Reviewed on Oct 24, 2019

Samsung The Frame 2019 TV REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.3
7.9
Mixed Usage
Value for price beaten by
: LG C9 OLED
7.1
Movies
7.8
TV Shows
7.8
Sports
8.8
Video Games
7.1
HDR Movies
8.2
HDR Gaming
8.4
PC Monitor
Type : LED
Sub-Type
:
VA
Resolution : 4k

Samsung The Frame 2019 is a good LCD TV with good picture quality and a unique design. It's a special model that aims to look like a piece of art when wall-mounted. You can even change the bezel to better suit your ambiance. Performance-wise, The Frame 2019 delivers deep blacks in a dark room and can get very bright to fight the glare of a bright room. It has a wide color gamut and can display vivid colors when in HDR, but not very bright highlights. It has excellent motion handling, a very low input lag, and supports all of the gaming features of the higher-end Samsungs. Unfortunately, you must be sitting straight in front to enjoy an accurate image.

Test Results
Design 9.0
Picture Quality 7.5
Motion 8.7
Inputs 9.6
Sound Quality 6.8
Smart Features 8.0
Pros
  • Excellent low input lag and great gaming features.
  • Excellent native contrast ratio.
Cons
  • Image degrades at an angle.
  • Can't get very bright in HDR.

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Market Context

The Samsung Frame 2019 is a special-purpose Samsung model that targets a niche market. It replaces last year's Samsung The Frame 2018 and performs similarly to this year's lower-end QLEDs. There's no direct competition regarding the style of this TV, but performance-wise its competitors are mid-range LED TVs like the Sony X850G, the TCL 6 Series/R625 2019, or the LG SM9000.

9.0

Design

Curved : No

The Samsung Frame 2019 has an excellent design. It's almost identical to last year's Samsung The Frame 2018 and although it has a sturdy stand, this TV is meant to be wall-mounted using the included no-gap wall mount. Most of the TV's electronics are included in the One Connect box and only one cable connects to the TV, so cable management isn't an issue. To better match your ambiance, you can choose from a variety of different frames that are sold separately.

Stand

The Frame 2019's legs support the TV well, preventing most wobble. The legs aren't reversible. They have a label denoting which side they go on.

Footprint of the 55" stand: 40.6" x 7.9".

Back
Wall Mount : VESA 400x400

The Frame 2019's back is very plain with the characteristic texture of most Samsung TVs. It's completely flat and will sit flush to the wall when wall-mounted using the included no-gap wall mount. Cable management is serviced through a groove that guides a single cable to the One Connect box.

Borders
Borders : 0.47" (1.2 cm)

Just like the 2018 model, the bezel around the Samsung The Frame 2019 can be changed. A black bezel is included, and there are more bezels that are sold separately that also vary in color depending on the size. For the 55":

Due to the frame system, The Frame 2019's borders appear bulkier than the rest of Samsung's lineup.

Thickness
Max Thickness : 1.69" (4.3 cm)

The TV is very thin and is designed to sit flush on the wall to give the impression of a frame, hence the name.

Temperature
Maximum Temperature
:
117 °F (47 °C)
Average Temperature
:
101 °F (38 °C)

The Frame 2019 gets very warm along the bottom edge, likely due to the edge LEDs, but this shouldn't be an issue.

9.0 Build Quality

The Samsung Frame 2019's build quality is excellent. There are no gaps or loose ends. The One Connect box that comes with the TV also well-built, so you shouldn't have issues.

7.5

Picture Quality

The Frame 2019 has a good picture quality. It displays deep uniform blacks in a dark room thanks to its high native contrast ratio, but lacks a local dimming feature to further improve performance. The TV can handle reflections well and can get fairly bright in SDR to fight the glare of a bright room. Sports fans will appreciate the decent gray uniformity with little dirty screen effect, whereas HDR fans will enjoy the TV's wide color gamut. Unfortunately, the viewing angles are poor, as expected from a VA panel TV, and the decent HDR peak brightness can't always display HDR highlights according to its creator's intent.

8.6 Contrast
Native Contrast
:
4465 : 1
Contrast with local dimming
:
N/A

Excellent contrast ratio. The Frame 2019 can display deep blacks in a dark room, enhancing picture quality.

0 Local Dimming
Local Dimming
:
No
Backlight
:
Edge

Just like last year's model, Samsung The Frame 2019 has no local dimming. The above video is provided for reference only.

8.1 SDR Peak Brightness
SDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
:
404 cd/m²
SDR Peak 2% Window
:
226 cd/m²
SDR Peak 10% Window
:
450 cd/m²
SDR Peak 25% Window
:
448 cd/m²
SDR Peak 50% Window
:
448 cd/m²
SDR Peak 100% Window
:
448 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 2% Window
:
223 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 10% Window
:
448 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 25% Window
:
448 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 50% Window
:
448 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 100% Window
:
448 cd/m²
SDR ABL
:
0.046

The Frame 2019 can reach very good peak brightness levels, so you can place it in a bright room without issue. Most scenes are displayed at the same brightness levels except when the TV is only displaying a small bright area. In cases like this, the TV's CE dimming feature dims the entire screen. The entire behavior resembles the Samsung Q60R.

We measured the peak brightness after calibration, using the 'Movie' picture mode and 'Warm 2' color temperature with Gamma set at '2.2'. With the 'Dynamic' Picture Mode, we measured a peak brightness of 560 cd/m², as measured on the 10% test window.

6.7 HDR Peak Brightness
HDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
:
412 cd/m²
HDR Peak 2% Window
:
170 cd/m²
HDR Peak 10% Window
:
452 cd/m²
HDR Peak 25% Window
:
450 cd/m²
HDR Peak 50% Window
:
450 cd/m²
HDR Peak 100% Window
:
451 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 2% Window
:
168 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 10% Window
:
450 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 25% Window
:
450 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 50% Window
:
450 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 100% Window
:
451 cd/m²
HDR ABL
:
0.065

The Frame 2019's HDR peak brightness is decent. Small bright scenes aren't very bright and don't stand out as they should. It's still a little better than last year's Frame 2018 model.

These measurements were taken at 'Max' Backlight in the 'Movie' picture mode, with no calibration settings and no extra image processing options. With the 'Dynamic HDR' Picture Mode we measured a peak brightness of 573 cd/m², as measured on the 10% test window.

7.4 Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
:
3.751 %
50% DSE
:
0.169 %
5% Std. Dev.
:
1.572 %
5% DSE
:
0.094 %

The Frame 2019 has decent gray uniformity. Although the image shows some signs of clouding, most of it is located at the edges of the screen. The center of the screen has very little dirty screen effect and this should please sports fans.

5.0 Viewing Angle
Color Washout
:
24 °
Color Shift
:
18 °
Brightness Loss
:
33 °
Black Level Raise
:
14 °
Gamma Shift
:
14 °

The Frame 2019 has disappointing viewing angles, just like the Samsung The Frame 2018 and this year's Samsung Q60/Q60R QLED. Unfortunately, the image loses accuracy when viewed from the side. You have to be straight in front of the TV to admire the displayed artwork with accuracy.

7.8 Black Uniformity
Native Std. Dev.
:
0.921 %
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
:
N/A

Good black uniformity on The Frame 2019. Some clouding is visible around the screen, but it only becomes noticeable in very dark scenes while watching in a dark room.

7.5 Reflections
Screen Finish
:
Semi-gloss
Total Reflections
:
5.7 %
Indirect Reflections
:
0.7 %

The Frame 2019 has good reflection handling thanks to its semi-gloss filter. You shouldn't have issues in most rooms unless you place it in a very bright room full of windows.

7.7 Pre Calibration
White Balance dE
:
3.15
Color dE
:
2.36
Gamma
:
2.12
Color Temperature
:
6053 K
Picture Mode
:
Movie
Color Temp Setting
:
Warm
Gamma Setting
:
2.2

The Frame 2019's pre-calibration accuracy is good. Some people will notice inaccuracies in the grays, but mostly just enthusiasts will be able to spot some blue color inaccuracies. The color temperature is slightly warm and the gamma doesn't follow the curve well. As a result, most scenes are brighter than they should be.

9.6 Post Calibration
White Balance dE
:
0.29
Color dE
:
0.85
Gamma
:
2.20
Color Temperature
:
6537 K
White Balance Calibration
:
20 point
Color Calibration
:
Yes
Auto-Calibration Function
:
No

10/31/2019: Unfortunately, it would appear that The Frame 2019 is not compatible with the Auto-Calibration function.

After calibration, the color accuracy is exceptional. Any remaining inaccuracies can only be spotted with the aid of a colorimeter.

You can see our recommended settings here.

8.0 480p Input

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

8.0 720p Input

720p content from cable or older game consoles is upscaled well without any obvious issues.

9.0 1080p Input

1080p content, like Blu-rays, is displayed just as well as native 4k content.

9.5 4k Input

Native 4k content is displayed almost perfectly, with no obvious issues. There is some subpixel dimming depending on the mode you're in, just like we discovered on the Samsung Q60/Q60R QLED. It isn't easily noticeable in normal content. Here are two examples of what's happening at the micro level.

8.0 Color Gamut
Wide Color Gamut
:
Yes
DCI P3 xy
:
86.31 %
DCI P3 uv
:
93.26 %
Rec 2020 xy
:
64.65 %
Rec 2020 uv
:
74.16 %

The Frame 2019 can display a wide color gamut. It's very similar to this year's Samsung Q60/Q60R QLED and last year's The Frame 2018 model. The electro-optical transfer function, or EOTF, follows the target curve closely until it rolls off near the TV's peak brightness, but some scenes are slightly brighter than they should be. In 'Game' mode the EOTF follows the input stimulus slightly closer until it rolls off near the TV.s peak brightness.

Check out the settings page to see how you can make HDR brighter.

6.7 Color Volume
Normalized DCI P3 Coverage ITP
:
75.8 %
10,000 cd/m² DCI P3 Coverage ITP
:
26.2 %
Normalized Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
:
57.8 %
10,000 cd/m² Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
:
20.0 %

Decent color volume, slightly worse than the Samsung Q60/Q60R QLED. It can't produce bright colors across most of its gamut, and can't produce some dark colors very well.

8.1 Gradient
Color Depth
:
10 Bit
Red (Std. Dev.)
:
0.111 dE
Green (Std. Dev.)
:
0.146 dE
Blue (Std. Dev.)
:
0.082 dE
Gray (Std. Dev.)
:
0.086 dE

The Frame 2019 has impressive gradient handling. Some banding is visible in the green and gray, just like with most Samsung TVs, but it's hardly noticeable. If you see banding and want to remove it, setting the Digital Clean View to 'Auto' eliminates most of it but can cause a loss of some fine details in some scenes.

10 Temporary Image Retention
IR after 0 min recovery
:
0.00 %
IR after 2 min recovery
:
0.00 %
IR after 4 min recovery
:
0.00 %
IR after 6 min recovery
:
0.00 %
IR after 8 min recovery
:
0.00 %
IR after 10 min recovery
:
0.00 %

There are no signs of temporary image retention, which is typical of VA panels.

10 Permanent Burn-In Risk
Permanent Burn-In Risk
:
No

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

Pixels
8.7

Motion

Excellent motion handling on The Frame 2019. The very fast response time leaves only a very small blur trail behind fast-moving content, but at the same time creates stutter on movies. Enabling motion interpolation reduces the amount of stutter, but this introduces the soap opera effect (SOE), which might bother some people. Unfortunately, The Frame 2019 isn't flicker-free and this might bother some people. On the upside, just like the rest of Samsung's higher-end TVs, it supports all the gaming goodies like AMD FreeSync variable refresh rate and low input lag with motion interpolation.

9.3 Response Time
80% Response Time
:
3.8 ms
100% Response Time
:
10.7 ms

The Frame 2019 has an outstanding response time. Fast-moving content looks crisp with minimal blur. There is, however, some significant overshoot with the 0-20% slide which causes a much higher response time on dim scenes.

6.0 Flicker-Free
Flicker-Free
:
No
PWM Dimming Frequency
:
240 Hz

This TV is not flicker-free. It uses PWM to dim the backlight, so there is flicker at all Backlight settings below 50 (max). The flicker frequency is 240Hz in most modes, but it changes depending on the mode. In 'Game' mode, or when Auto Motion Plus is set to either 'Custom' or 'Auto,' the flicker automatically changes to 120Hz.

10 Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
Optional BFI
:
Yes
Min Flicker for 60 fps
:
60 Hz
60 Hz for 60 fps
:
Yes
120 Hz for 120 fps
:
Yes
Min Flicker for 60 fps in Game Mode
:
60 Hz

The Frame 2019 has an optional black frame insertion mode that can reduce the flicker frequency to 60Hz to help make motion appear crisper. Setting LED Clear Motion to 'On' reduces the flicker frequency to 60Hz. When there's 120fps content playing, the only way to get 120hz BFI is by turning on 'Game' mode. Otherwise, 120fps content will still play with the backlight at 240Hz.

10 Motion Interpolation
Motion Interpolation (30 fps)
:
Yes
Motion Interpolation (60 fps)
:
Yes

This TV has a motion interpolation feature that can interpolate low frame rate content up to 120Hz. In some intense scenes some artifacts are visible. Just enabling Auto Motion Plus which controls motion interpolation, changes the flicker from 240Hz down to 120Hz.

Check out the settings page to see how to control motion interpolation.

6.9 Stutter
Frame Hold Time @ 24 fps
:
31.0 ms
Frame Hold Time @ 60 fps
:
6.0 ms

This TV has a very fast response time, which causes stutter on movies or other lower fps content. Fortunately, enabling motion interpolation reduces the amount of stutter, but this introduces the soap opera effect (SOE), which might bother some people.

10 24p Judder
Judder-Free 24p
:
Yes
Judder-Free 24p via 60p
:
Yes
Judder-Free 24p via 60i
:
Yes
Judder-Free 24p via Native Apps
:
Yes

You can remove judder from all sources on The Frame 2019. Check out the settings page to see how to do it.

Note: It's likely that the 43" and 49" models (that are 60Hz) can't remove judder from 24p sources, just like most 60Hz Samsung TVs.

8.2 Variable Refresh Rate
Native Refresh Rate
:
120 Hz (except 43", 49")
Variable Refresh Rate
:
FreeSync (except 43", 49")
4k VRR Maximum
:
60 Hz
4k VRR Minimum
:
48 Hz
1080p VRR Maximum
:
120 Hz
1080p VRR Minimum
:
< 20 Hz
1440p VRR Maximum
:
120 Hz
1440p VRR Minimum
:
< 20 Hz
VRR Supported Connectors
:
HDMI

The Frame 2019, just like the Samsung Q60R, supports FreeSync variable refresh rate technology for nearly tear-free gaming. It has an excellent VRR range when gaming at 1080p or 1440p but at 4k, the range is narrower, as the TV only supports up to 4k @ 60Hz.

Unfortunately, the Q60R's FreeSync implementation is not currently compatible with NVIDIA's current Adaptive Sync drivers, as they only work over DisplayPort at the moment.

Note that the 43" and 49" models don't support FreeSync and are 60Hz panels.

9.6

Inputs

The Samsung Frame 2019 has an exceptionally low input lag and supports the most common resolutions. With the proper settings enabled, the TV can also display proper chroma 4:4:4 in almost all resolutions, so text appears crystal clear when the TV is used as a PC monitor.

9.6 Input Lag
1080p @ 60 Hz
:
14.2 ms
1080p @ 60 Hz Outside Game Mode
:
71.9 ms
1440p @ 60 Hz
:
14.2 ms
4k @ 60 Hz
:
14.2 ms
4k @ 60 Hz + 10 bit HDR
:
16.9 ms
4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4
:
14.3 ms
4k @ 60 Hz Outside Game Mode
:
55.0 ms
4k @ 60 Hz With Interpolation
:
22.2 ms
8k @ 60 Hz
:
N/A
1080p @ 120 Hz
:
5.7 ms
1440p @ 120 Hz
:
5.7 ms
4k @ 120 Hz
:
N/A
1080p with Variable Refresh Rate
:
6.3 ms
1440p with VRR
:
6.7 ms
4k with VRR
:
14.4 ms
8k with VRR
:
N/A
Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM)
:
Yes

The Frame 2019 has a remarkably low input lag provided that 'Game' mode is activated. When VRR is activated either in 1080p or in 1440p, the TV has an input lag as low as a high-end monitor, which is great for Xbox One owners or those who game on their PC. Just like most high-end 2019 models, The Frame 2019 supports low latency game mode interpolation. When interpolating up to 120Hz, the input latency increases but remains among the lowest we have measured.

In PC Mode, Game Mode is also required for the lowest input lag.

9.6 Supported Resolutions
1080p @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4
:
Yes
1080p @ 120 Hz
:
Yes (native support)
1440p @ 60 Hz
:
Yes (native support)
1440p @ 120 Hz
:
Yes (native support)
4k @ 60 Hz
:
Yes
4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4
:
Yes
4k @ 120 Hz
:
No
8k @ 30 Hz or 24 Hz
:
No
8k @ 60 Hz
:
No

The Frame 2019 supports the most common resolutions and refresh rates. Most high bandwidth signals require Input Signal Plus to be enabled for the port in use. You must set the input label to the 'PC icon' so that the TV can display chroma 4:4:4 or RGB content properly, so text appears clear on your screen. The TV usually detects this automatically. Note that in PC mode, many of the settings are unavailable and there are only two picture modes. Chroma 4:4:4 does not work properly with 1440p @ 120Hz and text isn't displayed properly.

The 43" and 49" models have 60Hz panels and don't support 120Hz inputs.

Input Photos
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 : 0
SD/SDHC : 0
Inputs Specifications
HDR10
:
Yes
HDR10+
:
Yes
Dolby Vision
:
No
HLG
:
Yes
3D
:
No
HDMI 2.0 Full Bandwidth
:
Yes (HDMI 1,2,3,4)
HDMI 2.1
:
No
CEC : Yes
HDCP 2.2 : Yes (HDMI 1,2,3,4)
USB 3.0
:
No
Variable Analog Audio Out : No
Wi-Fi Support : Yes (2.4 GHz, 5 GHz)
Audio Passthrough
ARC
:
Yes (HDMI 3)
eARC support
:
No
Dolby Atmos via TrueHD via eARC
:
No
DTS:X via DTS-HD MA via eARC
:
No
5.1 Dolby Digital via ARC
:
Yes
5.1 DTS via ARC
:
No
5.1 Dolby Digital via Optical
:
Yes
5.1 DTS via Optical
:
No

Dolby Atmos is available over HDMI ARC through Dolby Digital Plus, so Netflix Atmos will work properly.

6.8

Sound Quality

The sound on the Samsung The Frame 2019 is decent but still better than the sound on the Samsung The Frame 2018. It can get loud and has a bass extension that's better than most TVs and delivers relatively clear dialog. For a better sound, it's recommended to add dedicated speakers or a soundbar (see our recommendations for the best soundbars).

6.6 Frequency Response
Low-Frequency Extension
:
63.50 Hz
Std. Dev. @ 70
:
4.05 dB
Std. Dev. @ 80
:
4.86 dB
Std. Dev. @ Max
:
8.54 dB
Max
:
93.0 dB SPL
Dynamic Range Compression
:
5.72 dB

The Frame 2019 has a decent frequency response. It has a decent LFE (low-frequency extension) and its bass can deliver a fair amount of body and punch but lacks thump and sub-bass. The frequency response above the TV's LFE is okay and the TV produces mostly clear and intelligible dialog. This TV can get very loud, but unfortunately, it produces noticeably pumping and compression artifacts under heavy loads.

7.4 Distortion