The Frame Review: Digital Art-Enabled Smart TV
In times of frenzy, we often look outside ourselves for balance. Time spent in nature is like a balm for frayed nerves; art and entertainment become a cocktail for the mind; social gatherings serve to recharge and refresh. These external stimuli unspool tension, making room for sentiments that delight and decompress. So it makes sense that, in an increasingly frenetic world, we’re turning to the place we call home to provide that same sense of serenity. A spa-like bathroom turns mundane routines in mindful rituals while a thoughtfully stocked kitchen slows the haste of weeknight dinners into a meditative experience. It might seem counterintuitive to suggest a piece of tech can turn your living room into a hub for genuine connection, but The Frame TV is Samsung’s answer to just that.
The living room is a space that’s largely laid out around the TV, but current design trends now put the emphasis on the human experience—connecting with family, musing over art, enjoying a glass of wine. The Frame TV flips home design on its head.
“The goal of The Frame is to truly complement your living space and make artwork more attainable,” says Stephen Coppola, senior director of lifestyle TV product marketing at Samsung Electronics America. “The Frame turns an everyday living space into your own dynamic gallery that can be enjoyed from the comfort of your home with the people you love.”
We spoke with Coppola to glean greater insights into the insanely sleek smart TV, what’s new for the 2022 model, and how to think outside the box when styling The Frame in your home.
Men’s Journal: What was the impetus for making The Frame? How did Samsung want to disrupt the market?
Stephen Coppola: Samsung has integrated art with TVs since the 1980s when renowned artist Nam June Paik used Samsung for his groundbreaking “TV View Jak” exhibition. Since then, Samsung revolutionized ways to elevate TVs into interior décor, like the introduction of the Bordeaux Series TVs inspired by crystal wine glasses in 2006. Consumers have long been interested in displays that artfully blend into the home, especially now as we spend more time there. The Frame was designed with an artful approach meant to elevate any room or viewing environment. Samsung strives to provide an ideal screen for everyone— and we follow through by giving you the ability to customize your home entertainment experience. The personalization aspect has been key to the success of our Lifestyle TV category, and to remain true to our “screens for all” ideals, we’ve tripled the amount of TV offerings in the last three years.
Initial points of inspiration?
The Frame was designed to further solidify the bond between technology and art in a way that’s accessible to all—by bringing art directly into your personal space. Consumers value form almost as much as function and Samsung found a way to create not only a functioning 4K QLED TV but made it visually appealing, starting a new trend of Lifestyle TVs that function as nicely as they look.
What’s different for the 2022 iteration? Can you speak to the new specs?
Since its 2017 launch, The Frame has consistently been upgraded to provide better design and a better viewing experience. The new Matte Display has anti-glare, anti-reflection, and anti-fingerprint properties that provide a pleasant and comfortable viewing experiences. The Matte Display received three verifications from UL for being ‘Reflection Glare Free,’ ‘Discomfort Glare Free,’ and ‘Disability Glare Free.’
The 2022 Frame also includes the new Smart Hub platform, which allows for a seamless transition between categories—Media, Gaming and Art—letting users focus on various in-home activities.
The SolarCell remote, which comes with the 2022 Frame, is 88 percent more efficient than the previous models, completely battery-free, and can now be charged through 2.4GHz radio frequency harvesting, drawing power from spare energy emitted by Wi-Fi routers.
With EyeComfort Mode, depending on the time of day, the Quantum Processor optimizes the picture, tuning brightness and color temperature to make the viewing experience a lot more pleasant for the consumer.
There’s also upgraded sound with additional top speakers.
Editor’s note: Piggybacking on the sound upgrade, the 2022 iteration has dedicated up-firing speakers and now supports Dolby Atmos technology so you get that immersive, theater-quality surround sound. Moreover, The Frame boasts Object Tracking Sound, so you’ll get 3D audio that “moves” with on-screen action for a more captivating experience.
What should someone know about art options? Any inside tips on making the most of The Frame’s capabilities?
It’s easy to browse, discover, and download from the new and improved Art Store [from $4.99/per month], which now features over 2,400 classic and modern masterpieces, as well as stunning digital art and photography from galleries around the world. Collections are also professionally curated and organized to help you find your inspiration. The Art Store not only partners with artists all over the world but also has a dedicated The Louvre Collection so you can showcase renowned artwork from the most famous museum.
For a more personal approach, you can store up to 1,200 of your own images and customize them with five realistic mat backgrounds and 16 colors.
Samsung also partnered with Nifty Gateway to release an independent NFT app for The Frame, featuring an intuitive, integrated platform for discovering, purchasing, and trading digital artwork.
To get the most out of the Art Store, don’t forget that you can select a piece of art to learn more about its history and context around the artist.
Why should someone buy this over another smart TV?
The Frame is a stylish two-in-one TV that will perfectly blend into your living space as an artwork display without compromising on your design aesthetic—no more black plastic eyesores when the TV is off. The Frame also takes personalization to the next level by providing colored bezels (sold separately) to suit any home interior style. Color options include white, teak, beige, and brown while the beveled design has two trendier colors: white and brick red.
Any favorite ways to get creative with styling?
Bedrooms: The debate of having a TV in the bedroom has been ongoing for decades. Regardless of where you stand on the matter, The Frame provides the best of both worlds. It’s a more subtle solution to a distracting TV setup. In addition, The Frame satisfies the IEC’s standards for blue light emissions and melatonin inhibition, so you don’t need to worry about it disrupting your sleep.
Kitchen: The Frame works well in the kitchen as its dual functionality can serve as an entertainment source while cooking or an aesthetically pleasing one. It’s equipped with voice-assistant capacities to set timers or listen to music and smart features to look up recipes
Office: Just download the PC on TV app to your work computer for a convenient way to add aesthetics to your home office. You can also mirror your smartphone on The Frame for a better on-camera meeting experience, too. There’s also the ability to stream full HD virtual meetings with the Slim Fit Camera. It fixes to the TV frame via magnet, so you can position it precisely where you need it and take video calls on the big screen.
Men’s Journal Hot Take:
If you’re all about technology, The Frame won’t have the most advanced optics, but that’s not to say its forfeiting performance—not in the slightest. The Quantum Dot technology delivers a billion shades of color at 100 percent Color Volume, meaning all hues in the DCI-P3 color space can be conveyed no matter the level of brightness. Even as a scene becomes brighter, the tech ensures the color stays brilliant and vivid, so as not to get washed out or bloom in more gleaming scenes.
If you hate staring at a rectangular abyss and desperately want a TV that reflects your personal taste and style, not light (the anti-glare technology baked into the Matte Display Film finish is truly astonishing), there’s really no questioning The Frame is a brilliant choice. Its functionality and versatility is as open-ended as you are open-minded. The clip-on bezel means you can swap out The Frame’s frame as your taste changes or as its purpose does, from a singular statement piece of art or main television to one element of a gallery wall.
Digital art is a fascinating catalyst for conversation and connection because it invites myriad musings over a work of art’s backstory, the artist, and/or why someone’s drawn to the piece.
For dinner parties, you preserve the intimacy of the event and promote dialogue rather than feeling goaded into putting a show or movie on in the background.
The Frame manages to fill a space without detracting from the qualities that make your home home. To us, that holds the greatest precedence.
[From $599.99; samsung.com]