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Customer Review

490 of 494 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best value photo frame by some way, 30 Nov. 2007
This review is from: Samsung 7" High Resolution Digital Photo Frame (SPF-72H) (Camera)
We spent an afternoon trawling through PC World, Dixons, Currys, Comet and other high street stores with our own SD card of images, testing photo frames from Philips, Kodak and all the unknowns (Digiview, Advent, Logik, Cibox, Linx). We literally set alarm bells ringing all over town but it was worth it. The Samsung was the clear winner.

Firstly, it's well built and well designed - I was expecting something better from the 7" Kodak SV-710 but its frame, though well designed, uses lower quality materials and ended up looking a little cheap in comparison to the Samsung's. Samsung has taken a leaf from Apple's book when it comes to product design, build and packaging - definitely a good thing.

Second, this was the only frame we tested that got every one of the following things right without ANY fiddling with settings and menus: we put our photo card in and switched it on and it just played, no questions asked; it never, ever stretched an image so that its proportions were incorrect; it correctly identified and dealt with landscape and portrait images. (A note for the technically minded: it recognised EXIF-only rotations. Don't worry if you don't know what that means but if you do, you'll know why it's important.)

All this doesn't seem like a lot to ask of a photo frame but some of its competitors seemed to be designed by computer engineers for other computer engineers. My mother is not a computer engineer.

Third, and perhaps most important: the resolution of 800 x 480 is high by the standards of today's 7" photo frames (as of December 2007) and that advantage is very clearly visible. Faces are clearer and sharper and because the screen is just a better quality item, contrast and colour are also better - much richer. It's streets ahead of the competition we tested, with the exception of the Philips - that display is also excellent but widespread reports of firmware issues and unreliability put us off. You might not realise it but competing devices with resolutions of around 480 x 234 (like the Kodak SV-710) have just 30% of the pixels of the Samsung in total and the difference really shows when you have more than three times the pixels available to display the same picture. Edges become smooth and detail becomes crisp.

Other bonuses: you can set the built-in timer to get the frame to wake up and sleep at your chosen times every day, the frame plugs into your computer as a USB device and you can just copy things to it, it accepts xD and SD cards internally but in addition to the first USB port for connecting to your computer (cable is supplied), it also has a second USB port that accepts any USB device - like a USB memory stick or pen drive - that you can plug in to the back of the frame and leave connected as a permanent image source. Very flexible, very convenient. But with 1GB and 2GB SD cards retailing for just a few pounds, we use them to store the photos - they plug right into the frame.

Downsides? No in-built battery and no remote control. If these are important for you, you'll need to look elsewhere. (I can't imagine the horror of a photo frame playing music but if that's your cup of tea, I believe you'll have to cross the Samsung off your list.) The most important things for us were the image quality, the ease of use (plug in your card, switch it on, it works!), design quality (it looks great in a modern living room) and reliability. It excels in all these areas.

We bought ours for my mother's birthday. She has a digital camera and an iMac with iPhoto on it and she absolutely loves the frame. As of December 2007, several high street stores are asking some £40 more than Amazon for this identical item. This seems like an absolute bargain to me.

Update 19 Dec 2007: this review was for the item sold and dispatched by Amazon, not by a third-party Amazon reseller advertising here. It would be useful for other reviewers (particularly those complaining of European plugs) to indicate which they used: Amazon or an Amazon reseller.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 6 Dec 2007, 14:12:45 GMT
J. W. Jones says:
thanks, prob will get one soon....

Posted on 9 Dec 2007, 09:01:05 GMT
Jody says:
What a helpful review, saved me hours of angst. Thank you.

Posted on 12 Dec 2007, 09:22:03 GMT
S. Hodges says:
I too have struggled to find a frame that I can understand - so I am going to buy the Samsung on your recommendation. For a start, you are right, it looks good! And I saw one in Currys for £149 yesterday!

Posted on 13 Dec 2007, 12:26:52 GMT
Readeriser says:
A fine, comprehensive and informative review. Thanks for doing all the foot-slogging - I'll buy this right away.
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