Dragon Touch Classic 10 full review
The Dragon Touch is a touchscreen digital photo frame. In the box, you get a smart frame, a mini USB lead, a 6ft power cable and a stand. UK residents will need a plug adaptor to use it, as it's designed for a US socket and the frame must be plugged in whenever it's in use.
The Classic 10 has 16GB of photo and video storage space. According to Dragon Touch, that’s enough for a whopping 40,000 photos at 30KBs each.
As it's touchscreen based, that's how you control the frame. You can swipe, tap to zoom and access all settings. There's no remote and you only use the app to email photos to the display.
Design & build
The Classic 10 looks like a real picture frame, not a tablet. The digital frame market seems to be getting the hang of the fact that people who are buying a smart frame instead of a hub want something with a bit more aesthetic appeal than a functional matt black surround.
However, it’s probably not the frame you'd choose if you had lots of options. It's by no means offensive, just a little generic, in a low-key, dark wood-effect finish. Both the Nix Iris and the Aura Digital, which we’ve reviewed, feature much more stylish frames.
The ‘10’ in the device’s name refers to the 10 inch diagonal screen measurement, so it has a good size display. It has a 16:10 aspect ratio and is 1280 x 800. That’s the minimum requirement for HD. Your pictures will display well, but they probably won’t look quite as sharp as they do on your phone.
The set-up process is straightforward: you simply download the free OurPhoto app and follow on-screen instructions. Or at least it should be.
The first frame I received was missing its frame ID, the unique reference number that allows Dragon Touch’s system to locate your device and attach it to your account.
If you buy one and can’t find the frame ID, get in touch with the company and they’ll replace your frame right away. I mention this because I found the same thing had happened to another product reviewer, so it’s perhaps a common issue.
The Our Photo app is strangely designed. The top third of the home screen is a stock picture of a bedroom. It does nothing, it can’t it be swapped out for one of your pictures and it can’t be removed. Every time I open the app I think: whose bedroom is this and why do I have to scroll past it to send a photo?
Apart from this perplexing design feature, the app is very simple to navigate. At the top of the homepage, there’s a settings cog, which takes you to your account.
Below it are tiles that allow you to take a photo or video to send to the Classic 10, look at your devices list or history of sent pictures.
Performance & Features
The big plus of the Classic 10 is the number of ways you can get pictures to your frame. First, you can use it as an FTP server and upload pictures straight from your PC. (If you have a Mac, the process is a bit more complicated, as you’ll need Android-compatible file transfer software.)
You can also email pictures to a dedicated email address that comes with the frame – either via the app or direct from your email account. You can also allow other people to do the same.
This feature may be enough for you to buy it as a gift, although the process is by no means as simple and instantaneous as the one for Aura frames, for example. You can only email a few photos at a time and when they arrive, the screen won't alert you.
Similarly, when sending pics from your phone, you can only send nine at a time and the process can lag a bit.
The Dragon Touch 10 also features a USB port and SD card slot, so you can play pictures directly from storage. However, you can’t upload from those devices. If you want to store a picture on the frame, you’ll need to email or transfer it.
There’s also no way to send pics straight from your social media accounts, which is a shame.
Once you’ve got the pictures on the device, your options are limited. You can’t create albums. You can choose to play a slideshow of all your photos or of photos from one specific sender – but that’s it. There’s no mechanism to sort or separate your pictures. The Classic 10 is essentially just a big bucket, although this is true of several frames, including the Aura Carver.
There are several options to to change display settings. You can choose slideshow timings and change the transition effects. You can also display a single image, if preferred.
You can also decide whether photos are shown in full screen or not. If you don’t choose full screen, images that don’t match the frame’s orientation will be displayed centred, with blurred bars on either side. If you opt for full screen, the picture will be centred and cut off.
The latter looks better – if your picture happens to fit. If not, the frame will choose the centre of the photo, which sometimes means you’ll find yourself looking at a picture of mostly neck, with a hint of someone’s face above.
While there is an auto rotate function that allows you to display the frame in portrait mode, it looks much better in landscape. The 16:10 dimensions are just too long for this kind of display.
The touch screen is responsive and its menus simple to navigate. Unlike some other frames, the Classic 10 doesn’t have motion-detecting capabilities, which are useful for saving power. Instead, you can set a start-up and power-down time.
The device’s home screen features a clock, alarm and weather app, which can be customised to your location. It also has a basic calendar. However, this feels like a bit of unnecessary functionality, as very few people will buy a digital photo frame intending to use it as an alarm clock.
Price & availability
The Classic 10 is available to buy from Amazon both in the US, where it’ll set you back $129.99 and in the UK, where it’s priced at £99.99. In the mad world of digital picture frames, where a single-function device can cost almost as much as a tablet (and sometimes more), this is definitely on the lower end of the scale.
For more options, have a look at our round-up of the best smart picture frames.
The Classic 10 would be a good gift option for older people or the non-technically minded. Load it up with photos of the family, hand it over and plug it in. Job done. You can email photos straight to the device as soon as you snap them.
But we don’t think it’s the right choice for tech lovers. It's just a little too basic in every respect.
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