NIX digital picture frames: Fatal flaw across all product lines

2020, Mar 02    

Nix Digital Photo Frame

One of the most important testing procedures before releasing a product is actual testing. The NIX digital photo frames seem to have neglected to test the most basic functionality when dealing with an embedded device.

What happens upon power loss?

The end user powers on the frame, inserts a media type (usb stick or sd card) and starts a slideshow. This is the most basic use-case when using a digital photo frame and is expected behaviour.

Now we pull the power cable to simulate a power loss situation and observe the results.

The unit powers on and remains at the menu screen waiting for user input. The attached media device is NOT recognized anymore. Trying to start the slideshow manually produces an error message stating as much. You must unplug the media, plug it back it and let it re-index. You must then manually start the slideshow.

Complete failure.

Your device must resume the previous activity gracefully, especially in this case. A digital picture frame should display photos at all times without user intervention. This is its main purpose.

An interesting addition to the entire package is wall mounting equipment.

Imagine the scenario where you mount the frame in 89 year old grandma Tilly’s home for her to enjoy the photos. She experiences a power outage and the frame is now stuck on a white menu screen. You receive a call letting you know that the picture frame isn’t working anymore. Have fun explaining that she must remove the frame from the wall, pull out the media storage, plug it back in, let it re-index and press the correct button on the remote to start the slideshow again.

I placed a call to NIX for a little more clarification on this oversight. 20 minutes later I get a script reading human who eventually explains that this is expected behaviour and applies to ALL frames that the company sells.

So much for that. Packed it back up and sent it back.

Now I’m back to looking for another frame that does this basic functionality. My previous frame is a Sony D810 from 2010 that is still chugging along and performs as expected. The only issue is that it has a hard-coded limit of 4999 files and I’ve already passed that limit of curated photos.