The 100 best digital picture frames on amazon
The 100 best digital picture frames on amazon
The 100 best digital picture frames on amazon
The 100 best digital picture frames on amazon

The new Nix­play Smart Pho­to Frames - right in time for the hol­i­day sea­son

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The mar­ket leader in dig­i­tal pic­ture frames, Nix­play, has recent­ly launched a new range of Smart Pho­to Frames avail­able in dif­fer­ent sizes, frame col­ors, and dis­play res­o­lu­tions. Nix­play sent me a 10.1-inch mod­el in black for this test, and I did a short exam­i­na­tion of the unit.

I will focus on the things that are new com­pared to the exist­ing Nix­play Seed range which I reviewed in "My 2019 review of the Nix­play Seed 10.1 WiFi pho­to frame - Made for friends & fam­i­ly".

Note: My tests are unbi­ased. There are no finan­cial or mate­r­i­al dona­tions to be dis­closed.

In busi­ness since 2013

Nix­play has been sell­ing pho­to frames since 2013. They not only have the largest range of con­sumer frames but in my opin­ion, also the best-devel­oped soft­ware and mobile app.

I would always advo­cate not to buy a cheap "Chi­na frame" but a brand­ed mod­el because the qual­i­ty of the soft­ware deter­mines if your pic­ture frame will become a reg­u­lar com­pan­ion or end up in a box nev­er to be seen again.

Nix­play has rec­og­nized the impor­tance of the soft­ware some time ago, and although they haven't been per­fect either when they start­ed six years ago, they have act­ed on con­sumer feed­back and made their soft­ware as easy but still fea­­ture-rich as pos­si­ble.

Apple-like unwrap­ping

Ever since Apple has shown the world how to pack­age a prod­uct so that the unbox­ing cre­ates a lit­tle moment of mag­ic, oth­er con­sumer goods man­u­fac­tur­ers have adopt­ed this con­cept and tried to make the first impres­sion of a new prod­uct as pos­i­tive as pos­si­ble.

The new Nix­play Smart Pho­to Frame pack­ag­ing is very Apple-like in this regard.

The frame comes with the nix­­play-type dis­play stand that hides the pow­er cable so nice­ly.

With oth­er frames, there is typ­i­cal­ly a stand and a pow­er cable.

With Nix­play, by mak­ing a stand from a rigid pow­er cable, at least the first 10cm, you can hide the rest of the wire eas­i­ly.

I don't know if Nix­play patent­ed this smart trick, but I have not seen this else­where to date.

Once you plug in the pho­to frame, you have to select a WiFi net­work and enter the pass­word via the remote con­trol. This is easy to do even for an old­er per­son with a min­i­mum of gad­get expe­ri­ence.

There is a lit­tle intro­duc­to­ry video when the frame starts up for the first time, but you don't need to watch it as it only explains the obvi­ous.

If you need more help set­ting up the nix­plax frame, have a look at my arti­cles for desk­top or mobile phone set­up.

Once you have con­nect­ed the frame to the Inter­net, it will auto­mat­i­cal­ly check for soft­ware updates and down­load them.

New fea­tures of the Nix­play soft­ware

The soft­ware is the same for all the oth­er Nix­play WiFi frames.

What is new is that it is now pos­si­ble to share playlists with oth­er Nix­play frame own­ers so that they can see the same images as you do.

Shar­ing playlists has become a key fea­ture on Spo­ti­fy, and I believe that it will also become trendy for dig­i­tal pic­ture frames.

The frame can also be con­nect­ed with Ama­zon Alexa which allows you to ask for a spe­cif­ic playlist to start. There are also a few oth­er com­mands, but the playlist com­mand is the most use­ful one.

New fea­tures of the Nix­play hard­ware

The first thing that struck me was the improved dis­play qual­i­ty. I was quite hap­py with the Nix­play Seed when I test­ed it six months ago, but the Smart Pho­to Frame range is yet anoth­er improve­ment.

The frames are avail­able in 9.7, 10.1, 13.3 and 15.6 inch sizes and fea­ture black, met­al and wood fin­ish. You can see the entire line-up here.

There are three dif­fer­ent aspect ratios to choose from: 4:3, 16:9, and 16:10. This is great as pho­to lovers will want to crop as lit­tle from their images as pos­si­ble when set­ting the frame to cov­er the entire screen and not leave ugly black edges.

I would rec­om­mend get­ting 4:3 if you most­ly take pho­tos with your smart­phone, 16:10 for DSLR images and 16:9 if you do a lot of videos or just like the widescreen look.

The dis­play is tack sharp. The sur­face is glossy but shows a very low reflec­tion even when put on the oppo­site side of win­dows or near bright lights.

In the pic­ture below, you may still see a win­dow reflec­tion if you look real­ly hard, but it is much stronger on the pho­to as when you look at it in real life. Good job, Nix­play!

In the back of the frame, there are holes for two watts stereo speak­ers, which is suf­fi­cient for casu­al video play­back. It is not need­ed for the pho­tos, any­way.

What is new, is the pos­si­bil­i­ty of mount­ing the nix­play frame on the wall instead of plac­ing it on a sur­face.

To do this, you slide away the rear stand.

In the pack­age, there is even a drilling tem­plate, and Nix­play also has a short video on this pro­ce­dure.

While the option to wall-mount the frame is good to have, you will still need to find a solu­tion for the pow­er cable because it does not make a pleas­ant sight to see a wire dan­gling from a frame.

Nix­play has car­ried over all the excel­lent fea­tures from the ear­li­er frame mod­els like motion sen­sor, bright­ness con­trol, and, I know, I am repeat­ing myself, their great soft­ware ecosys­tem.

Have a look at my review of the nix­play Seed pic­ture frame and you will find a detailed descrip­tion of the soft­ware, sub­scrip­tion ser­vices and every­thing else that I didn't men­tion here because it didn't change.

Con­clu­sion

In my buyer's guide for Christ­mas 2019, I put the Nix­play Seed first. But choos­ing between the Seed and the Smart Pho­to Frame series, is just a mat­ter of which design you like more. The soft­ware is the same, and for both mod­els, there are sev­er­al dis­play and size options.

If you are look­ing for an afford­able small to medi­um-sized dig­i­tal pic­ture frame with a ver­sa­tile and easy soft­ware ecosys­tem for mobile and desk­top, Nix­play is the way to go.

If you want some­thing more expen­sive, buy a cheap no-name dig­i­tal frame first. You'll end up pur­chas­ing a Nix­play frame after a few weeks then any­way.

(Pho­tos: Nix­play and own images)