Parrot Digital Photo Frame by Andree Putman
Design over function
- Unique design, excellent Bluetooth implementation, well-designed user interface
- Some odd design choices, frame display is comparatively small, proprietary non-detachable power cable
Whereas some manufacturers are fitting as many features as possible into photo frames in order to attract attention, Parrot has opted to emphasise design. The result is a nice frame with some quirks. Still, with excellent Bluetooth implementation and a design that will match modern decor, this is a hard frame to pass up.
Price$ 399.00 (AUD)
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From Porsche-designed mobiles to Lego-inspired hard drives, manufacturers have tried numerous times over the years to improve the aesthetics of electronic devices. The Parrot Wireless Digital Photo Frame by Andree Putman certainly isn’t perfect but its design and functionality make it a great frame.
Media support is limited to SD and MMC cards, as well as a mini-USB port for direct photo transfer. The frame has a fairly limited 10MB of internal storage which is best saved for Bluetooth transfers. File format support is limited to JPEG and GIF photos, with no video or audio support. The frame isn’t as technologically advanced as the Shogo, but the inclusion of Bluetooth does distinguish it from most other frames.
Design is clearly this photo frame’s focus. The frame’s 6.2in display is comparatively small for a digital photo frame, but it is still viewable at any reasonable distance. Unfortunately, the surrounding bezel, a black plastic and clear glass frame which spans a full 11in, makes the display look even smaller. Still, if ever there has been a digital photo frame that will match modern decor this is definitely it.
Odd design choices aren’t limited to the display — the frame doesn’t come with a remote. Rather, all of the frame’s menus and functions are controlled by three buttons on the back of the frame. Thankfully, it has a well-designed menu that is easy to navigate.
The power cord is an odd choice, too: a permanently attached 3.5mm headphone jack that fits in a proprietary power supply. The power button is on the cord itself, in a style similar to a table lamp. Unfortunately, the design here is marred by the fact that Parrot has seen fit to package the standard US plug along with an Australian adaptor, an odd design move that makes for an ugly appearance.
The frame’s user interface manages to combine design and function. The menu doesn’t interrupt the slideshow, but rather appears on the bottom portion of the screen; a simple design that works extremely well. Photo editing functions are limited to simple rotation, but we’re not fussed in this regard — most users are unlikely to touch-up their family photos on a digital photo frame!
We have often lamented the immaturity of digital photo frames' implementation of Bluetooth. With Parrot’s frame, the technology has come of age; this is possibly the best implementation we’ve seen of the wireless technology. Unlike AVLabs’ 11in Bluetooth Widescreen Digital Photo Frame, which suffered from poor transfer speeds and convoluted set up, the Parrot frame is extremely easy to use in this regard. The frame is easily paired with a Bluetooth-equipped laptop or phone. Transmitting photos does not interrupt a slideshow; instead, the photo is discretely saved to the frame’s internal memory and displayed once transmission is complete. The process is the best we’ve seen and gives us a new sense of hope in regards to the combination of Bluetooth and digital photo frames.
The frame’s display is fairly good, but it isn’t the best we’ve seen. There are no colour aberrations, and no sign of pixilation even on high-resolution pictures. It isn’t the most accurate when it comes to colours, but it does a good enough job so that even keen eyes won’t notice from a reasonable viewing distance.
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