Looking for another television? We've reviewed the Samsung The Frame (2020) in the 32in screen which would be worth a look if you want quality visuals when the TV is switched on, or off.
We've been really fortunate to have this television, and one of it's coordinating bezels, in our home for the past few weeks. It's even be tried out with the Samsung HW-S60T Soundbar so all bases of the television viewing experience are covered. This means that we've been assessing just how good the picture and sound quality is (with and without the soundbar) along with the ease of set up and use, and how it looks overall.
Keep scrolling to see what we thought about it then, check out our best TV guide for more top buys.
Samsung The Frame (2020) 32in TV specifications:
- No. of pixels: 1,920 x 1,080
- Screen type: QLED
- Smart TV platform: Tizen OS
- HDR?: Yes
- Ports: 2x HDMI; 2x USB
- Additional screen sizes available: 75in, 65in, 55in, 50in, 43in
How easy is the Samsung The Frame (2020) 32in TV to set up?
The Samsung The Frame (2020) and bezel arrived in two separate carboard boxes, securely packed with compartmental packaging. They were both very light weight so can be easily manoeuvred into the room where you would like to set them up, and are also easy to unpack, too.
It was very easy to set up on our television stand. The supplied feet were fitted easily into place, and can be orientated landscape or portrait, should that suit your needs. The feet can be screwed in to either tilt back slightly or stand up vertically, depending on which viewing angle is preferable to you.
The Frame is designed to appear like an artwork, and so is more suited to wall mounting and can be fixed flush to the wall to truly mimic a picture frame. There is a gallery of a half-a-dozen-or-so images which you can access for free, alternatively you can either buy more from the Samsung Art Store for £3.99 per month or upload and exhibit your own photography for all to see via Samsung's SmartThings app. Admittedly, we did not test uploading our own artwork or accessing the Art Store because the television was soon to go off to its next reviewers home but all the comments we've seen on retailer sites have been positive about this aspect so there's no obvious reason why it shouldn't work for you, too.
Another feature which Samsung have provided is a clever way to move the hubbub of cables that would need to find a way into the back of the TV: their OneConnect system is a single (albeit chunky) cable leading to a small box which provides the ports into which you can plug your cables. This leaves you free to place the OneConnect box, and associated cables into a more discreet location.
Once the cables are all installed, on first switch-on, the on screen instructions are easy to follow to get the TV set up, and connected to your smartphone. It was seamless to connect to Samsung’s SmartThings app which can be used to mirror and play your favourite videos, music, and photos on the screen.
What’s the picture quality like?
The picture quality when watching live TV is great. There are a few pre-set modes (we found “Natural” to be the most versatile), but there are many display settings available in the advanced menu, for you to tweak and adjust to your heart’s content.
The picture is crisp and even when streaming via the inbuilt apps or casting from a smartphone, although it is at times a little dark, even with brightness on its highest setting.
We also connected via HDMI to a PC. Although this is not intended for use as a PC monitor, we found it still performed well.
And the sound?
The sound quality for general TV watching is very good. There are limitations due to how thin the body of the TV is (a challenge for all modern flatscreens), but unless you are looking for a more immersive cinematic experience, The Frame is entirely suitable.
And if you are looking for a heftier sonic experience? Look no further than the Samsung Soundbar S60T. Paired with The Frame 32in it will provide you with rich bass and an engaging stereo sound in a simple modern package.
- Read our Samsung HW-S60T Soundbar review for deeper insight
How does it look?
Out of the box the Frame looks like a typical modern flatscreen TV, with a high quality black metal built-in bezel that is 11mm wide on all sides, so not the thinnest available. However, the reason for this becomes apparent when making use of the customisable bezel system that allows you to change its look to suit your interior decor. Bezels are sold separately and are designed to look just like a modern slim picture frame.
We tried the beige, which is similar in tone to a light beech colour and has a subtle wood effect, but there are six other colours to choose from – Black, Brown, Vivid Lemon, Platinum, Neutral Pink or White – to suit your chosen decor. After some minor adjustments we were impressed to find that they fit into place with virtually no visible join at the corners.
And what if you change your interior look? You can just unclip the magnetic bezels and attach one of the seven colours available to choose. Simple.
The Frame comes pre-installed with many of the most popular apps including Netflix, BBC iPlayer and Apple TV. More can be installed via Samsung’s intuitive Tizen operating system. Additionally, you can connect a FreeView box using one of the HDMI ports (which is what we did) because we found that the pre-installed Rakuten TV was more geared up for movies and didn't have our usual go-to channels such as BBC, ITV and Channel 4, etc.
It also comes with Samsung TV Plus, a subscription free service that can have you watching from a variety of channels as soon as you switch on.
And a little quirk which we noticed when clicking around is that the One Remote Control can operate and navigate other Samsung televisions – we have a Samsung tele as our main television so were baffled to see it turn on when we went to control The Frame, until we cottoned on to what was happening...
Is there much difference, if any, to the 2019 model?
The only difference that we're aware of when looking at last years model is that the 32in size we tested here is an addition to the Frame range for 2020, with a 75in option also added to the sizes on offer.
We reviewed The Frame last year which had a 4K resolution, instead of a Full HD screen, because of the larger screen size. The 32inch screen size is the only one in the range to have a Full HD resolution and, to be honest, okay audio when compared to the larger screen which do require a soundbar to get the most out of the TV viewing experience.
All other key features such as Art Mode, Tizen OZ (Samsung's smart platform) Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa voice controls and customizable bezels are exactly the same.
- Read our Samsung The Frame review (2019) for more of a comparison
How does it compare with other 32 inch televisions?
The Frame comes in Full HD screen resolution, with HDR which is as good as you can get from a 32in TV at the moment, with 4K not readily available.
At this price point of around £500, there are TVs with more of a focus on picture and audio quality, however this will be at the expense of the Lifestyle features we have described.
Should I buy Samsung The Frame (2020) 32in TV?
The Frame, along with The Serif, The Sero and now the Terrace fall under Samsung’s category of “Lifestyle TVs”, which give us an alternative from the large black rectangles sitting in the corner waiting to be switched on again.
The 32in is the smallest size Frame model available, and would be an ideal purchase if you are looking for a second TV in say a bedroom or kitchen, and where it is not the central focus of the room.
While it performs to a very good level in such settings, if you are looking for a more dramatic, immersive viewing experience and are not concerned about the TV looking like a TV when not being used, then there are other more appropriate options out there for you.