Samsung The Frame 2020 TV Review

Tested using Methodology v1.5
Reviewed Jun 02, 2020 at 09:29 am
Samsung The Frame 2020 Picture
7.6
Mixed Usage
Value for price beaten by
: LG B9 OLED
7.1
Movies
7.6
TV Shows
7.6
Sports
8.4
Video Games
7.1
HDR Movies
7.9
HDR Gaming
7.9
PC Monitor
Type LED
Sub-Type
VA
Resolution 4k

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.

Our Verdict

7.6 Mixed Usage

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.

Pros
  • Exceptional contrast ratio.
  • FreeSync support.
  • Great motion handling.
Cons
  • No local dimming.
  • Poor viewing angles.
7.1 Movies

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.

7.6 TV Shows

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.

7.6 Sports

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.

8.4 Video Games

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.

7.1 HDR Movies

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.

7.9 HDR Gaming

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.

7.9 PC Monitor

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.

  • 7.6 Mixed Usage
  • 7.1 Movies
  • 7.6 TV Shows
  • 7.6 Sports
  • 8.4 Video Games
  • 7.1 HDR Movies
  • 7.9 HDR Gaming
  • 7.9 PC Monitor
  1. Update 7/7/2020: The TV's native refresh rate wasn't previously indicated. It has been fixed.
  2. Update 6/2/2020: Converted to Test Bench 1.5.

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Test Results

perceptual testing image
Market Context
Market Context
Market Context

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.

Design
9.0
Design
Style
Curved No

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.

Design
Stand

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".

Design
Back
Wall Mount VESA 200x200

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.

Design
Borders
Borders 0.47" (1.2 cm)

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.

Design
Thickness
Max Thickness 1.69" (4.3 cm)

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.

9.0
Design
Build Quality

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.

Picture Quality
9.4
Picture Quality
Contrast
Native Contrast
8131 : 1
Contrast with local dimming
N/A

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.

0
Picture Quality
Local Dimming
Local Dimming
No
Backlight
Edge

The Frame 2020 doesn't have a local dimming feature. The video above is provided for reference only.

8.2
Picture Quality
SDR Peak Brightness
SDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
501 cd/m²
SDR Peak 2% Window
278 cd/m²
SDR Peak 10% Window
536 cd/m²
SDR Peak 25% Window
534 cd/m²
SDR Peak 50% Window
533 cd/m²
SDR Peak 100% Window
532 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 2% Window
276 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 10% Window
534 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 25% Window
533 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 50% Window
532 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 100% Window
532 cd/m²
SDR ABL
0.042

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.

6.8
Picture Quality
HDR Peak Brightness
HDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
524 cd/m²
HDR Peak 2% Window
294 cd/m²
HDR Peak 10% Window
567 cd/m²
HDR Peak 25% Window
565 cd/m²
HDR Peak 50% Window
565 cd/m²
HDR Peak 100% Window
564 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 2% Window
292 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 10% Window
565 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 25% Window
565 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 50% Window
564 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 100% Window
564 cd/m²
HDR ABL
0.042

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.

7.9
Picture Quality
Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
3.327 %
50% DSE
0.155 %
5% Std. Dev.
0.645 %
5% DSE
0.087 %

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.

5.1
Picture Quality
Viewing Angle
Color Washout
25 °
Color Shift
26 °
Brightness Loss
33 °
Black Level Raise
3 °
Gamma Shift
26 °

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.

8.5
Picture Quality
Black Uniformity
Native Std. Dev.
0.753 %
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
N/A

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.

7.4
Picture Quality
Reflections
Screen Finish
Semi-gloss
Total Reflections
5.2 %
Indirect Reflections
1.2 %
Calculated Direct Reflections
4.0 %

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.

7.1
Picture Quality
Pre Calibration
White Balance dE
3.84
Color dE
3.05
Gamma
2.18
Color Temperature
6099 K
Picture Mode
Movie
Color Temp Setting
Warm 2
Gamma Setting
2.2

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.

9.3
Picture Quality
Post Calibration
White Balance dE
0.32
Color dE
1.71
Gamma
2.21
Color Temperature
6569 K
White Balance Calibration
20 point
Color Calibration
Yes

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.

8.0
Picture Quality
480p Input

480p content like DVDs looks good and there are no upscaling artifacts.

8.0
Picture Quality
720p Input

720p content such as cable TV is upscaled well.

9.0
Picture Quality
1080p Input

1080p content looks almost as good as native 4k and there are no obvious issues.

9.5
Picture Quality
4k Input

Native 4k content is displayed almost perfectly, although we did notice some subpixel dimming and dithering. There's also some crosshatching when displaying shadows, which you can see in this photo.

The 32" model has a 1080p resolution and can't display a 4k image.

0
Picture Quality
8k Input

The Frame 2020 can't display an 8k image.

Picture Quality
Pixels

As mentioned above, the Frame 2020 uses subpixel dimming and dithering, which you can see in these photos:

8.1
Picture Quality
Color Gamut
Wide Color Gamut
Yes
DCI P3 xy
89.36 %
DCI P3 uv
94.21 %
Rec 2020 xy
66.20 %
Rec 2020 uv
72.77 %

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.

7.2
Picture Quality
Color Volume
Normalized DCI P3 Coverage ITP
82.6 %
10,000 cd/m² DCI P3 Coverage ITP
32.6 %
Normalized Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
61.7 %
10,000 cd/m² Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
24.4 %

Decent color volume. It can't display bright colors well, which is mostly due to its peak brightness.

8.0
Picture Quality
Gradient
Color Depth
10 Bit
Red (Std. Dev.)
0.113 dE
Green (Std. Dev.)
0.129 dE
Blue (Std. Dev.)
0.100 dE
Gray (Std. Dev.)
0.087 dE

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.

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 %

The Frame 2020 doesn't exhibit any signs of temporary image retention, which is expected of most 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
8.0
Motion
Response Time
80% Response Time
3.8 ms
100% Response Time
13.9 ms

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.

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

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.

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 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.

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

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.

7.5
Motion
Stutter
Frame Hold Time @ 24 fps
27.8 ms
Frame Hold Time @ 60 fps
2.8 ms

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.

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

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'.

8.2
Motion
Variable Refresh Rate
Native Refresh Rate
120 Hz (except 32", 43", 50")
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

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 and HDMI Forum's VRR to reduce screen tearing when gaming. However, both are only present in the 55" model or above. The 43" and the 50" only have FreeSync, while the 32" has neither. 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.

Inputs
9.1
Inputs
Input Lag
1080p @ 60 Hz
10.5 ms
1080p @ 60 Hz Outside Game Mode
88.6 ms
1440p @ 60 Hz
10.5 ms
4k @ 60 Hz
10.3 ms
4k @ 60 Hz + 10 bit HDR
15.0 ms
4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4
10.3 ms
4k @ 60 Hz Outside Game Mode
64.5 ms