Samsung The Frame 2022 vs 2021 (LS03B vs LS03A) Review – What are their differences?
Samsung LS03B and LS03A are parts of the Samsung the Frame Series or Lifestyle series. The difference is that the LS03B is the 2022 model while the LS03A is the 2021 model. This means the LS03B is the successor of the LS03A. Samsung the Frame 2022 or 2021 are a TV that doesn’t only focus on picture quality, but also focus on aesthetic that become the main selling feature of them. And for that, they come with unique design where they are designed in order to be mounted on the wall without gap and can display artwork when they are not used. So, besides they can act as a TV, both of them can also act as wall decoration when they are not used. That is not only that, their bezel is also removable, which means you can change the color of the bezel. By default, both of the Samsung the Frame 2022 and 2021 come with black border. But if you want to change the border color, you can buy their bezel separately.
Basically, Samsung LS03B and LS03A uses VA panel with quantum dot panel, which means they are part of Samsung QLED TV lineup. If refer to the features and picture quality, they are similar to the Samsung Q60 series. They also come with some feature that can help improve their gaming performance like HDMI 2.1 and VRR technology. Nevertheless, their 50 inches model or lower don’t support VRR technology. However, both of them lack local dimming feature that can improve their performance in a dark room. Meanwhile, the small screen size model and big screen model have differences in native refresh rate panel. Their 50 inches variants or lower have native 60 Hz refresh rate panel while their 55 inches variants of bigger has 120 Hz refresh rate panel.
In the market, both of the Samsung the Frame 2022 and 2021 come with a lot of screen sizes variants. From the smallest, they are available on 43 inches (QN43LS03B vs QN43LS03A), 50 inches (QN50LS03B vs QN50LS03A), 55 inches (QN55LS03B vs QN55LS03A), 65 inches (QN65LS03B vs QN65LS03A), 75 inches (QN75LS03B vs QN75LS03A), and 85 inches (QN85LS03B vs QN85LS03A). Special for the Frame 2022 or LS03B, it also has 32 inches variants (QN32LS03B) and it is the smallest the Frame series that ever. So, what improvements are offered by the Frame 2022 as the newer model and which is a better choice between them?
Samsung The Frame 2022 vs 20021 (LS03B vs LS03A) Specification
|Specs and Features||Samsung The Frame 2022 (LS03B)||Samsung The Frame 2021 (LS03A)|
|Resolution||4K (2160 x 3840)||4K (2160 x 3840)|
|Size Available||32” (QN32LS03BAFXZA), 43” (QN43LS03BAFXZA), 50” (QN50LS03BAFXZA), 55” (QN55LS03BAFXZA), 65” (QN65LS03BAFXZA), 75” (QN75LS03BAFXZA), 85” (QN85LS03BAFXZA)||43” (QN43LS03AAFXZA), 50” (QN50LS03AAFXZA), 55” (QN55LS03AAFXZA), 65” (QN65LS03AAFXZA), 75” (QN75LS03AAFXZA), 85” (QN85LS03AAFXZA)|
|Panel Type||VA Panel||VA Panel|
|Backlight||Direct LED||Direct LED|
|Picture Engine||Quantum Processor 4K||Quantum Processor 4K|
|HDR Format Supports||HDR10, HLG, HDR10+||HDR10, HLG, HDR10+|
|Color Technology||Quantum Dot Technology||Quantum Dot Technology|
|4K Up-scaling||AI 4K Up-scaling||AI 4K Up-scaling|
|Native Refresh rate Panel||120Hz (32”, 43”, 50” : 60 Hz)||120Hz (43”, 50” : 60 Hz)|
|Variable Refresh Rate||Yes (FreeSync, GSync, HDMI Forum) (32”, 43”, 50” : No)||Yes (FreeSync, GSync, HDMI Forum) 43”, 50” : No|
|Smart TV Platform||Tizen OS 2022||Tizen OS 2022|
|HDMI Supports||HDMI 2.0, HDMI 2.1 (HDMI 4), HDCP 2.2, CEC, ALLM||HDMI 2.0, HDMI 2.1 (HDMI 4), HDCP 2.2, CEC, ALLM|
|RF (Terrestrial Cable)||1||1|
|Digital Audio Out (Optical||1||1|
|Wi-Fi Built In||Yes||Yes|
|Total Audio Output||40 Watts||60 Watts|
Samsung The Frame 2022 vs 2021 (LS03B vs LS03A) Side by Side Comparison
The Samsung LS03B and LS03A have very similar design. And as we have mentioned above, they have a unique design that makes them looks like a framed piece of art more than a TV. By default, their frame or bezel is black and it is very thin, which is about 1 cm. Nevertheless, you can change their color by buying separately their frame and usually there are 4 color options you can choose. So, you can customize their border color in order they match in better with the existing décor of your room. And their frame is design in order you can install them easily by yourself. Nevertheless, not all the sizes are available with the same color.
Meanwhile, the back of the TV is plain and there are slots for the Slim-Fit Wall Mount. Additionally, at the center, there is also an opening for the cable of One Connect Box. Unlike most models of Samsung TV, all inputs are housed on One Connect Box that is separated from the TV instead of located on the back of the TV. So, there is only a single cable going to the TV from the One Connect Box. This makes their setup remains clean. Although these TVs are specifically design to be mounted on the wall, but you can still put them on the table. There wide set stands that can do a good job in holding the screen. Their stands are not reversible, but their heigh can be adjusted. This allows you place the soundbar in front of them without block the screen.
Dark Room Performance
Thanks to their great contrast ratio, both of the Samsung the Frame 2022 and 2021 have great performance in a dark room. Their contrast ratio is about 5600:1 for the LS03A and about 6100:1 for the LS03B. This is high enough to produce deep black so looks really black, even if they are set in a dark room. Their deep black also makes dark colors look very accurate. Sadly, they don’t have local dimming feature that can improve their performance in a dark room. So, besides there is no feature that can boost its contrast ratio, there is also no feature that can minimize blooming when they are showing small bright object in a dark scene. As the result, there are some blooming around bright object like subtitle in movies.
While their contrast ratio is almost the same, black uniformity of the LS03B or the Frame 2022 is not as good as the predecessor. When they are showing a dark scene with white crossline at the center, on the center of the LS03B, there is backlight bleed and cloudiness towards the center. And since it doesn’t have local dimming feature, this can be removed. Meanwhile, on the screen of the LS03A or the Frame 2021, with the same window test, the entire screen looks black overall. If we observe carefully, there may be still few cloudy spots noticeable throughout the screen. But for untrained eyes, it is very hard to notice. But like on the screen of the LS03A, there is still some blooming around white crossline at the center. And it doesn’t have local dimming feature that can minimize blooming.
Winner: The Frame 2021 (LS03A)
Bright Room Performance
Both of the Samsung LS03B and LS03A have impressive SDR peak brightness, making them have good performance when used in a bright room. Their SDR peak brightness is about 500 nits, bright enough to fight the glare in most bright rooms. However, it actually is still not bright enough to fight the glare in a very bright room with a lot of direct sunlight. And since they don’t have local dimming feature their peak brightness is relatively consistent at any window size, which is good. This means, even if they are showing bright scene or dark scene, the bright area is displayed with the same brightness level.
While their SDR peak brightness is almost similar, Samsung the Frame 2022 or LS03B have better reflection handling then the Frame 2021 or LS03A. You need to know, their screen have difference in finish. If the screen of the LS03A uses semi-gloss finish, the screen of the LS03B use matte finish. As the result, with matte finish, the LS03B can handle reflection better than the LS03A. It can absorb more light and reduce the amount of mirror-like reflections than the predecessor. That is not only that, thanks to the matte finish, the screen of the LS03B also have a more canvas-like effect that certainly makes artwork looks more realistic on its screen than on the screen of the LS03A.
Winner: The Frame 2022 (LS03B)
Thanks to their great image processor, the Samsung the Frame 2022 and 2021 can produce images with details and clarity. It also has great 4K Up-scaling engine that allows you to watch any resolution video content in 4K resolution with a lot of fine details. Even if you watch DVD movies that usually have 480p resolution or HD movies that usually have 720p resolution, you can watch them in 4K resolution with a lot of small details are still preserved well. And of course, the higher resolution of the source like Blu Ray movies that usually have 1080p resolution or native 4K content, 4K image resulted is finer with more details are preserved well. So, if you have DVD collection or Blu ray movies collection, you can enjoy them with better quality in 4K resolution.
Side Viewing Angle
Just like other TVs that use VA panel, the Samsung LS03B and LS03 also have poor side viewing angle. Some premium TVs like Samsung QN95B or Sony X95K that also use VA Panels actually have good viewing angle coverage thanks to the use of antiglare optical layer on their screen. But sadly, both of the LS03B and LS03A doesn’t have this feature. Started at about 20 degrees off center and front, black level rises, making black of images looks washed-out from the side. That is not only that, started at about 30 degrees off center and front, their brightness level also drops, making the images looks dimmer when viewed from the side. Additionally, their color of images displayed on their screen also looks washed-out started at about 30 degrees off center. This means, when viewed from the side, the picture displayed on their screen will look inaccurate. And this doesn’t also apply when you are watching TV. If they are displaying artwork or painting and you walk around them, you won’t see the same image as if you were right in front.
Thanks to the Quantum Dot filter, both of the Frame 2022 and 2021 have wide color gamut. However, it is not as wide as premium TV or OLED TV. In DCI P3 xy color space, they can cover around 87% while in DCI P3 uv color space, they can cover about 93%. Some scene with certain colors may lose fine details due to their incomplete color coverage, but overall, it is still wide enough to make HDR content that mastered in DCI P3 like HDR10 contents look colorful they way they should in HDR.
But sadly, their color coverage in Rec.2020 where the next-gen HDR content are mastered is only decent. In Rec.2020 xy color space, they can only cover around 64% while in Rec.2020 uv, they cover about 71% only. This means, when they are displaying HDR content mastered in Rec.2020 like HDR10+, some scene may look inaccurate and lose some fine details. And since the more content that mastered in Rec.2020 is released, this makes them is not very future-proof TV. Nevertheless, for this time or next two three years, these TVs are still worth it.
Overall, they have good color coverage for most current HDR contents. Additionally, their color volume actually is also good. Both can produce dark colors as well as very bright colors and their color volume is only limited by their incomplete color gamut. With other words, they can show their wide color gamut at their entire brightness range, which is good.
While their color gamut and color volume is almost similar, Samsung the Frame 2022 or LS03B can do a better job in handling banding. On the screen of the Samsung the Frame 2021 or LS03A, there is banding in almost all shades of color and even worse in dark reds, greens, and grays. Meanwhile on the screen of the LS03B, there may be still little bandings in dark colors, especially in dark greens and reds. But it is much less noticeable than on the screen of the LS03A. Both actually have a feature that can be used to reduce banding, which is “Noise Reduction”. But sadly, enabling this feature only work well with low quality content, while with high quality content, this precisely cause some loss of fine details. So, it is not recommended leaving this setting enabled.
Winner: The Frame 2022 (LS03B)
There is a bit improvement offered by Samsung the Frame 2022 over the Frame 2021 about their pixel response time. If pixel response time of the Frame 2021 or LS03A is about 12 ms, the response time of the Frame 2022 or LS03B is about 8.5 ms. As the result, when they are showing fast moving images like fast movies or fast sports, the images displayed on the screen of the LS03B will look slightly smoother than on the screen of the LS03A. On the screen of the LS03B, there is still a faint trail following fast moving object, but it looks shorter than on the screen of the LS03A. Nevertheless, with untrained eyes, their difference is actually is not very noticeable. Meanwhile, the lower pixel response time may make fast motion appears smoother on the screen of the LS03B, but on the other hand, this causes low frame rate content like 24p movies appear to more stutter than on the screen of the LS03A. However, since they both have an optional BFI mode and Motion Interpolation feature, this can be reduced by enabling their BFI mode or Motion Interpolation.
And as typical of a TV with local dimming, to dim their backlight, both of the Samsung LS03A and LS03B uses PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) dimming system. However, their dimming frequency varies between the picture mode. When they are set in “Movie” picture mode, both flicker at 960 Hz, which is high enough to make their backlight flicker is not noticeable. Meanwhile, when they are set in Game mode, the dimming frequency of the LS03A will drops to 480 Hz while dimming frequency of the LS03B will drops to 480 Hz. In other picture modes, their dimming frequency will drop to 120 Hz. As we have mentioned, both also have an optional BFI (Black Frame Insertion) mode. Enabling this feature will make their dimming frequency change at either 60 Hz or 120 Hz, depending on the frame rate of the content. You need to know, enabling this feature can help to improve their motion appearance by reducing persistence blur, especially when they are displaying 60 fps or 120 fps content.
The native refresh rate panel of the Samsung LS03B and LS03A is depending on the screen sizes. For 50 inches variant or smaller variants, the have native 60 Hz refresh rate panel and don’t support VRR (Variable Refresh rate panel). Meanwhile, for the 55 inches variants or bigger variants, they have native 120 Hz refresh rate panel. Additionally, they also supports VRR technology that work well at wide range of frame rate, which is below 20 Hz to 120 Hz. Additionally, they also already support LFC (Low Frame Rate Compensation) that ensure you to play game with screen tearing free when the frame rate drops below 40 Hz.
The advantage of the Frame 2022 is that its VRR officially support all of the common VRR formats including FreeSync, GSync, and HDMI From VRR while the Frame 2021 only supports FreeSync. You need to know, the devices that support FreeSync is usually a PC with old AMD graphic card or X box One, while devices that support GSync is a PC with NVidia Graphic card and that supports HDMI Forum VRR is a PC with new AMD card. As we have known, VRR technology can improve their gaming performance by reducing screen tearing effect.
Winner: The Frame 2022 (LS03B)
The Samsung LS03B and LS3A are equipped with the same inputs. They have 4 HDMI ports that support HDMI 2.0 Full Bandwidth, CEC, HDCP 2.2, ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode), and ARC (HDMI 3) that also supports eARC. Additionally, both also support HDMI 2.1 with a bandwidth up to 48 Gbps that can accept HFR signal like 4K @ 120 Hz with HDR. This allows you to play high quality game supported by modern game consoles. But sadly, between 4 HDMI ports, there is only one port (HDMI 4) that support HDMI 2.1. If you only one HDMI 2.1 device, this is not a problem. But if you have more than a HDMI 2.1 devices, this of course will bother you a bit. Meanwhile, for HDR content, their HDMI port only accept HDR10, HDR10+ and HLG. Just like other Samsung TVs, they don’t support ARC. Besides 4 HDMI ports, they also have 2 USB ports, Digital Audio Out (optical), Antenna IN (ATSC 3.0), and Ethernet Port. But unlike most TVs where their inputs are located on their back, all inputs of the Frame 2022 and 2021 are housed on a separated box called “One Connect Box”.
Meanwhile, since the use the same One Connect Box, both also have similar inputs lags. With 60 fps content, no matter the resolution, their input lag is about 10 ms. Meanwhile, with 120 fps content, their input lag is even faster, which is about 6 ms. So, whether you play 60 fps games or 120 fps games, their input lag is low enough to play any games responsively and without delay. Even if you play fast paced games that require fast reflexes, your act in your game pad is still in-sync with what you see on their screen.
Samsung the Frame 2022 vs the Frame 2021 Performance
Thanks to their good dark room performance, both of the Samsung the Frame 2022 and the Frame 2021 are good TVs when used for watching movies in a dark room. Both have impressive contrast ratio and good black uniformity, makes dark scene of images looks very accurate on their screen. Lack of local dimming feature may make dark scene have some “black crush”. Additionally, there is also noticeable blooming around small bright object, there are some blooming. Nevertheless, dark scene looks good overall on their screen.
Besides they have good performance in a dark room, the Samsung LS03B and LS03A also great 4K Up-scaling that allows you to watch any movies in 4K resolution, even if the source only have 480p resolution like DVD movies. Additionally, combination of their excellent pixel response time and BFI mode also makes fast action movies appears smoothly and clearly on their screen. Both also can remove judder from any source, so no matter the source of the movies, you can watch them with judder-free. And as we have discussed above, since movies usually have 24p of frame rate, they may appear to stutter on their screen. But they have BFI mode and motion interpolation feature. Although the image stuttering may be not able to be removed completely, but at least, it can be reduced significantly.
Meanwhile, compare between them, the Samsung LS03B is a bit better than the predecessor. In term of picture clarity and or feature, they may be not much different. But the LS03B is superior on its black uniformity, making its performance in a dark room is better than the LS03A, especially when they are displaying dark scene.
When used for watching sports, both of them can also do a good job. Both have good motion handling, allowing you to watch fast sports with smooth picture quality. Additionally, their 60 Hz BFI mode can also further improve their motion appearance, making sport with a lot of fastmoving objects like Moto GP or F1 appears smoothly on their screen. Meanwhile, when showing sports that has large field with the same color like Hockey or baseball, both can also show them without a lot of dirty screen effect thanks to their good gray uniformity. That is not only that, both of the Samsung LS03B and LS03A also have good bright room performance thanks to their good SDR peak brightness and Reflection handling. As long as you don’t watch sports in very bright room with a lot of lights or direct sunny, you can enjoy them without distracted by the glare.
Sadly, both of them have narrow viewing angle coverage. This means, if you watch a big game with a group of your friend or family, some of you may get inaccurate images, especially for you who sits on the side.
Overall, both of the Samsung LS03B and LS03A are great TVs for sports. However, compare between them, the Frame 2022 or LS03B is a bit better than the LS03A or the Frame 2021. The LS03A may have a bit better gray uniformity than the LS03B but the LS03B have better bright room performance thanks to its better reflection handling. Additionally, pixel response time of the LS03B also a bit lower than LS03B that makes fast sports looks smoother on its screen than on the screen of the LS03A predecessor.
Winner: The Frame 2022 (LS03B)
Although Samsung the Frame 2022 and 2021 is specifically design to add aesthetics in your room, but their performance when used for playing games is also good. Besides they have good picture quality and good motion handling overall that allows you to play any game with excellent picture quality, both also have low input lags in Game mode. So, even if you play fast paced games that require fast reflects, you can still them comfortably without delay. That is not only that, both also come with some gaming features that help improve your experience in playing games. Their HDMI ports support ALLM, allowing them can automatically switch to game mode when a signal form game mode is detected. So, you don’t need to change them to Game mod manually. Additionally, although only 1 port, at least, both of the LS03B and LS03A also have HDMI 2.1, allowing you play high quality games supported by modern game console. And the VRR support allowing you to play any games without screen tearing-free.
Meanwhile, compare between them, the Frame 2022 is a bit better than the frame 2021. In addition to it has a bit better picture quality and motion handling, it also supports more VRR formats, allowing it can work well with wider range of VRR devices.
Winner: The Frame 2022 (LS03B)
Both support the same HDR formats. Besides they support HDR10, the most current HDR formats, both also support HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma), HDR format for TV broadcast. That is not only that, they also support HDR10+, the next-gen HDR formats as the competitor of Dolby Vision. But sadly, just like other Samsung TVs, they don’t also support Dolby Vision.
Meanwhile, discussed above their HDR performance, both have good HDR performance overall. They have good contrast ration and good black uniformity, allowing them can show shadow details of HDR images excellently. Black of images can be shown as deep as the way they should in HDR. But sadly, the don’t have local dimming feature, so there may be still some “black crush” in certain scenes. Additionally, lack of local dimming feature also0 makes blooming around small bright object cannot be removed completely.
In term of color reproduction, both support wide color gamut and their color coverage in DCI P3 is very impressive. Both can also show dark scene as well as very bright colors, so their color volume is only limited by their incomplete color gamut. This certainly makes them can show HDR images mastered in Rec.2020 colorfully without lot of loss of fine details. But sadly, their color coverage in Rec.2020 is only decent. Do, when they are showing HDR images that mastered in this color space, there may be some loss of fine details in certain scenes due their incomplete color in this color space. While their color gamut and color volume is almost similar, color gradient of Samsung the Frame 2022 is a bit better than the Frame 2021. As the result, color gradient of images displayed on the screen of LS03B looks smoother with less banding than on the screen of the LS03A.
While their performance in showing shadow details and color of HDR images is fairly good, their HDR peak brightness is only decent. With HDR content, their peak brightness is similar to their SDR peak brightness. So, you will not get the added value offered by HDR content. In most bright rooms, their peak brightness may be still bright enough to make some highlights standout. But lack of local dimming feature makes small highlights don’t pop against the rest of the image.
Overall, their HDR performance is good. But compare among them, the Frame 2022 is a bit better than the Frame 2021. As we have discussed above, besides the LS03B have better black uniformity, slightly wider color gamut, and better color gradient, it also a bit brighter HDR peak brightness. And of course, this is as we would expect from the newer model.
Winner: The Frame 2022 (LS03B)
As we have discussed above, Samsung the Frame 2022 and 2021 is not just a TV, but they also designed for adding aesthetics in your room. With unique design, they are designed to be mounted on the wall without a gap, makes them looks like a framed piece of art more than a TV. There are a lot of artworks you can download from these TVs. That is not only that, they also have removeable frame. This means, you can change color of their frame according to the feel of you room. However, there are only 4 colors options and to change the frame, you must buy the additional frame separately.
Meanwhile as a TV, their performance is equally good performance. Whether you use them for watching movies in a dark room, sports in a bright room, HDR content or playing games, their performance is very good for their price range. But of course, they have some shortcomings that can be taken into account like narrow viewing angle and lack of local dimming. As the competitor that have similar concept of design, there is LG G2 that have much better picture quality, but of course, it is also sold much more expensive than Samsung the Frame Series.
So, which is a better choice between them? As we have discussed a lot above, as the newer model, Samsung the Frame 2022 brings a bit improvement in some aspects than the predecessor. This makes its performance and picture quality is a bit better than the predecessors. And of course, this is in line with what we expect from the newer model. However, since it is a newer model and the price of the Frame 2021 have dropped a lot, with the same screen, the Samsung LS03B is sold bit more expensive than the Samsung LS03A. The decision now comes back to you according to your own preferences.