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Philips 7FF1AW/37 Digital Photo Display

on October 17, 2006 11:38 am

Over the years, I have had the opportunity to review 4 different digital photo frames. The last such review was the Tricod Frame just this past summer. Although I did like this device, I ended up giving it to my Dad, because it lacked one feature that I’ve always longed for in a digital photo frame. Today I’m going to tell you about the 7FF1 (what a wonderful product name) Digital Photo Display from Philips. Guess what? It has the feature I’ve been wishing for. You’ll just have to continue reading to find out what that feature is…

Hardware Specs

5.4 x 3.6 inch, 133ppi, 16-bit (65,536) color 720×480 resolution LCD display
Vertical dot pitch: 0.1905 mm, Horizontal dot pitch: 0.1905 mm
Brightness: 200 nits
Viewing angle (CR>5): Horizontal (-85°~85°), Vertical (-85°~85°)
Backlight Half-Life time: 20,000 hours
12 mb of internal memory
Rechargeable Lithium ion battery
Compact flash (Type I) and SD/MMC/Memory stick slots

Package Contents

Digital photo display
Photo display stand
Power adapter
USB female cable
USB male cable
Quick start guide
CD with user manual

Hardware Design
Front

Designed with a thick clear and White Lucite type frame, this device fits in nicely with my similarly styled Apple hardware. Unlike some other frames that I have reviewed, this one does not allow for customization of the frame around the LCD display. However, there is a wood frame version available.

At 5.4 x 3.6 inches, the display is a nice size, neither too big or too small.

Back

When you flip the 7FF1 over, you will be presented with a row of control buttons, a socket for the table stand, the On/Off switch, media card slots, USB connector and an AC adapter connector.

A chrome plated table stand is included with the frame. It’s keyed, so that you can only attach it one way.

You just line it up and give it a turn to lock it in place. The stand is pretty heavy, which keeps the frame from scooting around on your desk when you don’t want it to.


Without manipulating the stand, you can set the frame up in either landscape or portrait orientation.

The 7FF1 includes 2 media card slots. One for Compact Flash and one for SD, MMC or Memory stick.

In addition to the card slots, the frame has 12 megabytes of internal memory that you can use to copy images into. As cheap as flash memory is, you would think they would have included more. But then it’s also odd that they included any at all. I guess it’s there for people that don’t have an extra flash card that they can just leave plugged into the frame.

You can also use the included USB cables to attach your digital camera to the frame for image downloading, or even your PC / Mac. When you plug the frame into your computer, it shows up as an external drive that you can drag and drop photos to.

The On / Off switch has an LED that shows the status of charging the internal Lithium ion battery. The battery will charge no matter if the frame is powered on or off. More about using the frame unplugged in a bit.

The row of buttons along the top back edge of the frame allow you to interact with the display and onscreen menus. I will warn you now that navigating through the menus can be very frustrating. They really need to work on that aspect of the product.

In setup mode, you have the ability to change the different settings for the slideshow. This includes screen orientation, frequency (speed that pictures change), transition effects and order. The frequency can be set from 5 seconds up to 1 day.

The transition effects are really pretty good with this frame. Better implemented than other frames I’ve reviewed. They just seem smoother to me.

Ok, here we go. This is the function I’ve been waiting for! With the Philips 7FF1, you can set an auto on and auto off time. Yay! This means that you can have the frame set to turn on around 5pm when you get home from work, and then turn off at 11pm when you go to bed. Nice! There’s also a setting to change the brightness level between 6pm and 6am. The weird thing is that this is hard coded. You can’t change the time, just the brightness level that changes.

The status screen tells you how much space is left in internal memory.

There are 3 viewing modes. One mode is the thumbnail view as seen above.

There is also a browse mode, which you can have display information pertaining to the photo in a status bar below it. In this mode, one image will remain on the display until you press an arrow key to advance or go back to a previous photo.

In slideshow mode, images will continuously cycle depending on the transition effect and frequency settings.

In use, I found the Philips 7FF1 digital photo display to be a welcome addition to my home. It has a very crisp, bright screen with good color saturation. The pictures shown in this review do not do it justice.

In landscape or portrait orientation, this frame can fit into almost any decor. While it does have a contemporary flavor, the style is simple and basic.

Besides the auto power features, I’ve not yet mentioned one other feature that sets this digital photo frame apart from others. This one has a rechargeable battery. You can use the 7FF1 untethered to a power cord. That may sound exciting and great, but the only problem is that the battery life is pretty crappy. I was able to get 2hrs per charge when using all the default settings for brightness etc. To me, that really doesn’t make this feature all that useful, except maybe for passing it around at a party.

It seems that the only online retailer that I can find for this product is Amazon. Their price is around $167, which isn’t too horrible considering the great image quality of this particular frame. If I was in the market for a digital photo frame, this would be the one that I would buy for myself.

 

Product Information

Price:
Manufacturer:Philips
Retailer:Philips
Pros:
  • Great display
  • Auto power on/off feature
  • Rechargeable battery
  • Flash card slots
Cons:
  • Battery only lasts 2hrs per charge
  • Menu interface not too user friendly
  • Internal memory only 12mb

Comments

  1. 1
    Julie says:

    Post your comments on the Philips 7FF1AW/37 Digital Photo Display review.

    http://www.the-gadgeteer.com/review/philips_7ff1aw_37_digital_photo_display

    Just click the POST REPLY button on this page.

  2. 2
    monitors says:

    Digital Multimedia Player More Affordable
    Sun Group responded to consumer demand for affordable high quality Digital Photo Frame. The company has recently announced the introduction of their new line of Digital Photo Frame and Digital Multimedia Frame at new low prices that will get every one up and running. They’re going to be selling their SUN-SG8 Digital Photo Frames at unbelievable prices. When it comes to Digital Photo Frames. The products are known as one of the best on the market making them a must have for a price this low.
    Read Letsgodigital Review
    http://www.letsgodigital.org/html/review/photo_frame/sun_sg8.html

  3. 3
    dblml320 says:

    I purchased one of these frames as a irthday gift for my mother. I loaded up an SD card with lots of pictures, and gave it to her. The unit has been nothing but trouble from day 1.

    The unit likes to reboot or turn itself off randomly. But was is worse that it not working, is that I have emailed Philips 3 times about these problems, and sad to say, they do not even answer. The support for this unit is nada, absent, zero, nothing. Very disheartening for $150 investment.

    So I would recommend looking at some of the other frames now coming out .. Hopefully they will be more stable up front, and provide service if it is not …:(

  4. 4
    One of One says:

    The reason why you can’t find this model anywhere and the reason why you can only buy it refurbished on Amazon is because this model has been replaced by its successor:

    <u>Philips 7″ 7FF1M4/37 Digital Photo Frame</u>

    The new model now has a total of four interchangeable color frames and an eight hour battery life. I don’t know if they changed the menu controls or not, though (I’m guessing not, but I can’t say for sure).

    You can buy in on Amazon, Buy.com, TheNerds.net, and other places, for around $175 USD, give or take.

  5. 5
    Julie says:

    dblml320:

    That really sucks that the gift you bought for your mother had so many problems! So far this one has not locked up.

    As for Philips not responding to your emails, that doesn’t surprise me, because I couldn’t even find this frame on their website when I went to look for a price. Philips didn’t send it to me directly, a PR firm did. I’m going to tell the PR guy that sent it to me, to read your post. Maybe he can do something… It’s worth a shot!

  6. 6
    dblml320 says:

    Julie wrote:

    dblml320:
    I’m going to tell the PR guy that sent it to me, to read your post. Maybe he can do something… It’s worth a shot!

    Thanks Julie! Right now the unit it really nothing more than a boat anchor! For a $150 investment I would have hoped for a bit more!

  7. 7
    Julie says:

    I emailed my contact last night, and am awaiting a reply. I’ll let you know what he says :)

  8. 8
    Julie says:

    dblml320:

    Please email me your phone number / email address so that I can forward it to my contact. He said he will take action on your problem. :)

  9. 9
    FADECtoBLACK says:

    Here’s my story. I picked up the 7FF1M4/37 for an Xmas present. I decided to try the product out and install some pictures before wrapping it. While playing around, I noticed that there was a dead pixel in the upper left corner of the screen. Not terribly obvious, but enough to bug me after spending $160 on the frame.

    I called Philips customer support, and long story short, they inform me that I need to pay shipping costs to send THEIR defective product back to them while they send me a replacement. It’s a Christmas present, so I bite my tongue and agree.

    When the customer service rep asks for my address, I am told that they do not send to P.O. Boxes and require a physical address. I am in the military and haven’t had a physical address in the last two years because of the different assignments I have been on. I explain this to no avail. Guess I’ll have to live with the dead pixel.

    Thanks Philips!

  10. 10
    LarryB08 says:

    One of One wrote:

    The reason why you can’t find this model anywhere and the reason why you can only buy it refurbished on Amazon is because this model has been replaced by its successor:

    <u>Philips 7″ 7FF1M4/37 Digital Photo Frame</u>

    The new model now has a total of four interchangeable color frames and an eight hour battery life. I don’t know if they changed the menu controls or not, though (I’m guessing not, but I can’t say for sure).

    You can buy in on Amazon, Buy.com, TheNerds.net, and other places, for around $175 USD, give or take.

    This new model is the one I have and it is truly superlative. Philips improved the smoothness of function, the reliability is top notch, and they have firmware upgrades frm time to time to enhance the frame.

    And the screen is of far better quality than any other such frame on the market, especially those “multimedia” frames that love to load up on features for admittedly low prices. But the display, the look of your photos on the screen, just pales miserably in comparison on those other models. And frankly, you can put the kitchen sink into a frame for next to nothing. But it means little if the main function of such a device, picture display, is sub par. The Philips is definitely worth the extra cost for the sheer brilliance of its display alone.

    I say you should get the Philips 7″ 7FF1M4/37 without hesitation if you are in the market.

  11. 11
    LarryB08 says:

    FADECtoBLACK wrote:

    Here’s my story. I picked up the 7FF1M4/37 for an Xmas present. I decided to try the product out and install some pictures before wrapping it. While playing around, I noticed that there was a dead pixel in the upper left corner of the screen. Not terribly obvious, but enough to bug me after spending $160 on the frame.

    I called Philips customer support, and long story short, they inform me that I need to pay shipping costs to send THEIR defective product back to them while they send me a replacement. It’s a Christmas present, so I bite my tongue and agree.

    When the customer service rep asks for my address, I am told that they do not send to P.O. Boxes and require a physical address. I am in the military and haven’t had a physical address in the last two years because of the different assignments I have been on. I explain this to no avail. Guess I’ll have to live with the dead pixel.

    Thanks Philips!

    Your situation is unfortunate and the PO box issue likely should have been handled better by Philips.

    However, one dead pixel is not considered a defect in LCD panels by most any manufacturer. In fact, the enclosed pdf user’s manual on the CD – did you read it? – has a section at the end that actually discusses the issues inherent to LCDs and what is considered a returnable defect versus one that is not.

    Philips, it seems, would have replaced your unit anyway even with just one dead pixel. But it is certainly common for the customer to pay shipping when sending a device back, especially when it is NOT considered defective by industry standards.

    So thanks for serving in the military but I do feel you are going a bit overboard in your vitriol against Philips and their otherwise fine product.

  12. 12
    Henry says:

    Just got this Model & the Slide Show works fine with a 2GB SanDisk Memory Card — but — it won’t process anything bigger than 2GB (i.e. a 4GB, 16 or 32card).
    Any suggestion or information would be helpful.
    Thanks
    HBS

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