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Reviewed on Sep 10, 2018 , Eric Bousquet, Yannick Khong

Samsung The Frame 2018
TV REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.2

Test Benches:

  • 1.2: Winter 2018
  • 1.1: Summer 2017
  • 1.0: Winter 2015
  • 0.9: Winter 2014
  • 0.8: Winter 2013
7.7
Mixed Usage
What it is: General purpose. The TV will be used for a variety of content and usages. Movies at night, TV shows during the day, video games from time to time, etc.
Score components:
Value for price beaten by
What it is: Product with the best value in this price range
Other best choice in a cheaper price range
Other best choice in a pricier price range
Automatically updated every hour based on the scores and prices of all other products we've tested.
: Sony X900F
7.4
Movies
What it is: Movies in the dark. The TV will be used for watching movies in a controlled environment, directly in front, in a home theater way. Mostly only high quality content, like Blu-rays, UHD Blu-rays, streaming and a little bit of HDR.
Score components:
7.6
TV Shows
What it is: TV Shows in a bright living room. The TV will be used in to watch TV shows, in a bright room during the day, from multiple viewing positions at different angles. The content watched has an average quality: cable, streaming, SD channels, etc.
Score components:
7.4
Sports
What it is: Sports in a living room. The TV will be used to watch sports during the day, like football or hockey. Usually watched with a group, so from multiple viewing position.
8.6
Video Games
What it is: Video games. The TV will be used to play video games, directly in front, in a controlled light environment. Usually fast games, like online FPS, where motion blur and input lag is important.
7.3
HDR Movies
What it is: HDR Movies and TV shows. The TV will be used to watch 4k UHD HDR content, with a wide color gamut and a high peak brightness. Either via UHD Blu-rays or HDR streaming.
Score components:
8.1
HDR Gaming
What it is: HDR Gaming. The TV will be used to play HDR video games using consoles that support it or on current generation gaming PCs. Xbox One S, PS4 Pro, GTX 10 series and AMD RX series graphics cards.
8.1
PC Monitor
What it is: PC Monitor. The TV will be used as a PC monitor, from 2-3 feet away, either for productivity purposes or gaming. Sharp text is important, as well as a high resolution.
Score components:
Type : LED
Sub-Type
What it is: Type of display technology used by the TV.
When it matters: Different technologies have different performance and are suited to different uses
Good value: IPS maintains good color accuracy at an angle, but has a poor contrast ratio from in front. VA has great picture quality in front, but loses saturation at an angle. OLED maintains good color accuracy at an angle without any of the other issues seen with IPS and VA, as they keep good brightness and contrast at an angle.
:
VA
Resolution : 4k

The Samsung Frame 2018 is a good LCD TV with excellent gaming features and a unique design. The Frame is designed to look like a piece of art when wall mounted, and the bezel can be changed to match any decor. Unfortunately, this feature won't be able to live up to its potential due to the poor viewing angles. It has excellent low input lag and a fast response time, plus it supports FreeSync VRR, making this a great TV for Xbox One owners.

Note that this is a different TV to the 2017 Frame (Samsung model LS003). The 2018 Samsung Frame can be identified by the model number LS03N.

Test Results
Design 9.0
Picture Quality 7.5
Motion 8.4
Inputs 9.4
Sound Quality 6.2
Smart Features 7.8
Pros
  • Excellent low input lag
  • FreeSync VRR support and Auto Game Mode.
  • Excellent native contrast
Cons
  • Image degrades when viewed at an angle
  • Limited HDR capabilities due to the mediocre HDR Peak Brightness

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55" UN55LS03N
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65" UN65LS03N
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9.0

Design

Score components: Subjectively assigned
Samsung The Frame 2018 Design Picture
Curved : No

The Samsung The Frame 2018 has an excellent, modern design that should fit well in any decor. The bezel around the TV is quite thick, but this is intentional, and the available bezel kits allow you to match the TV's frame to any room design, from modern white metal to a classic walnut finish. It can be wall mounted, either using a standard VESA mount or using the included 'No-Gap' wall mount, in which case the TV should sit perfectly flush with the wall.

Stand
Samsung The Frame 2018 Stand Picture

The stand is very simple, similar to that of the Q9FN. It supports the TV well with very little wobble, but it is nearly the same width as the TV.

Footprint of the 55" stand: 7.9" x 40.2".

The One Connect box measures 5.2" x 15.4".

Back
Samsung The Frame 2018 Back Picture
Wall Mount : VESA 400x400

The back of the Frame 2018 is very similar to most 2018 premium Samsung TVs. There are two panels that have to be removed to attach either the included 'No-Gap' wall mount or a standard VESA mount. The vents for heat dissipation are around the edges of the TV, this is to ensure they don't get blocked when wall-mounted.

Borders
Samsung The Frame 2018 Borders Picture
Borders : 0.47" (1.2 cm)

The bezel around the Samsung 2018 Frame can be changed. A black bezel is included, and there are three other bezels that are sold separately.

55":

Due to the frame system, the borders of the Frame TV appear bulkier than the rest of Samsung's lineup.

Thickness
Samsung The Frame 2018 Thickness Picture
Max Thickness : 1.85" (4.7 cm)

The TV is of average thickness, and almost perfectly uniform. This is by design, as when mounted using the included 'No-Gap' wall mount, the TV sits flush against the wall.

Temperature
Samsung The Frame 2018 Temperature picture
Maximum Temperature
What it is: The peak temperature found on the TV.
When it matters: If the TV is placed in an enclosed space.
Good value: <35°C
Noticeable difference: 5°C
:
109 °F (43 °C)
Average Temperature
What it is: The average temperature measured on the TV.
When it matters: If the TV is placed in an enclosed space.
Good value: <35°C
Noticeable difference: 5°C
:
93 °F (34 °C)

The TV gets very warm to the touch along the bottom edge, but this shouldn't cause any issues. The One Connect box gets up to 106 °F (41 °C), which shouldn't cause any issues if it is left in an enclosed space like an audio cabinet.

9.0 Build Quality
Samsung The Frame 2018 Build quality picture

Excellent build quality. There is some flex in the bezel on the sides, so care should be taken when moving the TV. The TV feels very well built.

7.5

Picture Quality

The Samsung The Frame delivers good overall picture quality, but it is better suited for a dark or dim room, as it can't get bright enough to overcome glare in a brightly lit room. It has an excellent native contrast ratio and excellent black uniformity, but lacks a local dimming feature. It has a very good wide color gamut, but only decent color volume, as it can't produce bright colors very well. It displays gradients well, but there is some banding visible, especially in darker colors.

9.1 Contrast
What it is: Brightness difference between white and black. This is the main component of picture quality.
When it matters: Always, but especially when watching dark scenes.
Score components:
Samsung The Frame 2018 Checkerboard Picture
Native Contrast
What it is: Ratio of the white brightness divided by the blacks measured on our checkerboard test pattern with a white target of 100 cd/m².
When it matters: Dark scenes in a dark room.
Good value: > 3,000
Noticeable difference: 500
:
6008 : 1
Contrast with local dimming
What it is: Ratio of the white brightness divided by the blacks measured on our checkerboard test pattern with local dimming turned on (maximum) with a white target of 100 cd/m².
When it matters: Dark scenes in a dark room.
Good value: > 3,000
Noticeable difference: 500
:
N/A

The Samsung The Frame has an excellent native contrast ratio, great for dark room viewing as blacks appear black. Unfortunately, there is no local dimming feature so the contrast cannot be further improved.

0 Local Dimming
What it is: The lights behind the LCD layer adapt to the picture displayed, improving the contrast ratio.
When it matters: Dark scenes viewed in a dark room.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Local Dimming
What it is: Whether it has a feature that controls the LEDs behind the LCD layer, to match the picture and darkens the dark portion of it.
When it matters: On LED TVs only. Dark scenes viewed in a dark room.
:
No
Backlight
What it is: Configuration of the lights of the backlight.
When it matters: Effectiveness of the local dimming.
Good value: Full-array/direct lighting is better for local dimming. As for the uniformity of the screen, it depends on the implementation. Some edge-lit TVs have more uniform blacks than some full-array TVs.
:
Edge

The Samsung LS03 does not have a local dimming feature. The above video is provided for reference only.

7.8 SDR Peak Brightness
What it is: How bright the screen can get. Measured with local dimming and with SDR content.
When it matters: Bright living rooms; bright objects; SDR content.
SDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
What it is: The maximum luminosity the TV can obtain while playing a movie or while watching a TV show. Our Real Scene was selected to represent a more regular movie condition. All measurements are made with the TV set to be as bright as possible, but with a 6500k white. Measured with local dimming on, max backlight and with an SDR signal. Scene: here.
When it matters: When watching movies and TV shows in SDR.
Good value: > 300 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 30 cd/m²
:
340 cd/m²
SDR Peak 2% Window
What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 2% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: Bright highlights, present on screen for a short time
Good value: > 300 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 30 cd/m²
:
192 cd/m²
SDR Peak 10% Window
What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 10% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: Bright objects, present on screen for a short time
Good value: > 300 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 30 cd/m²
:
353 cd/m²
SDR Peak 25% Window
What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 25% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: When watching in a bright room.
Good value: > 300 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 30 cd/m²
:
352 cd/m²
SDR Peak 50% Window
What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 50% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: When watching in a bright room.
Good value: > 300 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 30 cd/m²
:
352 cd/m²
SDR Peak 100% Window
What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 100% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: When watching in a bright room.
Good value: > 300 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 30 cd/m²
:
352 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 2% Window
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 2% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: Bright highlights, persistent during a scene.
Good value: > 300 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 30 cd/m²
:
191 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 10% Window
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 10% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: Bright objects, persistent during a scene.
Good value: > 300 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 30 cd/m²
:
349 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 25% Window
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 25% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: When watching in a bright room.
Good value: > 300 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 30 cd/m²
:
349 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 50% Window
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 50% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: When watching in a bright room.
Good value: > 300 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 30 cd/m²
:
349 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 100% Window
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 100% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: When watching in a bright room.
Good value: > 300 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 30 cd/m²
:
349 cd/m²
SDR ABL
What it is: The coefficient of variation of the SDR sustained brightness, after linearizing for noticeable differences in luminosity
When it matters: Content with large bright areas, such as for PC or video game use, and sports such as hockey
Good value: <0.07
Noticeable difference: 0.01
:
0.041

Good peak brightness with SDR content. It is slightly brighter than the NU7300. The brightness remains consistent across window sizes, except for the 2% which is dimmed by the TV's CE (frame) dimming. This behavior is similar to other 2018 Samsungs that use CE dimming, including the NU7300 and NU6900.

6.2 HDR Peak Brightness
What it is: How bright the screen can get. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright living rooms; bright objects; HDR content.
HDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
What it is: The maximum luminosity the TV can obtain while playing a movie or while watching a TV show. This scene was selected to represent a more realistic movie condition. All measurement are made with the TV set to be as bright as possible, but with a 6500k white. Measured with local dimming, max backlight and over HDR signal. Scene: here.
When it matters: When watching movies or watching TV show in HDR.
Good value: > 550 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 80 cd/m²
:
324 cd/m²
HDR Peak 2% Window
What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 2% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright highlights, present on screen for a short time; especially for HDR content.
Good value: > 550 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 80 cd/m²
:
180 cd/m²
HDR Peak 10% Window
What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 10% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright objects, present on screen for a short time; especially for HDR content.
Good value: > 550 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 80 cd/m²
:
339 cd/m²
HDR Peak 25% Window
What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 25% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright rooms; bright objects in HDR video.
Good value: > 550 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 80 cd/m²
:
338 cd/m²
HDR Peak 50% Window
What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 50% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright rooms.
Good value: > 550 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 80 cd/m²
:
338 cd/m²
HDR Peak 100% Window
What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 100% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright rooms.
Good value: > 550 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 80 cd/m²
:
337 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 2% Window
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 2% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright highlights, persistent throughout a scene; especially for HDR content.
Good value: > 550 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 80 cd/m²
:
178 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 10% Window
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 10% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright objects, persistent throughout a scene; especially for HDR content.
Good value: > 550 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 80 cd/m²
:
334 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 25% Window
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 25% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright rooms; bright objects in HDR video.
Good value: > 550 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 80 cd/m²
:
334 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 50% Window
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 50% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright rooms.
Good value: > 550 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 80 cd/m²
:
334 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 100% Window
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 100% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright rooms.
Good value: > 550 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 80 cd/m²
:
334 cd/m²
HDR ABL
What it is: The coefficient of variation of the HDR sustained brightness, after linearizing for noticeable differences in luminosity
When it matters: HDR content with large bright areas, such as HDR gaming
Good value: <0.07
Noticeable difference: 0.01
:
0.043

Mediocre peak brightness in HDR. The Frame TV is not bright enough for small highlights in some scenes to stand out in HDR. The brightness is consistent across most window sizes, but the small 2% window is dimmed by Samsung's CE (frame) dimming algorithms.

If you find HDR content too dim, see our recommendations here.

7.8 Gray Uniformity
What it is: Evenness of colors onscreen (not just gray).
When it matters: Solid colors. Sports, panning shots.
Score components:
Samsung The Frame 2018 50% Uniformity Picture
50% Std. Dev.
What it is: Average squared difference of pixels when displaying a mid 50% gray.
When it matters: Solid colors. Sports, panning shots.
Good value: < 2.5%
Noticeable difference: 1%
:
2.804 %
50% DSE
What it is: Dirty Screen Effect. High-frequency variance of uniformity. Dark spots on the screen.
When it matters: Solid colors. Sports, panning shots.
Good value: < 0.165%
Noticeable difference: 0.025%
:
0.148 %
Samsung The Frame 2018 5% Uniformity Picture
5% Std. Dev.
What it is: Average squared difference of pixels when displaying a mid 5% gray.
When it matters: Dark scenes.
Good value: < 1.15%
Noticeable difference: 1%
:
1.655 %
5% DSE
What it is: Dirty Screen Effect. High-frequency variance of uniformity. Dark spots on the screen.
When it matters: Dark scenes.
Good value: < 0.116%
:
0.115 %

Good gray uniformity. There are some darker areas around the center of the screen and on the sides, but not enough to bother most people. In darker scenes, the uniformity is better, but there is noticeable backlight bleed in the corners.

4.2 Viewing Angle
What it is: Color accuracy when viewed from the side.
When it matters: Large living rooms with multiple viewing positions.
Score components:
Samsung The Frame 2018 Color Shift Picture
Color Shift
What it is: Angle where the colors noticeable shift compared to when viewed from directly in front of the TV. 0 ° means directly facing the TV. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: Large living rooms with multiple viewing positions.
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
21 °
Samsung The Frame 2018 Brightness Picture
Brightness
What it is: Angle where the brightness drops to 50% of the brightness directly in front of the TV. 0 ° means directly facing the TV. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: Large living rooms with multiple viewing positions.
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
31 °
Samsung The Frame 2018 Black Level Picture
Black Level
What it is: Angle where the black level drops to 50% of the black level directly in front of the TV. 0 ° means directly facing the TV. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: Large living rooms with multiple viewing positions.
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
14 °

The Frame 2018 has poor viewing angles that are typical for VA panels. When viewing at an angle the image gets noticeably darker and colors get washed out.

These results are disappointing, as they hinder the performance of the Frame's ambient mode feature to show artwork.

8.6 Black Uniformity
What it is: Evenness of blacks.
When it matters: Dark scenes viewed in a dark room.
Score components:
Samsung The Frame 2018 Native Black Uniformity Picture
Native Std. Dev.
What it is: Average of the squared difference of the blacks.
When it matters: Dark scenes viewed in a dark room.
Good value: < 1%
Noticeable difference: 1%, but keep in mind that it varies a lot by unit, even of the same model; yours likely will not end up exactly like ours.
:
0.744 %
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
What it is: Average of the squared difference of the blacks with Local Dimming enabled
When it matters: Dark scenes viewed in a dark room.
Good value: < 1%
Noticeable difference: 1%, but keep in mind that it varies a lot by unit, even of the same model; yours likely will not end up exactly like ours.
:
N/A

The Samsung LS03N has excellent black uniformity. Some backlight bleed is visible near the corners of the screen, and this could bother some people when viewing dark scenes in a perfectly dark room.

7.4 Reflections
What it is: How much light is reflected by the TV.
When it matters: Bright rooms.
Score components:
Samsung The Frame 2018 Reflections Picture Samsung The Frame 2018 Average Room Off Picture Samsung The Frame 2018 Bright Room Off Picture
Screen Finish
What it is: Type of coating on the screen.
When it matters: Bright objects in the direct reflection path (for example, opposite the TV).
Good value: Glossy is good for ambient light, but not for direct reflections.
:
Semi-gloss
Total Reflections
What it is: The amount of light which is reflected off the screen, in all directions.
When it matters: When watching TV in a bright room, with lamps, windows or walls which reflect directly off the screen.
Good value: 4.5 %
Noticeable difference: 0.5 %
:
6.2 %
Indirect Reflections
What it is: The amount of light reflected off the screen, ignoring direct (mirror-like) reflections
When it matters: Watching TV in a bright room, without sunlight or lamps directed at the TV
Good value: 1.0 %
Noticeable difference: 0.5 %
:
0.5 %

Decent reflection handling, slightly worse than the NU8000. The semi-gloss finish doesn't diffuse direct reflections very well, so it isn't as well suited for a bright room.

6.9 Pre Calibration
What it is: TV's color accuracy before a full calibration. Only the picture mode, color temperature, and backlight level were changed.
When it matters: All video on an uncalibrated TV. This represents most people's use cases.
Score components:
Samsung The Frame 2018 Pre Calibration Picture Samsung The Frame 2018 Pre Gamma Curve Picture Samsung The Frame 2018 Pre Color Picture
Picture Mode
What it is: The picture mode used to do the 'Pre Calibration' measurements.
:
Movie
White Balance dE
What it is: Average inaccuracy of shades of gray.
When it matters: Overall color temperature of all video.
Good value: < 3
Noticeable difference: 1
:
4.13
Color dE
What it is: Average inaccuracy of colors.
When it matters: All colors.
Good value: < 3
Noticeable difference: 1
:
3.07
Gamma
What it is: Brightness of shades of gray.
When it matters: Shadows.
Good value: Between 2.1 and 2.3 (our target is 2.2)
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
2.44
Color Temperature
What it is: The color temperature is a measure of the color of light. A colder color temperature (7000K) will look bluer and a warmer color temperature (4000K) will look yellower/redder. 6500K is the standard color temperature use in the TV and film industry as program, film, and photography directors usually work on monitors calibrated on the 6500k color temperature and do their color correction base on what they see on those monitors.
When it matters: To get the most accurate picture when watching TV shows, movies or video games. This is particularly for skin tones.
Good value: 6500K
Noticeable difference: 400K
:
6170 K

Decent color and white accuracy out of the box. The white balance dE is very high, so whites don't quite appear white, and color accuracy is borderline, but most people won't notice it. The color temperature is a bit warmer than our target of 6500 K. As with most Samsung TVs, the most accurate Picture Mode is 'Movie'. Gamma is very high and does not follow the target at all.

9.6 Post Calibration
What it is: TV's color accuracy after a full calibration with a spectrophotometer.
When it matters: All video on a TV that has been professionally calibrated. This isn't that useful, because most TVs can achieve a pretty good calibration if you spend enough time on them.
Score components:
Samsung The Frame 2018 Post Calibration Picture Samsung The Frame 2018 Post Gamma Curve Picture Samsung The Frame 2018 Post Color Picture
Picture Mode
What it is: The picture mode used to do the calibration. We usually go for the picture mode that gives us the more control over all the picture quality setting.
:
Movie
White Balance dE
What it is: Average inaccuracy of shades of gray.
When it matters: Overall color temperature of all videos.
Good value: < 3
Noticeable difference: 1
:
0.22
Color dE
What it is: Average inaccuracy of colors.
When it matters: All colors.
Good value: < 3
Noticeable difference: 1
:
0.88
Gamma
What it is: Brightness of shades of gray.
When it matters: Shadows.
Good value: Between 2.1 and 2.3 (our target is 2.2)
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
2.20
Color Temperature
What it is: The color temperature is a measure of the color of light. A colder color temperature (7000K) will look bluer and a warmer color temperature (4000K) will look yellower/redder. 6500K is the standard color temperature use in the TV and film industry as program, film, and photography directors usually work on monitors calibrated on the 6500k color temperature and do their color correction base on what they see on those monitors.
When it matters: To get the most accurate picture when watching TV shows, movies or video games. This is particularly for skin tones.
Good value: 6500K
Noticeable difference: 400K
:
6585 K

Post calibration, the LS03 is nearly perfect. White balance dE is extremely low, and colors are beyond the point that anyone will be able to tell the difference. Gamma follows the target almost perfectly; there is only a nearly imperceptible dip in brightness with a 90% stimulus.

Calibration was done with 100% windows instead of our standard 18%, as Samsung TVs are less consistent with smaller windows. This has been the case with many 2018 Samsung TVs.

You can see our recommended settings here.

8.0 480p Input
What it is: Quality of a 480p input.
When it matters: Standard definition TV, DVDs.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Samsung The Frame 2018 480p Picture

480p content from older devices including DVDs is displayed without any obvious artifacts or issues.

8.0 720p Input
What it is: Quality of a 720p input.
When it matters: HD channels, some streaming videos.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Samsung The Frame 2018 720p Picture

720p content from older content or game consoles is displayed well without any obvious artifacts.

9.0 1080p Input
What it is: Quality of a 1080p input.
When it matters: Blu-rays, streaming video, video files, video games.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Samsung The Frame 2018 1080p Picture

1080p content from Blu-rays or game consoles looks almost as good as native 4k.

10 4k Input
What it is: Quality of a 4k UHD input.
When it matters: Streaming video, UHD Blu-rays, some PCs.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Samsung The Frame 2018 4k Picture

4k content is displayed perfectly. There are no obvious issues.

7.9 Color Gamut
What it is: How many colors the TV can display.
When it matters: HDR content. Includes some streaming videos and UHD Blu-rays.
Score components:
Wide Color Gamut
What it is: Whether the TV has an option to enable wide color gamuts.
When it matters: HDR content. Includes some streaming videos and UHD Blu-rays.
:
Yes
Samsung The Frame 2018 Color Gamut DCI-P3 Picture
DCI P3 xy
What it is: Coverage of the DCI P3 colorspace on CIE 1931 xy.
When it matters: DCI P3 content. Includes HDR, UHD Blu-rays.
Good value: > 90%
Noticeable difference: 5%
:
86.88 %
DCI P3 uv
What it is: Coverage of the DCI P3 colorspace on CIE 1976 u' v'.
When it matters: DCI P3 content. Includes HDR, UHD Blu-rays.
Good value: > 90%
Noticeable difference: 5%
:
92.64 %
Samsung The Frame 2018 Color Gamut Rec.2020 Picture
Rec 2020 xy
What it is: Coverage of the Rec.2020 colorspace on CIE 1931 xy.
When it matters: Rec.2020 content. Includes HDR, UHD Blu-rays.
Good value: > 90%
Noticeable difference: 5%
:
63.79 %
Rec 2020 uv
What it is: Coverage of the Rec.2020 colorspace on CIE 1976 u' v'.
When it matters: Rec.2020 content. Includes HDR, UHD Blu-rays.
Good value: > 90%
Noticeable difference: 5%
:
71.25 %
Samsung The Frame 2018 EOTF

Good wide color gamut, very similar to the NU8000/NU8500. The EOTF does not accurately follow our target, and almost all scenes are dimmer than they should be. The PC and Game EOTFs are slightly better, but still display most scenes dimmer than they should.

If you find HDR content too dim, setting Contrast Enhancer to 'High' increases the overall brightness, as shown here. Adjusting the 'Gamma' results in no measurable improvement in HDR brightness.

You can see our recommended settings for HDR here.

6.8 Color Volume
What it is: How many colors a TV can display at different luminosity levels.
When it matters: HDR content. Includes some streaming videos, UHD Blu-rays and HDR games.
Samsung The Frame 2018 P3 Color Volume ITP Picture
Normalized DCI P3 Coverage ITP
What it is: How much of the DCI-P3 colorspace a TV can display at different luminosity levels
When it matters: HDR content. Includes some streaming videos, UHD Blu-rays and HDR games.
Good value: 80%
Noticeable difference: 5%
:
77.5 %
10,000 cd/m² DCI P3 Coverage ITP
What it is: How much of the DCI-P3 colorspace a TV can display at different luminosity levels when compared to an ideal 10,000 nit TV
When it matters: HDR content. Includes some streaming videos, UHD Blu-rays and HDR games.
:
25.3 %
Samsung The Frame 2018 2020 Color Volume ITP Picture
Normalized Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
What it is: How much of the Rec. 2020 colorspace a TV can display at different luminosity levels
When it matters: HDR content. Includes some streaming videos, UHD Blu-rays and HDR games.
Good value: 80 %
Noticeable difference: 5 %
:
58.3 %
10,000 cd/m² Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
What it is: How much of the Rec 2020 colorspace a TV can display at different luminosity levels when compared to an ideal 10,000 nit TV
When it matters: HDR content. Includes some streaming videos, UHD Blu-rays and HDR games.
:
18.9 %

Decent color volume, slightly worse than the NU8000. It can't produce bright colors across the entire gamut, and can't produce some dark colors very well.

7.8 Gradient
What it is: How finely levels of color can be displayed.
When it matters: Details in shadows, sky and skin tones. Matters more for HDR content.
Samsung The Frame 2018 Gradient Picture
Color Depth
What it is: Number of bits per pixel to represent a specific color. Note: we consider 8-bit with dithering to be equivalent to 10-bit, as long as the 10-bit gradient looks smooth.
When it matters: HDR content like UHD Blu-ray players. Won't matter for cable TV, regular Blu-ray movies, video game consoles or content displayed from a Windows PC. Those are limited to 8-bit color.
Good value: 10-bit.
Noticeable difference: 1 bit.
:
10 Bit
Red (Std. Dev.)
What it is: The standard deviation of the color differences (dE) between subsequent 10 bit red shades.
When it matters: Details in skin tones, sunsets, and other reddish objects. Matters more for HDR content.
Good value: < 0.12 dE
Noticeable difference: 0.01 dE
:
0.111 dE
Green (Std. Dev.)
What it is: The standard deviation of the color differences (dE) between subsequent 10 bit green shades.
When it matters: Details in ocean shades and other greenish objects. Matters more for HDR content.
Good value: < 0.12 dE
Noticeable difference: 0.01 dE
:
0.123 dE
Blue (Std. Dev.)
What it is: The standard deviation of the color differences (dE) between subsequent 10 bit blue shades.
When it matters: Details in skies, water and other blueish objects. Matters more for HDR content.
Good value: < 0.12 dE
Noticeable difference: 0.01 dE
:
0.093 dE
Gray (Std. Dev.)
What it is: The standard deviation of the color differences (dE) between subsequent 10 bit gray shades.
When it matters: Details in dull colors, such as shadows, glow and urban scenes. Matters more for HDR content.
Good value: < 0.12 dE
Noticeable difference: 0.01 dE
:
0.125 dE

The Frame 2018 has good gradient handling, but there is banding visible in most dark colors. Greens and grays perform the worst. Enabling Digital Clean View can help to reduce banding, but will result in the loss of some fine details.

9.8 Temporary Image Retention
What it is: How much a static image is retained on a TV screen after a certain amount of time.
When it matters: When watching TV show, playing video games or when using your TV as a PC monitor.
Samsung The Frame 2018 Image Retention Picture
IR after 0 min recovery
What it is: Image retention measured right after the static image exposure, without recovery time.
When it matters: When changing channels while watching TV, right after changing the type of content (i.e. stopping playing video game to watch a movie) or changing input.
Good value: 0 is perfect.
Noticeable difference: 0.015%
:
0.09 %
IR after 2 min recovery
What it is: Image retention measured after a recovery time of 2 minutes.
When it matters: When changing channels while watching TV, right after changing the type of content (i.e. stopping playing video game to watch a movie) or changing input.
Good value: 0 is perfect
Noticeable difference: 0.015%
:
0.00 %
IR after 4 min recovery
What it is: Image retention measured after a recovery time of 4 minutes.
When it matters: When changing channels while watching TV, right after changing the type of content (i.e. stopping playing video game to watch a movie) or changing input.
Good value: 0 is perfect.
Noticeable difference: 0.015%
:
0.00 %
IR after 6 min recovery
What it is: Image retention measured after a recovery time of 6 minutes.
When it matters: When changing channels while watching TV, right after changing the type of content (i.e. stopping playing video game to watch a movie) or changing input.
Good value: 0 is perfect.
Noticeable difference: 0.015%
:
0.00 %
IR after 8 min recovery
What it is: Image retention measured after a recovery time of 8 minutes.
When it matters: When changing channels while watching TV, right after changing the type of content (i.e. stopping playing video game to watch a movie) or changing input.
Good value: 0 is perfect.
Noticeable difference: 0.015%
:
0.00 %
IR after 10 min recovery
What it is: Image retention measured after a recovery time of 10 minutes.
When it matters: When changing channels while watching TV, right after changing the type of content (i.e. stopping playing video game to watch a movie) or changing input.
Good value: 0 is perfect.
Noticeable difference: 0.015%
:
0.00 %

There is no significant image retention on the Frame 2018. The test image is visible immediately after being displayed for 10 minutes, but it disappeared entirely within 2 minutes.

Although temporary image retention on VA panels is rare, it isn't unheard of. The Sony X940E, X900E, and Samsung NU6900 show similar signs of image retention.

10 Permanent Burn-In Risk
What it is: The risk of developing a persistent image retention, also known as burn-in, after being exposed to a static image for a prolonged time
When it matters: When watching TV shows, playing video games or when using your TV as a PC monitor where static content is present
Score components:
Permanent Burn-In Risk
What it is: If the TV faces a risk of developing permanent burn-in after being expose, for a long period of time, to static images.
When it matters: When watching TV shows with static logos or banners (news or sports channels), when playing video games with a HUD (head up display), and when using a TV as a PC monitors.
:
No

We don't expect VA panels to experience permanent image retention, as the VA panel in our long-term test appears immune.

Pixels
8.4

Motion

The Frame 2018 has very good motion handling. It has an excellent fast response time that produces little motion blur trail. There is a 240 Hz backlight flicker at all brightness levels except max, and this produces visible duplications in motion but shouldn't bother most people. It has an optional BFI mode that can further clear up motion, even when 'Game' mode is used. The Frame also supports FreeSync VRR. With a 4k signal, the range is limited due to the bandwidth limitations of HDMI 2.0. With 1080p content, the range is wide and there is greater benefit to using VRR.

8.5 Response Time
What it is: Amount of blur in fast motion.
When it matters: Sports, video games.
Score components:
Samsung The Frame 2018 Motion Blur Picture Samsung The Frame 2018 Response Time Chart
80% Response Time
What it is: How quickly pixels can reach 80% of a full transition from one color to another.
When it matters: Fast movement.
Good value: < 8 ms
Noticeable difference: 4 ms
:
5.5 ms
100% Response Time
What it is: How quickly pixels can fully transition from one color to another.
When it matters: Fast movement.
Good value: < 20 ms
Noticeable difference: 10 ms
:
13.5 ms

The Samsung LS03N has an excellent fast response time, but it is a bit worse than the Samsung Q6FN and NU8000. There is a short motion trail visible behind fast moving objects, and the backlight flicker causes some visible duplications in motion, although this shouldn't bother most people.

6.0 Flicker-Free
What it is: How noticeable flicker is on the screen, when all optional flicker has been disabled.
When it matters: All usages, but particularly when viewing fast motion (such as in sports and video games) or when using the TV as a PC monitor.
Score components:
Samsung The Frame 2018 Backlight chart
Flicker-Free
What it is: Whether the screen will be perceived as having no flicker during normal viewing conditions.
When it matters: When flicker is especially bothersome, such as when using the TV as a PC monitor.
Good value: Yes
:
No
PWM Dimming Frequency
What it is: The flicker frequency of the screen, when all optional flicker has been disabled.
When it matters: All usages, but particularly when viewing fast motion (such as in sports and video games) or when using the TV as a PC monitor.
Good value: 0 Hz or very high frequencies (> 300 Hz). Frequencies that are multiples of 60Hz are better.
:
240 Hz

The Frame uses PWM to dim the backlight, so there is flicker at all Backlight settings except 50. The 240 Hz flicker frequency shouldn't bother most people, but in some viewing conditions it could be noticeable, and it causes duplications in motion, as seen in the motion blur picture.

Unlike other Samsung TVs that we have reviewed in 2018 like the Q6FN, the backlight flicker does not change with different Auto Motion Plus settings.

8.8 Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
What it is: How effective the TV's flickering capabilities are in making motion look clearer, when flicker is desired.
When it matters: When flicker is desired by the user. Flicker is especially useful to make motion look clearer when viewing 60 fps content (sports, video games) and when using motion interpolation.
Samsung The Frame 2018 BFI Picture Samsung The Frame 2018 BFI Frequency Picture
Optional BFI
What it is: Option to turn the screen black between frames.
When it matters: When flicker is desired by the user. Flicker is especially useful to make motion look clearer when viewing 60 fps content (sports, video games) and when using motion interpolation.
Good value: Yes
:
Yes
Min Flicker for 60 fps
What it is: Lowest possible frequency of flickering pattern when playing 60 fps content.
When it matters: When viewing fast motion such as sports and video games.
Good value: 60 Hz
Noticeable difference: 20 Hz
:
60 Hz
60 Hz for 60 fps
What it is: Whether the screen can flicker at 60 Hz when playing 60 fps content.
When it matters: When playing 60 fps content, such as sports and video games.
Good value: Yes
:
Yes
120 Hz for 120 fps
What it is: Whether the screen can flicker at 120 Hz when playing 120 fps content.
When it matters: When playing 120 fps content, such as when using motion interpolation on a 120 Hz TV.
Good value: Yes
:
Yes
Min Flicker for 60 fps in Game Mode
What it is: Lowest possible frequency of flickering pattern when playing 60 fps content in Game Mode.
When it matters: When playing video games with fast motion.
Good value: 60 Hz
Noticeable difference: 20 Hz
:
120 Hz

The Frame can reduce the backlight flicker frequency to improve motion clarity at the cost of some brightness. It can reduce the flicker as low as 60 Hz in normal viewing modes, and as low as 120 Hz within 'Game' mode.

If BFI is enabled with a 1080p @ 120 Hz source outside of 'Game' mode, there is currently a bug which causes severe flicker, rendering the TV unwatchable. In 'Game' mode there is no issue.

BFI can be enabled on the UN55LS03N by setting Auto Motion Plus to 'Custom', and enabling the LED Clear Motion option.

10 Motion Interpolation
What it is: Also known as 'Soap Opera Effect'. It is an optional feature that increases the frame rate of the video, smoothing movement.
When it matters: If you like the look of smoothed video. Not everyone does.
Samsung The Frame 2018 Motion Interpolation (30 fps) Picture
Motion Interpolation (30 fps)
What it is: Whether the TV can take a 30 fps input and heighten the frame rate to at least 60 fps.
When it matters: 30 fps or lower videos. Includes movies, TV shows, some video games.
:
Yes
Samsung The Frame 2018 Motion Interpolation (60 fps) Picture
Motion Interpolation (60 fps)
What it is: Whether the TV can take a 60 fps input and heighten the frame rate to at least 100 fps.
When it matters: 60 fps videos. Includes some video games, some sports channels.
:
Yes

The Frame TV can interpolate lower frame rate content to increase the frame rate as high as 120 fps in order to improve motion smoothness. This introduces a motion effect known as the 'Soap Opera Effect', which might bother some people.

In scenes with more motion the LS03 will show more and more artifacts until it eventually stops interpolating.

New in some 2018 Samsung TVs is a Game Motion Plus mode. This a new motion interpolation feature explicitly for gaming that doesn't introduce as much input lag.

Motion Interpolation can be enabled by setting Auto Motion Plus to 'Custom', and adjusting the two sliders. The Judder Reduction slider affects 24 fps content, and the Blur Reduction slider affects 60 fps content.

Note: The 43" Frame does not support motion interpolation.

7.4 Stutter
What it is: Jarring effect caused by static frame time during motion sequences
When it matters: When watching content with long panning shots and other smooth movement
Frame Hold Time @ 24 fps
What it is: Time that frame is static during 24Hz videos such as movies
When it matters: When watching movies and other low frame rate content which contain panning shots
Good value: < 24 ms
Noticeable difference: 5 ms
:
28.2 ms
Frame Hold Time @ 60 fps
What it is: Time that frame is static during 60 fps content such as TV shows
When it matters: When watching 60 fps content containing slow panning shots (such as field sports)
Good value: < 24 ms
Noticeable difference: 5 ms
:
3.2 ms

There is some stutter visible when watching 24p videos, like a Blu-ray, especially in wide, panning landscape scenes.

10 24p Judder
What it is: Whether 24p content can play without any judder.
When it matters: Only 24p content (mostly just movies).
Judder-Free 24p
What it is: Judder-free movies over 24p signal.
When it matters: Blu-ray and DVD movies; 24 hz PC signal.
:
Yes
Judder-Free 24p via 60p
What it is: Judder-free movies over 60p signal.
When it matters: Movies from streaming devices (Apple TV, Fire TV, etc.); 60 hz PC signal.
:
Yes
Judder-Free 24p via 60i
What it is: Judder-free movies over 60i signal.
When it matters: Movies from cable/satellite boxes.
:
Yes
Judder-Free 24p via Native Apps
What it is: Judder-free movies when playing from native apps.
When it matters: Movies from streaming native apps (Netflix, Amazon TV, etc.).
:
Yes

The Frame is able to remove judder from all 24p sources. To remove judder, set Auto Motion Plus to 'Custom', and set the Judder Reduction and Blur Reduction sliders to '0'.

8.2 Variable Refresh Rate
What it is: How frequently the TV can refresh and show new frames, and whether it can vary its refresh rate in real time using technologies like HDMI Forum's Variable Refresh Rate.
When it matters: Mostly for gaming, but does provide a little better motion during normal usage.
Native Refresh Rate
What it is: The out-of-the-box maximum refresh rate; how frequently the TV can refresh and show new frames.
When it matters: When playing content with a frame rate that matches the TV's refresh rate (ex. 60 fps on a 60 Hz TV, 120 fps on a 120 Hz TV), or when using the TV's motion interpolation feature (soap opera effect).
Good value: 60 Hz
:
120 Hz (except 43")
Variable Refresh Rate
What it is: Feature that allows the TV to synchronize its refresh rate with the input device's output and reduces stuttering and screen tearing.
When it matters: Almost every usage, but is most noticeable when gaming where constant fluctuation in framerate cause distracting artifacts.
:
FreeSync (except 43")
4k VRR Maximum
What it is: The maximum frequency covered by the Variable Refresh Rate feature of the TV when the input signal is 4k.
When it matters: Any time the VRR feature is enabled and 4k is sent.
Good value: Matches maximum refresh rate at 4k.
Noticeable difference: 10 Hz
:
60 Hz
4k VRR Minimum
What it is: The lowest frequency covered by the TV's Variable Refresh Rate feature when the input signal is 4k.
When it matters: When using the VRR feature of the TV at lower frame rates when sending a 4k signal.
Good value: 30 Hz
:
48 Hz
1080p VRR Maximum
What it is: The maximum frequency covered by the Variable Refresh Rate feature of the TV when the input signal is 1080p.
When it matters: Any time the VRR feature is enabled and 1080p is sent.
Good value: Matches maximum refresh rate at 1080p.
Noticeable difference: 10 Hz
:
120 Hz
1080p VRR Minimum
What it is: The lowest frequency covered by the TV's Variable Refresh Rate feature when the input signal is 1080p.
When it matters: When using the VRR feature of the TV at lower frame rates when sending a 1080p signal.
Good value: 30 Hz
:
< 20 Hz
VRR Supported Connectors
What it is: The inputs which support a variable refresh rate (eg. HDMI, DisplayPort)
When it matters: When gaming with different consoles or graphics cards.
:
HDMI

The Frame TV 2018 supports FreeSync Variable Refresh Rate technology. This works with a compatible PC graphics card or with an Xbox One S/X. There are two VRR modes: 'Ultimate' and 'Basic'. 'Ultimate' provides the widest range, but may have compatibility issues with some games.

Note: The 43" model does not support VRR.

9.4

Inputs

Score components:

The Frame has excellent low input lag, great for gaming or for use as a PC monitor. Input lag with VRR is extremely low. Most of the common resolutions are supported perfectly, and chroma 4:4:4 is displayed without any issues as long as the input label is set to 'PC'. 1080p and 1440p @ 120 Hz are supported without having to set a custom resolution, great for Xbox One S/X owners.

9.6 Input Lag
What it is: Delay between input and onscreen reaction.
When it matters: Video games; when TV is used as PC monitor.
1080p @ 60Hz
What it is: Lowest input lag possible on TV with a 1080p @ 60Hz @ 4:2:2 input.
When it matters: Video games and also when TV is used as PC monitor.
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
15.4 ms
1080p @ 60Hz + HDR
What it is: Lowest input lag possible on the TV when displaying 1080p @ 60Hz @ 4:2:2 @ 10 bit with HDR.
When it matters: HDR video games from a console outputting a 1080p signal.
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
15.5 ms
1080p @ 60Hz Outside Game Mode
What it is: Lowest input lag possible on the TV when displaying 1080p @ 60Hz @ 4:2:2 in a fully featured picture mode.
When it matters: For playing video games while retaining access to all features of the TV.
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
71.6 ms
1080p @ 120Hz
What it is: Lowest input lag possible on TV with a 1080p @ 120Hz input.
When it matters: When the TV is used as PC monitor.
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
9.3 ms
4k @ 60Hz
What it is: Lowest input lag possible on TV when displaying 4k @ 60Hz @ 4:2:0.
When it matters: Video games and also when TV is used as PC monitor.
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
15.4 ms
4k @ 60Hz + HDR
What it is: Lowest input lag possible when displaying 4k @ 60Hz @ 4:2:0 @ 10 bit signal with HDR.
When it matters: HDR Video games.
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
15.5 ms
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
What it is: Lowest input lag possible on the TV when displaying 4k @ 60Hz with proper 4:4:4 chroma subsampling. The test is usually conducted with a 4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4 signal, but a 4k @ 60 Hz @ Full RGB signal may be used if it's required for the TV to show proper 4:4:4 chroma subsampling.
When it matters: PC Monitor
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
15.8 ms
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4 + 8 bit HDR
What it is: Lowest input lag possible on the TV when displaying 4k @ 60Hz @ 8 bit + HDR with proper 4:4:4 chroma subsampling. The test is usually conducted with a 4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4 @ 8 bit signal, but a 4k @ 60 Hz @ Full RGB @ 8 bit signal may be used if it's required for the TV to show proper 4:4:4 chroma subsampling.
When it matters: PC Monitor with an HDR capable graphic card
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
16.1 ms
4k @ 60Hz Outside Game Mode
What it is: Lowest input lag possible on the TV when displaying 4k @ 60Hz @ 4:2:0 in a fully featured picture mode.
When it matters: For playing video games while retaining access to all features of the TV.
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
55.0 ms
4k With Interpolation
What it is: Lowest input lag for 4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:2:0 content when the motion interpolation feature is turned on.
When it matters: When you want to play video games with the Soap Opera Effect enabled.
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
28.7 ms
4k @ 120 Hz
What it is: Lowest input lag possible on TV with a 4k @ 120Hz input.
When it matters: When the TV is used as PC monitor.
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
N/A
4k with Variable Refresh Rate
What it is: Lowest input lag possible on the TV when its Variable Refresh Rate feature is enabled and it is sent a 4k signal.
When it matters: When gaming with a device which supports variable refresh rates, such as the Xbox One X or a PC.
:
15.3 ms
1080p with Variable Refresh Rate
What it is: Lowest input lag possible on the TV when its Variable Refresh Rate feature is enabled and it is sent a 1080p signal.
When it matters: When gaming with a device which supports variable refresh rates, such as the Xbox One X or a PC.
:
6.2 ms

1440p @ 120 Hz: 8.9 ms

1440p VRR: 6.4 ms

Excellent low input lag, similar to the Q6FN. Even with 'Game' mode interpolation enabled the input lag is low enough for all but the most competitive gamers. Input lag is extremely low with VRR.

8.3 Supported Resolutions
What it is: Different resolutions supported by TV.
When it matters: PC monitor usage.
Score components:
  • 17% 1080p @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
  • 17% 1080p @ 120Hz
  • 17% 1440p @ 60Hz
  • 17% 4k @ 30Hz @ 4:4:4
  • 16% 4k @ 60Hz
  • 16% 4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
1080p @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
What it is: Crisp text on 1080p @ 60 hz signal.
When it matters: PC productivity and 60 fps gaming.
:
Yes
1080p @ 120Hz
What it is: 120 fps 1080p signal supported.
When it matters: PC gaming.
:
Yes (native support)
1440p @ 60Hz
What it is: 60 fps 1440p signal supported.
When it matters: PC productivity and gaming.
:
No
4k @ 30Hz @ 4:4:4
What it is: Crisp text on 4k @ 30 hz signal.
When it matters: PC productivity and gaming.
:
Yes
4k @ 60Hz
What it is: 60 fps 4k signal supported.
When it matters: PC productivity and gaming.
:
Yes
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
What it is: Crisp text on 4k @ 60 hz signal.
When it matters: Productivity and 60 fps gaming in 4k.
:
Yes
4k @ 120Hz
What it is: 4k 120Hz signal supported
When it matters: PC gaming
:
No

The Frame supports most common resolutions without any issues. Like most premium Samsung TVs we have reviewed this year, it supports 1440p @ 120 Hz but not 1440p @ 60 Hz. Chroma 4:4:4 for PC use is supported, but only when the input label is set to 'PC'. The LS03N should automatically detect when a PC is connected and change the label accordingly.

1080p @ 120 Hz is supported natively in the EDID, great for Xbox One S/X owners.

Side Inputs
Rear Inputs
Total Inputs
HDMI : 4
USB : 3
Digital Optical Audio Out : 1
Analog Audio Out 3.5mm : 0
Analog Audio Out RCA : 0
Component In : 0
Composite In : 0
Tuner (Cable/Ant) : 1
Ethernet : 1
DisplayPort : 0
IR In : 1
SD/SDHC : 0

All of the inputs are on the One Connect box.

Inputs Specifications
HDR10
What it is: Standard HDR format.
When it matters: Most common format. All UHD Blu-ray discs are required to have it.
:
Yes
Dolby Vision
What it is: Better format, due to its dynamic nature.
When it matters: Dolby Vision mastered content. Current available from streaming services (Netflix, Amazon Video), some Blu-Ray players, the Apple TV 4k and ChromeCast Ultra.
:
No
HLG
What it is: HLG or Hybrid Log Gamma is a broadcast HDR format.
When it matters: HLG capable sources such as Youtube or OTA broadcasts in specific regions. Backwards compatible with SDR TVs.
:
Yes
3D
What it is: Optional 3D video capability on TV.
When it matters: 3D movies & videos.
:
No
5.1 Passthrough ARC Dolby Digital
What it is: TV can receive and pass Dolby Digital 5.1 signal to receiver via HDMI ARC.
When it matters: 5.1 audio on DVDs and Blu-rays.
:
Yes
5.1 Passthrough ARC DTS
What it is: TV can receive and pass DTS 5.1 signal to receiver via HDMI ARC.
When it matters: 5.1 audio on DVDs and Blu-rays.
:
No
5.1 Passthrough Optical Dolby Digital
What it is: TV can receive and pass Dolby Digital signal to receiver via digital optical.
When it matters: 5.1 audio on DVDs and Blu-rays.
:
Yes
5.1 Passthrough Optical DTS
What it is: TV can receive and pass DTS signal to receiver via digital optical.
When it matters: 5.1 audio on DVDs and Blu-rays.
:
No
HDMI 2.0 Full Bandwith
What it is: HDMI 2.0 is the main used HDMI standard and supports a range of video resolutions and refresh rates up to 4k@60Hz, with a total maximum bandwidth up to 18Gbps.
:
Yes (HDMI 1,2,3,4)
HDMI 2.1 Full Bandwidth
What it is: HDMI 2.1 is the latest update to the HDMI standard and supports a range of higher video resolutions and refresh rates including 8K60 and 4K120, and resolutions up to 10K. Dynamic HDR formats are also supported, and bandwidth capability is increased up to 48Gbps.
:
No
ARC
What it is: Audio Return Channel (ARC) enables a TV to transmit, via an HDMI cable, audio data to an A/V receiver, without the need for any extra audio cables.
When it matters: When connecting your audio/video receiver directly to your TV via an HDMI cable.
:
Yes (HDMI 4)
USB 3.0
What it is: USB 3.0 is the latest USB standard which can transfer data up to 5 Gbit/s, and is easily recognizable due to its blue color-coding of the connector.
:
No
HDCP 2.2 : Yes (HDMI 1,2,3,4)
CEC : Yes
MHL : No
Variable Analog Audio Out : No
Wi-Fi Support : Yes (2.4 GHz, 5 GHz)
6.2

Sound Quality

What it is: How well and accurately the audio is reproduced.
When it matters: When a good and accurate sound reproduction is needed.
Score components:

The Samsung Frame 2018 has an average-at-best sound quality. This TV does get decently loud, but may not be loud enough for large and crowded environments. It doesn't produce any thump or rumble in the sub-bass region either, but has a good amount of body and punch to its bass. Also, it is capable of producing clear and intelligible dialog, but the overall sound profile is on the warm side. For a better sound, soundbars or dedicated speakers are recommended.

6.0 Frequency Response
What it is: How accurately the sound level of each frequency is being produced.
When it matters: For a balanced and neutral sound.
Samsung The Frame 2018 Frequency Response
Low-Frequency Extension
What it is: The lowest frequency at which the frequency response reaches -3dB of the target response.
When it matters: Movies, Gaming. Shows how extended the bass is.
Good value: < 60Hz
Noticeable difference: 10Hz
:
63.50 Hz
Std. Dev. @ 70
What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard deviation) in frequency response measured at 70dB SPL, as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: Shows the TV's frequency response at quiet listening levels
Good value: < 4 dB
Noticeable difference: 0.5 dB
:
4.52 dB
Std. Dev. @ 80
What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard deviation) in frequency response measured at 80dB SPL, as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: Shows the TV's frequency response at moderate listening levels
Good value: < 4 dB
Noticeable difference: 0.5 dB
:
5.84 dB
Std. Dev. @ Max
What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard deviation) in frequency response measured with the TV at maximum volume, as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: Shows the TV's frequency response at under maximum load
Good value: < 4 dB
Noticeable difference: 2 dB
:
8.19 dB
Max
What it is: Maximum volume reached by the TV at their optimum viewing distance (size dependent)
When it matters: For listening to loud audio.
Good value: > 88 dB
Noticeable difference: 2 dB
:
86.4 dB SPL
Dynamic Range Compression
What it is: The amount of difference between the TVs frequency response performance at 70dB SPL and Max dB SPL. Too much compression will result in pumping in the sound.
When it matters: When an accurate and free-of-pumping performance is required at higher volumes
Good value: < 3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.5
:
5.30 dB

The Frame 2018 has an average-at-best frequency response. The LFE (low-frequency extension) of 64Hz is above-average. This means the bass of this TV lacks thump and sub-bass, but has a decent amount of body and punch to it. The response above the LFE point is also decent, which is important for producing clear and understandable dialog, but the overall sound is slightly on the warm side. Unfortunately though, this TV doesn't get very loud and produces noticeably pumping and compression artifacts under heavy loads.

6.7 Distortion
What it is: Deformation of an output signal compared to its input, usually clipping, harmonic distortion, or inter-modulation distortion caused by non-linear behavior of the sound system.
When it matters: When a clean, pure and transparent reproduction is desired.
Score components:
Samsung The Frame 2018 Total Harmonic Distortion
Weighted THD @ 80
What it is: The overall amount of harmonic distortion measured at 80dB SPL. To make the score more perceptually relevant, more weight is given to the higher frequencies.
When it matters: How pure the sound is at moderate listening levels.
Good value: < 0.100
Noticeable difference: 0.100
:
0.246
Weighted THD @ Max
What it is: The overall amount of harmonic distortion measured at the TV's maximum SPL. To make the score more perceptually relevant, more weight is given to the higher frequencies.
When it matters: How pure the sound is at moderate listening levels.
Good value: < 0.100
Noticeable difference: 0.100
:
0.458
IMD @ 80
What it is: The average amount of inter-modulation distortion produced by the TV under maximum load. The percentage shown here is the average result of 3 separate test signals/standards: SMPTE, DIN, & CCIF
When it matters: When a clean and free of aliasing reproduction is desired
Good value: < 5%
Noticeable difference: 2
:
8.02 %
IMD @ Max
What it is: The average amount of inter-modulation distortion produced by the TV under maximum load. The percentage shown here is the average result of 3 separate test signals/standards: SMPTE, DIN, & CCIF
When it matters: When a clean and free of aliasing reproduction is desired
Good value: < 5%
Noticeable difference: 2
:
8.61 %

The distortion performance of the Frame is about average. The overall amount of harmonic distortion produced is a bit elevated, but on the upside, there is not big jump in THD at maximum volume.

7.8

Smart Features

Score components:
  • 42% Interface
  • 2% Ad-Free
  • 37% Apps and Features
  • 16% Remote
  • 3% Remote App
Samsung The Frame 2018 Smart TV Picture
Smart OS : Tizen
Version : 2018

The Frame 2018 has a good selection of smart features. The main interface is easy to navigate, although there are some performance issues. The Samsung App Store has one of the widest selections of apps available, and the native apps cover almost every need. The Frame has a new Art Mode feature that displays artwork when the TV is in standby mode, and there is an Art Gallery store that can be used to purchase new artwork. The Bixby voice assistant works well, but is not as powerful as LG's. There are ads in the main interface, although they are intermittent and they aren't very intrusive.

7.5 Interface
What it is: The usability, features and performance of the main interface of the TV, not including the interfaces of the apps themselves.
When it matters: Anytime when using the TV, but especially when changing settings and using apps.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Ease of Use
What it is: How easy the interface is to navigate, affected by the organization of its layout, placing frequently accessed elements in areas that are faster to access, etc.
When it matters: When using the smart features.
:
Easy
Smoothness
What it is: How smooth the interface is to navigate, affected by lag and frame drops.
When it matters: When using the smart features.
:
Not Smooth
Time Taken to Select YouTube
What it is: How long it takes to select YouTube for launch, starting from HDMI 1 input, when YouTube is placed first on the list of apps or added as a shortcut. This does not include app launch time, and does not use a fixed YouTube button on a remote. This serves as an indication of the time needed to select any app.
When it matters: When launching any app.
:
2 s
Time Taken to Change Backlight
What it is: The time it takes to navigate to the 'Backlight' setting ('Brightness' on Sony TVs). This serves as an indication of how long it takes to navigate to basic TV settings.
When it matters: When changing TV settings.
:
6 s
Advanced Options
What it is: Whether advanced options and settings are available, such as color calibration.
When it matters: When customizing the TV and using the smart features.
:
Many

The interface is well organized and easy to navigate through. The Smart Hub is the main interface, and everything has to be accessed through that, but most apps and settings can be accessed within a few button presses. There are some interface issues, including choppy animations and frame drops that have been noticed on all 2018 Samsung TVs.

0 Ad-Free
What it is: Whether or not ads can be found on the TV's smart platform.
When it matters: When using the smart features.
Score components:
Samsung The Frame 2018 Ads Picture
Ads
What it is: Whether the TV's main interface has ads. This does take into account ads in third-party apps.
When it matters: When using the smart features.
:
Yes
Opt-out
What it is: Whether you can opt out of the ad services or not. A TV only passes this test if it allows you to remove them completely, not only disable the personalized advertising.
When it matters: When using the smart features.
:
No
Suggested Content in Home
What it is: Whether suggested content appears in the TV's home menu or main menu. Suggested content can include recommended movies, TV shows, YouTube videos etc.
:
Yes
Opt-out of Suggested Content
What it is: Whether the suggested content feed in the home menu can be removed or hidden
:
No

Like all 2018 Samsung TVs, there are ads in the home menu that cannot be disabled. They are not always present, and thankfully they aren't very intrusive.

8.5 Apps and Features
What it is: The usability, features and performance of apps and other smart features.
When it matters: Only when using smart features such as apps, casting and USB playback.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Samsung The Frame 2018 Apps Picture
App Selection
What it is: The number and variety of apps available to download for the smart platform.
When it matters: When downloading new apps.
:
Many
App Smoothness
What it is: How smooth it feels to navigate the interfaces of apps, affected by lag and frame drops.
When it matters: When using apps.
:
Average
Cast Capable
What it is: Whether apps on a phone or tablet can cast content to the TV.
:
Yes
USB Drive Playback
What it is: Whether the TV can play content from a drive connected to one of the TV's USB ports.
:
Yes
USB Drive HDR Playback
What it is: Whether HDR files played from a USB drive can be displayed properly.
:
Yes
HDR in Netflix
What it is: Whether HDR content on Netflix can be played back in HDR using the native Netflix app.
:
Yes
HDR in Amazon Video
What it is: Whether HDR content on Amazon Video can be played in HDR using the native Amazon Video app.
:
Yes
HDR in YouTube
What it is: Whether HDR content on YouTube can be played in HDR using the native YouTube app.
:
Yes

The Samsung App store has one of the largest selections available on a TV, perhaps second only to the Google Play Store. Most apps run well without any issues, some are even smoother than the native Samsung apps.

The Frame 2018 has an included Art Mode that can be used to display artwork when the TV is in standby mode. Art Mode will start automatically when you press the power button on the remote. Find out more about this feature here.

8.5 Remote
What it is: The usability and features of the TV's physical remote.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Samsung The Frame 2018 Remote Picture
Size
What it is: How big the remote is
:
Small
Voice Control
What it is: The capabilities of the TV's voice control feature
:
Many Features
CEC Menu Control
What it is: Whether the remote can act as a universal remote for HDMI CEC enabled devices. This was tested on our Samsung UBD-K8500 4K Blu-ray player, and may not be valid for other CEC devices as implementations vary by manufacturer.
:
Yes
Other Smart Features
What it is: Whether the remote has any other smart features, such as a pointer, universal remote support for non HDMI CEC devices, etc.
:
Yes

The remote is the same as the one found with the NU8000 and QLED TVs, but white. It is extremely lightweight and easy to use, but somewhat simplistic with a limited selection of buttons. It works well for navigating menus and adjusting basic settings like the volume, but the Smart Hub interface has to be used to access most things. There are no app shortcuts.

There is a dedicated button to access the voice assistant. The voice assistant can do quite a lot, but isn't as advanced as LG's. It can't search within apps or do wider content searches across multiple apps.

6.0 Remote App
What it is: The features of the official phone and tablet app for the TV.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Samsung The Frame 2018 Remote App Picture
Acts as the Remote
What it is: Whether the remote app can emulate all the buttons of the physical remote.
:
Yes
Directly Launches Apps and Inputs
What it is: Whether the remote app can directly launch the TV's apps and change between its inputs, without requiring any interaction with menus on the TV.
:
No
Inputs Text in YouTube
What it is: Whether the remote app can enter text for YouTube searches.
:
No
Inputs Text in Netflix
What it is: Whether the remote app can enter text for Netflix searches.
:
No
Streams Device Files
What it is: Whether the remote app can stream files from the phone or tablet to the TV, files such as pictures, music and video.
:
No
Controls TV Settings
What it is: Whether the app can change all or some of the settings on the TV, such as the backlight.
:
No
Voice Control
What it is: Whether the remote can send voice commands to the TV.
:
Yes

The remote app is very basic, basically only replacing the core functions of the physical remote. It can be used to send voice controls, but this functions intermittently and your results may vary depending on your phone.

TV Controls
Samsung The Frame 2018 Controls Picture

The Frame has a single physical button, which brings up a menu that can be used to power off the TV, change inputs or channels, and control the volume.

In The Box
Samsung The Frame 2018 In The Box Picture

  • Quick Setup Guide
  • VESA spacers
  • Batteries
  • Remote
  • User Manual
Not Shown:
  • 193" One Connect Cable
  • 61.5" Power Cable

The box also contains the 'No-Gap' wall mount and all mounting hardware required.

Misc
Power Consumption : 69 W
Power Consumption (Max) : 150 W
Firmware : 1131

Differences between Sizes and Variants

We tested the 55" (UN55LS03NAF) version FA01, manufactured in July 2018. For the most part, we expect our review to be valid for the 43" version (UN43LS03NAF) and 65" version (UN65LS03NAF).

If someone comes across a different type of panel or if their Samsung Frame doesn't correspond to our review, let us know and we will update the review. Note that the gray uniformity does vary on a unit-by-unit basis.

Size Model US UK Refresh Rate
43" UN43LS03NAF UN43LS03NAFXZA UE43LS03NAFXZA 60 Hz
55" UN55LS03NAF UN55LS03NAFXZA UE55LS03NAFXZA 120 Hz
65" UN65LS03NAF UN65LS03NAFXZA UE65LS03NAFXZA 120 Hz

The 43" model has a 60 Hz panel and it does not support FreeSync and doesn't have a motion interpolation feature. The Frame 2018 is different from the 2017 model which can be identified by the model number LS003.

Compared to other TVs

Samsung The Frame 2018 Group Shot Picture
Top left: LG SK9500 (65SK9500). Bottom left: Samsung NU8000 (UN55NU8000). Middle: Samsung Frame (UN55LS03NAF). Top right: Vizio P Series 2018 (P65-F1). Bottom right: Sony X900F (XBR55X900F).  Unlike our other photographs, this picture wasn't taken under a controlled environment, so do not draw conclusions from it.

The Frame 2018 is a decent mixed use TV, but the unique design comes at a cost premium that probably isn't worth it for most people. See our recommendations for the best smart TVs and the best TVs on the market.

Sony X900F
49" 55" 65" 75" 85"

The Sony X900F is much better than the Samsung Frame 2018. The X900F has a full array local dimming feature that improves dark room performance and helps HDR content stand out more. The X900F is better in a bright room, as it is a lot brighter and has much better reflection handling. The X900F has better motion handling, with a faster response time and higher frequency backlight with an almost imperceptible flicker. The Frame has additional gaming features that could make it a better choice for some gamers, including FreeSync VRR and auto game mode.

Samsung NU8000
49" 55" 65" 75" 82"

The Samsung NU8000 is a bit better than the Samsung Frame 2018. The NU8000 is a lot brighter, and small highlights stand out better in HDR due to the higher peak brightness. The Frame has the separate One Connect box, whereas the NU8000's inputs are all out to the side. 

Samsung NU7300
55" 65"

The Samsung Frame 2018 is a bit better than the Samsung NU7300. HDR content looks better on The Frame, as it is able to display a wide color gamut, and has better color volume. The Frame also has much better motion handling, with a faster response time and FreeSync support. The Frame can also remove judder from all 24p sources.

LG SK9500
65"

The LG SK9500 is better than the Samsung Frame 2018, unless your main viewing area is in a dark room. The SK9500 uses an IPS panel, which has much wider viewing angles but a worse native contrast ratio. The SK9500 is brighter, and better suited for a wide, bright room. The Frame uses a VA panel which has a much better contrast ratio and better uniformity. The Frame has some features that should please most gamers, including FreeSync VRR support and auto game mode.

Conclusion
SEE PRICE
B&H

7.7Mixed Usage
What it is: General purpose. The TV will be used for a variety of content and usages. Movies at night, TV shows during the day, video games from time to time, etc.
Score components:
Samsung The Frame is a good TV for mixed usage. It has a fast response time, excellent low input lag, and excellent gaming features. It can display a wide color gamut, but unfortunately, it can't get very bright in HDR and lacks a local dimming feature, so the effect of HDR is somewhat subdued. It has poor viewing angles, so it isn't well suited for a wide living room.
7.4Movies
What it is: Movies in the dark. The TV will be used for watching movies in a controlled environment, directly in front, in a home theater way. Mostly only high quality content, like Blu-rays, UHD Blu-rays, streaming and a little bit of HDR.
Score components:
Decent TV for watching movies in a dark room. It has an excellent native contrast ratio and excellent black uniformity, but unfortunately, it lacks a local dimming feature. Fast action looks great thanks to the excellent native response time and it can remove judder from all 24p sources. There is some backlight flicker that may be bothersome to some people.
7.6TV Shows
What it is: TV Shows in a bright living room. The TV will be used in to watch TV shows, in a bright room during the day, from multiple viewing positions at different angles. The content watched has an average quality: cable, streaming, SD channels, etc.
Score components:
This is a good TV for watching shows during the daytime, but it doesn't perform well in a wide, bright room. The poor viewing angles limit you to a direct viewing position, and it can't get bright enough to overcome glare despite the good reflection handling. Older content is upscaled without any obvious issues, and the motion interpolation feature can increase the frame rate to help motion appear smoother.
7.4Sports
What it is: Sports in a living room. The TV will be used to watch sports during the day, like football or hockey. Usually watched with a group, so from multiple viewing position.
This is a good TV for watching sports by yourself, but not a great choice for having a group of friends over for the big game, as the viewing angles are poor. Motion looks good with very little blur, and there isn't much noticeable dirty screen effect, so the playing field looks uniform.
8.6Video Games
What it is: Video games. The TV will be used to play video games, directly in front, in a controlled light environment. Usually fast games, like online FPS, where motion blur and input lag is important.
This is an excellent TV for playing video games. It has excellent low input lag, and fast moving objects are clear with very little motion blur. It has some great gaming features, including 'Game' mode motion interpolation, support for FreeSync VRR, and auto game mode. It also has native support for 1440p @ 120 Hz, great for Xbox One S/X gaming.
7.3HDR Movies
What it is: HDR Movies and TV shows. The TV will be used to watch 4k UHD HDR content, with a wide color gamut and a high peak brightness. Either via UHD Blu-rays or HDR streaming.
Score components:
Decent TV for watching movies in HDR. It has a very good wide color gamut, but only decent color volume, as it can't produce very bright colors. Unfortunately it doesn't have a local dimming feature, and it doesn't get very bright in HDR, so the effect will be somewhat limited.
8.1HDR Gaming
What it is: HDR Gaming. The TV will be used to play HDR video games using consoles that support it or on current generation gaming PCs. Xbox One S, PS4 Pro, GTX 10 series and AMD RX series graphics cards.
Great TV for HDR Gaming, mainly due to the SDR gaming features, as HDR doesn't add much. It can display a wide gamut of colors, but it can't get very bright in HDR and doesn't have a local dimming feature. It has excellent low input lag and a fast response time, and it supports FreeSync VRR.
8.1PC Monitor
What it is: PC Monitor. The TV will be used as a PC monitor, from 2-3 feet away, either for productivity purposes or gaming. Sharp text is important, as well as a high resolution.
Score components:
Very good TV for use as a PC monitor. It can display most common resolutions without any issues, and it can properly display chroma 4:4:4. It has excellent low input lag and a fast response time. Unfortunately, it has poor viewing angles, so it is best enjoyed from directly in front, and not too close as the sides of the screen appear darker.

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