Samsung The Frame 2019 TV Review

Tested using Methodology v1.5
Reviewed Oct 24, 2019 at 08:41 am
Samsung The Frame 2019 Picture
7.4
Mixed Usage
Value for price beaten by
: no price info
6.8
Movies
7.5
TV Shows
7.6
Sports
8.3
Video Games
6.6
HDR Movies
7.8
HDR Gaming
7.8
PC Monitor
Type LED
Sub-Type
VA
Resolution 4k

Samsung The Frame 2019 is a decent 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.

Our Verdict

7.4 Mixed Usage

The Frame 2019 is a decent TV for mixed use. It gets fairly bright and handles reflections well, so watching TV shows or sports in a bright room isn't an issue. Unfortunately, the image degrades when viewed from the side but, on the upside, this TV has excellent gaming features. Finally, it delivers deep blacks in a dark room, despite the lack of a local dimming feature, and the overall motion handling is great.

Pros
  • Excellent low input lag.
  • Excellent native contrast ratio.
  • Great response time.
  • Good SDR peak brightness.
Cons
  • Image degrades at an angle.
  • Can't get very bright in HDR.
6.8 Movies

The Frame 2019 is an okay TV for watching movies. It has a high contrast ratio and delivers deep uniform blacks in a dark room, but lacks a local dimming feature to make things even better. It can remove judder from any source and has a motion interpolation feature for fans of the soap opera effect.

Pros
  • Excellent native contrast ratio.
Cons
  • No local dimming.
7.5 TV Shows

This is a good TV for watching TV shows. It has good reflection handling and a great SDR peak brightness, so you can place it in any room. It has great smart features and can upscale cable content well. Unfortunately, the viewing angles are poor and the image degrades at an angle, so it's not a good choice if you often walk around while watching TV.

Pros
  • Good SDR peak brightness.
  • No risk of permanent burn-in.
Cons
  • Image degrades at an angle.
7.6 Sports

The Frame 2019 is a good TV for watching sports. It can handle reflections well and can get sufficiently bright for almost any room. It has decent gray uniformity with minimal dirty screen effect, and a fast response time so fast-action sports look crisp on your screen with minimal blur. Unfortunately, this TV isn't a good choice to watch the big game with a group of friends, as the image deteriorates when viewed from the side.

Pros
  • Great response time.
  • Good SDR peak brightness.
  • No risk of permanent burn-in.
Cons
  • Image degrades at an angle.
8.3 Video Games

The Frame is a great TV for playing video games. It has a very low input lag and delivers a responsive gaming experience. Fast-moving content looks crisp with very little blur thanks to the fast response time, and the TV supports some advanced gaming features like AMD's FreeSync variable refresh rate technology for nearly tear-free gaming.

Pros
  • Excellent low input lag.
  • Excellent native contrast ratio.
  • FreeSync support.
  • Great response time.
Cons
6.6 HDR Movies

This is an okay TV for watching HDR movies. It displays deep, uniform blacks thanks to its high contrast ratio and good black uniformity, but lacks a local dimming feature to improve performance further. It has a wide color gamut that helps deliver vivid colors, but its HDR peak brightness isn't high enough to always deliver HDR content as it should look.

Pros
  • Excellent native contrast ratio.
Cons
  • Can't get very bright in HDR.
  • No local dimming.
7.8 HDR Gaming

The Frame is a good TV for playing HDR video games mainly due to its excellent gaming capabilities. The low input lag and fast response time, along with the advanced gaming features offer a great gaming experience. HDR games are displayed with vivid colors, but the HDR peak brightness level of the TV doesn't always allow it to deliver the game according to the creator's intent.

Pros
  • Excellent low input lag.
  • Excellent native contrast ratio.
  • FreeSync support.
  • Great response time.
Cons
  • Can't get very bright in HDR.
  • No local dimming.
7.8 PC Monitor

This is a good TV for use as a PC monitor. It feels very responsive thanks to the low input lag, and the fast response time ensures that fast-moving content has minimal blur trail. It displays properly the most common resolutions and delivers proper 4:4:4 in most of them so text looks sharp. Finally, the TV is immune to the burn-in risk as it has a VA panel.

Pros
  • Excellent low input lag.
  • Great response time.
  • No risk of permanent burn-in.
Cons
  • Image degrades at an angle.
  • 7.4 Mixed Usage
  • 6.8 Movies
  • 7.5 TV Shows
  • 7.6 Sports
  • 8.3 Video Games
  • 6.6 HDR Movies
  • 7.8 HDR Gaming
  • 7.8 PC Monitor
  1. Update 5/21/2020: Converted to Test Bench 1.5.
  2. Update 2/21/2020: Converted to Test Bench 1.4.

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49" QN49LS03RAFXZA
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Test Results

perceptual testing image
Market Context
Market Context
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.

Design
9.0
Design
Style
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.

Design
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".

Design
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.

Design
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.

Design
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.

9.0
Design
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.

Picture Quality
8.6
Picture Quality
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. If you want an even better contrast ratio, check out its successor, the Samsung The Frame 2020.

0
Picture Quality
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.

7.8
Picture Quality
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.

6.0
Picture Quality
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 mediocre. 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
Picture Quality
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
Picture Quality
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.

7.9
Picture Quality
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.

7.2
Picture Quality
Reflections
Screen Finish
Semi-gloss
Total Reflections
5.7 %
Indirect Reflections
0.7 %
Calculated Direct Reflections
5.0 %

The Frame 2019 has decent 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
Picture Quality
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
Picture Quality
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
Picture Quality
480p Input

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

8.0
Picture Quality
720p Input

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

9.0
Picture Quality
1080p Input

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

9.5
Picture Quality
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.

0
Picture Quality
8k Input

The Frame 2019 can't display an 8k signal.

Picture Quality
Pixels
8.0
Picture Quality
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
Picture Quality
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
Picture Quality
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
Picture Quality
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
Picture Quality
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.

Motion
8.4
Motion
Response Time
80% Response Time
3.8 ms
100% Response Time
10.7 ms

The Frame 2019 has a great 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 in dark scenes.

6.0
Motion
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
Motion
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.

Motion
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
Motion
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
Motion
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
Motion
Variable Refresh Rate
Native Refresh Rate
120 Hz (except 43", 49")
Variable Refresh Rate
Yes
HDMI Forum VRR
Yes
FreeSync
Yes
G-SYNC Compatible
No
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 Frame's FreeSync implementation is not currently compatible with NVIDIA's current Adaptive Sync drivers, and we are unable to test this further, as our Frame was damaged shortly after we published our initial review.

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

Inputs
8.7
Inputs
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
Inputs
Supported Resolutions
1080p @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4
Yes
1080p @ 120 Hz
Yes (native support)
1440p @ 60 Hz