I look at my Benibela digital picture frame every day — here's why you need one
This novice- and gifting-friendly frame plays a running slideshow of all your cherished memories.
You should own a digital picture frame. Why? Because those years' worth of photos hidden away on your phone deserve to be seen! I look at mine every single day, sometimes while passing by, sometimes for a few minutes while drinking my morning coffee, and it brings me a "joy snack" every time. If you're ready to snack like that, consider the Benibela 10.1-inch digital picture frame. It's packed with features and especially great to give as a gift.
I spent the last few days testing it and, save for a few quibbles, I like it a lot. For starters, Benibela supplies a surprisingly detailed user manual, with large print and ample information about setup, adding photos, inviting friends and family and so on. It's pretty rare these days to see a print guide this comprehensive, be it for a photo frame or any other tech product. Compliments to the company.
Setup is quite simple: Using the touchscreen interface, you just connect the frame to your home Wi-Fi network and then pair it to the VPhoto app on your phone. The latter is done by scanning an onscreen QR code or entering a numeric code; you can likewise share that code with friends or family, making it just as easy for them to share snapshots. The frame also has a dedicated email address that some might prefer to installing an app.
Planning to give this as a gift? You can add photos without opening the box (though you do need to remove the shrink-wrap, unfortunately): Just install the app, scan a QR code that's under a sticker on the back of the box, then preload any photos or videos and even a gift message. Once the recipient sets up Wi-Fi, your preloads will magically appear.
Whoever gets the frame, the VPhoto app makes it easy to choose photos and videos to upload. You can also display media stored on a microSD memory card or copy it over from your computer. (There's 32GB of internal storage, enough for literally tens of thousands of photos.) One nice touch is face recognition, which analyzes all the pictures and filters them by face. Thus, if you want a slideshow of only, say, a grandchild, you can have that.
The frame runs at an admirably high resolution (1920 x 1200 pixels) and delivers bright, crisp, colorful images. To help conserve electricity, it can be set to run only at certain times — and there's a motion sensor that'll turn off the screen until movement is detected.
Now for the gripes. This particular Benibela frame works only in landscape orientation; it can't rotate for portrait viewing and can't be wall-mounted, even though the Amazon product page indicates otherwise. What's more, although both the instruction manual and product page make mention of support for USB drives, there's no USB port — not on this model, anyway.
My bigger complaint is with the app, which doesn't highlight or otherwise tag photos you've already uploaded to the frame. Thus, it's too easy to accidentally send duplicates. At least there's a "history" tab in the app where you can manually view photos you've sent. But the main selection screen needs to show them as well. It's a problem that could be fixed with a simple bit of coding.
Alas, other photo-frame apps suffer from this same annoyance (looking at you, Nixplay), so it's just something to live with. Ultimately, Benibela's frame is sure to bring you a lot of joy.
Looking for other options? See my roundup of the best digital photo frames of 2023.
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