NIX 8″ Hu-Motion digital frame review: A digital frame you might actual use.

Digital photo frames are odd things. They sounded fantastic on paper – all your photos on a little display. But according to a likely spurious newspaper survey, they were the most unwanted Christmas gift of 2010. As someone who has been given a digital frame, which sits unloved and more importantly, unused above my sub-woofer, I can attest to this.


So are digital photo frames the mini-disc player of our time? A great invention that fails to really take off? Well no – they are clearly useful and companies continue to innovate with their design and functionality.

One such company is Nix – a company created specifically to make “sophisticated” digital frames. And it shows. The smooth black plastic of the Nix 8″ Hu-Motion feels solid and blends well with most modern furniture. There is a line of touch sensitive buttons on the side that instantly reminded me of Android’s hardware buttons and I found myself reaching out and attempting to swipe the screen at various points when testing.

The software interface is not only fast and responsive but looks like some effort went into its design. The home screen has a scrolling list of icons that direct you to its main features – photo, music and video playback, with an additional calendar and clock functions. The frame comes with a USB port and SD card slot so you can directly transfer photos to the 1GB of internal storage, which are then automatically resized. It can also playback mp4 and avi files so you could throw together a little home movie and have it playback on the 8 Inch Ultra Sharp High Definition SVGA LCD Screen and 1.5w stereo speakers.

The Hu-Motion also packs a rechargeable battery, so you can hang it from a wall or sit on the sofa and go over your photos with a buddy. I often sit with friends and bore them with my slideshows from my iPad and the ability to share experiences like this is a key benefit for this sort of technology – and at a much lower price point than tablets.

And of course – the Hu-Motion’s headline feature is its built-in motion sensor. The frame’s motion sensor operates by switching the frame off when it senses no movement. You can set the frame to power off after sensing no movement for any period of time from 1 second through to 24 hrs. This is pretty sweet for home use – NIX claim you can save up to 60% on energy costs. You can also load messages and such on the frame in an commercial environment and flash a message a customers or staff when they come into range. And there is a remote that allows you access all the functionality. Basically they appear to have done as much as possible to ensure this is a digital frame you actually use.

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