Nixplay Original W15A Review

A big digital frame for big digital pictures

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4.5

Nixplay Original W15A

Nixplay Original

Lifewire / Danny Chadwick 

What We Like

  • HD display is great for high-res photos

  • Full social media integration

  • Physical SD card and USB ports

What We Don't Like

  • Frustrating square remote

  • Screen size demands high-res photos

  • Poor playback of high-resolution video

The Nixplay Original W15A digital photo frame has minor flaws and major benefits. Once it’s set up, it’s a breeze to use and absolutely worth the price tag.

4.5

Nixplay Original W15A

Nixplay Original

Lifewire / Danny Chadwick 

Nixplay produces a wide variety of digital photo frames, and the Nixplay Original W15A Wi-Fi Cloud Frame is the top of the line. It’s enormous, has an HD display, physical connection ports, Wi-Fi connectivity, and social media integration. And despite a few notable flaws, it all comes together rather well. If you want the best Nixplay has to offer, this is the device to buy.

Nixplay Original
Lifewire / Danny Chadwick

Design: Impossible to ignore

The first thing to know about the Nixplay Original W15A Wi-Fi Cloud Frame is that it doesn’t blend in anywhere. The sheer size of the 15-inch screen will draw attention wherever you place it. When it’s off, it’s easy to mistake it for a small television. If you’re looking for a subtle device, this isn’t it. (Nixplay does not sell a smaller version of this device—the only other model is even larger at 18 inches.)

The visual dominance of this device gives an air of importance to the images you put on it. Just keep in mind that any photos you choose will be displayed in an 11 x 14-inch format, which is pretty huge—if you’re not careful, a random Instagram selfie can suddenly become a giant self-portrait in your home.

This device combines the visual heft of the NIX Advance X15D and the astounding connectivity in the Nixplay Seed. You can display images from almost any source. If you have physical media like USB drives and SD cards, you can load up a nearly-limitless amount of photos to play on this frame. You can also upload directly from your computer to the Nixplay website or sync with images you’ve already posted on social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram and cloud-storage services like Dropbox.

Just keep in mind that any photos you choose will be displayed in an 11 x 14-inch format, which is pretty huge.

To control the frame, you can use the included remote, the control panel on the back, or the Nixplay mobile app, which includes a remote module that you can use with multiple Nixplay devices. During our testing, we preferred to use the app due to its integration with the rest of the frame’s features.

All the Nixplay digital photo frames we’ve reviewed have included the same remote control, and in each case, it brought down the experience of using the device. It’s not because the remote is bad: it fits nicely in your hand and the buttons are soft and responsive. But it’s square, and the button layout is absolutely symmetrical. If you’re not paying close attention, you’ll end up holding it the wrong way all the time. It’s a small quirk that quickly becomes obnoxious.

The motion sensor (“Hu-motion," as branded by Nixplay) works well. When the frame detects no motion for a set period of time, it goes to sleep until motion is detected again. It’s a pedestrian feature, but worth noting that it’s there.

Setup Process: Requires an online account

Setting up the hardware of this frame only takes a few seconds once you’ve taken it out of the box. Attach the stand, plug in the power adapter, and push the power button on the remote.

If you already have a Nixplay account (as we did, since we’ve tested a few of these), then you just have to pair it to your new frame and all your albums, playlists and connected social media profiles are automatically added. So, for existing customers, the whole setup process could take less than five minutes.

You can upload your photos from your computer directly to the website and they will sync to your frame via Wi-Fi.

The setup process can take a while longer if you’ve never owned a Nixplay device. First-time users are shown an opening video that gives a good overview of the frame’s features. Then you’re walked through the process of setting up a Nixplay account and syncing your frame.

Once you have an account, you can upload your photos from your computer directly to the website and they will sync to your frame via Wi-Fi. That can take a while, depending on how many photos you have to sift through. A quicker way to get photos synced to your frame is to link your social media profiles to your Nixplay account. Within a matter of seconds, you’ll have years of photos playing on your new frame.

Display: Still images are great, video is a different story

The display on the Nixplay Original W15A is a 15-inch, 720p high-definition screen. While it’s not full HD quality, it displayed our high-resolution, high-quality pictures extremely well. The colors were bright, rich, and deep, and whites and blacks are about as true as you can expect from a device in this class.

The sheer size of the W15A pretty much guarantees that older, lower-resolution photos will be pixelated when they’re blown up to size. This can be distracting and doesn’t look very good, so you’ll want to use high-resolution photos as much as possible.

On the flip side, videos that exceed 720p resolution don’t play well with this digital photo frame. The 1080p (full HD) videos we tested were pixelated and halting, and sometimes they didn’t play at all. It’s a good idea to go through your playlists and remove any videos that exceed 720p resolution.

Older, lower-resolution photos will be pixelated when they’re blown up to size.

Audio: Mediocre, as expected

Digital photo frames are designed for still images, so audio quality has taken a back seat in every one of these products we’ve tested. The Nixplay Wi-Fi Cloud Frame is no different. Sound from its small stereo speakers is listenable, but there’s just not enough power behind it.

Nixplay Original
Lifewire / Danny Chadwick

Software: Very intuitive

The user interface of this device is quite intuitive. You can navigate the on-screen menus using the remote or the directional buttons on the back of the frame.

The website and mobile apps also provide a very natural experience, echoing the flow of social media sites and apps. There’s nothing new or innovative about what Nixplay has created, but that’s actually one of its strengths—you don’t have to learn anything new. Whether you’re uploading images from your computer’s hard drive or smartphone camera roll, or adding friends to see your albums and send you pictures, the interface feels familiar.

Price: Premium price for a premium device

The Nixplay Original W15A Wi-Fi Cloud Frame retails for $239.99. We think that feels like the right price for this digital photo frame. You get the whole Nixplay package with this model: from the massive display and physical connection ports to the internet connectivity, social media compatibility, and mobile app, you’ll be hard pressed to get more for that price.

Nixplay Original W15A vs. NIX Advance X15D

The Nixplay Original W15A is really the top of the line for Nixplay’s digital photo frames. It features a 15-inch HD screen, plus the convenience of a Wi-Fi connection that gives you all kinds of options for uploading photos. But it also has a top-of-the-line price. If you’re looking for something this size with the same quality display and a cheaper price tag, consider the NIX Advance X15D. It’s virtually the same device as the W15A, minus the internet connectivity and its accompanying features. It retails for a cheaper $179.99.

If you like the hardware on this 15-inch frame, then it simply comes down to whether or not you want features like app control and social media syncing. If you’re okay with just using a flash drive to put your photos onto the frame, then the X15D is a cheaper option that will display your pictures just as well.

Final Verdict

A great choice for those who want a big frame and have lots of high-res photos to display.

The Nixplay Original W15A displays your pictures in HD quality and has all the physical ports of a computer, plus a connection to the internet. As far as 15-inch digital photo frames go, it’s a high-quality device with a great-looking screen and about as many features as you could hope for.

Specs

  • Product Name Original 15 inch (Wi-Fi)
  • Product Brand Nixplay
  • SKU 5 060156 64060
  • Price $269.99
  • Product Dimensions 14.6 x 1.3 x 11.3 in.
  • Ports AUX, USB, SD
  • Storage 10GB
  • Warranty One year
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