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Samsung Frame TV vs LG Gallery: Which is the Better Value?

If you‘re seeking a stunning TV that disguises itself as a digital canvas, Samsung and LG have you covered. Both brands now combine cutting-edge display tech with Art Mode functionality that showcases artwork or photography when idle.

But significant differences across the Samsung Frame and LG Gallery series leave buyers with a tricky choice. Do LG‘s self-illuminating OLED panels outweigh Samsung‘s wider feature set and customization? I‘ve analyzed every aspect in detail to decide which art-forward TV range provides better value.

Art Mode TVs – Bringing Displays Into the Furniture Realm

Let‘s firstly explain the ethos behind art-mode televisions. These sets radically overhaul the concept of a "switched off" TV that simply presents a black mirror to the room when not entertaining.

Instead, art mode TVs display a rolling gallery of artwork, photography or even ambient scenes. This allows the set to essentially "disappear" into the wall, blending in as another decor element rather than a lifeless black void.

Both Samsung‘s Frame line and LG‘s new Gallery series (comprised of the G1 and brighter G2 OLED models) have seized onto this innovative concept. It transforms the TV into a chameleon-like addition that mimics canvases hanging alongside – when you‘re not watching shows or movies that is.

And the on-screen image quality needs to rival each brand‘s best 4K TV offerings to complete the package. The Frame and Gallery series deliver here too with advanced display technology optimized for visual impact.

But LG and Samsung have taken somewhat different approaches across panel performance, sizes, customization potential and pricing. And one ultimately claims the crown for best marrying furniture-esque form with premium function. Let‘s compare every important facet that seals the deal.

Duel of Display Tech: QLED vs OLED

Central to any TV‘s viewing experience is the display technology that lights up its pixels. The Frame and Gallery models utilize varying methods, each with inherent strengths and compromises.

The Samsung Frame series employs QLED panel tech – Samsung‘s variant of conventional LED-backlit LCD screens. However, an added quantum dot filter significantly boosts color vibrancy and brightness through narrowed light wavelengths. It‘s an improved LED approach.

Meanwhile, LG‘s G1 and G2 Gallery models feature OLED panels which take a radically different form. Each pixel is self-emissive, meaning they produce their own light rather than requiring an LED backlight. Beautiful organic compounds enable this self-illumination when electrically stimulated.

OLED‘s Perfect Contrast vs QLED‘s Intense Luminance

It‘s an age-old TV tech debate – OLED or QLED? Reviewers have endlessly pitted their respective strengths and weaknesses against each other.

In a nutshell, OLED‘s self-emissive pixel-by-pixel lighting control enables perfect black levels. When pixels switch off, they emit no light whatsoever leading to virtually infinite contrast. This helps images leap from the screen with plenty of depth and punch.

However, the organic compounds in OLED panels reach a limit for maximum brightness output. And maintaining extremely bright highlights across the entire panel is taxing for OLED TVs.

Here QLED holds an advantage – LCD‘s separate backlight layer can blast greater luminance as required. QLED TVs achieve significantly higher peak brightness measures, making them better suited to brightly-lit living spaces.

Most reviewers agree OLED ultimately provides the most cinematic, visually-impactful images even in darker room settings. Their industry-leading contrast measures enabled by perfect black replication remain unrivaled. But Samsung is closing the gap, with Mini-LED backlights bringing LCD closer than ever to OLED picture prowess.

When it comes to art mode specifically though, perfect black depth helps images leap from the screen. And the Gallery series‘ self-illuminating OLED panels retain a contrast advantage that pays dividends for showcasing visual arts.

Comparing Frame & Gallery Series Specs

To gain a broader understanding between the technological capabilities of these art-forward TV ranges, let‘s directly compare some key specifications.

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Specification Samsung The Frame LG G1 Gallery Series LG G2 Gallery Series
Screen Type QLED (LCD w/ quantum dots) OLED
Refresh Rate 60-120Hz Up to 120Hz
CPU Quantum Processor 4K a9 Gen 4 AI Processor 4K
HDR Support HDR10, HDR10+, HLG Dolby Vision IQ, HDR10, HLG
Speakers 60W 4.1Ch 40W 2.2Ch
Smart Platform Tizen webOS
Wi-Fi & Bluetooth Wi-Fi 5, BT 5.2 Wi-Fi 6, BT 5.0
Voice Assistants Alexa & Bixby built-in. Google Assistant compatible. Google Assistant, Alexa & Bixby built-in
HDMI Ports 3 4 4
USB Ports 2 3 3
AV1 decoding Yes Yes

Poring through the specs reveals tight competition in areas like refresh rates, smart platforms and gaming capabilities (more on that later). But OLED ultimately provides superior contrast that boosts art display appeal. Plus LG‘s built-in sound offers Dolby Atmos processing that Samsung lacks.

However, Samsung fights back with more screen size and pricing flexibility during our next comparison.

Art & Ambience Options: Sizes, Customization & Pricing

A key element that separates art-mode TVs from standard sets is their ability to elegantly blend into a wall, mimicking framed canvases. Beyond just the panel, frame design and size flexibility also determine how naturally they fit surroundings.

Here‘s how the two manufacturers compare when it comes to tailoring their art TV ranges to home aesthetics and budgets…

The Samsung Frame scales from 32 inches up to 85 inches – an exceptional size range that outspans LG‘s offerings. Whether you want smaller screens for the bedroom or to splash out on an imposing focal wall statement, Samsung has you covered.

By comparison, LG‘s G1 Gallery series spans 55 to 77 inches, while the brighter follow-up G2 OLED model is currently only available in 55 and 65 inches. So Samsung gives you far greater flexibility to match a size – especially at the extremes – to the room.

Frame Customization

Samsung also enables customization of The Frame‘s exterior to better integrate into your decor.

You can select from various frame finishes like Modern Teak, Beige Wood and Brick Red to find an edge that color-matches your wall tones and furnishings. The standard trim measures 24.9mm deep, but you can opt for a slimmer no-gap wall mount to pull the Frame nearly flush at just 21.9mm. There‘s also a rotating stand if you prefer freestanding placement.

With LG‘s Gallery models, the frame is limited to fairly standard matte black finishes which sit ultra flush to the wall – just 5 to 10mm deep. So Samsung ultimately provides more versatility to find a frame that looks like it belongs.

Pricing Comparison

In terms of dollar value earned for the specs, Samsung again caters to more budgets. The Frame carries a premium over regular 4K TVs but aims to undercut LG‘s pricing.

You can bag Samsung‘s art model from $599 for the smallest 32-inch size. Upper limits hit $4,299 for the 85-inch 8K Frame edition – flagship pricing but far beyond OLED rates. Mid-range models see solid value like the 55-inch Frame for $1,299 featuring 120Hz refresh rates and vivid QLED for crisp art presentation.

By comparison, LG‘s Gallery series firmly sits at the luxury end. The G1 originally retailed from $1,500 for the starter 55-inch model, up to $3,000 for the largest 77-inch edition. But you can now bag the G1 for as little as $1,399 during sales. The brighter follow-up G2 remains premium-priced from $1,800 to $3,000.

If you want both advanced display specs and the ability to elegantly blend into decor for under $1,000, Samsung‘s Frame line clearly leads value. But as we‘ll explore next, LG‘s Gallery models take art mode visuals to another level.

Artwork & Photo Display Options

Let‘s delve deeper into the pivotal functionality that sets art TVs apart from regular sets…

The Samsung Frame lets you upload and display your own photos from USB or mobile, with storage for up to 1,200 personal images. It intelligently analyzes cues like color tone and illumination to group similar shots for curated galleries. And user-uploaded pics continuously rotate when Art Mode activates after powering off.

There‘s also an online art store with over 1,600 pieces to download from $20 per image. Samsung partners with museums and galleries worldwide so you can effectively own digital copies of recognizable fine art from the sofa. Free trials give you access to much larger collections too.

LG‘s Gallery TVs instead pull photographs, digital artwork and even ambient video from the preloaded LG Art Gallery app. The content spans wide-ranging categories like Landscape, Architecture, Wildlife, Space and more. It‘s certainly beautiful. But again, the inability to upload your own cherished photos is a missed opportunity.

Both TVs intelligently adjust display parameters like color temperature and brightness based on the on-screen art genre to lend an authentic gallery feel. Samsung also lets you manually tweak settings for user images.

So while LG‘s curated gallery provides plenty of high-quality art options, the lack of personalization ultimately hands this win to Samsung for marrying decoration with customization.

Verdict: Which Art TV is the Better Choice?

When performance is pitted against personalization and pricing, Samsung‘s Frame TV ultimately triumphs as the best axis of affordability, flexibility and fine-tuned functionality.

The wider selection of sizes paired with customizable frame options slots more neatly into an array of spaces. Opening up art display to your own images makes decoration deeper and more meaningful. And QLED picture quality remains highly capable despite OLED‘s contrast command. Mid-range Frame pricing also brings the art concept within reach of more buyers.

That said, LG‘s self-illuminating OLED panels edge out Samsung‘s best attempts at backlight-driven LCD displays when it comes to realistic image reproduction. Their flawless black handling and vivid color truly makes on-screen art pop thanks to exceptional contrast and shadow detail.

So while the LG Gallery series takes art mode visuals to another level, key omissions around size availability, customization and photo support make Samsung‘s Frame the more complete and best-value art TV package. It brings sophisticated style down to competitive pricing points.

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