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Aura Mason smart digital picture frame 9 inch review – where to buy in UK?

Aura Mason smart digital picture frame 9 inch review
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Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Distinctive minimalist design
  • Landscape or portrait orientation
  • Gorgeous high-resolution screen
  • App controls image posting and other features
  • Compatible with Apple’s Live Photos
  • Integrates with Google Photos and iCloud
  • Streamlined and seamless interface

Cons

  • WiFi network required
  • Small touch bar
  • No ports or internal storage
  • Ambient light sensor can be finicky
  • Does not play videos
  • Limited settings to adjust

Specs – Aura Mason smart digital picture frame 9 inch

  • Large 9″ screen
  • Overall size 9.7″ x 7.6″ x 2″
  • Plastic, metal and glass
  • Interactive touch bars
  • Weight: 1kg
  • Resolution: 1600×800 pixels (1.2-megapixels)
  • Screen size: 8.75-inch touchscreen
  • Dot pitch: 224 pixels-per-inch (PPI)
  • Unlimited free photo storage
  • Rotates 90° for landscape or portrait display
  • 5′ custom braided fabric power cord
  • Wi-Fi: Yes
  • Touch screen: No
  • Remote: No
  • Built-in storage: No
  • Motion sensor: No
  • Music player: No
  • Video: No
  • USB/SD slots: No/No
  • Cloud Services: iCloud, Google Photos
  • Invite unlimited people to contribute photos to frame using Aura Frames app
  • Vertical or horizontal tabletop display

Price

The Aura Mason Frame, at $199, comes in two neutral colors on a free-standing base design – Graphite or White Quartz, paired with a high quality braided cord, which together form a beautiful and artistic addition to any room. 

Aura Mason smart digital picture frame 9 inch review

Build

The Aura Mason’s sculpted back and wide edge give it a solid footing on a table or shelf in either portrait or landscape orientation.

Design

Aura Mason smart digital picture frame measures at 9.7 x 2 x 7.6 inches, and weighs around 3.5 pounds. It’s small enough to be subtle yet still offers plenty of space for photos to really shine.  Aura frame, which is 9 inches with a 4:3 aspect ratio. Colors are vivid but realistic.

Display

The Mason’s 1600×1200–resolution, 8.57-inch screen (which Aura sometimes rounds up to 9 inches in spec sheets) looks sharp, has excellent contrast, and displays colors well. Its automatic light sensor worked surprisingly well in our trial runs, cranking up the screen’s brightness to combat sunlight. 

The frame’s ambient light sensor automatically adjusts display brightness, and will automatically turn off the display when the room goes completely dark.

Touch bar

At any time a left or right swipe of the Mason’s Touch Bar calls up the previous or next photo. They then stay on screen for the default time you’ve selected. That Touch Bar also switches Mason on and off, which thanks to an ambient light sensor it also does automatically when you switch off the lights in the room it’s positioned it. That ambient light sensor also adjusts the image’s brightness to suit the room.  

Storage

You can manually add photos from your camera roll, picking out the highlights for the Mason to gradually scroll through, or set it to random. You can then use it either in landscape or portrait orientation; the photo changes as you physically rotate the Mason. You can also set slideshow timing and sleep schedules. 

Setup

The Mason is all about simplicity, and never more so in its set-up. Plug it in and within a few seconds, the Mason generates a four-digit code. Then you need to download the app, create an account, associate it with the Mason via Bluetooth, then attach it to a WiFi home network. 

App in Aura Mason smart digital picture frame

Download the Aura Frames app on a compatible smart device, connect the frame to your Wi-Fi network and you’ll be ready to add your photos. Select images from your device’s camera roll, iCloud or Google Photos library and, within a few seconds, they’ll appear as part of the Mason’s slideshow. 

Aura’s software helps you easily set up the Aura Mason as a gift. Using the app, scan a QR code on the box to pair it with your account. That lets you invite family members to contribute photos before the recipient unpacks the frame and plugs it in. You can also have the frame shipped from Aura directly and use the company’s email-setup process to associate it with your account while the frame is in transit. Though we didn’t try the gift-setup method ourselves, we do appreciate Aura’s focus on the gift angle. This is a feature other frames don’t have.

Photos are set to display for 10 minutes as default, though you can set Mason to show a photo for anything from 15 seconds to 24 hours before advancing to the next one. 

Aura Mason smart digital picture frame Customer review

Solid but Basic

This digital photo frame was purchased to replace a Sony product I had for 10+ years. I didn’t do a ton of research to decide what model to buy…kind of determined by how much I wanted to spend. This frame fit my budget.
This led to some surprises/disappointment.

PROS:
Very simple. Essentially nothing to the panel itself. Just plug it in. There are touch sensitive strips on the side you can use to manually advance to the next photo, That’s about it.

Pictures bright and clear although the screen size is not as big as I expected. Box made it seem like panel was going to be bigger. Wasn’t on display at at Best Buy. Again, my fault for not doing more homework.

Photos loaded through app – either by PC or smartphone. Works well enough. Frame connects by WiFi only. Had pictures being displayed within about 15 minutes of opening the box and going through app setup.

CONS:
Again, I’m sure the following would have been more obvious if I spent more time researching specifications. I’m comparing this device to the old Sony frame I had. Maybe they just don’t make them like that anymore. I didn’t see any current frames offered by what I’d consider mainstream AV brands.

Some things I miss:

Flexibility: None. System choices how everything is done. You can crop pictures and determine display time. That’s about it. The Sony offered 1 or 3 pictures at time, different ways of switching to next picture (fading, from top or side, cross hatch, etc.), an option to show calendar/clock/picture in various combinations, etc.

Photo Loading: WiFi only. I plan to have it cabin w/o any sort of Internet access, etc. You can load by USB, SD card, etc. Right now, I’m loading pictures from my home office. I’ll find out what happens when WiFi goes away.

By CDRBobbyC at Best Buy

Alternate of Aura Mason smart digital picture frame

Aura Carver

Specs
  • Display: 10.1-inch LCD
  • Resolution: 1920 x 1200 pixels
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
  • Dimensions: 270 x 189 x 66 mm
  • Sources: App
  • Remote control: No
  • Cloud storage: Unlimited (free)Orientation: LandscapeWall-mounting: No
Pros

+Streamlined, intuitive interface

+Big, sharp and vibrant screen

Cons

-Landscape orientation only

-Limited customization options

Bigger sibling to the Mason, Aura’s contemporary Carver takes the same streamlined and premium approach, but packs a bigger landscape display with a higher resolution to match.

Surrounding the screen is a minimalist bezel that appears to float within the frame. It’s a neat and understated design that’s mirrored around the back, where an angular, textured shell supports the Carver in style, without stealing too much shelf space. That said, a serious snag for some will be the landscape orientation which, unlike most rivals, can’t be rotated.

At 10.1 inches, the sharp, sizable screen offers lots of space for your photos to shine. Snaps are vibrant, displaying with the kind of detail, saturation and depth that made the Mason a winner. Though the triangular stand is fixed, viewing angles are excellent and adaptive brightness brings out the best in almost any image.Advertisementhttps://902a842b6f97af66b31f51e0285c7ab5.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

Then again, the Carver looks subtly sublime as a landscape frame, and its party trick is displaying a pair of portrait photos side-by-side. It’s a simple yet striking solution, powered by Aura’s Intelligent Photo Pairing software, which uses AI to match similar pictures – often in happily unexpected ways.

Because the Carver also shares the same pared-back partner app and interface as the Mason, there isn’t much to tweak. You can’t manually adjust brightness, for example, or change color settings. But surrendering control does net you an intuitive interface that makes selecting favorites, uploading albums and inviting contributors straightforward. Similarly, a touch bar atop the Carver means swiping through the slideshow is a cinch.

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