There are a few other options too with some rather naff – or fun depending on your disposition – ‘frames’ to choose from, along with a selection of black and white and sepia effects that you can add should you choose. You can also organise your photos into albums, and all of this is relatively easy, thanks to a neatly organised interface and control system.
Located on the right side of the back of the unit are a five-way joystick and two menu buttons, with power and reset buttons located just below. Using the joystick to navigate the various menus is really quite intuitive, with right and left used to move through the menu system while pressing the joystick in to select.
The other two buttons provide access to further options, with their current function always displayed in the bottom right hand of the display. Though it can be hard to locate these buttons simply by touch, it doesn’t take too long to get used to this system.
As is typical for a unit such as this, the 9FF2M4 features a multitude of slideshow options. These include different timings, the highest being four hours, as well as numerous different transitions – some of which are quite elaborate and distracting. Thankfully you have full control over it, so you can use whatever transitions you like. There’s also an in-built clock that can be used to set up alerts and allow the photo frame to turn itself on and off at regular intervals.
As if that weren’t enough 9FF2M4 also features a battery, albeit one that only lasts for around an hour. Considering this low figure you’d be forgiven for wondering why such a feature is needed, but in actuality this is very smart.
One of the strengths of printed photos is that you can sit down on a sofa, with a relative or other interested party, and simply flick through an album. Thus with a battery you can unplug the photo frame and sit down with it, using the manual browsing mode to flick through photos at your leisure.
All of this on a display that’s wonderfully crisp, bright and colourful. Confusingly, Philips quotes a resolution of 800 x 480 and a viewable area of 680 x 480. Coupled with the screen that’s actually eight inches, rather than nine, it’s difficult to tell what Phillips is getting at here.
One can only assume that 680 x 480 is the actual resolution the screen displays at, though where the 800 x 480 figure comes from is anyone’s guess. Other than this confusion, the screen is excellent and is significantly better than what you’d get in the vast majority of cheaper alternatives.
It’s just as well too because the 9FF2M4 is by no means cheap. Coming in at £150 it’s certainly a premium item, one that you really must want. With the 9FF2M4, however, it is a case of "you get what you pay for". If you like the quality but not the price however, you could opt for the seven inch version, which comes in at a slightly less hefty figure of £130.
An impulse buy it might not be, but if a digital photo frame is the answer to all your prayers then the Philips 9FF2M4 has to be on your list. It’s elegant, well designed and easy to use with plenty of useful features to help you get the most out of your photos.