My mum lives in Massachusetts, I once bought her a digital photo frame 8 years ago. Recently, when I visited her, she told me the digital frame was still working well, but each time when she wanted to see new photos from family members who lived in different states, she needed to download photos from computer to a SD card, then, plug in the DPF to display, it is not an easy for a senior. So, I decided to buy a Wi-Fi or cloud frame for my mum.
When I searched Amazon, I found three brands for wireless DPF, they are Nixplay, Pix-Star and Sungale. I am a little bit surprised to see that both of Nixplay and Pix-Star both of them have thousands of positive reviews, while Sungale has just few reviews because I know Sungale is the first manufacturer in the DPF industry about 13 years ago. What has happened? I decided to spent time to do a research, my comparison is as follows.
Operating – IR RC or Motion Sensor RC
Sungale claims its 7” and 10” are with touch screen, and 14” and 19” are with a remote control (RC), both Nixplay and Pix-Star are using RC to operate the frames. Further exploring, I found Nixplay and Pix-Star are using a regular IR remote control, when you do registration or do setting selections, you need to press on the RC’s navigation keys, each time move one space to find the letter you want to input, it is absolutely not friendly to users. It spent me 15 minutes to link to Wi-Fi and to do the registration (I bought a Nixplay’s frame too). Sungale is using a motion sensor RC, point to the screen, move your hand, you can select anything, just like you input on your keyboard, it is much more convenient.
It seems that the set up of all these three brands similar, you need to link to Wi-Fi firstly, then, register the frame to the server. All they are easy for users who know how to link their computer to internet by Wi-Fi. Sungale’s QSG (Quick Start Guide) packed with the frame looks complicated, but when I went to the supporting place on www.sungale.com, I find an updated QSG, it is very clear and simple, follow it, I finished setup in 2 minutes.
Sungale’s old QSG is 16 pages, too complicated.
The new QSG is on one page, simple and clear.
The Pix-Star’s QSG is simple and clear too.
See below screenshots, Sungale has more direct interface, I like it.
Nixplay’s Interface Pix-Star’s Interface
Sungale’s Interface, Simple & Direct
By my eyes distinguishing, I can see the particles clearly on Pix-star and Nixplay’s screens, while Sungale’s image is much fine.
Pix-Star is using Linux OS, the interface is fine and good enough, but, as you may know, Linux is too old, it has no potential to add any new features. Both Nixplay and Sungale are using Android OS. Nixplay blocked most functions of Android and left only photo function to users, while Sungale’s design is a multifunction frame, besides local photo, online photo and cloud album, it allows user to watch local video and online videos too. You can connect to your social media accounts, open YouTube and browser, even you can open Play Store to download apps, such as Netflix to watch movei, to extend the usage of the frame.
Pix-Star does not have backend cloud support, the photos sent to the frame are stored in the frame’s internal memory instead of stored in cloud storage, which means it cannot contain too many photos, so, it is a Wi-Fi digital photo frame. Both Nixplay and Sungale provide backend cloud storage support. Furthermore, since its single function attribute, Nixplay’s cloud storage can store and display photo files only, while Sungale’s cloud storage can store various types of documents such as Word, Excel, PPT, PDF, MP4…
All these three brands need to register, the reason, I think, is the server needs some information to distinguish each user and to provider supports. Following the frame screen’s prompt and instruction, each of them is easy to manage.
An interesting feature of Sungale’s cloud frame is communication. I opened Play Store, downloaded and installed Skype, input my mum’s account info. Then, I used my cell phone to call my mum’s frame, the frame’s screen lightening up, it appeared I am calling, when I mum picked up the call, we started a video call. It is a real-time video call, it is not a voice message or a video record. The video and voice quality is so good, it is beyond of my expectation, it should be due to the progress of optical fiber communication hardware in US. I just wonder why Sungale did not take this feature as a main marketing feature to advertise, you know this is a FREE real-time video talk.
Smart Phone APP
Both Sungale and Nixplay have their free app on Google’s Play Store and Apple’s App Store. I tried Sungale’s app, quite simple and easy.
In view of above, I believe Sungale’s cloud frame is the best one, I selected it, I give 5 stars to Sungale’s cloud frame.