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Lifewire / Danny Chadwick
Snappy, intuitive user interface
Innovative flex-cord stand
Well-designed mobile app
No physical connection ports
If you’re looking for a discreet and attractive digital photo frame, it’s hard to go wrong with the Nixplay Seed.
The Nixplay Seed is one of our favorite digital photo frames on the market. It’s just the right size, it’s easy to set up, and intuitive to navigate. Syncing photos and videos is straightforward and the frame’s display shows your images in high resolution with great detail and rich colors. The mobile app experience is very nice and feels like a social network, and the website will be easy to use for anyone who regularly uses the internet.
The Seed is an unassuming device. When it’s turned off, it looks like an inexpensive tablet. And when it's on, it displays your photos in high resolution with great detail and rich colors. The frame is available in an 8-inch and a 10-inch model, as well as a 10-inch widescreen and a 13-inch widescreen model. For our testing we used the 10-inch widescreen version.
The stand is quite innovative—it’s a flexible cord rather than a traditional fixed-angle stand. This is great for a couple of reasons. It makes it much easier to place the Nixplay Seed in tight spaces, and it also allows you to angle it pretty much any way you want.
The square remote feels awkward, and there were several times during our testing when we accidentally held it sideways and got confused as to why it wasn’t working. At least you’ll never try to use the wrong remote for this device—it’s definitely unique looking.
We were never able to figure out how to change the battery in the remote, so hopefully, it lasts a long time. Fortunately, if the remote dies or gets lost, you can use your smartphone or tablet as a replacement through the Nixplay mobile app.
The Nixplay Seed is entirely wireless, with no ports for USB devices or SD cards.
The Nixplay Seed is entirely wireless, with no ports for USB devices or SD cards. This is understandable since physical connectivity is on the decline in most tech these days. But we missed the convenience of being able to fill up a flash drive or SD card and displaying our photos from that. The Seed relies on a Wi-Fi connection for the frame to work.
This device comes with 5.3GB of onboard storage, plus 10GB of cloud storage. We managed to fill our on-board storage to 97% capacity in a matter of minutes. But if you’re more selective about what you want to display, this should be plenty of room for your best photos.
The Seed contains an accelerometer that detects if you have it positioned in the landscape (horizontal) or portrait (vertical) position and automatically rotates the screen, much like a tablet or smartphone.
This frame has a built-in motion sensor—Nixplay calls it the Hu-motion sensor—which senses when there’s movement in the area. If it doesn’t detect any motion in a predetermined amount of time (for example, if you set it to 10 minutes) it will switch off until someone comes into the room. Additionally, you can set a sleep schedule for the frame to turn on and off at specific times. This is a good way to make sure the frame stays off all night, even if your pet wanders in front of it.
You don’t really need to look at the instructions to assemble this device. When we opened the box, it was easy to see how the frame was put together, and setting up the hardware took about 20 seconds.
When we turned it on for the first time, the frame walked us through the setup process step by step—there’s no guesswork involved in getting your photos onto the Seed. Once we created a Nixplay account and paired it to our frame, there were options for syncing images from social media services like Facebook and Instagram as well as cloud services like Dropbox and Google Photos.
If you’re a person who regularly uses a smartphone, you’ll almost instantly know how to make your way around.
It also took a few minutes for the frame to download software and firmware updates, and it rebooted itself a few times before this process was complete.
We recommend placing it as close to your Wi-Fi router as possible when you first set it up for faster results. It’s also a good idea to connect your phone to the same Wi-Fi network when you’re uploading photos from your device to the frame.
The Nixplay Seed’s 10-inch widescreen display is the star of the show. The picture quality is excellent, with rich colors and deep blacks that make photos really pop. We were pleasantly surprised that a device at this price-point looked so good.
We tried to find the exact resolution of the display, but our search was in vain. It’s not listed on the website, in the user manual, on Amazon—anywhere. This makes it somewhat difficult to make a full evaluation of the display. However, we can safely assume that this is not a high-definition display as Nixplay goes out of their way to avoid that language—they use the phrase “High Resolution IPS” instead. But semantics and a lack of exact specs doesn’t take away from what we saw in testing, which was excellent picture quality.
The picture quality is excellent, with rich colors and deep blacks that make photos really pop.
You have to be paying close attention to notice any flaws in the display. We did notice some pixelation and blur on a few of the images coming through via the Instagram feed, but it’s unclear if that was due to the frame’s upscaling or the filters applied to the images.
This digital photo frame has built-in speakers that are fine for whenever you’re playing videos in the frame. Don’t expect room-filling audio that you can rock out to—the sound is actually somewhat muffled—but you’ll be able to hear what’s happening in a video. Given the size and price of this device, it’s hard to expect it to produce high-quality sound.
Nixplay did an excellent job of designing not just the frame’s interface, but also the mobile app and its website. The Seed’s interface is intuitive to navigate, highly responsive, and easy on the eyes. If you’re a person who regularly uses a smartphone, you’ll have no trouble finding your way around.
The app is laid out in a very similar fashion to social media apps like Facebook. This is a good move, because there is actually a social networking element to it. You can invite your friends to send photos to your frame, which is convenient and a more private way of sharing pictures than posting them on Facebook or Instagram.
The Nixplay Seed retails for $149.99, which seems like a fair price for what you get. The 8-inch model is the same price and the 13-inch model bumps up a whopping $60, to $209.99. In our opinion, the 10-inch model is at the right intersection of size and price.
We evaluated the Nixplay Seed and the Pix-Star FotoConnect simultaneously. They cost about the same but the Seed is much newer in terms of its technology.
This difference is most profoundly seen in the user interface. The Seed’s is much smoother, snappier, and easier to use. The experience of the website and mobile app is superior. And the display shows images with higher clarity and detail.
The only reason to pick the FotoConnect over the Seed would be if you wanted USB and SD connection ports, which the Nixplay does not have.
A fun, great-looking digital frame at the right price.
You’d be hard pressed to have a problem with the Nixplay Seed—in our estimation, it's the perfect size for a digital photo frame. It’s easy to set up and sync photos, and it has a great user interface. Plus, it comes at the right price.