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Philips Digital Photo Display 7FF1M4 review: Philips Digital Photo Display 7FF1M4

This Philips Digital Photo Display improves upon last year's model, offering pleasing image quality and including interchangeable frames to match your decor.

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Zennith Geisler

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3 min read

Design
Like its predecessor, the second-generation Philips Digital Photo Display, the 7FF1M4, looks similar to most other digital photo frames on the market. The 7FF1M4 is a clear perspex frame around a coloured border that surrounds the 137mm by 91mm LCD screen. Four interchangeable magnetic frames have been included in black, white, silver and red, so you can swap and change the border to best suit the images being shown, the decor in your home or office, or just whatever colour takes your fancy.

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7.9

Philips Digital Photo Display 7FF1M4

The Good

Interchangeable frames included. Supports most memory cards. Rechargeable battery for portability.

The Bad

Expensive. No remote control. No video support.

The Bottom Line

This Philips Digital Photo Display improves upon last year's model, offering pleasing image quality and including interchangeable frames to match your decor.

The stand fits into the frame with a simple tool-less design -- you just slot the arm into the back of frame and turn it to lock it into place. It can be adjusted to sit vertically or horizontally, or removed to wall mount. The stand itself is quite heavy, giving the unit a sturdy base to stand on.

For navigation, the menu buttons are set out along the top back of the frame, making them both easily accessible, and yet hidden from view when looking at the display straight on.

Features
The standout feature of a digital photo frame should be the screen -- after all, you can have as many bells and whistles as you like, but if your pictures don't look great, they're not going to impress anyone. The seven-inch model we reviewed has a resolution of 800 x 480 pixels, with a viewing area of 720 x 480 pixels. With 16-bit , 65,536 colours Philips have given us a pleasing display which offers plenty of functionality too.

Besides displaying your photos in three modes -- browsing images one-by-one, as thumbnails, or as a slide show -- you can also create albums directly through the interface. There is a clock function, which is handy on its own, but also has a couple of extra uses. You can set it up to automatically turn on and off at pre-selected times, or use the "6am-6pm Brightness" function which automatically adjusts the -- you guessed it -- brightness based on the time of day, increasing the brightness at 6pm when it begins to get dark, and dimming it from 6am when it gets light again.

The Philips frame comes wired with a power adaptor to plug into the wall socket, but it also gives you the option of going wireless by incorporating a rechargeable lithium ion battery. We found this quite useful, allowing the frame to be passed around for viewing, however battery life is quite short at less than an hour (we viewed photos and played with the display options until the battery ran out after about 45 minutes), so you'll have to recharge quite often between viewing sessions.

Most memory cards are supported via two built-in card readers -- one for the rather bulky Compact Flash I (CF) cards mostly seen in digital SLR cameras and another for Memory Stick (MS), Secure Digital (SD) and MultiMedia Card (MMC) formats. Photos can be viewed from the memory card or downloaded onto the frame and stored using its internal memory. If you copy your photos onto the frame, you have the advantage of your images being automatically resized to fit the frame as best it can. If no memory card is inserted, pre-stored images will be displayed. There is also a USB connection for transferring images off your computer.

Performance
Unlike the Kaiser Bass frame we reviewed recently, the Philips Digital Photo Display has no remote control. All the functions are performed using a set of menu buttons which run across the top back of the frame. We found the interface quite intuitive and easy to navigate. The lack of remote also means there is no obvious "techie" look to the frame (no ugly infrared receiver) and nothing to lose. Given our dislike of the Kaiser Bass remote, we definitely didn't miss it on the Philips frame, and it's not likely you're going to sit across the room to control photos on a seven-inch screen.

In the box you get a "Quick start user manual" and Philips Digital Photo Display v1.0 software but we didn't find either very necessary as the unit was straight-forward to use and we were able to manipulate our images direct from the frame. Philips also offers a FAQ on its Web site or you can contact Philips Customer Care by phone or e-mail.

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