bezel, but you are still paying for it above and beyond the price of the TV itself.

We bought a Samsung Frame TV Bezel for the TV in our family room. Our bezel was not inexpensive (we paid around $150, but it looks like the newer model bezels are closer to $250) and I do wish it was a bit more substantial. But I figured we'd order another one for our new TV until I realized that they were sold out of the size and style we wanted and there was no estimated “back in stock” date.

I know many people love Deco TV Frames, so I did take a look at them. But they just aren't our style and are very expensive. They cost around $600 for a 55″ frame. No, thank you.

So, we decided to make a DIY TV frame for our new TV! In the end, it cost us around $80 and I love it so much more than the frames you can order online. It's so substantial and the style is exactly what we wanted.

You can watch an overview of how we made the bobbin style frame below (it will play after a short ad).

wall mounted Samsung Frame TV with DIY wood frame

No matter what, you should know that you will need to buy (or make) a frame for your TV if you really want it to look like a picture frame with art on the wall and the price of the frame you choose needs to be factored into the overall price, which is expensive to begin with.

Where do you put the One Connect Box?

The placement of the One Connect Box for our new TV was easy. It sits below the piece of furniture that the TV is hanging above.

But this was something we had to figure out when we invested in our first Frame TV several years ago. The One Connect Box isn't small. It's 13.7″ wide x 2.6″ high x 5.4″ deep. If you are hanging your TV above an entertainment center or some sort of console table, then it's no big deal–you can just put the One Connect Box in the piece of furniture. But if you are like us and you are hanging your Frame TV above a fireplace, chances are you don't want a big, black One Connect Box sitting out.

We were lucky that we already had an electrical outlet above our fireplace. So in the end, we wound up cutting a hole in the drywall behind our TV and installing a recessed media box to hold our One Connect Box and other components. You can see a photo of the hole we cut in our drywall and the box we installed below. It does mean we will need to take the TV off the wall if we ever need to reset the box for any reason, but the TV is not difficult to remove from the bracket, so we are okay with that.

how to hide frame tv one connect box
how to hide picture frame tv box

Can you use any TV as a Picture Frame TV?

If you are wondering if there is a more affordable way to get the look of a Frame TV, the answer is yes!

I can't say that there are “better” alternatives, but there are definitely very good and much less expensive alternatives. I transformed the very basic TV in our primary bedroom and figured out how to display digital art on our basic smart TV it so that it blends into our gallery wall. It's a much better option for our bedroom, which is a private space. I would NEVER spend the money to buy a Frame TV for anything other than a highly visible living spaces in our home.

That said, the “screensaver” function in our bedroom won't stay on longer than 30 minutes, which is much, much different than the Frame TV. That's why I strongly prefer the Frame TV for highly visible, common areas of our home. After all, the TV in our living room is off 95% of the time. And I love that I can look at beautiful art the entire time it's off. In our bedroom, that's simply not an option. But it's also not an issue since I'm not spending much time in our bedroom when I'm not sleeping.

alternative to Samsung Frame TV- gallery wall including TV with digital art by Tasha Agruso of Kaleidoscope Living

What's the deal with the Samsung Art Store?

Art pieces can be downloaded from Samsung’s Art Store, which has a diverse collection of famous paintings and art pieces in 4K resolution. The Art Store is a digital marketplace where users can buy digital versions of world-famous paintings and art pieces. The Art Store has more than 1,500 pieces of art. I believe it currently costs $4.99 a month to subscribe.

I have not subscribed. I prefer to buy my high-definition digital art on Etsy for between $2.50 and $5.00 each. I find the selection to be wider and it's easier to find pieces that suit my particular style. You can see some of my favorite picks below!

Click on any image below for full product details.

Pros and cons of the Samsung Frame TV

There's a lot of info in this post, so here is a short recap of the pros and cons for you.

Pros

  • Sits completely flat to the wall
  • Can display artwork when TV is not in use without burning the screen
  • Nice picture quality when watching movies or TV
  • Comes in a variety of sizes (32-inch, 43-inch, 55-inch, 65-inch, 75-inch and 85-inch)
  • Latest model has an anti-glare display so the Frame TV looks more like artwork when in art mode and helps enormously with screen glare

Cons

  • It's expensive
  • You have to buy a frame/bezel separately
  • One Connect Box has to be stored or hidden somewhere

Bottom line… Is the Samsung Frame TV worth it?

Now let's turn our attention to the question that I've received countless times… Is the Frame TV worth it? My answer is YES if you are planning to use it in a space that you spend a lot of time in with the TV off and on, like a living room or family room. That makes the art mode display feature really, really worth it. It's so nice not to stare at a big black box on your TV.

If you need a TV that you only look at when you are watching it or that you spend very limited time looking at when it's off (like our primary bedroom TV) I would recommend saving your money. Just use this method to display art on your basic smart TV! We've done it in our bedroom and our bonus room (see below).

Samsung Frame TV Review- Frame TV alternative displaying digital art in gallery wall by Tasha Agruso of Kaleidoscope Living

I hope you have found this helpful! I wish we could have found something like this to help make our decision a bit easier when we were trying to decide if we should spend more than $1,000 on a TV (because it seemed a bit crazy to us at first). But because both of our Samsung Frame TVs are in highly visible living spaces in our home, we don't regret either of them. BUT, we won't be purchasing the more private rooms in our home–less expensive TVs in those rooms will suit us just fine!

Wondering how I approach transforming rooms and spaces in our home? Check out Designer in a Binder®.

designer in a binder--the affordable and simple way to decorate your home

And if you want exclusive content and behind-the-scenes sneak peeks, be sure to subscribe before you head out!

blog post signature with photo of Tasha Agruso of Kaleidoscope Living

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

24 Comments

  1. I have a frame TV and enjoy being able to add my own artwork and photos to show on screen. I do not have a monthly subscription to use their art gallery, mostly because I feel the artwork choices are poor. Until a few weeks ago, I was able to save favorites which I used during the holidays for example to easily find Christmas themed artwork without having to scroll through the hundreds of artworks I have stored. Now they’ve taken the favorites option away with the last upgrade. Upgrades are not a choice by the way. I understand that the only way to use favorites currently if if you pay for the monthly subscription. I already paid for the frame TV, why do I have to pay now to use favorites. I had planned on getting additional frame TV’s for other rooms but I’m not going to do that now.

    1. Oh no! I don’t subscribe either because I find better options on Etsy, but I’ve never used the favorites feature, so I hadn’t noticed that change. I just have a folder on my phone and add them to my Frame TV as needed. But I don’t have hundreds, so it’s doable.

  2. That’s a great review of the device for when it’s off, but I’d like to hear more about the picture quality for movies and game mode. How’s color? Does it produce deep blacks? How bright is it? How does it compare to other models?

    1. Hi Steve. We are thrilled with the quality of the screen for watching TVs and movies, but I don’t know that we are particularly picky or discerning about those things. And we’ve never used it for playing games. Sorry!

  3. A really handy balanced view. thanks. I only wish that there was a Tizen app that would sync with nixplay or something similar.
    For a 32″ frame in 2024, it’s not that much more expensive than a 15″ nixplay frame.

  4. Hi – you got me with the title which kinda of sounds like “no – it’s not worth it”
    Is the Samsung Frame TV Worth It? Maybe Not. Why put a title like that when you say you ‘love’ the tv so much so that you got another one? I guess to get clicks? It worked…but also leaves a sour taste. Sorry…but your method is not my style. You got me once…not again. Good luck.

    1. Hi Mike. No, it’s not for clicks. If you read the whole post then you know that my opinion is that it’s worth it for highly visible areas in our home, but absolutely NOT worth it for private spaces like bedrooms. Perhaps you should read more carefully before posting a judgmental and rude comment like this. Good luck to you, too :)

  5. Where did you purchase your drywall media box? Also we have an outlet above the fireplace, was this difficult to assemble back into the media box?

  6. Will the power be on during the ART painting mode? Seems like this would run up a bill! Wanted to be sure before purchase.

    1. Hi Alexis! Art Mode in The Frame TV is designed to consume the least possible power. The power consumption in Art Mode is roughly about 30% of TV Mode. And we have ours set to automatically turn off art mode and goes to “sleep” when no one is in the room, which means it’s not using power all the time. I hope that helps!

  7. Thank you very much for your sharing .. very very helpful.. the fact it can cycle my own holiday pictures like a slideshow that’s what I am looking for .. I hope they have this feature in the TV in my country and yes I do agree with you it’s expensive in my country it’s about USD $2400 after conversion for a 55” P Frame TV 🤭

  8. Thanks for your review. We have owned a Frame TV for 5 years and the one box just blew. One con on this TV is that if the one box goes, there is no way to power the Frame TV. A nightmare for how much this TV cost. We ordered a new one box, however that is not working. Our TV repair guy can’t figure out what is wrong with our tv because it does not power on at all. We are very disappointed with this and after doing much research this has happened a lot. This TV should’ve been recalled.

    1. Ok lah if your current TV can last you for 5 years count yrself lucky lo .. nowadays all the new smart TV in the market can only last you 3 years go buy a new TV go dun waste $$ on repairing… there’s a Chinese saying old one don’t go new one can’t come 🤪

  9. Thank you for this article! Very helpful!

    One question I have is with regard to the heat management of the One Connect box. The Samsung blurb says that the box needs to sit flat to dissipate the heat and that, if mounted in cabinet, adequate space for ventilation needs to be allowed for.

    I note that your OC box is only open at the back and is hard up against the sides of the recessed media box box on 3 of its sides. And then, the whole box is entombed inside the wall, so I can’t see how much air circulation is possible.

    Are you experiencing any issues that may be related to overheating of the OC box? Do you know whether it gets hot/very hot?

    I guess what I am really positing is my suspicion that the Samsung “it must sit flat” directive is bunkum. I am looking to place the box face/front side down (i.e. cables sticking up) in a cabinet with plenty of space around it and I am trying to convince myself that it will be OK this way. Your installation appears to not allow any air circulation (other than within the media box itself), so if it works fine, I have the answer I was hoping for…. :-)

    1. Hi Dirk! We have not had any issues with ours heating up and/or not working properly. The box does have some vents in it, but there’s not a ton of air circulation. I hope that helps!

  10. Very nice. We’d like to do that. But I’ve read a lot about why one shouldn’t install a TV above the fireplace. From heat concerns, to concerns about what you find behind the drywall (such as the flue wall), to the viewing angle being too high.

    Surprisingly the hole in your wall doesn’t seem to show a firebox or flue at all.

    You must have considered these factors. What did you learn?

    1. Ours is a fully enclosed gas fireplace, so we didn’t have to worry about a flue or traditional fireplace components. The enclosed gas fireplace also did not emit enough heat above the mantel for us to be concerned about damage to the TV. We did lower our mantel when we renovated our fireplace to improve the viewing angle and we are very happy with it all :)

  11. Great, great post!! Makes me want one even more. Can you clarify one thing…if we have a cable box (I.e. Spectrum), we will then have two things to hide behind the TV? Hoping I can talk my husband into this, not sure the thought of cutting drywall and messing with millwork will appeal to him though. Thanks so much! Love your content

    1. Hi Wendy! Great question. Yes, we hid our cable box behind the TV as well. Cutting through the drywall to install that box was MUCH faster and easier than we expected. Hope that helps!

  12. I have been considering the frame tv so I was glad to see your post this morning. When entering our house you can see the wall the TV is mounted on from the side so the fact that it sits flat to the wall is a plus for me. Thanks for your review and information!