NIX Advance Hi-Res Digital Photo & HD Video Frame Review

NIX Advance - 8 inch Hi-Res Digital Photo Frame with Motion Sensor (X08E)

This little 8” frame is one of many frames in the NIX lineup. The 8” is their smallest and most compact frame presently. Small doesn’t mean cheap or skimpy on the display though! The high-resolution screen displays your photos with clarity and brilliance that will have you smiling as you watch your treasured photos cycle through the slideshow. The photos display at 5.5” high by 6.5” wide.

The feature set is minimal and makes for easy setup and use. The built-in motion sensor and sleep timer will keep this frame on when you are nearby and off when it’s not needed which will save money on your power bill.

There is no battery option with this frame and you will always need an electrical power source within 5’ of the device. Additionally, there is no built-in way to manage the photos on this frame using WIFI. You will need to physically insert and remove the photos using a portable USB drive or SD memory card. This is great feature if you don’t want your photos zinging through the air or hosted on someone else’s photo storage site in the cloud.

Size

This 8” photo frame (measured diagonally) is on the smaller side and would be perfectly suited to sitting on a desk or an end table. The smaller size also makes the frame portable and easy to enjoy in close quarters. If you are looking for a frame that could be nestled between knickknacks in your grandmother’s tiny apartment or tucked into a tight space on a busy executive’s desk, this frame should work nicely. The Nix frame would also be a lovely little frame to auto-loop an informative video or pleasant and relaxing photos in a business or medical waiting room.

There are several other sizes and configurations for this family of digital photo frames. The different size options include: 8” (reviewed on this page), 8” Widescreen (X08G), 10” (X10H), 12” (X12D), 13” Widescreen (X13C), 15” (X15D), and a 17.3” Widescreen (X17B) model.

Model Frame Width Frame Height Resolution Aspect Ratio Screen Size
8” X08E (this review) 7.64” 6.54” 1024 x 768 4:3 6.4”w x 4.8”h
8” X08G Widescreen (8″ diagonal) 7.87” 5.55” 1280 x 800 WXGA 16:10 6.8”w x 4.2”h
10” X10H (10.1” diagonal) 9.72” 6.97” 1280 x 800 16:10 8.6”w x 5.4”h
12” X12D (12” diagonal) 11.81” 9.65” 800 x 600 4:3 9.6”w x 7.2”h
13” X13C Widescreen (13” diagonal) 12.76” 8.39” 19.20 x 1080 FHD 16:9 11.3”w x 6.4”h
15” X15D (15” diagonal) 14.06” 11.34” 1024 x 768 4:3 12”w x 9”h
17.3” X17B Widescreen (17.3” diagoinal) 16.46” 10.35” 1920 x 1080 FHD 16:9 15.1”w x 8.5”h

I don’t personally own each model but I have done extensive research and talked with the customer support team at Nix to obtain all the dimensions for the various models listed above. Even so, I can’t guarantee that the measurements are correct.

Picture Format and Ratio

JPEG format pictures are what this frame specializes in displaying. If you have photos in a variety of other formats that you want to load, you will need to convert the pictures into JPEG format. Upon review, I discovered that tech support division at NIX has a good reputation at walking you through the process of converting your files if you need help. MP4 video files will also play on the frame if you choose to load them onto your memory card. Any photos or videos in different formats will be ignored by the frame and will not be shown. Occasionally, some photo formats such as gif’s have caused the frame to lock up so it would be a good idea to make sure that you are not loading any gif’s onto your memory card. Most of us take pictures in JPEG format so this is probably not something you need to worry about.

The aspect ratio is 4:3 for this 8” sized frame. What is aspect ratio? The ratio is a way of describing how tall the picture is compared to its width. That still sounds a little confusing. To explain this another way, a 4:3 aspect ratio photo is 1 and 1/3 wide compared to 1 high, or in other terms, 4 parts wide to 3 parts high. In real numbers, a photo that was 6” high by 8” wide has an aspect ratio of 4:3. A photo that is 4” high by 6” wide has an aspect ratio of 3:2. Most cell phone cameras and point and shoot cameras take pictures with an aspect ratio of 4:3 or 16:9. There is typically an option of which ratio, or size, photos you want to shoot under the settings of your cell phone or camera.

Have you ever printed a 4”x6” photo from your cell phone or camera and noticed that part of the image was missing or cropped? That happened because the print size did not match the aspect ratio of the photo. With this Nix 8” frame, the aspect ratio of 4:3 should be a very good match with the photos that most of us shoot with our cell phones or pocket cameras unless you are shooting in widescreen mode. If you are not shooting in widescreen mode, the frame will display your full photo without any cropping. If you do like to shoot most of your photos in the widescreen format, you would be better off selecting a widescreen frame to show off your photos.

The optimum size of your pictures for this frame is 800 pixels wide x 600 pixels high. At this size, the pictures will display quickly, and you should not experience any issues with lag. Of course, since this frame has a resolution of 1024×768, any photo of that size should also display beautifully!

I shoot a lot of high-resolution photos with my cell phone camera with a setting of 4032×3024 pixels which is a 4:3 aspect ratio. That results in a very large sized photo which is great for a printed enlargement or a much larger screen. A picture of this size will cause the frame to work harder than intended. Nix recommends free software to resize your images to a more manageable number of pixels so that you will have a better viewing experience. The free software is FastStone Photo Resizer and has great reviews. The software is located at this link: FastStone Photo Resizer

Resolution

The resolution on this frame is rated at 1024×768 using a high resolution IPS screen. What does all this mean? The 1024×768 is a count of the number of pixels (dots of light) that are shown on the screen. Typically, the larger the number, the more detail will be shown in the picture or video. You will get a crisp, clean, beautiful image on this display. “IPS” designation translates to “In-plane Switching”. In a nutshell, what we need to know is that an IPS screen allows us to view the digital photos from almost any angle without distortion. The previous generation of digital photo frames only looked good if you were directly in front of the frame. That is not the case with the new IPS frames. The IPS style frame is a big improvement over the older screens.

The Nix Advance frame incorporates an LED backlit system. What does this mean? An LED backlit display can produce whiter whites and blacker blacks. You will see more detail in the shadows and very bright areas of your photos than with a non-LED backlit display. Your photos will appear clear and bright with true to life colors.

The 720p HD MP4 video designation refers to the type of videos that can be watched. This is a very common format of high-definition video. The tech support team at Nix has a great reputation for being able to help you convert your videos to the correct format if they will not play on this standard setting. Videos can be played either with the audio turned on or off. The built-in speakers allow you to choose whether to always have the audio turned on, always off, or to decide whether you want to hear the soundtrack as each video comes up in the rotation. Strangely enough, there is a headphone jack on the rear of the frame if you want to listen to your videos privately. Of course, this means that you have to be tethered to your frame with your headphones.

Connectivity – How are photos installed into frame – Is there WIFI? Built-in memory?

32gb or smaller USB memory sticks or jump drives and/or SD memory cards are how you supply your photos and videos to the frame. This frame was designed to operate with a USB 2.0 memory stick. However, since USB 3.0 sticks are backwards compatible a 3.0 memory stick will also work in this frame. Memory sticks larger than 32gb will cause the frame to fail. This digital photo frame does not have WIFI connectivity. The only way to get photos onto the screen is by loading them on a memory card. While this might be a problem for some, it is a welcome relief for others.

Having this frame work without the use of any internet connection can be a real plus. No Internet required means that you can enjoy the photos on this frame from anywhere with power. Additionally, not having to pay for any online photo storage or photo transfer fees can really lower the cost of owning a digital photo frame.

If you are looking for a frame for your parents that are full-time RV’ers, this is the frame for you. If you want a frame for a relative that is in an assisted living or nursing home situation, this frame would also work well. Or if you simply don’t want to place any more demands on your Internet bandwidth at home or at work, this is a great choice.

The USB memory stick or SD memory card is not included with the frame so you’ll have to pick up one of those separately. If you choose to use a USB memory stick, make sure that you get a small, low profile style USB as the longer sticks will cause a problem with the frame support. The location on the frame where a USB stick is inserted is low on the stand of the frame. If a standard USB stick is inserted into the memory slot, the frame will be off balance and might break the USB stick.

Playback options

Once your photos have been loaded into the frame, you will need to select a method of playback. The options include playing photos only, videos only, all media which will play all compatible files on your memory device, or you can pick and choose which photos you want to see. You can also select whether to play the audio of any video that is loaded, or not play the audio, or lastly, ask you if you want to hear the audio each time a video pops up on the screen. The frame will remember your choice and start the slideshow in a continuous loop. If you are watching a review of your photos and you see one that you want to change, it is easy to use the remote control to rotate the photo or delete it from your slideshow.

There are a few other options to make things more interesting which include the sorting order of the pictures. You can choose from playing the files back in A to Z order, by date, or a random order. The amount of time that each photo is displayed is also an option. There are 14 choices for the timing starting at 3 seconds and going all the way to 24 hours per photo.

There are 7 different transition effect choices that will melt one photo into another in unique and interesting ways. You can select your favorite transition, or you can tell the frame to randomly choose from all 7 effects as it rotates through your photos.

The Nix frame is built with a fast processor and slideshows can include thousands of photos and videos. You are only limited by the number of files that you can place on your memory card. Of course, if you fill a 32GB card with thousands of photos and videos, your frame will have to work hard to access all those files and there may be some lag time or in between photos.

Can photos be managed remotely?

The frame comes with a small remote control. The remote allows you to adjust your photos while you are watching them. The adjustments that you can fine tune include, rotation, hue, saturation, brightness, contrast, and zoom. You can also select whether to delete a photo, have all the photos shown in “fill the frame” mode or in “fit the frame” mode. I would not recommend “fill the frame” mode as that will stretch or compress your photos to fill the entire screen which will distort any pictures that are not in the exact same size as the frame. Be aware that some users have received their remote controls with dead batteries. If you want to make sure that you can get going right away, you might want to purchase an extra CR2032 battery along with your frame.

Does it do other stuff besides photos/videos?

There is an attractive calendar option that is built-in to this photo frame. The calendar will display on roughly one-third of the right-hand side of the screen. A clock only option is also available. The clock will display the current time in the lower right corner of the frame and is an unobtrusive bonus. The clock has the option of displaying time in a 12-hour format or a 24-hour format. You do have the option of turning off the clock and the calendar so that your photos are the only thing that is shown. This frame will not play MP3 files.

NIX Advance 8 Inch Hi-Res Digital Photo & HD Video Frame (X08E) Features

The frame comes with a full one-year warranty on parts and labor.

Built-in stand: The stand is part of the frame itself which prohibits any adjustment of angle. Since the frame stand is attached to the base of the frame, it is not possible to hang this frame on a wall. The design is meant to sit on a desk in a landscape orientation only.

Motion sensor: A motion sensor has been incorporated into the frame that senses when there is movement in the room. The frame will power down to save energy after an amount of time that you select has gone by with no one in the room. The motion sensor can be adjusted so that it will turn the frame off after it senses no activity for 5, 10, 30 minutes or one hour. Turning the motion sensor off completely is also an option.

Sleep timer: To keep the frame from popping on in the middle of the night, the frame comes with a sleep timer function. You choose what time of day to put the frame to sleep. While the frame is asleep, it will not display photos regardless of any motion in the room. If you sometimes get up in the night to make a trip to the kitchen, walking past the frame will not light up room with your photos if the sleep timer is engaged.

Controls: The back of the frame has a full set of controls to use to adjust any of the settings on the frame. There is also a remote control that can be used from a short distance to change the settings.

Power source: A wall outlet is needed to power this frame. A 5 foot cord is included with the frame.

Auto-rotation: The frame will cycle through your photos and videos automatically. This does not mean that it will automatically turn all of your photos upright. The pictures will be displayed in the same orientation that they were saved to your USB stick or memory card. You can rotate pictures one at a time as they become visible using the remote control or you can rotate all of your photos so that they all display at 90° or 180° rotation change from their original position.

Dimensions

6.54 inches high and 7.64 inches wide. The screen is measured diagonally and comes in at 8 inches.

Color / Finish

1 color – black

Pros

• Beautiful IPS Display
• Compact size fits just about anywhere
• No WIFI required
• No photo storage fees required
• Motion Sensor
• Sleep Timer

Cons

• Built-in stand limits frame position
• Remote control battery is often dead on arrival
• No WIFI access
• 5-foot electrical cord will limit placement

NIX Advance – 8 inch Hi-Res Digital Photo Frame with Motion Sensor (X08E) Consumer Ratings

A great many reviewers on Amazon are very happy with the brilliant display and the way that their photos shine while using this digital photo frame. It’s easy to setup and operate and the motion sensor and sleep timer is a real plus for many users.

NIX Advance – 8 inch Hi-Res Digital Photo Frame with Motion Sensor (X08E)Price

Summary

My overall thoughts on this frame are that it is a fabulous choice with a bright, clear, and sharp screen to display photos in tight spaces. Whether you are placing this frame on an office desk or on an end table or shelf it is sure to be an attention getter. The photos cycle through the frame smoothly and the colors pop! The frame is easy to maintain and doesn’t require any additional and sometimes costly services such as photo storage fees.

NIX Advance Hi-Res Digital Photo & HD Video Frame Review

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