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Kogan Wi-Fi Digital Photo Frame review: Kogan Wi-Fi Digital Photo Frame

Kogan's inexpensive digital photo frame does a good job with online photo serving. Local photo display is another story, however.

Alex Kidman
Alex Kidman is a freelance word writing machine masquerading as a person, a disguise he's managed for over fifteen years now, including a three year stint at ZDNet/CNET Australia. He likes cats, retro gaming and terrible puns.
Alex Kidman
5 min read


The biggest design note that the Kogan 8-inch Wi-Fi Digital Photo Frame has going for it is that it's a logo free zone, at least physically. You do get a large Kogan splash screen when you power it up, but the physical frame itself is all just glossy black plastic around a moderate sized screen. It's a pleasant design, largely because there's nothing to draw your eyes away from the display screen. A single card slot for SD/MMC cards and a USB port are obscured by rubber flaps, and the power hooks in from a socket at the base that rests next to the frame's lightweight stand.


Kogan Wi-Fi Digital Photo Frame

The Good

Decent viewing angles. Low asking price. Range of online subscription services.

The Bad

Ugly rubber flap protrudes when a card is present. Can't easily pan on zoomed photos.

The Bottom Line

Kogan's inexpensive digital photo frame does a good job with online photo serving. Local photo display is another story, however.

Aside from the frame, a small remote control and power adapter, you'll find that the Photo Frame ships sans manual, similar to other Kogan products. It's arguably a good bet that if you're buying a Wi-Fi photo frame, you've probably got a net connection in mind, but those buying it as a gift may want to pre-download the manual from Kogan's website for less tech-inclined relatives.


The display screen on the 8-inch LCD panel has a top resolution of 800x600, making this a photo frame with a 4:3 aspect ratio. It'll depend on your shooting style and camera whether that's a better bet than a true widescreen frame. Wi-Fi support extends to 802.11g with support for WPA security, and streaming comes courtesy of the online Seeframe.com service. Seeframe gives your frame a virtual email address which can then be used to send images direct to the frame, as well as hooking up to RSS picture feeds and a number of online photo sharing sites including Flickr, Facebook, Photobucket and Picasa.

It's in using the Seeframe service that the 8-inch Photo Frame's true origins are revealed.

Kogan's mantra has long been that it doesn't innovate on much except for price, and this often leaves prospective customers wondering where exactly the components within a Kogan product have been sourced. Not so with the 8-inch Wi-Fi Digital Photo Frame, which with the exception of the Kogan splash screen is an eStarling Impact8 photo frame. The game's rather given away if you look at the system information, which identifies it as the eStarling product.

Live local display of images is almost an afterthought for the 8-inch Photo Frame, with support for local images comprising a top mounted SD/MMC card slot and a mini USB port.


The 8-inch Photo Frame set-up was suitably simple, with a pre-assigned email address popping up on-screen once we'd connected to our chosen wireless network. You're initially faced with only three menu choices on-screen, for Connected Play, Local Play and Settings. The remote control worked well in our tests, and if you do lose it, the side of the panel also acts as a touch-based controller.

The basic controls of the frame are just that — basic. You can opt for slideshow playback, select images manually, rotate and zoom in or out of pictures. It's also possible when zoomed into a smaller picture to pan around, but be prepared for some frustration here, as panning takes place on a per-pixel basis, and you've got to hit the direction button for every single pixel move. It's a strangely archaic design decision to not let you automatically pan simply by holding down the directional button. Viewing angles were very good in our tests both from a distance and at odd angles.

Most of the configuration of the frame takes place online and not from the frame, which may perplex less online-savvy users. Thankfully the Seeframe website is logically laid out, and it's only a matter of a few mouse clicks to add new picture feeds or fine-tune your photo choices. For what it's worth, you can opt to only allow an authorised list of email addresses to send photos to your frame, which should cut down on spam or people sending you risqué or unacceptable images.

If you wanted proof that the manufacturers of the frame didn't have local playback as any kind of priority, you've only got to plug in a USB device or memory card, at which point you'll realise one big design flaw. The rubber covers that protect these slots stick straight up in the air when a card or cable is present. To make matters worse, SD cards stick out of the top of the frame too. It's visually distracting and pretty ugly, both things you don't want on a visual gadget like a photo frame.

We also hit a rather unique snag with the photo frame when it came time to return it. We wanted to clear the network settings on the drive. There's no way to do that on the frame itself, so we checked eStarling's support site, which suggests that formatting the frame should fix that problem. We connected up the frame to a nearby PC — the first time we'd done so with this particular frame given it's a Wi-Fi frame with a pretty paltry amount of on-board storage. And that's when our resident virus scanner went nuts.

These screenshots tell the story — the W32.Virut.A virus was present on a file called tel.xls.exe resident on the frame's memory. Thankfully our scanner picked it up and cleaned it off the drive. We contacted Kogan to check whether anyone else had tested the frame prior to us having it. Kogan representatives initially said no, it was factory fresh, and requested that we return the frame for testing. That's reasonable enough, and we waited for a response, as the prospect of a number of frames going out with a resident virus was a genuine concern. After a week, we received this response:

Click image to enlarge (Credit: Alex Kidman)

Due to the fact that this unit did not come directly from Kogan, we cannot provide further details about how a virus may have ended up on the photo frame. We have sold a significant number of these in Australia and have not had any customers report a virus being found on the frame. — Kogan Technologies

Make of that what you will. Our systems were definitely virus-free prior to plugging in the frame, and we'd certainly suggest running an up-to-date AV package, as well as scanning the frame as a precaution — there's certainly very little to lose.

Leaving the virus mystery aside, for an asking price of AU$129, there's a lot to like about the 8-inch Wi-Fi Photo Frame, as long as your main interest is online images. It's a real pity that the OEM didn't bother sinking the memory card slot about half an inch lower, such that the flap actually closed over it, as the solution to hand is visually distracting.