Share precious memories with family members with just an internet connection.
Memories are precious and while most of us can access our personal brain data banks for the major events in our lives, it’s really nice to have photographs to remind us of the minor ones. Just the other day, I was looking through pictures on my phone of our dog who will be two years old in February. He was so tiny when we first got him and I started sending my fiancé texts of that time with the photos attached. This activity reminded me of the shared photo album my family has where we store memories of my nephews growing up. The one person that is left out of this sharing extravaganza is my grandmother. She doesn’t use technology the way the rest of us do and in order for her to see these precious memories, we have to print pictures out or show them to her when we visit. Wouldn’t it be great if she could see these amazing photos as they happen without needing a mobile phone? This is what the Brookstone PhotoShare Smart Frame by Simply Smart Home is designed to do.
The Brookstone PhotoShare Smart Frame is a simple way to share photos with family and friends. There is a free companion app (on iOS and Android) as well as a sharing option between photo apps (like Apple Photos and Google Photos) and the Frame App that allows users to upload photos to the frame directly from their phone. Outside users can also send photos and video to the frame using a customized email address that is unique to the frame. Facebook can also be linked to the frame so that users can upload directly from that social media outlet, too. The PhotoShare frame can be used to showcase video and photos, play music, view a clock, and even be used as an alarm. One of the unique features of this frame is Auto-Dim. The frame has an ambient light sensor that automatically adjusts the brightness of the display to match the lighting conditions in the room. The frame has both SD and USB support and can be mounted to a wall or sit on a shelf using the included stand. The frame can be viewed in either landscape or portrait orientation and photos will automatically orient and scale to provide the best image possible. The frame comes with two mattes – one black and one white – so that users can enhance the classy look of the frame to suit their own home decor.
- Instantly share memories from phone to frame with the free PhotoShare app
- 10.1″ WiFi Smart Frame with HD Touchscreen Display
- Invite all your friends and family to share their favorite photos
- Quick & easy one-minute setup
- Caption your favorite photos in the free PhotoShare Frame app
- Easy to use App – two taps and send
- Elegantly styled Espresso Wood Frame
- Easily share photos with Free App, via Email or linked Social Media Account
- 8GB internal memory will hold over 5000 high-resolution photos
- Accepts both SD Cards and USB sticks for extended memory
- 100% Satisfaction Guarantee and 1-year limited warranty
- No monthly subscription or hidden fees, ever!
|Dimensions||15.23 × 2.51 × 11.14 in|
|Product Dimensions||12.43″ x 1.1″ x 9.6″ in|
|Expansion Slots||SD, USB|
|Connectors||2-pin for AC Adapter (included)|
|WiFi||Wi-Fi 302.11 g/h|
|Accessories||Black matte, White Matte, AC Adapter, Quickstart Guide, Stand|
|Warranty||1-year limited warranty|
The PhotoShare Smart Frame comes in a very nice retail package. The outer sleeve features a clean image of the product in use on the front and back and there are several details included as well. The package also provides a list of what’s included in the box (PhotoShare frame, white matte, black matte, AC adapter, Desktop stand, and quick start guide). The box also indicates that there are multiple mobile applications included — iOS and Google Play — but on the back of the box, it’s indicated that you can connect to Google Photos. There are also a lot of icons on the front that show how to share photos. So, if I were to see this on a retail shelf with no knowledge of it, I might get a little confused about the best way to connect to the device. As a suggestion, the box could be simplified so that this information is condensed.
Upon removing the outer sleeve of the package, the inner cardboard carton is revealed. The top opens up to show the photo frame inside. I found this to be reminiscent of what packaging is like when you custom order a photo album. All the aforementioned parts are included in the box with the white matte stored beneath the main compartment. The frame is very nice and looks like a classic picture frame. I think it would fit in with most household decor. The guide is multilingual and gives very simple instructions (i.e. turn on the frame, connector to Wi-Fi, etc.). One thing I had a little trouble with was putting the stand together (it comes in two parts) and it would have been nice to have a small illustration to show its assembly. The app does include some tutorials and How-To tips, but none of them focus on the physical set-up of the frame (i.e. how to hang, or set up the stand).
I felt that the set-up of the frame itself was pretty simple. You plug it into power and connect it to your Wi-Fi network. At that point, the rest of the set-up is done using the app. You will need to create an account with PhotoShare. It’s free, but you do need an email address. Once your account is set-up, you will need to allow permissions for the app to access your photo library. In order to connect to your photo frame from the app, you will need to enter the Frame ID, which is provided by the frame. You will give your frame a name (you can share photos with up to 10 frames with one account) and then a special email address will be created for your frame. This is used for anyone to be able to send photos to the frame – whether or not they are on the same network. Once everything is set-up, you can start uploading photos to the frame. From the app, you can send up to 50 photos at one time. The settings menu on the app allows you to edit frame details, add a new frame, invite friends to share photos, contact support, and view the user info of the frame.
I haven’t had any issues connecting with it or sending photos to it. I primarily sent photos using the app. On the same network, from the app, transferring photos is a breeze. I selected photos from my library, selected the photo frame and hit ‘send’ in the app. Within just a few seconds of tapping the send button, I heard the chime on the frame and saw the notification that photos had been received. The slideshow didn’t trip up on the new photos and they immediately began to appear in the rotation. Even when I switched off my Wi-Fi connection and uploaded the photo through the app on a cellular connection, the transfer was instantaneous.
I also tried to send photos using the email address. The first time I tried sending a photo, I sent it directly from my iPhone’s library, which means it was a HEIC format. I didn’t think about that being a problem, but after 30 minutes the photo still hadn’t shown up on the frame. So, I converted that photo to a JPG and tried resending. A notification popped up on the screen after about 10 minutes of sending it saying, “New Sender Request” and it asked me to accept it. So, I tapped ‘yes’ and then waited to see if the photo would appear. After 2 hours, the photo still hasn’t appeared in the photo feed of the frame. The user shows up, but not the photos.
The other options for connecting and sending photos to the frame according to the manual are by connecting to Facebook and Google Photos. The instructions for Google Photos read like this:
“Google Photos or other Photo App: Select your favorite photos, tap the send icon and select the PhotoShare Frame App as the destination. The App will launch and you’ll be able to select one or more frames send photos.”
When I saw that the frame was compatible with Google Photos I thought that a user might be able to sync an album to the frame and manage the photos that way. This method was intriguing to me because it meant that a family had the potential for sharing a specific album and uploading to it. Then that album would automatically sync to the Frame automatically. According to these instructions, that’s not the case. You still have to physically tell each photo (or set of photos) to upload to the frame.
The instructions for connecting to Facebook are written as follows:
“From your web browser, visit www.photoshareframe.com and log in using the email/password that you use for the PhotoShare Frame App. Select the photos on your PC or log into your Facebook account to share your favorite pictures.”
I used the URL provided and entered my account credentials, but when the page loaded it was just a blank, white page. There was no interface. I attempted to reload the page and it was still blank. In addition to this issue, I discovered that you can only be logged into one device at a time. When I logged into the web interface, I was logged out of the app and vice-versa.
While I absolutely love the concept of this device, I think the execution may be a little faulty. The screen of the frame and output of the photos is gorgeous, but the sharing options are a little clunky. I would love to see the ability to connect the frame to a single source for multiple users to share photos – even if that meant creating a new photo share account. That way a family could upload photos to one place to share with the joint frame rather than the photos coming from different sources. The PhotoShare Smart Frame is a huge step above the last digital photo frame I used and I would recommend it as long as those who want to upload to it download the app.