In a digital age where we are able to take photos at a rapid pace — and we do — it’s hard to keep our photo frames up to date. With small children, I found myself noticing how quickly our printed photos were out of date and would find myself printing news ones every few months as my babies got older… and then I found that I got lazy and stopped altogether, leaving newborn photos of my daughter up on the wall. She’s almost two now, a whole new face and personality, but because photos are a moment in time, they obviously didn’t grow with her. That’s where Nixplay Smart Photo Frame comes in. Though it obviously can’t make photos that grow with us, they did make a frame that could.
Nixplay Smart Photo Frames have brought photo lovers into the digital age. This isn’t your basic digital photo frame, the kind where you have to wrangle an SD card and swap out the photos. These frames come with Wi-Fi, letting you to access the photos displayed easily from your cell phone or Google Photos. You can create different “playlists” and even include videos. It allows you to create a standard or dynamic playlist. Standard playlists are ones you create and organize yourself from your phone, whereas dynamic playlists automatically sync with your Google Photos library.
The frame comes with a remote for easy access, but you can also control it via the Nixplay app on your phone. I really enjoyed this option, however, if you are a mom like me, you have over 1000 photos to sort through on your phone in order to make your playlists. It was a little overwhelming because you can only choose 100 photos per playlist. I thought it would just sync to my photos and play through them, but instead I had to choose the specific ones I wanted. It made for a nicer playlist though, since it forced me to choose photos I really liked, because as parents we all know we have 30 of the same photo when we’re trying to get that perfect smile out of both our kids at the same time, this made me choose thoughtfully! My solution here was to create a separate album on my phone for pictures I wanted to add to the playlist, and then once I was in the app, go directly to the folder so I wouldn’t have to search. I was disappointed to find there wasn’t a “select all” button that I could use, instead I had to click 100 little boxes. A small complaint, but a tiny addition that could do wonders.
I really enjoyed the sleek design of the black version of the photo frame, though it’s also available in a wood effect and comes in three sizes, 9.7-inch, 10.1-inch (the size I chose) and 15.- inch. To me, the 9.7-inch would have been a better size for my desk, whereas 10.1-inch is good for home decor, and I’d recommend the 15.6 to be hung. The Nixplay Smart Photo Frame has a uniquely designed back. The stand slides off to allow for wall mounting, and it has a slot inside to plug the frame in. When sitting on a desk, the cord plugs directly into the end of the frame stand, which I thought was fun, though it took me a minute to find it.
There are no buttons or switches anywhere on the frame, which allows it to blend into any home design well. All you can see on the front of the frame are two small black squares, sensors that allow the frame to turn on whenever someone is in the room. The settings in the Nixplay app also allow you to set up a sleep schedule, so you can tell the frame what time of day to turn on and off, perfect if you place it in a bedroom, or simply don’t want to waste power. The app also allows playlist customization, like adding photo captions or randomizing the photos and the transitions between them. I personally enjoyed the clock feature on the frame, displaying both date and time, but that can also be turned off in the app if you’re looking for a more classic style photo frame.
I have nothing but good things to say about the Nixplay Smart Photo Frame in terms of how it looks and performs, however, I do have an issue with the price. The regular price of the 9.7-inch frame is $369.99, the 10.1-inch is a slightly more reasonable $229.99, with the 15.6 inch coming in at $359.99. Though the Nixplay official site does promote their product with sales (currently $50 off of one, or $120 off more than one as I’m writing this), I can guarantee there is no way in my right mind I would purchase a photo frame at this sort of price point, no matter what sort of tricks it does. The prices are comparable to Smart TVs larger than the frames, or even some gaming consoles. I cannot justify the product for the price, especially as a parent on a budget.
On top of the outrageous price, Nixplay also offers a monthly subscription, Nixplay Plus. I did not get a chance to test this out, but they offer it for a reasonable $4.99 a month, or $49.99 for the year. Those prices I can get behind, it’s less that a subscription to Uber Eats or your favourite Twitch streamer. The club offers up the ability to connect up to 10 frames, though I think this service should be free, especially with the cost of the frames. The service also allows for video clips up to one minute, comes with an extended warranty, family-sized storage and private, grouped playlists. The app also states that Nixplay Plus allows you to receive up to 80% off of Nixplay products, but they are only able to be shipped within the US. Honestly, I don’t see a benefit to the subscription for my personal needs, but if you do, it’s affordable at least.
I can recommend the Nixplay Smart Photo Frame to someone with a limitless budget, but even then, I feel it may be a waste. As happy as I was with the product, there is much more complicated technology available for a fraction of the price. Even with the money you’d be saving on purchasing frames and printing photos, it would never come near this in price. I do believe the product could be amazing for growing families, but I think Nixplay needs to come out with a budget friendly option, or their product won’t be able to gain traction in that sort of demographic. For price, and price alone, I do not believe the Nixplay Smart Photo Frame delivers a product that is worth it.