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Unboxing & Review

 

Pintura – Is this the next step for digital photo frames?

 

It has been a while since our last review! We have been busy working on other stuff lately, so we had to reject some requests earlier. But this Pintura photo frame is different. It caught our eyes at first glance so when we were offered to review it, we told Pintura to ship it.

 

As Pintura is still being funded, it is not surprising that the box design isn’t quite completed yet. The package arrived in an unmarked white cardboard box, similar to those TVs come with. All openings are double-secured by a folded tab. Inside the box are two smaller white boxes and a large metal plate. The larger box holds the photo frames in Apple iPhone style, but they are stacked in pairs so 4 are included. The accessories such as cables and bolts are stored in smaller boxes inside the smaller one. The packing focuses on protection over everything else, to ensure the items arrive undamaged, like an egg box.

The individual photo frames are similar to the generic Android tablets. They have plastic side frames, which make them far lighter than the common metal or glass cased counterparts. The screen is also different – they have a semi-matt finishing like PC monitors instead of the mirror-like smartphones or tablets. While this design prevents unwanted reflections, it is easy to get stained with fingerprints. At least it is easy to wipe clean with a static cloth, and you wouldn’t be touching it once it has been set up.​

One main feature of the Pintura is its magnetic wall. Strong magnets are embedded inside the frame as well as each individual photo frame, so they stick together well, even vertically. The magnetic wall has a tempered glass cover like the back of iPhones. The edge is lined up nicely along with the main metal frame, but it is still glass afterall so best to go gentle on it. There are various holes and mounts for you to hang it on a wall using the hardware included.

All the individual photo frames are powered by wireless electricity, meaning they will turn on as long as they are placed correctly on the wall. The wall only requires one socket plugged in to work, although four of such sockets are located on each side (left, right, center top, center bottom) for your convenience. Once it is powered up, the frames will switch on and display the Pintura logo. Next step requires the Pintura App on your phone.

The Pintura App is already available for download from the Play Store and App Store for Android/iOS. It is the main way to pick photos and settings for the photo frames, as they do not come with physical memory readers for USB drives or SD cards. The app includes a straight-forward guide for setup, which is really helpful. Your phone will detect the screens (all 4 of them) with Wi-Fi, then the App will help you connect them and form a single set. You can drag and pull to arrange the positions.

Once the App has been set up, you can set up an album for the frames to loop over. It is really simple and straight-forward. To try out its 2K resolution, we have picked some really clear (5MB+)! photos. The screens display the still images nicely, adding a great ambient to the wall. The brightness is about right for this room, visible yet not intrusive. The improvement over older digital photo frames is obvious. The backlight is perfectly even to my eyes, and there is zero light leak around the edges with the frame.​

Turning on Pintura after all the setup feels like switching on the power of the Christmas tree! Once the photos are synced, the screens display them in great resolution and contrast. An impressive 1000:1 contrast ratio is claimed on the 15.6” Pintura frame. To explain this in simple words, the brightest color (white) on Pintura can be 1000 times as bright as the darkest color (black) with some photos! Using the lower left photo for example, this really brings out the border between the peak and the sky, and the resolution is enough to render individual strands of grass even viewing from a distance.

I did have to rearrange their positions, as I didn’t line up the screen exactly the way as listed on the App. Having both horizontal and vertical screens is a welcomed feature, as I can display photos taken in both ways. There are multiple modes to loop an album and such on the App, and the change is instant.

So in conclusion, who do we think of Pintura? We think it is a brilliant idea that turns existing and affordable tech into something completely new. It is possible to hang up several digital frames just like it, but it would take far more effort to set up and likely costs more. Not saying the others are bad, but the Pintura App is surprisingly smooth and easy to use, which is a big plus in our book. It is definitely recommended for anyone who is looking for a digital photo display at home.

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