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

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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.

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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