OLED screen technology could be the future for the television, but do you want/need it in a digital photo frame? Kodak think so with the launch of its OLED digital photo frame, but is it any good? We managed to get a play at the first public outing at Photokina in Germany.
Offering a 7-inch screen the first thing you'll notice, aside from the knock out price, is that it's incredibly bright and incredibly crisp. Like the OLED televisions I saw at IFA in Berlin in August, the screen is stunning.
That stunning screen means your pictures look stunning too and it's set well against the gloss black frame. The viewing angle is also nothing like any current digital picture frame - you really do have to see it to believe it. This knocks the socks off a regular photo frame with a printed image.
In an attempt to show off the thin OLED technology Kodak has shoved all the electronic gubbins in a box at the bottom of the unit (it doubles as the stand), and while it serves to show the screen's thinness, it's a bit of an awkward fit in my mind. Why not just have the gubbins behind and be done with it?
Controlled via touch-sensitive buttons that are hidden until the frame is touched, the relevant information for each button is displayed on screen rather than on the frame - it's actually just a blue light). This, as you can imagine, makes the frame simple and it's very similar in its performance and approach to the Toshiba frame (a good thing) that we played with earlier in the year.
Get past the hardware and the controls and like previous Kodak digital photo frames, the OLED variant here offers plenty beyond offering you a chance to view your images. Of course you can view slideshows, set the blend settings and even have music to play against your pictures if that's your thing. It's when you go beyond that, that the frame really starts to become useful.
Wi-Fi enabled, you can connect it to your home network and stream images from a Flickr account or the Kodak Easy Share gallery. You can also get RSS feeds from news sites so you can treat it as a news giver, as well as, the weather for the next 3 days forecast making this much more than just a chance to see your wedding photos or your mates down the pub. You can even watch movies on it turning it into a mini TV.
So we love it. It's the best digital photo frame we've ever seen here at Pocket-lint and it's jam packed with features. What's the catch then? Why aren't we saying that you should drop everything and run for the shops? Well the price is a little steep at the moment.
At £600 I don't know anyone who has got that kind of cash to burn on a 7-inch photo frame. For £600 you could buy a 32-inch LCD television and plug in your digital camera.
Still the one thing it does prove is that OLED really is the future for displays, and its not too far away. Start saving.