The Nixplay digital photo frame is priced the same as many other premium digital photo frames like the Pix-Star. Unfortunately, there are a lot of persisting issues with the Nixplay frames that are worth considering before buying.
The most prominent of these is the 16:9 aspect ratio (looks more like 16:10). Portrait photos only take up around 70% of the available screen space and almost every picture you send is either cropped or boxed in by black pillar bars – making the screen appear much smaller. You’ll find the colors to be washed out on the display and the viewing angle to be sub-par. Unless you view the screen straight on, the quality tapers off rapidly.
Sending photos and videos (max of 15-seconds) to the Nixplay frame can be slow and clunky. The mobile app isn’t very intuitive and you are forced to use the Nixplay cloud service to send and receive photos. While there is an option to send photos via email, it’s well hidden and hard to use as they seem to push you and your friends to download and sign up for the mobile app.
There is essentially no internal storage and it can only hold a very limited number of photos. All your pictures are saved and stored in the cloud – meaning that you can’t use this frame while offline. There is no option to load photos through a USB/SD card or directly over Wi-Fi. The result is a slow and complicated process for sending just a couple of photos to the frame – not something suitable for grandparents.
Both cloud storage extension and video playback are locked behind a subscription-based paywall. Cloud storage does offer quite a lot of free space, but that will run out sooner than you’d think – especially if you have a big family and multiple frames. If you want to send videos longer than 15-seconds, both you and the sender/receiver need to have a subscription.
The Nixplay digital photo frame can often take up to and over 20-minutes to sync photos sent through the mobile app. This is likely because they go through multiple-step cloud sync. This can be frustrating for elderly users as they often won’t know if the sending failed and will repeat the process several times – leading to the frame receiving the same photos several times.
In summary, while the Nixplay digital photo frame looks excellent and premium while it is off, real-world performance doesn’t match the premium price point. The user interface is clunky and outdated and the mobile app isn’t any easier to use – though you don’t have much of a choice. When you add in the extra subscription fees, it’s hard to choose this frame over other premium digital frames like the Pix-Star.
The Nixplay digital photo frame can play videos up to a maximum length of 15-seconds. This is very short when compared to other premium digital photo frames like the Pix-Star (play up to 2-minute videos). If you want to send and play videos longer than the 15-second limit, both you and the send/receiver need to be subscribed to the annual “plus” package.
Nixplay frames all come with the Nixplay mobile app. You have to use either the app or website for sending photos to your frame. Bear in mind that all sent photos use the Nixplay cloud service. This includes web albums linked from social media and Google Photos via the web interface.
The Nixplay mobile app is very clunky and not user-friendly. There’s quite a steep learning curve and it’s not an app your grandparents can easily use.
There is a feature to email photos to the Nixplay frame, but it’s hard to find and use. The email feature is gradually being sidelined in favor of the mobile app and web interface (as they use the cloud service and let you send videos). Nixplay pushes you and your friends to download and sign up for the mobile app and send photos to the frame that way. Either way, you need to create an online account with Nixplay before you can send photos via email (or the mobile app/web interface).
Most grandparents will struggle to use the Nixplay frame – especially at the beginning. Both the mobile app and the frame have clunky and seemingly outdated interfaces that aren’t very intuitive to navigate. If you’re a tech-savvy person, you’ll likely have a decent grasp of the interface after a few uses – but this isn’t the case for grandparents.
Without features like remotely controlling the frame (from the web interface or mobile app) and small and unintuitive handheld control, the Nixplay isn’t a frame you can expect your grandparents to master any time soon. There is also no USB/SD card support and very limited offline use – so they need an active internet connection to make the most of this digital photo frame.
Since the Nixplay frame doesn’t have much internal storage space, almost all of your photos are stored through their cloud service. You can’t send or receive photos without having signed up for this service on all of your frames. Unfortunately, this means you can’t view any photos and videos stored on the cloud without a decent active Wi-Fi connection.
You also can’t load photos to your frame through a USB/SD card (as there is no USB/SD card port/slot) as you can with most other premium frames like the Pix-Star. You have to load the photos onto your computer and send them to the frame using the same cloud service as above. Almost all of your photos are unavailable offline and there’s no alternative for viewing offline. If you live in a remote area or don’t have a steady and consistent Wi-Fi connection, the Nixplay digital photo frame isn’t the best choice.