It has been years since I’ve seen a digital photo frame. I remember growing up when digital cameras became a thing and then digital photo frames followed. My parents got one, my grandparents had one, I remember updating the memory card for them every 6 months or so. They were popular but have since disappeared and are rarely seen anymore. Dragon Touch has one on the market and I wanted to see if things have progressed and whether there is still a market for these. Let’s find out.

Features

  • 8″ IPS touch screen (1024×768)
  • 16gb internal storage
  • Additional storage via SD card (upto 32gb) or USB drive
  • Connects to your network via WiFi
  • Free app for transfer and changing photos
  • Its plays music and videos too!
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The frame comes in black, and only black. It looks like a 5×7 photo frame, with quite large black bezels all the way, which goes against everything anyone wants now, bezel-less, but the bezels do make it look more like a traditional frame. To the rear are the controls and ports. There is a power-on button, menu for options and then play/pause and select photos. There is also a plastic leg provided, which you screw in and it allows the frame to free stand either landscape or portrait. There is also a pre-made nook, allowing you to hang this on the wall, in the landscape, if you wanted to (don’t forget the power cable though!). Inputs include SD card, headphone port, standard USB, micro USB and power in. In the box, you get the power cable, which is USB to 5V I believe, plus a power brick and a standard USB cable. You don’t need to use the power brick, you can insert it directly into a power socket if it has a USB port, or PC if desired.

Upon initial set up, it looks and feels like an Android tablet and in it’s the simplest form, I guess it is. Input your location, time zone and connect to your network, if you want to. You’re then prompted to download the free ‘Our Photo’ app. You need to create an account if you want to use the app. Once in, you need to get the reference code from ‘device info’ on the frame and pair your app with the frame. It’s quite straight forward. You can then browse through the photos and videos on your smart device and send them to the frame.

From the home screen, you can browse photos, videos, set an alarm, check the weather, date and change various settings. You can have multiple users if you wanted different photos on display and you can adjust the viewing settings. Select slideshow, set a duration, intervals, and effects, to personalise your experience.

Its touch screen but there are buttons to the rear? I personally never used the buttons on the rear, you can control everything on screen BUT I guess using the buttons does help reducing those finger print marks that can easily be seen on the glossy screen.

I stuck a bunch of photos we took from CES 2020 on there, taken from either a smartphone or one of our mirrorless cameras. If the frame options ‘full screen’ is turned on, all the images will fit the 4:3 display, which effectively crops the image considerably. If you want to see the entire photo, turn that option off but then you are left with blurred bars top and bottom of the frame, which doesn’t look that good. It will show png files and CR3 files, which is Canons form of RAW. MP4 video files shot on my phone would play without an issue but 4K footage from my camera, via SD card, wouldn’t.

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The screen quality of the frame is pretty good. It’s quite sharp, the colours look good when not in full-screen mode. Full-screen mode and the image becomes a little blurred, as the frame is zooming in on the image to fill the screen. From afar, I don’t think you’d notice the drop in quality too much. Some of the animations for the slideshow when scrolling through the images are sluggish.

I watched a couple of videos and again, black bars top and bottom due to the 4:3 ratio and me never shooting in that format. The videos run fine, they play audio as well and is a nice feature if you want to occasionally watch some content. I wouldn’t have the videos scrolling through a slideshow all day.

16GB onboard storage, which ends up being just over 12GB upon set up and that will hold thousands of images, even at high quality, circa 6-8mb an image. If connected to your home network, you can use an FTP client to manage your content from your PC or laptop.

The Dragon Touch Classic 8 digital photo frame is available now and retails for $89.99. If you like the idea of a digital photo frame, this does cover a fair amount of flexibility and control, with a nice display and plenty of options. For more info, head over to the official Dragon Touch website.