Samsung WiFi Photo Frame and Monitor - SPF-85V Testing and Daily Use

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Samsung WiFi Photo Frame and Monitor
Hands on the SPF-85V Frame
SPF-85V Testing and Daily Use

Testing the SPF-85V:

The SPF-85V comes with 64MB of built-in memory that is accessible for storing pictures and videos.  While this isn't near as much as many other $200+ frames, the reality is that with RSS and network capabilities, you can set up the frame to grab new pictures off the web.  If you want them to stay hard and fast in your frame, you have USB and memory card options as well.  I set the frame to grab pictures by means of RSS from my flickr photostream and it always kept a nice new bunch of pictures on the frame.  It was interesting to see the frame get new pictures within a few minutes of uploading them to flickr with my Eye-Fi card.  With hands-off wireless upload and RSS streaming, you have to be careful what you take a picture of.

 Memory
Memory 
 RSS PhotoStream
RSS Photo Stream

 

 

While the frame is capable of playing back video clips, the included "Dragon Wars" clip didn't actually play back that smoothly.  The performance may be adequate for some video clips, but as you can see below the image had quite a bit of ghosting and blurring and the action sequences were less than impressive.  We all know that if it can't make "Transformers" look amazing, it's not worth playing, right?


Movie
Movie Playback

 

Other features that Samsung throws in are the music playback feature as well as a calendar and alarm clock.  I really doubt that many users are going to take advantage of these features, but I guess it's better to include them than to exclude them - unless the price has to take a big hike in order to pay for the feature list.

 Music
Music
Calendar
Calendar

 

One of the more unique features of the SPF-85V is its ability to double as a USB LCD Monitor.  This requires special software installed on the client PC, but it seemed to work without a hitch.  One of the nice things about this is that you can rotate the display and display in either portrait or landscape mode when displaying pictures or when in use as a USB LCD.  Pictured below is an image of the SPF-85V hooked to my T61 ThinkPad laptop - which is sitting in a dock, hooked to a 22" LCD on the left.

Monitor
Monitor

Final Thoughts:

While there are a lot of nice things to say about the SPF-85V WiFi digital photo frame, there are a few issues that keep it from being a "must have" product in my opinion.  The first one is price.  This is an 8" unit that will set you back over $200 online and while it has a nice list of features, the premium you pay for these features is a little excessive.  You can get many other 8" frames for about half-price of the SPF-85V.  Another downside is the battery life.  It is horrible.  It runs for a little over 30 minutes when set at 70% brightness.  Basically this is a battery backup in case the power flicks, but it doesn't offer any real utility.  You can't leave it on your desk unplugged for a single meeting and if you can't impress, what's the point?

 

The screen resolution, quality and features are very nice however.  I just don't believe that they are worth the extra $100 price tag.

Pros:

  • Excellent quality
  • USB Monitor support
  • WiFi enabled
  • Pulls RSS photos from virtually any RSS picture channel
  • Sleek touch-frame

 

Cons:

  • Expensive when compared to other frames with 90% of features
  • Battery life is useless / short
  BCCRating

 

I'd like to thank Samsung Canada for sending this unit our way for a review.  It was nice to have around and even though it's not perfect, I'll still be sad to see it go.

If you have any questions or comments, please post them in the forum at the "Comments" link below.