Are Lola Smart digital picture frames worth buying for grandparents?
Lola Smart digital picture frames are part of the Nixplay family of frames. They use the Nixplay cloud servers, the optional Nixplay, and Nixplay-made app, and use Nixplay’s OS. While they have a different name, these frames are very much a part of the Nixplay brand umbrella.
When it comes to choosing a digital picture frame for elderly users, ease of use is a key feature. It should be very easy to send photos, remotely manage the frame, control the frame in person, start slideshows, manage photos & create custom playlists, and have a fluid, immersive viewing experience. Almost none of these features are delivered as you’d expect at this price point by Lola Smart frames.
The 16:10 aspect ratio makes almost every photo appear smaller and is boxed in by black pillar bars. While sending photos via the mobile app is convenient, the photos are very slow to update and you don’t know which have loaded, and which have not. The remote-control function is very limited and you can’t adjust many of the frame’s most important settings. These changes are also slow to reflect on the frame, so there’s a good chance there’ll be some confusion.
There are no on-frame controls for your grandparents to manually adjust the frame’s settings. This leads to quite an unintuitive setup that takes quite a long time to get used to. Slideshows aren’t easily adjustable and getting the right settings is often a matter of trial-and-error. This isn’t ideal for users that aren’t very tech-savvy and can lead to a lot of frustration.
In summary, while these frames are by no means the worst at this price point, they’re still far off from being the best. With limited cloud storage, a reliance on an active connection with the cloud servers, a slow mobile app, clunky interfaces, and the need to manually select every photo that’s synced from social media platforms, these frames don’t quite have what it takes to compete with Pix-Star’s digital frames or even other Nixplay frames.
What aspect ratio do Lola Smart digital picture frames have?
Lola Smart digital picture frames use a 16:10 aspect ratio. It’s arguably the worst possible aspect ratio for a digital picture frame as most smartphones shoot in 4:3, and most cameras shoot in 3:2. An argument can be made that 16:9 is the best aspect ratio for videos, but even those will be boxed into the center of the display when played on a 16:10 aspect ratio.
Almost every photo you send to a 16:10 aspect ratio display will be either cropped, distorted, zoomed, or surrounded by black pillar bars. This makes the display and pictures appear much smaller than they should, and all but ruins the viewing experience. Other top digital frames like the Pix-Star use a 4:3 aspect ratio, meaning that photos sent from phones perfectly match the display.
Unless you’re willing to manually crop every picture to match the 16:10 display of Lola Smart digital frames (which will be a massive time sink) then these probably aren’t the best digital frames for you. There are many other great, more compatible options for the money including Pix-Star’s 10-inch digital picture frame.
Can Lola Smart digital picture frames work without Wi-Fi?
Wi-Fi is arguably the most essential feature of Lola Smart digital picture frames. These frames are very reliant on their connection with the Nixplay cloud servers, meaning that they can’t sync any photos without an active Wi-Fi connection at all times. While the frame boasts 8GB of internal storage, you’re still taking a big risk when you have to rely on connections with cloud servers to view and manage your photos.
Another key consideration is the lack of cloud storage space. Since everything goes through the cloud, you’ll find that this space quickly runs out – especially for families. If you send a lot of photos & videos, your cloud storage allotment will run out quite fast. That being said, you can purchase the Nixplay Plus annual subscription package to expand your cloud storage – but that’s seldom worth the money. Competing frames like the Pix-Star offer free-for-life cloud storage and don’t rely on an active connection while still offering extensive offline functionality.
How do slideshows work on Lola Smart digital picture frames?
Since Lola Smart digital picture frames are part of the Nixplay lineup (just under a different name), they also rely on Nixplay’s cloud services. This means that your photos are stored on the cloud in albums, which are filled with photos and retrieved to the frame when you want to view them. We don’t recommend choosing frames that are reliant on the cloud servers of a company, because if they shut down (as we’ve seen with several premium digital frames in the past), you’re stuck with a frame that can’t send/receive photos.
Slideshows are rather limited when you consider the price point of the frame. Compared with other top digital frames like the Pix-Star, Lola Smart digital frames don’t offer much control over the play order & frequency of photos within slideshows. Videos can’t be included in slideshows, and there’s no option to play audio files over slideshows. You do have some minor control over the play order & style of slideshows, and you can create custom slideshows from specific folders, so it’s not all doom-and-gloom. It’s just not what you’d expect to get at this price point from one of the top brands on the market.
Can Lola Smart digital picture frames listen to the radio and view the weather?
Despite Lola Smart digital picture frames being a high-end frame under the Nixplay brand umbrella, they’re rather limited when it comes to features – especially secondary features like audio, weather, web albums, and offline functionality. Lola Smart’s digital frame can play audio, though they can only play the audio associated with the playing video.
You can’t load songs or standalone audio files like you can with competing frames like the Pix-Star. To add to this, the audio quality is very muffled and tough to hear from any sort of distance. Additionally, unlike Pix-Star’s frames, you can’t connect external speakers or headphones to these frames, meaning you’re stuck with rather quiet and muffled audio.
Lola Smart digital frames don’t offer any weather or radio app – which is surprising considering their price. they’re almost priced the same as other premium digital frames like the Pix-Star that offer extensive features including viewing weather forecasts in slideshows, listening to web music & radio, and more.