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Samsung SPF-72H Digital Picture Frame review: Samsung SPF-72H Digital Picture Frame

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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.

There are nine slide show effects to choose from (Fade, Shutter, Cross comb, Mask, Brick, Bar, Dissolve, Expansion, and Silk), as well as "random" and "none." We copied images from a memory card as well as a thumbdrive--and you can connect directly to a computer using the included USB cable. On the bottom of the frame you'll find a slot that accommodates SD, MMC, XD, and Memory Stick memory cards, but not Compact Flash cards.

Image quality was generally solid--the pictures were sharp, the colors vibrant, with good detail in darker textures and shadowy elements. We did notice some jagged edges or stair-stepping in angled and curved lines (a model's sloping shoulder, for example). This may simply be due to the native resolution of the display or might have to do with the way the frame scales the image to fit the screen. As noted, this is a wide-screen display while the majority of digital cameras shoot standard, 4:3 images.

In the end, the SPF-72H is a perfectly good frame, but it doesn't do much to distinguish itself from the growing number of frames on the market that offer similar screen resolution and, in some cases, additional features. We had an early unit, so it's possible that Samsung will make some tweaks before the frame officially hits the market (the firmware is upgradeable). However, what it really comes down to is how well the SPF-72H can compete on price. Since its $139.99 MSRP puts it well below the prices of competing frames from Philips and Kodak, this Samsung becomes a compelling choice for someone looking for a smaller digital photo frame and who doesn't need the bells and whistles of MP3 and video playback or a remote control.

Editor's note: Samsung doesn't plan to ship this product to retailers until May of this year. We were able to procure an early full-production model for this review.

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