Sungale ID800WT Digital Photo FrameAug 28th, 2009 | By Nivedh
Sungale ID800WT Digital Photo Frame
: 08/29/09 – 01:36:43 AM
Page 1 : Introduction
Sungale is a company I had never heard of. With manufacturing facilities in Shenzhen, China, they have recently started marketing consumer electronics all over the world. Their current product line-up consists of a digital photo frames, clocks, radios, GPS units, and so on.
In this review, we'll be looking at a digital photo frame, the
featuring Wi-Fi connectivity.
Page 2 : Package, Features & Specifications
The Sungale ID800WT 8′ digital photo frame comes in an attractive, colorful package. You immediately know that it's a digital photo frame thanks to the images and large font. The resolution is 800×600 and of course, the Wi-Fi inclusion is pointed out. This is a major selling point of the ID800WT.
The sides of the box further emphasize the Wi-Fi feature.
On another side, we have a small list of features.
The back has more information showcasing features and contents.
Let's take a look at the features and specifications before opening up the package.
I went to Sungale's website to retrieve the following:
Youtube: Top ten Youtube programs for your entertainment
RSS news: Google &Yahoo
IP Radio: Thousands of stations for your selection
Picasa: View and download your photos
Stock: Real-time stock quotes and market news
Gmail: Watch your email without a PC
Weather: Real time weather report in your area
Photo: JPG, TIF, PNG, BMP
Calendar: Digital Calendar
Clock: Analogue Clock display
Touch Screen: Touch screen to do your operation
* Auto link to your home wireless router,
* Auto configuration
* View and download your photos on internet
* Listen thousands of IP Radio stations on the global
* Input Zip code to find real time weather report in your area
* RSS to view your favorite and personal YouTube
* Real time stock quotes and market news
* Top ten YouTube programs for your entertainment
* Display Google news and Yahoo news
* Gmail watchable
* Touch screen make you enjoy your operation
* Digital Calendar
* analogue clock display
* USB Slave for PC to manage your files
* 8′ hi-resolution LCD screen/Slide show/video/music
Display type: TFT LCD
Screen dimension: 8 inch (4:3)
Contrast: 250 cd/m2
Photo file formats: JPG, TIF, PNG, BMP
Music file formats: WMA
Video file formats: AVI
USB connection: USB Host and USB device
Power supply: AC 100—-240V DC 5V 2A
Page 3 : Package Contents
Once you open the box, you will find the ID800WT protected by Styrofoam blocks.
You will also find several bags containing the user's manual, a quick-start guide, the power supply unit, a USB cable, cleaning cloth, and stand.
The frame itself has a black bezel which makes the 8′ touchscreen look small. There is a small ‘bubble’ at the bottom center which looks like an IR receiver – however, no remote is included.
Flipping it over, we see a sticker showing the capacity of 512MB. There are five buttons – right, left, enter, exit, and power. The screen is touch-capable so I don't see the need to use any of the buttons except for power. There are two indentations for hanging the frame up on a wall if needed. The large knob near the center is removable – this is used to attach the stand.
The two small screws at the left and right can also be removed to detach the frame from the unit which gives it a slightly cleaner look. The stand is attached easily using the large knob.
On one side, we have all the input/output ports – USB host (to attach your own flash drive, for example), USB device (to connect the ID800WT to your computer using the included cable), audio output, and DC power in.
On the other side, we have the card slots that support SD/MMC/MS/XD/CF.
With the stand attached, the frame takes on a slightly inclined side profile.
It's time to see what the ID800WT can show us.
Page 4 : Walkthrough & Evaluation
There is no set up required to get started with the Sungale ID800WT. You just have to plug in the power adaptor and press the ‘power’ button on the back and you're good to go.
Once the software initializes, it directly goes to a slideshow mode showing you your pictures. However, I will start with the main screen which can be accessed by navigating with the touch screen or by pressing the ‘exit’ button at the back.
There are ten icons on the main screen. Storage allows you to access your files that are stored in either the internal memory (512MB) or from a flash drive that you have plugged in. Of course, to add photos or other files to the internal memory, you need to use the included USB cable to connect the ID800WT to your computer. It will appear as a standard USB storage drive and you can add files to it.
It is very easy to navigate, with most actions requiring just one touch. To access different folders or files, you merely touch the item on the right to highlight it and then touch the large icon on the left to browse. At the bottom are several other buttons that are activated based on the context.
Pictures show up as files. You can enter slideshow mode by touching the preview image on the left. It takes a while to ‘decode’ the file before displaying it.
It then zooms in and cycles through all pictures on the device in slide show format, with transitions between images. Curiously, no ‘decoding’ is necessary in slide show format.
As the pictures show, the screen is very vibrant and colors look eye-popping. The 800×600 resolution is very sufficient for a photo frame of this size.
Apart from pictures, the ID800WT can also play music files.
Video files can also be played, although they don't fill up all the available space on the screen.
Text files can also be displayed in a rudimentary fashion.
Going back to the main screen, slide show parameters can be adjusted by selecting ‘Settings’ from the main screen.
You can also display information about the ID800WT.
There is also a calendar feature that you can use to set alarms and such – definitely a nice feature to have.
By this time, you are probably wondering why I haven't gotten to one of the main features of the ID800WT – WiFi. The truth of the matter is, it just would not connect. Going through the settings, I tried connecting to several routers (Linksys WRT54GL, Trendnet TEW-432BRP, LevelOne WBR N Max) without any luck. Sometimes it would let me connect but the connection did not stay on for more than 30 seconds so there was no way for me to test the Weather, IP Radio, News, YouTube, Gmail, Picasa, or Stock features. Other reviewers have had success but not us.
Sometimes, I even got a weird, scrolling-type message while trying to connect. The screen became ‘distorted’ and the frame became unresponsive – the only solution was a hard reset.
After trying everything to get the Wi-Fi to work, including putting the frame right up next to the routers, I finally gave up.
In any case, the features that did function did so very well. After all, the ID800WT is marketed as a digital photo frame, and it displays photos very well.
Page 5 : Conclusion
Sungale's ID800WT is the first digital photo frame I've worked with and it is definitely a unique product.
With a large, vibrant 8′ screen with 800×600 resolution, your pictures will be displayed with great clarity. In terms of physical design, there are no flaws. The 512MB of internal storage capacity is a bit on the small side. You can, however, plug in your large capacity memory card or flash drive and easily display the photos from that, which is nice. The menus are easy to navigate thanks to the responsive touchscreen. Its ability to play videos and music is also a plus.
On the other hand, the software and interface could definitely use some refinement. As I mentioned earlier, I could not get the frame to connect to a wireless network which meant that several features did not work. You would expect a product that claims to connect easily to your router to work. If I had this much trouble trying to get it to connect, the average home user would not be able to either.
All in all, if you want a decent digital photo frame to display all your photos, the Sungale ID800WT is a good choice. If Wi-Fi access and the associated features are important, don't count on it.
- Vibrant screen
- Touchscreen interface
- Well-designed and easy to use
- Can play music and videos in addition to displaying photos
- Wi-Fi issues
- Interface could be more polished
I'd like to thanks Sungale for making this review possible