Millions of Digital Photo Frames are bought as gifts every year and Google Trends show that they’re especially popular around Christmas time, but how many get used … and how many sit there gathering dust in the gift recipients home/office?
Most people like them but a vocal minority think they’re a frivolous gadget, worthless rubbish which uses up power 24/7, doesn’t show photos at their full resolution quality and is far more expensive than the cost of a traditional wooden/metal photo picture frame including the cost of printing the photo.
The Australian consumer association Choice recently reviewed a number of digital photo frames and concluded that when they tested the first generation of frames the technology was new and raw – as evidenced by the low picture quality scores. Unfortunately, it would appear they haven’t improved much since.
None of the LCD photo frames tested by Choice had image quality that matched a photolab printout and they all suffered from a reduction of image quality as you viewed them from above and below or either side.
Comments by People Who Think Digital Picture Photo Frames are Not Worth Buying
Digital picture frames are the worst gadget out there, tacky garbage that I can’t imagine anyone would ever buy. But they do! These companies are all putting them out because you people are buying them by the truckload! They’re essentially little flat-panel TVs with no tuners and a crappy frame wrapped around them.
They then sit there, sucking up energy 24 hours a day, ruining our environment and making your living room look like the Fox News studio on the slowest news day in history – Adam Frucci on Gizmodo
It’s official: you people have no taste. How else to explain that 20 million digital photo frames are expected to be sold in 2008? Yes, 20,000,000 digital photo frames, the red-headed stepchildren of the consumer electronics world, will soon adorn the walls of McMansions in every backwater suburb in the country.
There’s no amount of functionality you can cram into a digital photo frame to make it a worthwhile product. Until e-ink reaches a point where it can be used in digital frames so they look like actual photographs and don’t suck up energy 24 hours a day, they’re just going to be glorified little computer displays that make your home look terrible. I don’t care that they can be updated from afar or play slideshows: they suck. Don’t waste your money on these things and encourage more companies to spam the marketplace with them, I beg you. You’re only hurting yourselves here, people – Adam Frucci on Gizmodo
And they’re tacky! I have a massive frame that was a gift still in it’s package in our spare room – such a waste of power.. – @KahleeRose commenting on Twitter
yes count me against those digital frame things, what a waste of the power of human thought! – @kcarruthers commenting on Twitter
Agree digital photo frames fail on all levels but marketing. Particularly with rise of netbooks. My Eee when idle does slideshows – @Hollingsworth commenting on Twitter
not a fan of digital frames, a printed image especially if hand printed b+w shows you really care about as much as how it was made – @jamopo commenting on Twitter
Let’s assume that the frame works as advertised, there’s a viewing angle question. I had an eStarling frame that had about a 10 degree viewing angle. Unless this thing was directly on my desk facing me, I could not place the frame in a convenient spot.
Sometimes it’s nice to turn down the lights to watch a movie. Don’t forget to turn the frame off. Oh, that’s right, they need to be placed near an electrical outlet, so you will probably have another wire to wrangle. If you don’t want to waste electricity during the night, you’ll also have to turn off the frame.
This may be one area where technological advances may not be so great. Printed pictures have great viewing angles, are cheap, and don’t crash. You don’t have to “operate” a regular picture and picture frame. If you know a geek and are planning to grab a frame for them, think twice. – Iyaz Akhtar on Gadgetall
Okay, let’s be honest here. Digital photo frames are a load of rubbish. They sit there consuming piles of energy, 24/7, and don’t actually look that brilliant – Duncan Geere on Techdigest.tv
I reckon it makes a crap present – I’ve got loads of gadgets but is definitely one I couldn’t be bothered using. MrsF was given one last Christmas for a present. I said she should give it to a friend as we were emigrating. She insisted on putting it in with our luggage. It’s sitting on a shelf gathering dust. If your friends don’t have one at this stage there’s probably a good reason why
couldn’t quite get why people bought them meself but from what I’m hearing it sounds more like people buy them as presents for others than as something for themselves. I’d always go with the motto – if it’s not something you’d buy for yourself then why do you think it’s suitable as a gift for someone else when it comes to gadgets like these!
– Various commentors on Askaboutmoney forum
The main reason why I haven’t bought a digital picture frame yet is because of its entirely unnecessary energy consumption. In a time where we need to be more conscious about how we “waste” our energy, a digital picture frame is the last thing that should be on our minds – Matthias Schreck commenting on the article Idea: The last product Polaroid should make
We got one as a present about 8 month and I think it’s been on for all of 3 hours since. Mainly because I feel terrible turning it on because it seems like such a waste of electricity.
I’m not a fan of the digital photo frames and I don’t want to buy one for my home. The reason why I don’t like them is I still like to have all my photos framed and displayed through the house and it’s another electrical appliance that I really don’t need!
I got one for christmas last year – turned it on for about an hour when i first opened it and since then it’s sat up on my bookshelf and hasn’t been turned on.
Apart from being a waste of power, I just think it looks **** with the cords hanging out of the back. As lots of you have said in here previously, photos that I display in frames are just like works of art to me.
So, I’d say don’t bother. Spend the money on some nice frames and enlarge some of your digital photos to stick in there. Sometimes the simple things are the best.
– Various commentors on Vogue Australia forum
To be honest I am puzzled as to why people buy these digital picture frames.
After all, for the price of them it would be far cheaper to buy a frame and put your chosen photo in it, and judging by the comments it would be a much clearer image. If/when you got tired of the photo you could just put another one in its place, simple.
– FatboySlim71 on the PCAdvisor UK forums