Just like buses, photo viewers seem to come in twos. Barely a week has passed since I looked at the 9in Philips Photo Frame, and though I admired the features and the quality, you had to pay a premium to enjoy them.
Today we have a 7in Bluetooth Photo Viewer from Parrot to look at, and late last year Benny reviewed the original Parrot Bluetooth Photo Viewer. It was a commendable effort at the time, but it had a prohibitively high price and lacked a number of fundamental features. Has Parrot learned from its mistakes?
Initial impressions are that, aesthetically speaking, the seven inch version is very much the child of the original. It may be considerably larger – the original had a tiny 3.5in screen – but for all intent and purposes it looks exactly the same. Parrot sells the viewer in a number finishes including: Natural Oak, Alezan, Black Salamander, Brown Salamander, Black Ivory, Cardinal Red and, for the utterly tasteless, Zebra.
Our review sample has the Black Ivory finish, which seems to be least offensive of all the liveries. It’s by no means as stylish as the Philips, but the white stitching on black leather has a homely feel that isn’t unpleasant. That said, as looks go I’d still opt for the Philips every time – and that applies to all the different styles available too.
Dimensionally this 7in version is certainly larger, though the screen isn’t quite as large as advertised since it actually has a diagonal measurement of 6.5in. Overall dimensions are 222 x 176 x 22mm, and the unit weighs in at 490g.
The Parrot sports a 720 x 480 resolution screen, and can display up to 262,144 colours. Internally there’s also a motion sensor, and the viewer will automatically adjust images to suit either a portrait or landscape aspect.
Viewing angles, which are certainly important in this kind of product, aren’t too much to write home about. When in landscape mode the horizontal viewing angles are acceptable, but on the vertical plane they’re especially poor and this is a problem when in portrait mode.
Happily, apart from the average viewing angles it’s quite a decent screen looking bright and crisp even when sat next to the Philips Photo Frame.
Unlike the Philips, which has a built-in stand that rotates, the Parrot Photo Viewer relies on a metal rod which screws into the back of the device. Since this is tactically placed in a corner this does allow it to be put in landscape and portrait positions, but it isn’t an especially stable solution and the viewer is easily knocked over by a slight brush or knock.