By October 12, 2006

Parrot Photo Viewer review

The Parrot Photo Viewer could not have arrived for review at a better time. Having just returned from holiday Tracy and I have tons of photos to show off!

I have been looking at digital photo frames for the last few months and really like the idea. I wanted to get something for my desk at work but the frames tend to be rather large.

The Parrot Photo Viewer is unique in that it uses Bluetooth technology rather than a USB cable or SD card in order to upload and display pictures. Parrot have aimed this product at people with camera phones, giving them the ability to transfer their favourite photos from their phone to display them on the photo frame.

Parrot Photo Viewer

At just 8.6 x 10.6cm the frame is pretty small. It’s slim too measuring just 1.5cm deep. However these dimensions include the frame, the LCD screen has an effective diagonal of just 3.5 inches and has a resolution of 320 x 234. This may seem fairly low but on a screen of this size it works out quite well. The backlight is bright and evenly lit and can be adjusted to suit your needs.

Available in 8 frame designs the frame can be used in either portrait or landscape and what’s more, the frame has a built in sensor that can tell which way is up and rotate the images on screen to suit; a pretty cool feature.

Parrot Frame Designs

Uploading images via Bluetooth is dead easy. On my HTC TyTN I simply browse through the images I have saved and choose the one I want to send. Selecting beam file brings up a window where I can search for devices in range. Once the Parrot Photo Frame is shown on the list I click send and a few seconds later the picture is displayed on the screen.

Parrot Bluetooth

Transferring files from a PC is equally simple but gives you the added benefit of being able to send more than one picture at a time.

The Parrot Photo Viewer will accept jpeg images in a variety of sizes and will automatically scale them to fit the screen. That said, it is a good idea to resize large images on the PC before you transfer them to save space as the frame has only 32mb of Flash RAM available for images. This may not seem like a lot but if you resize jpeg down to the frame’s native resolution of 320 x 234 they end up at around 30k each. This means that you could theoretically upload hundreds of images, however, there is a limit of 125 images that you can store at any one time regardless of how small the files are – I found this limit rather odd as the 125 images I uploaded took up much less than 32mb.

The photo frame has a built in menu system that allows you to change various settings, review and delete stored images alter the backlight brightness, etc. The on screen display is really intuitive and is accessed by three buttons on the rear of the frame. You can also alter how frequently the images are changed from 5 seconds up to a few hours. One thing that I would like to see added is a random option as the photo frame will currently only display images in the order in which you uploaded them.

Photo Viewer Rear Buttons

The Parrot Photo Viewer is mains powered and comes with a slim power adapter. I would like to see a battery power option for this as it really is the ideal size for passing round to show people your photos. When most people see it for the first time they immediately want to pick it up.

The box for the Parrot Photo Viewer is also impressive and is ideal for anyone purchasing it as a gift for someone.

Parrot Photo Viewer Box

The firmware on the Parrot Photo Viewer can be updated via bluetooth. I think this is just as well as I did experience a few problems with it. Occasionally when tranfering images via Bluetooth the Photo Viewer would stop responding and the only solution is to unplug the power!

High-quality display
Featuring a high-resolution LCD screen with 320 x 234 pixels and 262 144 colours, the Parrot PHOTO VIEWER benefits from the TFT technology to guarantee you the highest level of rendering in terms of colours and sharp details.
It comes on during the day and switches off at night
An LCD screen gives off light, which can be a pain if you want to put it on your bedside table. The Parrot PHOTO VIEWER features a sensor that switches off the frame when the light level drops.

Technical and commercial specifications

Bluetooth® wireless photo viewer

  • High-resolution LCD TFT screen with 320 x 234 pixels
  • 262 144 colour display
  • Effective LCD size: 3.5 inches
  • Built-in light sensor
  • Compatible image format: JPEG (700 K to 7 M pixels)
  • 32 MB internal memory for storing over 100 photos
  • Portrait or landscape position sensor
  • Automatic image resizing
  • Menus: Slideshow, Picture, Delete, Reposition, Language…
  • Fitting: free-standing or wall-mounted
  • Power lead
  • Frame: white-leaded oak or leather (depending on model)
  • Bluetooth®

  • Built-in Bluetooth receiver
  • Bluetooth version 1.2
  • Bluetooth profiles supported: FTP, OPP and BIP
  • Receives pictures from up to 10 metres away
  • Pairing: not required with this product
  • Software updates by Bluetooth
  • Dimensions and Weight

  • Width: 8.6 cm Height: 10.6 cm Depth: 1.5 cm
  • Weight: 260 g (not incl. frame)
  • Processor

  • ARM 9 + 64 MB SDRAM
  • Storage memory: 32 MB NAND Flash
  • Conclusion
    I like this Parrot Photo Viewer and now have it sitting on my desk at work, it’s ideal for those photos that I have on my mobile and for uploading those holiday snaps to. However, I think it’s just a bit too small to use at home, it would be lost in my lounge or dining room. It’s a great idea but I’d like to see some things fixed/updated in a new firmware release.

    Matt

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    Posted in: Reviews

    About the Author:

    More than 20 years in the IT industry. Blogging with a passion and thirst for new technology since 2005.
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