If you want a TV that’s about being stylish as much as it is a practical part of your home theater then you might want to check out Samsung’s The Frame (2022) and The Serif (2022) both of which have finally gone on sale in the US and UK, having been announced at the start of the year, and made available to pre-order a few months ago.
What sets these TVs apart from Samsung’s other line-up of stunning QLEDs is that not only do they work like regular TVs, but when you’re not watching one of the best shows on Netflix (or one of the other best streaming services) you can instead display artwork like your living room is a high-tech gallery.
New for this year, The Frame and The Serif have received a matte LCD upgrade to make them even better as picture frames. Unlike a typically glossy LCD screen, the new matte displays will give the art on display a more realistic look thanks to reduced glare.
If you want to pick them up today from Samsung’s official store (opens in new tab) The Frame is available from $599 / £699 and The Serif starts at $1,000 / £1,200.
Are Samsung’s lifestyle TVs right for you?
As far as traditional TV specs go, both TVs will offer crisp 4K visuals, a QLED display, and run on Samsung’s impressive Tizen TV operating system. In addition, you can pick them up in a range of sizes; The Serif comes in 43-inch, 50-inch, 55-inch, and 65-inch versions, while The Frame gets all of that plus 75-inch and 85-inch models for those of you with absolutely loads of wall space (or a 32-inch model if you want to go smaller, with Full HD resolution instead of 4K).
You can also pick them up in a range of styles, with colors, with The Frame even coming with optional bezels to make it look like it’s an actual picture frame.
However, in exchange for this style, you will lose out on some performance compared with Samsung’s more typical TVs at the same price.
During our hands-on time with The Frame (2022) we found that while could create vivid yet natural-looking images with a good level of detail, it didn’t perform as well as alternatives like the (more expensive) QN90B 4K QLED and the S95B QD-OLED. Additionally, The Frame’s handling of dark scenes was more lackluster, because it uses an edge-lit panel instead of the direct backlight of the Samsung Q80B (which is around the same price), or the advanced mini-LED light of the QN90B.
While we haven’t been able to try The Serif for ourselves, we’ve seen similar criticisms thrown at its 2022 model as we levied at The Frame.
So if you’re after one of the best 4K TVs for a standout home theater setup, these displays aren’t really designed for that. That said, they still perform admirably, and their more artistic qualities can more than make up for their dip in performance if that’s an aspect you believe is important.