A few years ago, Samsung decided to design a few TV models that have a clear lifestyle approach. With The Frame, Samsung wanted to combine a TV and an art frame. And that concept turned out to be a success. The 2022 version of The Frame received a matte screen that makes it fulfill its mission even better.
Samsung The Frame (QE55LS03B) – Specifications
|What||Ultra HD Edge LED LCD TV|
|Screen format||55 inches (139 cm)|
|Connections||4x HDMI (1x v2.1 (40 Gbps), eARC, ALLM, VRR, HFR 4K120), 1x optical digital out, 2x USB, 2x antenna, Bluetooth|
|Extras||HDR10, HLG, HDR10+, WiFi (802.11ac) built-in, Tizen 7.0, AirPlay 2, USB/DLNA media player, DVB-T2/C/S2, CI+ slot, Neural Quantum 4K Processor, Invisible Connection/One Connect box|
|Dimensions||1,238 x 743 x 228 mm (incl. base)|
|Weight||17.3 kg (incl. base)|
|Consumption||SDR 103 (G) / HDR 191 watts (G)|
Samsung The Frame (QE55LS03B) – Design
The design of The Frame perfectly matches its function. Like most others Samsung TVs it is particularly slim, barely 25 mm in profile. But a TV that serves as an art frame, the word says it itself, must of course have a frame. In contrast to other models, the frame is clearly visible.
Even better, the frame is easily interchangeable. It snaps into place magnetically, and you can choose from a number of different colors and another model with a beveled edge. Samsung works together with Flamant in Belgium and with VT Wonen in the Netherlands, offering more than 200 colors through that route.
The Frame is slim, has a nice, adjustable frame, now it has to be mounted on the wall. No problem, the wall mounting bracket is included in the box. With that you hang The Frame flat against the wall, and yes, then it does indeed look like an art frame. You will also find feet in the box, but that really doesn’t seem like the best choice to us. Not only do you partially ignore the concept, the feet also look a bit cheap.
Samsung The Frame (QE55LS03B) – Connections
Since wall mounting is really preferred, Samsung has equipped The Frame with a One Connect Box. That’s not the slim version you get on the QN95B you will find, but the older model that is somewhat wider and stockier. You’ll find four HDMI connections, only one of which offers HDMI 2.1 bandwidth (40Gbps, marked with the game controller) that you can game in 4K120. The connections support ALLM, VRR and you can use eARC on HDMI 3.
We also find two USB ports on the side of the One Connect, an optical digital audio output, Ethernet and WiFi. Those who want to use headphones must connect them via Bluetooth. The supplied ‘Invisible Connect’ cable that connects the One Connect Box to the TV is five meters long. It’s not really invisible, but it’s super handy that you only have to route one cable to the TV. After all, he takes care of all data and power.
Ease of use and smart TV
The Frame has also received the new version of the Tizen Smart Hub. It offers a lot of functionality, but as we have mentioned several times, we do not find the organization optimal and the interface sometimes responds slowly. For example, read the review of the Q74B for some more info.
The remote control is a white version of the standard remote. This small remote has a minimalistic layout with very few buttons. Four shortcuts give direct access to Netflix, Samsung TV Plus, Prime Video and Disney+. The key at the top right activates a shortcut menu, a numeric pad and color keys. The remote has a rechargeable battery. Place it upside down on the table and the photovoltaic panel at the back takes care of charging. In case of emergency, you can also charge via USB-C.
The only key we really miss is an input key so you can select external devices without having to go to the Home menu.
The Frame has a single TV tuner for digital TV (DVB-T2/C/S2) and one CI Plus slot. You can cast YouTube and Netflix to the TV via Google Cast, and for iOS users there is support for Airplay2. The media player is good, but it doesn’t handle the older Divx or Xvid and it won’t play DTS soundtracks. Subtitles and HDR were no problem, and the audio player is complete.
But the most important function of The Frame is of course the extensive Ambient Mode / Art Mode. When you’re not watching TV, you can activate the Ambient Mode. This puts images on the screen, so that the TV has a decorative function. That feature is available on most Samsung TVs. At The Frame you also get access to an immense library of works of art. You can choose from more than 1,600 works from top museums around the world. The Louvre, the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, the Prado, the Van Gogh Museum, just to name a few, the list is long. The selection covers both modern and classical art and photographs. To make browsing easier, there are numerous categories, for example per artist, per museum, but also per color or art form and of course you can also check what is popular. We did find that browsing was sometimes a bit slow. There is a charge for access to the art library. However, 4.99 euros per month or 49.90 euros per year seems reasonable to us.
You can add works you like to your favorites. There are also various options to display them, from full screen, or in a matte, an extra frame that really makes the TV look like an art frame. To avoid wasting energy, The Frame uses its light sensor and a motion sensor. It adjusts the brightness with the light sensor. And when the motion sensor sees no one, or the light sensor detects that the room is completely dark, it switches off the screen.
Samsung The Frame (QE55LS03B) – Image processing
The Frame features the same Quantum Processor 4K that you find on the other (Neo) QLED models. It provides good deinterlacing, upscaling and excellent noise reduction, although you can only switch the latter function on or off and not indicate how strong the noise reduction may be. In soft color gradients, color bands remain partially visible, and you may lose some detail, which is a point that Samsung needs to work on.
The Frame may have a 120 Hz panel, but the motion sharpness was less than expected. A blurred border around moving objects obscures some detail, and since the ‘Led Clear Motion’ function works at 60 Hz, it causes flickering in the image. So leave that out. If you want to avoid annoying stutter in film images, you can count on good motion interpolation. The processor is strong enough to intervene quickly and reliably, with minimal image artifacts, typically against complex backgrounds.
|General||Expert settings||Sharpness Settings|
|Picture mode: Filmmaker mode
Picture format settings: 16:9 default
Fit to screen: On
Contrast Enhancement: Off/Low
Movie Mode: Auto
Color tone: Warm 2
Shadow detail: 0
Color space: Auto
|Auto or Customized:
Blur Reduction : 10
Noise Reduction: Auto or Off
Samsung QE55LS03B The Frame – Image quality
The main improvement of this 2022 version of The Frame is that it is equipped with a matte screen for the first time. A television with a glossy screen always suffers from specular reflections. This matte screen hardly suffers from this. Incoming light is reflected very diffusely, so the screen behaves more like a sheet of paper. That is obviously an excellent asset when there is art on the screen. Incoming light makes the image (especially the dark parts) a bit brighter, but that is much less bad than such a mirror effect. And the works of art still seem more real.
The underlying panel is of the VA type, with excellent contrast. The matte screen costs a bit of contrast, which is also an important reason why TVs always have a glossy screen, and the edge LED backlight does not use local dimming. Nevertheless, we still measure an ANSI contrast of 4.182:1, which is an excellent result.
A little clouding is visible in the darkest test images and the edge of the screen shows a fine blue tint on white test images. We noticed neither on regular footage. The Filmmaker Mode turned out to be excellently calibrated. The gray scale is neatly uniform with a good, albeit a bit too cool color temperature. There’s plenty of shadow detail and black levels are decent, thanks to the VA panel.
The errors are all well within the acceptable margin, the color reproduction is excellent, images are very natural with good-looking skin tones.
Samsung The Frame (QE55LS03B) – HDR
The peak brightness (in Filmmaker Mode) is 541 nits, regardless of the size of the test window. That is more than decent for a TV that is not primarily intended to produce home cinema images.
The quantum dot color range is good, but falls at 87% P3 and 65% Rec.2020, just below the limit value of 90% P3 that we propose for full HDR colors.
The HDR Filmmaker fashion is quite well calibrated. The device takes the metadata into account, but the tone mapping still clips away a bit of white detail. Dark nuances prove difficult for The Frame, you lose some black detail. The color reproduction is good, although you will notice that it cannot display those deeply saturated colors, especially in red and blue. Overall, we’re pretty happy with the result, especially considering that HDR isn’t its main feature. It remains a pity that Samsung does not support Dolby Vision, that would be a real added value on this screen. The less popular HDR10 + is present.
Gaming, Reflections and viewing angles
The VA panel has a moderate viewing angle, but that is not too bad for its art function. As we mentioned earlier, the matte screen is a real asset.
The HDMI 2.1 connection supports 4K120, ALLM and VRR (HDMI VRR and AMD Freesync Premium Pro), a great input lag of 7.1 ms in 2K120 and 12.7 ms in 4K60. You can therefore also use The Frame for gaming.
Samsung The Frame (QE55LS03B) – Sound quality
The Frame surprised us with excellent audio quality. There is a 40 Watt configuration in the slim frame that produced pleasing results. Activate the intelligent room correction for the best sound. The TV has more than enough volume, and even some surround with a minimum Dolby Atmos-effect. It just lacks a good bass reproduction. It also keeps distortion well under control, which only becomes audible at a good volume.
Samsung The Frame (QE55LS03B) – Conclusion
The Frame from Samsung offers a nice combination of TV and art frame, an option that is not only useful for art lovers, but also for those who want to integrate their TV a little more into the interior. We find few serious negatives. We would have loved to have Dolby Vision, but Samsung is still holding off that boat. The new Smart Hub would benefit from better organization and a bit more responsiveness.
The sleek, modern design with its interchangeable frames and supplied wall bracket is the perfect start to its function. The matte screen is its second trump card, which, combined with the excellent image quality, ensures very beautiful art reproduction. A Van Gogh or Jordaens look beautiful without those annoying reflections. Access to the art library is payable, but we think it is definitely worth it. Those qualities also ensure a great television experience. The Frame also has a wide range of smart TVs, you can play games with it and it also delivers excellent audio in this category. We think the price is a bit high, but Samsung regularly offers discounts.
- Unique design with customizable frames
- Supplied wall bracket and One Connect box
- Spacious art library
- Matte screen
- Good contrast and decent peak brightness
- Excellent calibration
- One HDMI 2.1 connection and gaming features
- No Dolby Vision
- Smart Hub organization is very poor, and sometimes unresponsive