Be honest: just how often do you get round to printing out family photos? If you’re anything like me, they stay on your phone, your pc, memory sticks….anywhere but in a frame for your family and visitors to see. So I was intrigued when I was asked to review a Nixplay Seed 10.1 inch widescreen Wi-Fi frame. How would it compare to having a physical photo, on display?
Nixplay sent me a Seed for the purpose of this review. All views are my own.
What is a Nixplay Seed?
Nixplay make a range of digital photo frames. Just like a regular photo frame, they display pictures of your choice. The difference is that you upload the pictures to the frame via the Nixplay app. Instead of just one photo, the Nixplay Seed 10.1 inch widescreen can store up to 20,000 images. It has 8GB of storage, and can even play videos of up to 15 seconds.
The Nixplay Seed shows photos and videos on rotation, selected in order or at random from playlists that you create yourself. You don’t use a memory card for the Nixplay Seed. It connects to your home WiFi network, and photos are sent to it wirelessly from the Nixplay app on your mobile.
A little remote control lets you control options like volume of videos, and speed of play. We set ours to change every ten minutes, much to my son’s dismay. He wanted it to be at the 10-second setting, but I preferred to have a slower, less eye-catching image rotation.
The Nixplay looks a bit like a tablet, and you can stand it in portrait or landscape orientation. Much like a smartphone, an accelerometer automatically rotates the screen to make sure images are displayed the right way up. A rather funky adjustable flex-cord holds the photo frame up like a stand. The flex-cord plugs into a power cable leading into your electrical wall socket.
As well as the 10.1 inch widescreen, the Nixplay Seed comes in 8-inch, regular 10-inch and 13.3 inch widescreen versions. Our 10.1 inch widescreen displayed images in in 16:10 High Resolution.
What did we think of the Nixplay Seed?
I was impressed with the quality of the images displayed through the Nixplay Seed. They were clear and bright – much sharper and more eye-catching than the printed photos displayed in the other photo frames in our house. The quality of the video playback was also good, and the sound was decent. Although it didn’t come close to the depth and resonance of the tones coming out of our TV or music speakers, it was better than a phone.
One thing that might concern me with an electronic-based frame would be the energy consumption. But the Nixplay Seed switches itself off when nobody’s in the room, through a device Nixplay calls the Hu-motion sensor. This built-in motion detector senses when there’s movement. If it doesn’t detect any motion, it switches off until someone comes into the room. You can set how long the device waits before switching itself off – eg if it doesn’t sense motion for 10 minutes, off it goes. You can also set a sleep schedule, to make sure the frame stays off all night, if that’s what you want.
I did think that having an electronic picture frame sitting in the corner of the room might be a little distracting – just one more flickering screen to add to the TV, phones, laptops and pcs in our house. But with the transition time set to a longer period, it was a restful feature to have in the room. The transitions between different photos were relaxed and gentle, ranging from fades and swipes to pixellations and image rotations.
The black frame did look smart, but I think I might have preferred the wood effect, as this would have made the photo frame look less like a tablet.
The Nixplay Seed would make a good gift
One thing I particularly liked about the Nixplay Seed was the fact that, through the Nixplay app, you could invite other people to add pictures and videos. It was a bit like a mini social network, showing who from your list of ‘friends’ had uploaded photos. They could even add captions. This would make it ideal for, say, a Christmas present for someone you want to keep in touch with. Set-up was easy and swift, with on-screen instructions and a small instruction booklet that I barely needed. The set rebooted itself a few times, but other than that, the digital photo frame sprung into life almost immediately. Setup would be straightforward even for people unused to technology.
So long as your Nixplay app was paired with the digital photo frame belonging to your friend or family member, and they had WiFi switched on, you could send them little greetings videos, or the latest snaps from your phone. These would then play on their Nixplay. Imagine how nice it would be to have a video message from a loved one just popping up in your living room!
Have you used a digital photo frame? What did you think of it?
The Nixplay was an excellent way to keep in touch. But if you’re looking for a way to share photos with a loved one who doesn’t have WiFi at home, then I recommend Neveo as an alternative to a digital photo frame. You can read about Neveo here.