Review: Aura Smart Photo Frame

There have been many attempts at smart photo frames, but they often fell flat. You might have even tried dedicating a cheap Android tablet for the purpose. The result is something that is too hard to use, or the image resolution is poor, or it doesn't handle portrait and landscape images well.

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If you want the best smart photo frame, you should try the Aura Smart Frame ($299) from Aura Frames. It's not cheap, but it's beautiful, with a high resolution screen that does justice for your photos. Clearly, the Aura addresses many of the limitations of other smart photo frames. It even adjusts brightness based on your surroundings, making it ideal for the bedroom. And that same sensor lets you wave your hand to scroll through photos, without touching the screen or using the app.

The Aura also rotates intelligently; just turn the stand and the Aura orients images appropriately. The photos are loaded via Wi-Fi, so you can share photos across the country via the app. The app supports facial recognition to organize photos. You can even swipe up to show your love for a particular photo to let the photographer know! These features make the Aura great for friends and family.

Pros

  • Beautiful design
  • Smart screen rotation
  • Share photos across the country via the app
  • High resolution 2048 x 1536 HD display 
  • Automatic brightness adjustment

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Large bezel

Final Verdict

The Aura is a well-packaged smart photo frame and it makes a nice gift, perhaps for a child off to college, or for yourself to view photos of that child.

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Todd Bernhard is a bestselling (6+ million downloads) award-winning (AARP, About.com, BestAppEver.com, Digital Hollywood, and Verizon) developer and founder of NoTie.NET, an app developer specializing in Talking Ringtone apps including AutoRingtone. And his profile photo is of the last known sighting of Mr. Bernhard wearing a tie, circa 2007!

An iPhone is almost always attached to his hip or in his pocket, but over the years, Mr. Bernhard has owned an Apple Newton, a Motorola Marco, an HP 95LX, a Compaq iPaq, a Palm Treo, and a Nokia e62. In addition to writing for iPhone Life, Mr. Bernhard has written for its sister publications, PocketPC Magazine and The HP Palmtop Paper.