Samsung The Frame 2020 is an overall good TV that's designed to blend into your decor and showcase beautiful works of art when the TV is idle. Like its predecessor, Samsung The Frame 2019, its borders are customizable and it can be wall-mounted to look like real artwork thanks to the included no-gap wall mount and the One Connect Box. It uses Samsung's QLED technology to deliver good picture quality and gamers can breathe a sigh of relief, as it still has extremely low input lag and FreeSync support. Contrast ratio and peak brightness are significantly improved in this 2020 model, making it a good choice for watching HDR content, but sadly, its viewing angles are just as poor and there's no local dimming. Nonetheless, if you're looking for a TV that stands out by blending in, this could be the one.
The Frame 2020 is a good TV for most uses. It delivers good picture quality for most content, and it provides an excellent gaming experience thanks to its low input lag and VRR support. Its high contrast ratio makes it a good choice for dark room viewing, and it gets bright enough to fight glare. Unfortunately, it has rather poor viewing angles, so it's not the most ideal if your seating arrangement requires you to view from the side.
The Frame 2020 is a decent TV for watching movies. Its VA panel has a high native contrast ratio, which is great for watching in dark rooms. It can display 1080p content almost as well as native 4k, and it can remove judder from any source. Unfortunately, it doesn't have local dimming, and its poor viewing angles make it less suitable for wide seating arrangements.
The Frame 2020 is a good TV for watching TV shows. It has a great peak brightness and decent reflection handling that's well-suited for bright rooms. Lower resolution content on cable TV is upscaled well, and there's no risk of permanent burn-in if you leave it on the news all day. Its VA panel has poor viewing angles, though, which makes it less ideal if you like doing chores or walking around while watching.
The Frame 2020 is a good TV for watching sports. Motion handling is great, so there are only short blur trails in fast-moving scenes, and there's very little dirty screen effect, which is great. Reflection handling is decent and the TV can get bright enough to overcome glare in any type of room setting. However, it's not the best choice for watching with a large of people, as its VA panel has poor viewing angles.
The Frame 2020 is an impressive TV for gaming. It has a low input lag that makes every button press feel incredibly responsive, and it supports variable refresh rate technologies like FreeSync and HDMI Forum's VRR. Its 120Hz refresh rate and fast response time make motion look silky smooth, and its high contrast ratio is great for gaming in the dark.
The Frame 2020 is a decent TV for watching HDR movies. Its VA panel has an exceptional contrast ratio and excellent black uniformity to produce deep blacks, but unfortunately, it doesn't have local dimming to further improve it. It can display a wide color gamut to produce vibrant and vivid colors, and it gets decently bright to bring out highlights when watching in a dark room. However, its peak brightness isn't enough to make HDR content look significantly better than SDR in well-lit environments.
The Frame 2020 is a good TV for gaming in HDR. It has an extremely low input lag, and it remains low even when playing in 4k with 10-bit HDR. Response time is great, so fast motion looks crisp, and there's even an optional black frame insertion feature to further improve motion clarity. Its exceptional contrast ratio makes it a fantastic choice for gaming in the dark, and the TV can deliver a good HDR experience thanks to its great color gamut and decent HDR peak brightness.
The Frame 2020 is a good TV for use as a PC monitor. Thanks to its chroma 4:4:4 support and 4k resolution, text looks incredibly sharp. Input lag is low and response time is fast, which results in a responsive desktop experience. Its viewing angles are poor, so the image can look washed out at the sides if you sit too close, but on the bright side, its VA panel is immune to permanent burn-in.
Samsung's The Frame 2020 is a unique TV from their lineup of Lifestyle TVs, and it's the third generation of its kind since it was first introduced in 2018. It replaces Samsung The Frame 2019, and like its predecessor, it's difficult to situate it in the market, as there's no direct comparison from another manufacturer. In terms of performance, it sits between the Samsung Q70T QLED and the Samsung Q80T QLED and is comparable to the TCL 6 Series/R625 2019, the Vizio P Series Quantum 2019, and the LG GX OLED.
The Frame 2020 has an outstanding design. It's very similar to its predecessor, Samsung The Frame 2019, with only a few changes to the stand and the back. It still has the One Connect box, so there's only a single cable leading up to the TV, which is great for a clean setup. The bezels are thin on all sides and there's no Samsung branding anywhere on the front. It supports Samsung's no-gap wall mount, which comes included in the box.
The stand is thinner and has a more industrial design than the sleek, cylinder-shaped stand on the Frame 2019. It provides decent support, but the TV still wobbles when nudged.
Footprint of the 55" stand: 39.8" x 8.4".
The back of the TV is fairly plain and has a fine horizontal texture etched into it. There's only a single cable leading up to the TV since all the inputs are located on the One Connect Box. There's a small groove that serves as cable management, guiding the One Connect cable towards the bottom of the TV. It supports Samsung's no-gap wall mount and one is included in the box. Unfortunately, there aren't any panels to hide the mounting holes when the TV is on the stand.
One of the highlight features of The Frame 2020 is its customizable frame. The base model comes with a black frame, but other colors are sold separately. Most sizes have four choices: Black, White, Beige, or Brown. The 32" model has a few more choices.
The Frame 2020 has a boxy side profile that's intended to look like the frame of real artwork. When using the included no-gap wall mount, it sits flush to the wall and doesn't stick out much.
We noticed that our unit leans slightly backward when it's mounted on the stand; we're not sure if this is a manufacturing defect or if it was damaged during shipping. Your experience may vary.
Outstanding build quality. Although it's mostly plastic, the TV feels very well-built and there are no obvious issues. The TV wobbles a bit and our unit leans backward when it's mounted on the stand; however, this TV is meant to be wall-mounted, as the mounting accessories are even included in the box.
The Frame 2020 has an exceptional contrast ratio. Blacks look deep and inky, which is great for dark room viewing. Unfortunately, there's no local dimming to improve it further.
The Frame 2020 doesn't have a local dimming feature. The video above is provided for reference only.
Impressive SDR peak brightness. It's remarkably consistent across different content, except for the 2% window being much dimmer due to the TV's CE dimming (frame dimming). It's enough to overcome glare even in very bright rooms.
We measured the peak brightness after calibration, using the 'Movie' mode and with Brightness set to maximum.
Decent HDR peak brightness. It doesn't get much brighter than SDR and the 2% window is also dimmer, but it's also very consistent. It can deliver a good HDR experience in dark rooms; however, it won't look much different from SDR in bright environments.
We measured the HDR peak brightness before calibration, using the 'Movie HDR' mode and the 'Warm 2' Color Temperature. Brightness and Contrast were set to maximum.
Good gray uniformity. The sides of the screen are darker, but thankfully, there's very little dirty screen effect and uniformity is significantly better in dark scenes.
Like most VA panel TVs, the Frame 2020 has poor viewing angles. As a result, images look washed out when viewed from the side, making it less ideal for wide seating areas.
Excellent black uniformity. There's only some minor backlight bleed at the top corners of the screen and some blooming around the test cross. Otherwise, the rest is very uniform.
Decent reflection handling. Visibility shouldn't be an issue in most rooms, but best to avoid having light shining directly on the screen, as the reflection can be distracting.
The Frame 2020 has decent color accuracy out of the box. There are inaccuracies with several colors and white balance is off. The 'Warm 2' Color Temperature is warmer than our 6500K target, which results in a slight reddish tint. Gamma doesn't follow the target at all; most scenes are too bright and dark scenes are darker than they should be.
Update 10/06/2020: We've changed the status of the Auto-Calibration function from 'Untested' to 'Undetermined', as the Samsung The Frame 2020 isn't yet listed as being compatible with CalMAN.
After calibration, color accuracy is exceptional. White balance and gamma are nearly perfect, and the color temperature is much closer to our target. There are still some inaccuracies with reds and blues, but the rest shouldn't be noticeable for most people.
You can see our recommended settings here.
480p content like DVDs looks good and there are no upscaling artifacts.
1080p content looks almost as good as native 4k and there are no obvious issues.
Update 08/21/2020: We previously reported that there's sub-pixel dimming and dithering, as well as some crosshatching. This is incorrect. The picture that we used has some crosshatching by default, and there are no signs of dimming or dithering. The score has been adjusted accordingly.
Native 4k content is displayed perfectly.
The 32" model has a 1080p resolution and can't display a 4k image.
Update 08/21/2020: We previously reported that there's sub-pixel dimming and dithering, as well as some crosshatching. This is incorrect. The picture that we used has some crosshatching by default, and there are no signs of dimming or dithering.
This TV uses a BGR sub-pixel layout. It doesn't affect picture quality but can affect text clarity when using the TV as a PC monitor. You can read more about it here.
The Frame 2020 has a great color gamut. Coverage of the widely used DCI P3 is excellent, and coverage of the wider Rec 2020 color space is decent. The 'Movie' EOTF follows the target quite well until the roll-off, and it's similar in 'Game' mode, although a bit brighter, as you can see in this EOTF.
If you find HDR content too dim, you can make it brighter by setting Contrast Enhancer to 'High', which results in this EOTF.
Decent color volume. It can't display bright colors well, which is mostly due to its peak brightness.
The Frame 2020 has great gradient handling. There's only some minor banding in reds and greens. If banding bothers you, enabling Digital Clean View can remove most of it, but can also cause the loss of fine details in some scenes.
The Frame 2020 doesn't exhibit any signs of temporary image retention, which is expected of most VA panels.
We don't expect VA panels to experience permanent image retention, as the VA panel in our long-term test appears immune.
The Frame 2020 has a great response time; however, there's significant overshoot in the 0-20% transition, causing some artifacts in very dark scenes.
The Frame 2020 uses PWM to dim its backlight. It normally flickers at 240Hz, but the frequency drops to 120Hz when Picture Clarity is enabled, even if you don't adjust the Blur and Judder reduction sliders. Enabling LED Clear Motion lowers the flickering frequency further to 60Hz.
Note that every picture mode except 'Movie' mode has Picture Clarity enabled by default.
The Frame 2020 has an optional black frame insertion feature that can help reduce motion blur, called LED Clear Motion. It causes a bit of duplication, but still an improvement from the Frame 2019. To use it in 60fps content, simply enable LED Clear Motion. For 120fps content, only enable Picture Clarity without adjusting any sliders.
If you want to use this feature when gaming, it's the same step but within the Game Motion Plus settings menu. For games that normally run at 60fps, enable LED Clear Motion, and for games that run natively at 120fps, enable Picture Clarity in any picture mode with 'Game' mode on.
The Frame 2020 can interpolate lower frame rate content up to 120Hz, otherwise known as the 'Soap Opera Effect'. It looks good generally, but there are visible artifacts in intense scenes. To use it, first enable Picture Clarity, then set the Judder Reduction slider to '10' for 30fps content, or set the Blur Reduction slider to '10' for 60fps content.
This feature can also be used when gaming. Simply enable Picture Clarity within the Game Motion Plus settings menu, then set the Judder Reduction slider to '10' for games that normally run at 30fps, or the Blur Reduction slider for games that run at 120fps natively.
There seems to be a bug that's causing the Blur Reduction slider to not affect 30fps content. It may get fixed in a future firmware update, and we'll provide an update once we've tested it.
Although the Frame 2020 has a fast response time, it doesn't cause too much stutter in low frame content. It can still happen in some scenes and if it bothers you, enabling Picture Clarity can help.
This TV can remove judder from all sources. To do so, set Picture Clarity to 'Custom' but leave the Judder and Blur reduction sliders at '0'.
Update 11/27/2020: We've retested the VRR with an HDMI 2.1 source and the latest firmware (version 1403). Unfortunately, it can't display 4k @ 120Hz properly as the screen keeps flashing every 2-5 seconds, making it unusable. We'll retest it when the next update is available.
Update 08/19/2020: We changed HDMI Forum VRR to 'Unknown' because we currently don't have an accurate way to test for HDMI Forum VRR compatibility. Once we do, we'll test for it and update the review.
Update 07/07/2020: We had neglected to indicate the native refresh rate of the TV for comparison purposes. It is now fixed.
The Frame 2020 supports FreeSync to reduce screen tearing when gaming. However, the 32 inch model doesn't have any VRR support. Additionally, the 32", 43", and the 50" sizes have a 60Hz panel, instead of the 120Hz on the larger variants.
Do note that FreeSync only works on the HDMI 4 port. Although the TV states that FreeSync is enabled and working when using another HDMI port, there was still a significant amount of tearing in-game. Furthermore, even on HDMI 4, it was inconsistent but usable. Turning the TV off and back on or restarting the computer can sometimes resolve the issue.
Update 11/27/2020: We've retested the input lag with an HDMI 2.1 source and the latest firmware (version 1403). Unfortunately, we can't display a 4k @ 120Hz signal properly as the screen keeps flashing every 2-5 seconds, making it unusable. We'll retest it when the next update is available.
The Frame 2020's input lag is outstanding. It's extremely low as long as you're in 'Game' mode, and PC users only need to be in 'PC' mode to get the lowest latency. The input lag does increase when playing with 10-bit HDR, VRR, or Game Motion Plus, but the difference is so small that most people shouldn't notice it.