Digital photo frames are something of a niche market. Some folks don’t want or need them, and others would love to have one. Those who would love to have one obviously desire to display their photos or art for others to see. The Brookstone PhotoShare Smart Frame can accomplish this in style.
With the Brookstone PhotoShare Smart Frame, you’re able to send photos directly to the Smart Frame via its app, Google Photos, and more. You can also have others send photos to the frame. If you’re looking for a modern look, you can change the frames out to either black, white, or even frameless. Read on for the full review.
The Brookstone PhotoShare Smart Frame we reviewed has the following features and specifications:
- Display: 10.1″ (8″ and 14″ models available)
- Resolution: 1080p
- Storage: 8GB
- Color: Black
- Dimension: 14.86 x 10.6 x 2.16 inches
- Weight: 3.1lbs
- Send photos and messages from your phone, email, PC, Google Photos, or a link from Facebook.
- Create your own personal photo and message social network with your closest friends and family.
- Multiple photos may be sent up to 10 PhotoShare frames at once.
- SD and USB support.
- Clock and calendar
- Freestanding and wall mountable
- Auto-dim with built-in ambient light sensor automatically adjusts the brightness of the display to match the lighting in the room.
What’s in the box
- Photo Share smart frame
- A/C charger
- White matte traditional frame
Even though this is a Smart Frame, it looks similar to any other frame you can purchase from a Walmart or Target store. You have an outer wide portion that can be removed to change out to either the white or black inner frame to match your walls or your room’s theme. Inside the outer frame is, of course, the actual display that shows each photo.
Looking at the back of the PhotoShare Smart Frame, you’ll see a power button along with some connectivity ports. There’s an SD card slot, USB slot, Micro USB port, and the DC barrel port for power. Around the four corners are styrofoam plugs that block screws that require a flathead screwdriver to be removed. Removing these screws allows you to change out the black or white frames.
The PhotoShare Smart Frame also comes with a stand that you have to put together. Once attached, it lets you place the picture frame on a stand or table. If you’re one to hang your frames, there is a slot in the back of the frame for wall mounting.
Overall, the frame is well constructed and looks stylish, no matter where it is placed.
The display size of our review sample is 10.1-inches with a 1080p resolution. You can also get the frame in 14- and 8-inch sizes as well. Given that the PhotoShare Smart Frame is larger than a smartphone display and has lower pixel density, images are not as crisp as you’d view them on a smartphone. It’s not horrible, but you can tell the difference in quality when transferring from a smartphone to this digital frame.
Colors do look decent, whites are bright, and blacks aren’t washed out or gray. Overall, this display isn’t a high-end panel, but it will do the job, and most people won’t notice when viewed from a distance — or care to pixel peep at the resolution.
The PhotoShare Smart Frame comes with an app available on both Android and iOS called “Photo-Share Frame.” The app walks you through the setup process such as creating an account if you don’t have one already, entering in the Frame ID you’ll find in the Smart Frame settings, and naming the frame.
After getting everything set up, the application is fairly simple to use. Select which frame you want (if you have more than one), then select each photo you want to send to the frame. All the pictures in your gallery for the device you’re using will show up. Press the “send” button, and each picture, up to 50 at once, will be sent.
Each photo you send to the Smart Frame shows up and starts looping in order. You’ll also hear a chime for every photo you send over, which can become annoying especially if you end up sending 50 photos at once. The chime can be turned off through the settings menu of the picture frame, so I would suggest turning that off first before you start transferring photos.
Another fun feature is that if someone else installs the app and you give them access to the Frame ID, they can also send pictures to your frame. It’s an easy way for friends and family to send you recent photos without you having to save and upload the pictures yourself.
As for software, it’s running a skinned version of Android. You’re able to check the settings menu and connect to Wi-Fi, set the alarm, select which photos to play, choose to load from a USB/SD card, and more.
Based on the PhotoShare Smart Frame’s performance, it receives photos quickly and shows them promptly. There is about a 5-second delay before pictures start to show up once the frame is left idle.
The Brookstone PhotoShare Smart Frame has an MSRP of US$199.99, which is a bit steep for a digital photo frame. However, the good news is that it’s currently on sale at Amazon for US$114.99.
While you may find it to be pricey at regular price, it is pretty decently priced on sale. Which brings me back to this device being in a niche market. For those who are looking for a digital photo frame, well, the PhotoShare Smart Frame is going to be a great choice. For those who are on the fence, the price tag may still be too much.
For what it’s worth, there is also an 8″ model that is currently priced at US$104.99.
If you can get the Brookstone PhotoShare Smart Frame on sale, it is not a bad product to have. If you’re one for digital photo frames, this one makes it super easy for you — and your friends and family — to update from various sources.