In most homes today the area where people gather will also be where the television is. This area is about coming together, sharing stories, relaxing and enjoying the company of others. We also use this space to watch television, zone out and consume content. When you have people over, what looks better; a large piece of art on the wall or a large black rectangle? The televisions of today are 55 inches and above, so how can you possibly make them look good when they’re switched off? Samsung has an answer and we put it to the test.
Sitting on our living room wall is a 55inch Samsung Frame. It has a beige frame around the edges, sits flush against the wall and displays a world famous artwork. The beautiful remote however has a way of turning this picture frame into a 4K television at the touch of a button. Completely a two in one device this Frame television from Samsung brings the “living” to the living room.
Yes, this is a television that when switched off displays artwork of your choice. The onboard light sensor adjusts the brightness of the screen to ensure it looks realistic and not too bright. In full sunlight it can be a challenge to even know if it is a TV or a real picture frame. The image on the television can be chosen from a large selection of international artists or you can add your own photos through a simple app on your smartphone. Multiple images can be showed and different layouts can be used, it’s very customisable. A motion sensor on the Frame also help detect whether someone is in the room or not. This allows the screen to completely switch off after a period of inactivity to conserve power.
The frame that surrounds the border comes in four pieces and holds onto the TV using magnets. There are three options; beige, walnut and white to help you pick the right border to suit your decor. They’re easy to attach and you may find yourself buying the other options to change the look through the seasons.
The remote control for the Frame is wonderfully simplistic. The remote relies on an easy menu system to make navigation easy and controlling volume and channels at the touch of a button. With no infrared sensor in sight, the remote uses bluetooth to communicate with The Frame.
The Frame has an interesting no gap wall mount that ships in the box. It is interesting because Samsung have done a great job of allowing for a recess in the back of the TV which allows the wall mount to embed itself into the TV. This creates the zero gap when mounted and completes the picture frame look on the wall. With the TV so closely mounted to the wall, where are the plugs and wires going? Here’s another marvel.
The OneConnect box is a small device that is the brains of the television, it connects to The Frame through a wire that resembles fishing line. It is ultra thin and clear that it can’t make sense that it is capable of linking a OneConnect box with so many inputs and connections to an UltraHD television. A power cable also discreetly connects to The Frame and the OneConnect needs it’s own power also. It would be great if the OneConnect box could carry power so that only one powerpoint is required for the television. This box has been hidden away so as to not ruin the beautiful wall mounted look of The Frame.
Turning The Frame on then opens you up to the world of smart TV and the delights of 4K. From a smart TV perspective you have access to more apps than you’d expect. The usual Netflix, Stan, ABC, SBS on demand and YouTube is ready to go, but we also loved seeing Spotify, Crackle and even Facebook Video. The TV will also detect the inputs and allow you to identify them. No more switching to HDMI 1 for Foxtel or HDMI 2 for PlayStation. Samsung allows you to name and use them like an app, so simple and beautiful. We loved that once Foxtel was identified it then added a logo to match. The interface on the television is very simple to use and requires no product manuals or instructions. With 4K HDR onboard you’ll be delighted to watch appropriate content through Netflix or YouTube, it makes the display mind blowing. The Frame manages to impress you when it is on, but also when it is off! Something you won’t see in any other television today. We find ourselves seeking 4K content to ensure we only get the best content for our television. We also notice the upscaling from HD content to be very impressive. Foxtel shows look much better on this television than they did on a Full HD TV. The panel used on The Frame is not from the most premium that Samsung offer however this will hardly be noticeable or a problem since it manages to produce outstanding images in any lighting conditions.
The Samsung Frame is a new and innovative way to address the multiple ways we use our living spaces. It addresses the overall look and feel of the room and create multiple purposes in our wall space. The Frame will fool your guests into thinking it is a real piece of art and will then wow them with great picture quality for movies and TV. We love what Samsung has achieved here and fully expect others to follow suit. It is available in a 55 and 65 inch model, the Frames are an additional cost. Overall this option is a more expensive way of purchasing a new television however it is not intended to just be a TV. In the Samsung range you would find a TV with a better panel for less money in the same size, but it won’t look good when it is switched off. For many, it will be a decision around interior design, the pleasing of the senses, a reminder of what home and shared moments are about.
The Samsung Frame is available now for RRP $3299 (55inch) and $4699 (65inch). RRP of the Customisable Frames are $299. More info here.