The Internet age has ushered in amazing digital and high quality smartphone cameras that are always connected to the cloud. As someone who has snapped over 10,000 photos with various smartphones over the years, I rarely get to see my favorite pics a second or third time. I have always wanted a way to display them in my home. Photo frames were supposed to help with this, but who wants to load a memory stick with new photos each time? That’s why the nice people at Nixplay have engineered their eight-inch Cloud Frame solution.
The Cloud Frame from Nixplay connects to the Internet through a wireless network in the home or office. Setting everything up only took a few minutes. Turning on the device prompts a WiFi connection and if needed, a passcode screen. It then connects to the Internet and immediately checks for new firmware. This is necessary so all of the latest features are installed without having to directly connect it to a computer.
The update takes about a minute and then displays an activation code. This is where a computer is needed to finish the setup and create slide shows of photos for the Cloud Frame. Nixplay’s website asks that you setup a free account, input the activation code and it then sends a confirmation word to the Cloud Frame. That special word is confirmed on the company’s website to provide a second layer of security.
As the setup process finishes, the frame’s default action screen is displayed. The options are to play slideshows, browse slideshows, a USB and SD memory card option and a settings icon. This device does not have a touch screen as to keep fingerprints from reducing the quality of the photos displayed.
It comes with a small remote control that one might find packaged with a small speaker system. I’ve used it a few times to turn the frame on and off and have found that the automatic motion sensor works best to keep things totally hands free. If you loose the small remote control, there are buttons easily accessible on the back.
My photos on its 800×600 pixel screen were accurately rendered with enough contrast and brightness for all of the filters I had applied to them. Jump cut and cross fade photo transitions with an option to shuffle pictures in the slideshows are offered to keeps things fresh. Standard photos that are not cropped display fine on the Cloud Frame, but Instagram images are square and will show black bars on each side. To help with this, an option to fill the screen with the photo exists, but know the images might look skewed when square shots are displayed.
Uploading new photos to it is as easy as visiting Nixplay’s website and selecting the shots from Instagram, Facebook or Google Photos. Move the selected pics into a slide show linked to the Cloud Frame. Only one social network photo account per Nixplay account worked when I was testing the system, but they may update this in the future to accommodate multiple users on Instagram for instance.
A popular use case of a remotely accessible photo frame is that it could be setup in a business, parent’s home, grandparent’s home, or anyone who may not want to deal with changing photos manually. A highly requested feature of emailing photos directly to the gadget should be available by the time you read this review. An iPhone and Android app are also in the works. The Nixplay team is currently working on a solution to stream all new photos from an Instagram account, Facebook photo album or Google Photos onto the device.
Nix Digital offers a range of other digital photo frames without a connection to the cloud. Their largest offering is 18 inches and would be amazing if future versions all came with a wireless connection to their online system. For now, black is the only color that the eight-inch Cloud Frame comes in.
The Nixplay Cloud Frame is priced at $99.99 and comes with a free Nixplay account. It includes enough storage to save 5,000 HD optimized photos on a secure Amazon server plus 10 slideshows for one device. The Nixplay plus account offers everything that a standard account has plus 20 GB of secure storage for originally sized photos, 50 slideshows and support for up to five linked Cloud Frames. They will be adding a printing service in the future, so it’s recommend to store your photos in their original quality, via their plus account, to ensure the best print. The premium service fee displays when you are logged into an account at Nixplay. Their website was easy to navigate and the Cloud Frame has worked well for weeks.
Price: $99.99 – However, for a limited time, the Nixplay Cloud Frame is available at Amazon.com for $69.99.
- WiFi enabled and sets up in a few minutes.
- Works with Instagram, Facebook photo albums and Google Photos.
- It has a bright screen, a motion sensor and comes with a small remote control.
- Set it up once and the Nixplay web account helps with the rest.
- Antenna extends from the back, which may not fit on smaller mantels.
- Square Instagram photos have black bars on each side.
- No apps to update slideshows while mobile.
- Photos do not yet automatically update on the Cloud Frame when uploaded to Instagram, Facebook or Google Photos.
Disclosure: I received a Nixplay Cloud Frame at no cost for review. I did not receive compensation for this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.