BT eFrame 200 photo frame review

Digital picture frames have been around for some years now and come in all shapes, sizes and functions. With the technology trickling through to the masses, BT has got in on the act. But does this stand out from the crowd?

The BT eFrame 200 offers a 7-inch digital display to show off your family snaps. The frame follows the trend of offering slots for SD, MMC, MS Pro and standard USB sticks, as well as 128MB of internal memory. It is worth bearing in mind that if you plan to use a USB stick, it needs to be small, or it will form an unsightly protrusion at the side of your lovely frame.

You don’t need a computer to use the frame, it works straight out of the box and combined with the remote control, it is simple to run a slideshow of your favourite photos. The buttons on the top of the unit allow direct control, but the remote is by far the easiest option.

Moving on to looks, the rear body of the frame is formed from white plastic, but the front does comes with two options – black and brushed aluminium – to fit into your home décor. Frames are fairly simple things and there is little to go wrong with design, which is perhaps why a few small details niggle. Firstly there is a small hole in the changeable covers for the remote control sensor, which spoils the clean look. Secondly, the ubiquitous blue light returns with a vengeance. This time it is mounted on the top facing backwards. During the day this isn’t a problem, but dim the room lights and against a white wall you have a small blue smear up the wall.

The frame also supports MP3 and MJPEG so you can play music and video, not really a preferred option for either, but may be of use in passing. There is another minor foible, which is the "gadget whine". If you have the frame in a quiet room, like your study, you’ll notice a quiet background whine whenever the frame is on, which gets irritating after a while.

As to the display itself, we found it bright and a good representation of the images put into it, pretty much standard fare for frames of this type. One passing visitor did comment that it looked good, so we can offer no complaints in this department, until you get too close, when things get pretty grainy.

We were surprised but a few glitches that we can only assume are software-based: occasionally the on/off button was unresponsive or would power on after being turned off. Also, sometimes the picture was not displayed centrally on the frame, so it wrapped around with a strip of the image at the wrong end of the photo.

Verdict

If you are looking for a picture frame then there are plenty of options. The price is fairly typical for a frame with these features, but there are cheaper options on the market, so it is worth shopping around to get the looks you want. The background whine is a concern and ultimately, combined with a few questionable design features and software problems, leaves the frame feeling somewhat average.