The Frameo Wi-Fi Picture Frame is a digital photo frame that people might actually want to enjoy. Simple to set up, with a reliable wireless feature, this digital photo frame holds up to 40,000 images. An ideal gift, the option to send images from a mobile app is particularly impressive. However, the lack of a battery means the power cable will always be a consideration when placing the frame.
- Remote photo sharing via companion mobile app
- 9-inch HD display
- 40,000 image capacity
- Touch screen display
- Supports importing images from SD card and USB
- Also plays video
- Display Size: 9-inch
- Storage: 16GB
- Connective Technology: Wi-Fi
- Brand: Frameo
- Easy to set up
- Mobile app is very easy to use
- No battery, so must remain powered up to display photos
- Importing images from SD and USB is slow
- Image captions and displayed date options are limited
Frameo Wi-Fi Picture Frame
Sending photos online is far easier than it was when you had to print them out and post them. But physical images that can be picked up and admired feel more authentic.
Frameo’s Wi-Fi Picture Frame could be the answer, a happy medium between the two options. Instead of emailing, Instagramming, or simply Facebooking your photos to friends and family, give the gift of a Frameo Wi-Fi Picture Frame.
All they need to do is unpack and mount the frame. Photos you have chosen will be displayed, and the mobile app lets you add to the gallery from anywhere.
What Is a Wi-Fi Picture Frame?
Picture frames displaying single photographs are yesterday’s news. Well, that’s what Frameo would have you believe, and to be honest, they might be on to something.
A few years ago I knocked up my own digital photo frame, using a small Raspberry Pi computer and a compact 7-inch display. The results were surprisingly good, providing a slowly-rotating slideshow of memorable photos. In fact, it was better than anything you could buy.
Frameo’s new Wi-Fi picture frame offers a similar experience. But while this is an all-in-one plug-and-play experience requiring very little setup, it has an amazing extra feature. With the Frameo Wi-Fi Picture Frame, you can remotely dispatch photos to the frame via a mobile app. Need to subtly remind your loved ones that it’s your birthday? Just send an image of you wearing a party hat and wait for it to be noticed.
Or even a video; it will play those too, complete with sound.
Is It Secure? What About Ads?
The Frameo Wi-Fi Picture Frame offers a simple setup and mobile app for remote management. But what about the risk of adverts popping up between photos? Can anyone see the photos you’re sharing?
Thankfully, the developers have established a secure method of sending images to the picture frame from across the internet. It requires the Frameo mobile app and a unique 10-digit code.
Using this ensures that the correct picture frame is the recipient of images sent in this way. There are no ads.
Frameo Device Specification
Weighting just 385 grams, the Frameo Wi-Fi Picture Frame has a 9-inch touch screen, surrounded by a black bezel, measuring 23 x 16cm. At first glance, appears to be a traditional picture frame.
Images are displayed on a 1280 x 800 IPS HD display, managed by a quad-core Cortex TM-A7 CPU with 1GB or DDR3 RAM. It runs on a modified Android 6.0.1. You’ll find 16GB of storage built-in to the device, allowing for a considerable number of images (40,000 based on 300Kb files) and videos to be stored. If for some reason this is not enough, the storage can be expanded up to 64GB through microSD.
The Frameo Wi-Fi Picture Frame ships with a USB mains adapter, a stand, and a manual. For testing purposes, we were sent a 32GB Kingston microSD card and adapter.
Looking from the front, the slot for the microSD is found along the right-hand side of the frame, behind the bezel. This is also where the USB 2.0 port is found, along with a headphone jack, and DC power port. A power button is mounted on the rear pane; to the left of this is a speaker, while the stand can be screwed into position in the opposite corner. The Frameo Wi-Fi Picture Frame also features a wall mounting hole.
(The device also has a micro-USB port, but this is reserved for technicians and cannot be used for media importing or exporting.)
The Frameo Mobile App
Providing control over the Frameo Wi-Fi Picture Frame is the Frameo app, available for Android or iPhone. This requires you to create a profile and allows you to manage one or more Frameo Wi-Fi Picture Frames.
Once you have established a target device, the app lets you browse through all images on your phone. It will also include video files, as these can also be shared.
Setting Up the Frameo Wi-Fi Picture Frame
As there is no battery, you will need to plug the Frameo Wi-Fi Picture Frame into a power source. Powering up the Frameo for the first time prompts a “love is sharing” legend and accompanying animation. You’re then warned not to disconnect power when Frameo is running, before commencing with the setup procedure.
The option to restore a backup is also presented here, but for first time use, the Frameo Wi-Fi Picture Frame requires a network connection, the correct language, timezone, and any pending updates to be installed. Once this is done, the Frameo must be named.
Quick note: text entry is via an Android software keyboard, with an irritating “tap tap tap” accompanying your typing. There is no obvious way to disable this.
With the basics set up, you get to choose who can send photos to the device. This employs a code generation system that you can share with friends and family. If you’re gifting the photo frame to a relative, you might want to set it up in advance with your own code.
This is quite a good system that underlines the secure philosophy behind the Frameo Wi-Fi Picture Frame. You simply tap Add friend to display the code, then press the matching icon in the mobile app and enter the code. It’s easy.
Once paired up, use the app to find a photo to share and tap the red arrow to send it. You can adjust the subject of the image, so it remains in the center of the image in both portrait and landscape modes. Once the image is sent, the Frameo plays a chime notification when it is received, and by default automatically displays the image.
Note that videos can also be sent in the same way. Clips are limited to 15 seconds and naturally take longer to send.
How Easy Is it to Manage Photos on the Frameo?
Remotely sending photos to the Frameo Wi-Fi Picture Frame is the easiest option. As long as the device is connected to a wireless network, it will work pretty seamlessly. But other options are available. Inserting a USB stick or SD card holding images will prompt a “Looking for external storage” message to be displayed. The import photos option opens a menu (also available by tapping the screen, opening Settings, then Manage photos > Import photos).
I found the best option here is to store photos in a folder on the SD card rather than in the root. You may also find that accessing the SD card is more successful after rebooting the digital photo frame. Note that images cannot be opened directly from inserted media.
Overall, I found the “manual” sharing of photos from SD card and USB to be sluggish. “Beaming” the chosen photos from your phone across the internet to the target photo frame is far more efficient.
When photos are being displayed, they can be swiped through, left-to-right or right-to-left. Behind the scenes, brightness can be adjusted, sleep mode timings revised, and slideshow settings managed. Photo order can be changed, the timer for each photo adjusted from 1 sec to 24 hours, and captions toggled.
Where Can You Place the Frameo?
As noted above, the Frameo has a screw-in kickstand, making it perfect for placing on a shelf or cabinet. However, the length of the kickstand makes it less suitable for situating on a fire mantelpiece. It is adequately positioned to be useful in both portrait (upright) and landscape (horizontal) modes. The Frameo Wi-Fi Picture Frame will automatically rotate the image when required.
For narrower ledges and mounting on walls, the Frameo has a mounting point. This lets you hang it on a hook or screw, although you will need to find somewhere for the cables to run. It is also worth placing it somewhere that is easy to reach.
The lack of a battery is a bit of a problem. After all, who wants an unsightly cable running up the wall? You could consider hiding the power cable in the wall, but I can’t help think that’s overkill for what is essentially a hi-tech but lightweight family gift.
Placing the Frameo Wi-Fi Picture Frame within easy reach of a power source seems the best option.
A Great Tech Gift for People Who Don’t Want Tech Gifts
Easy to set up and use, the Frameo Wi-Fi Picture Frame has a couple of minor niggles that are worth sharing.
It runs an old version of Android, and while this isn’t in itself a problem, that makes it feel a bit cheap. A modern Android release or even a custom OS would have felt more polished.
While sending images over mobile is excellent, videos are slower and don’t play instantly. Meanwhile, importing images from attached storage is slow, sadly.
The lack of a battery is frustrating, and the relatively short 1.5-meter power cable is inadequate for flexible positioning. While images look good on the IPS display, some user interface choices are odd. For example, the pop-up menu “bubble” is easy on the eye, but images by default display the date they were sent, rather than the day the photo was taken.
While images sent over the internet can have a caption added, it’s trickier when importing from SD or USB. In this case, you need to go into the Frameo’s Android interface and manually add a caption in the Adjust Photo menu.
But swiping through the images is easy enough, it reliably connects to wireless networks, and the mobile app is a great feature. Suitable for all ages, the Frameo Wi-Fi Picture Frame is the best digital photo frame I’ve seen yet.