Samsung SPF-72H Digital Picture Frame
When Samsung enters a new market, you expect big things, but it's actually gone small with its first foray into the North American digital photo frame market. The company's SPF-72H is a 7-inch frame with a fairly basic feature set that's highlighted by 128MB of built-in memory, USB connectivity, and slots for SD/MMC, Memory Stick, and XD cards. We'd seen some reports saying that this model would also play back MP3 music, but that's apparently not the case, as the only file format our review sample supported was JPEG photos.
The Samsung SPF-72H is a decent looking frame. It's predominantly white but has silver horizontal lines running across the front faceplate. If we had a minor complaint it's that the Samsung logo was a little big for our tastes--it's just a little distracting. Perhaps it's because that at 7 inches diagonal (it's a 800 x 480 widescreen display) the frame is somewhat small compared to the growing number of 10-inch and larger frames hitting the market this year. Also, if you decide to prop the frame up vertically instead of horizontally, the logo looks all the more awkward displayed on its side. That said, for the review, we kept the frame on an office desk next to a computer, and it's well-suited for displaying photos in an office setting, where you don't necessarily want a frame to dominate the room.
As noted, the SPF-72H isn't loaded with features, but it does require some navigation to get everything working properly, including adjusting the display's brightness level (we ratcheted it down a little) and setting the correct time and date of the internal clock, which acts as a screensaver when no slide show is active. It's also important to get the time right if you want to set the frame's screen to turn on--or off--at a specified time.
Samsung could stand to do a little work with the interface. It's not bad, but it's not entirely intuitive, and it'll take you a good half an hour to really get the hang of the menu system. The navigational buttons are on the side of the frame (there's no remote), and while there's nothing overcomplicated about the setup, for some reason we often ended up hitting the wrong button on the four-way directional key and either going nowhere or in the wrong direction.
The frame has 128MB of built-in memory, which is nice to have around for that core set of photos you plan on putting in a slide show rotation. In fact, the frame works best and operates most smoothly with your images stored in internal memory. You can, of course, have the frame read photos stored on external memory sources, but if you are dealing with high megapixel counts and large file sizes, the frame can be sluggish.