Samsung’s The Frame TV has never been the company’s top-of-the-line television in terms of specs. Instead, The Frame fills a unique spot in the lineup: it’s an intriguing merger of art and technology, a way to display framed art when you’re not Keeping Up With The Kardashians, merging tech and art in a neat new way. And each new model year introduces a new feature that makes it better than its predecessor.
This year, that new feature is a matte, anti-glare screen that’s designed to reduce the effect of ambient light, giving you a clearer, less washed-out image.
That might not sound as helpful as the introduction of a quantum dot filter – which Samsung added a few years ago – but the matte finish radically changes how the screen performs compared to its predecessor.
Long story short? Don’t buy an old Frame TV if you want the best experience – the new models are far, far superior.
Samsung The Frame 2022 vs 2021
At an exclusive preview of Samsung’s 2022 lineup in New York City, TechRadar spent some time carefully comparing the images from last year’s Frame and today’s newer model. And the difference was striking: hung at exactly the same height on a wall, under ordinary floodlights, the matte finish makes itself known.
View the 2021 model at an angle and it was easy to see reflections across the glass, just as you’d see on any window or television set you’ve turned off. Try it now with your current monitor or TV and you’ll see exactly what we’re talking about: Light streaming in from a window or beaming across the room from a lamp reflects in an obvious way. This isn’t so much of an issue when the display is on, certainly not something you’ll be distracted by when watching moving images. But in a static image, it can become especially noticeable.
By contrast, the new model has exactly no reflection. And it shouldn’t, should it? The Frame is meant to act like a painting on a wall, and there’s no reason to think light would dance off the surface of a canvas or print as it does off of glass, right? Add in the television’s ability to optimize white balance and brightness for the environment and the pixels vanish, leaving you with… well, artwork on your wall.
You'll need to purchase new art from the Samsung Art Store to keep your gallery looking fresh – but with several thousand pieces of art available to display, you'll have complete control over which famous works make their way onto your wall.
With some art picked out on our behalf at the demo in New York, 2022’s Frame TV resembled nothing more than an ordinary painting. That matte finish? It’s fantastic, which begs the question: Why didn’t Samsung do this last year?
The Frame vs the rest of Samsung’s TV lineup
For The Frame series, the matte finish is a big step forward, one that brings the TV a little closer to the rest of the Samsung 2022 TV lineup in terms of performance.
That being said, some of the other models in the lineup have a few tricks up their sleeves that make them an even stronger performer.
For starters, there’s the 8K-ready Samsung QN900B and QN800B that have a higher resolution - they’re going to look better at larger screen sizes like 75 inches and above due to their higher pixel density.
The 4K flagship Samsung QN95B and Samsung QN90B Neo QLED TVs are even brighter than The Frame and go up to a 144Hz refresh rate that rivals gaming monitors. Neither of those skills are in The Frames’ wheelhouse, which means there’s a clear reason to go for one of Samsung’s highest-end models if you want the absolute best performance.
Where things are a bit murky is when we get down to the new Samsung Q80B and Samsung Q60B – the only real advantage these models have over The Frame is typically a lower price. In terms of design, the Q80B and Q60B aren’t anything special and, as far as we know, neither come with the matte finish that The Frame has. That means The Frame could actually outperform the Q80 and Q60 series for the first time in The Frame’s history.
Of course, we’ll have to wait until we get all these TVs in for testing before we can say anything for certain – but, as it stands, The Frame (2022) looks like a strong contender against the rest of the lineup and stands heads and shoulders above its predecessor.