Parrot digital photo frame by Andree Putman

Parrot's latest digital photo frame attempts to emulate LG and Samsung by going designer, but is the premium you'll have to pay in the price worth the bother? We take a closer look.

Designed by Andree Putman, a French designer that you've probably never heard of, the focus is on creating a photo frame that you would want in your home rather than one that is packed with technical goodies.

With that in mind the glossy frame is stylish in its look and feel, although made from plastic rather than the glass we were expecting from a our first sighting.

At the centre of the frame is a small but crisp 7-inch LCD screen and the frame can be stood vertically or horizontally with the image automatically rotating depending on the orientation. There is a screw in stand or the option to hang on the wall.

Power is provided via a gaudy white cable with no option of a battery so it's something that you have got to live with.

Although build quality of the frame is poor, our brand new review unit had lots of dust and dirt trapped between the frame and screen that we couldn't remove, the screen quality was very good.

Images can be transferred to the frame in three different ways, USB connection, SD Card or sticking with Parrot’s core offering, Bluetooth. The Bluetooth is incredibly easy to do and allows you to transfer images from your phone to the frame with a press of a few buttons.

Likewise the SD card slot allows you to transfer your images from your digital camera, although it is disappointing that there is no CompactFlash slot or option for other media like Olympus and Fujifilm's xD-Picture cards to work here.

Finally there is USB connectivity so you can transfer images from your computer on to the device's 64MB of internal memory that is enough to store, according to Parrot, around 400 images although they would have to be very small indeed (our DSLR images are normally 4MB a piece giving a tally of around 16).

Surprisingly given the price - £250 - there is no Wi-Fi connectivity meaning you won't be able to stream images from your Flickr or other account to the frame remotely.

Controls are via three buttons on the back of the unit and allow for basic functionality. You can have a time displayed on the frame if you wish and the sideshow offers images a small range of different transitions like fade and checkerboard, as well as being able to set the time the slide is displayed for, however like other frames this option only goes up to 1 hour in length.

Verdict

Yes it is a good-looking minimalist frame, but as with a lot of things "designed" there is a strong chance that it might not be for you.

Likewise unless you really know French designer Andree Putman, then bragging to your friends that you've bought something that is designed by her isn't really going to help you justify the extra expense.

Couple that with the fact that this is a photo frame that is twice the price of the competition, but without the inclusion of the a larger screen and latest tech like Wi-Fi, CompactFlash slot or battery and it comes across as overhyped and expensive.


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