11 September 2021

REVIEW: Aura Smart Frame

Picture this...

It seems that the classic digital photo frame is making something of a comeback. Since our review of the Nixplay Seed Wave last year, we've noticed a lot more companies, many of them new to us, releasing similarly smart and connected frames. So, here's another. We check out the Aura Smart Frame.

With a 10.1 inch screen, boasting a resolution of 1920 x 1200, the Aura Frame looks like an actual framed screen, straight out of the box. We were sent the Charcoal edition, but there is also 'White Chalk' and 'Shale' versions available. Certainly it looks nice, and while switched off it resembles a traditional phone frame, albeit a chunky one.

Powered on via the AC adaptor, the Aura Smart Frame connects to your WiFi network and to the free Aura app. It's from here that you'll upload your photos to the frame, and thankfully the app is very user friendly. We recommend you create a folder on your phone, fill it with the pictures you want on the Aura, then search for that folder through the app - that'll save you a lot of searching.

The screen is crisp, and those ten inches are used to great effect. Sit the Aura Smart Frame on a sideboard and it will dominate other 'real' frames. The backlit screen also makes it ideal for positioning somewhere typically darker; where conventional photo frames will be missed. Either way, the physical gadget itself blends nicely into any home.

The software also impressed us. The Aura is landscape by default, which would be an issue for portrait photos - which are typically the majority of what you want on display in a home. Fortunately the frame can detect similar portraits, often containing the same person or people, and display them side-by-side. The effect is good, and seemed to work most of the time, matching faces but also similar backgrounds and environments.

But let's not overlook that 'smart' part of the device's name. The Aura is, after all, connected to the internet, and this is used to make your photos social. You can share an image currently displaying on the screen to a list of added contacts in the Aura app, using the touch-bar controls on top of the frame. This we really liked, not just for sharing, but because there are no visible buttons on the frame.

Combine all that with an auto-dimming screen that will put itself to sleep at night and wake itself in the morning, and you have a very intuitive and versatile digital frame. If you're looking for something unique to show off treasured memories, this is it.


Available from www.amazon.co.uk

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