Last week, the nice folks over at Nixplay asked if I would be willing to review one of their digital frames and of course I obliged because I love all gadgets. In anticipation, I didn’t really research the frame because I wanted my take to be as pure as if I had stumbled upon it in a store and bought it on a whim. You see, I thought I knew digital picture frames, I had bought one for my mother a few years back and it was so difficult to set up and use effectively that it disappeared into the abyss of our storage unit when we moved and I rather expected the Nixplay frame to be the same thing, cool but inefficient. To my wonder and delight, the Nixplay Cloud Frame is a streamlined and efficient frame that ties an online account to the frame to simplify the use of the fancy frame. In a phrase, I love it and you should definitely give this frame a closer look.
Once out of the packaging, the frame requires a little bit of assembly and set up but is actually quite simple. First, there’s the little kickstand piece that screws into the back of the frame. I was a little wary of the piece because it looks quite small and weak and the attachment location was a bit offset but once attached, the kickstand holds the frame properly without any give at all. Obviously, Nixplay tested this out properly and I was instantly a fan of the build quality. After a short booting process and connecting to the WiFi, the frame was ready to be paired with a computer. Going to the Nixplay website and clicking on the “Activate Frame” option opened up a dialog box where I put in a confirmation number displayed on the frame’s screen and created my Nixplay account.
This is where I was absolutely blown away by the simplicity of the user interface. With the online account, I linked my Facebook account and created my first slideshow by simply clicking and dragging my desired pictures over to the slideshow on the right. After I was done, I saved my slideshow and sent it to the frame and it instantly started playing the slideshow, all in less than a minute! And I hadn’t even messed around with frame settings yet!
Using the included remote, you can cycle between playing the slideshow, browsing other slideshows from your account, playing from a SD card or USB drive, and the settings. Frame settings are plentiful with transition type, photo fit, and display duration for the slideshows. There are even options for setting the frame to go to sleep at a certain time which is useful for me because I like to sleep in a completely dark room. Right above the sleep option is another sleep option called Sleep when no motion detected. That’s right, there’s a motion sensor. The frame can be set to turn on and stay on for a certain amount of time when you walk into the room. My first thought was the added bonus of having a nightlight when I have to trek to the bathroom in the middle of the night but I doubt that was the intention of this feature. Either way, motion sensing is a clever and efficient way to enhance the frame experience.
Verdict: Expertly Crafted, Ingeniously Implemented
Nixplay has created a gem of a digital frame that absolutely blows the competition out of the water. The implementation of motion sensing will make the frame more efficient without further user input. With a simple set up and a simple user interface, both on the frame itself and on the website, the Nixplay Cloud Frame is the standard for digital frames.