isabella
digital picture frame
reviews

Review and contest: Vizit, the first two-way, fully interactive digital photo frame

Next Story

England Vs USA – It's the TechCrunch World Cup


We’ve reviewed a number of digital picture frames here at CrunchGear, and they each strive to fit a slightly different niche. Isabella’s new Vizit Frame brings some interesting new features to this crowded space. It sports a gorgeous 10.4″ touchscreen, 3G wireless connectivity, and the ability to send pictures from the frame to someone’s email address. It’s probably the best digital picture frame I’ve reviewed yet, but still has a couple rough spots.

Features:

  • 800×600 10.4″ LED backlit LCD touchscreen display
  • weighs only 1.7 lbs.
  • USB and microSD card slot
  • GSM/GPRS quad-band connectivity
  • $279.99

Pros:

  • easy-to-use carousel menu system makes touchscreen operation super convenient
  • bright display with comfortable viewing angles
  • small form factor with built-in stand makes placement easy

Cons:

  • requires monthly or annual VizitMe plan to use cellular connectivity
  • touchscreen is not quite sensitive enough
  • carousel menu is slow to respond

The Vizit frame is lightweight, thin, and feels well constructed. I’m really impressed by how svelte it is in comparison to other digital frames I’ve reviewed. The touchscreen interface means there’s no remote control to lose, nor any buttons on the frame itself, which makes this a really great choice for placing in your living room. The touchscreen plus 3G cellular connectivity makes this a great choice to stick out at Grandma’s house, since Grandma probably doesn’t have a wireless router hooked up yet.

The on-screen controls are easy to use, but you need to really press on the screen to make things happen. This isn’t an iPhone with a super sensitive display. A number of times I found myself pressing a little harder than I was comfortable with to make the menu pop up. Once the menu does pop up, you need to press again to “spin” the carousel menu to the next option. The transition effects as the menu moves to the next item is unnecessarily slow. It might be okay for Grandma, but for the neophile readers of CrunchGear, most of them will find it laboriously unresponsive.

The Vizit frame works just fine as a stand-alone frame, thanks to the USB and microSD ports. Although, interestingly, photos on USB or microSD are not automatically scaled to fit the screen. Odd, that. If you really want to take advantage of all the frame’s features you’ll need to subscribe to a service plan for wireless access. Your choices are $6/month with a limit of 100 photos per month, or $80/year with an annual limit of 1,450 photos. Your plan gives you an account on www.vizitme.com which connects to your frame. You get an email address for your frame, and a basic address book at vizitme.com: anyone you add to your address book can send photos to your frame via email or MMS.

Photos sent to your frame’s email address are stored in their original resolution at vizitme.com, scaled appropriately and sent to your frame for display. From the frame, you can use the carousel menu to send one of several replies (configurable at vizitme.com) to the person who sent you the photo. The default replies are generic responses like “Thanks!” and “Great photo!”. Also from the frame’s carousel menu, you can forward a picture to someone else in your address book. The forwarded image is the original resolution stored at VizitMe.com, so no fidelity is lost. I can’t think of too many situations where this would be useful, but it’s available to those who want it. And finally, you can subscribe to RSS feeds, Photobucket accounts, etc.

At almost $300, this is one of the more expensive picture frames on the market. Add in the monthly or yearly subscription for wireless access and the price climbs even higher. There’s no doubt in my mind, though, that there are a number of great uses for this frame.

Product page: Vizit: See. Touch. Feel.


The folks at Isabella would like a lucky CrunchGear reader to have a Vizit frame. Alas, the winner will only get the frame: a wireless subscription is not included in this contest. You can use the USB or microSD slots to load up photos, or you can purchase a wireless subscription on your own.

To enter, please leave a comment telling us about who you plan to gift this frame to. That’s right: the winner is expected to give the frame to someone else. Whether that’s grandma in another state, or your kid going off to college, or maybe just your spouse because you travel so much, the intent here is to give the Vizit frame to someone else! Tell who that person is, and preferably a little about how the Vizit frame will be used by them, and we’ll pick a winner Monday morning.

As usual, this contest is unfortunately only open to people with a U.S. mailing address.

blog comments powered by Disqus