Parrot Grande Specchio review - digital frame on Google Android

    A couple of weeks ago I published a review of new video glasses from Vuzix (model Wrap 920). This was my first review of iron on Habrahabr and it turned out to be quite successful, for which I want to thank the distinguished audience of the site. This time I want to share with you another test, in my opinion, of a more interesting device. Already intrigued? Today’s hero of our review is the Parrot Grande Specchio digital photo frame!

    ”Digital photo frame? No, we can’t surprise us with this anymore! There are hundreds of them on the shelves, hundreds, choose any! ” - I already hear indignant voices. But wait, friends, our photo frame is not simple, but ... gold. But seriously, today I will tell you about the most beautiful digital frame on the Android platform with support for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC technology. The device can access via Wi-Fi to the Internet, download photos and albums from FaceBook, Picasa, Flickr, display weather information, the latest news. At the same time, the frame has a delightful design with a golden tint, and its cost is ... Perhaps about the cost at the end of the review.

    By tradition, a few words about the company

    Apple fans must have heard, or at least seen, Parrot's well-known hi-fi audio system: Zikmu. The design of these columns was developed by Philip Stark.

    What else is the company releasing? And here few people can answer the question. In a nutshell, the French company Parrot is one of the most profitable, intensively developing companies. Since its inception, Parrot's core business has been the development of technological solutions for integrated digital sound processing devices in the field of voice recognition, echo and noise reduction systems, which are used in mobile programming and communications.

    In 2008, the company signed contracts with renowned designers to work together on hi-end digital equipment. We will consider one of these devices below in the review.

    Brief characteristics of the Parrot Grande Specchio:

    - Display: 800x600 resolution, соотношение aspect ratio, 16 million colors
    - Wi-Fi b / g wireless support
    - Display photos received from a specific e-mail
    - RSS support (Picasa, Flick'r)
    - Display photos from PC and Mac
    - Bluetooth v2.1 + EDR (NFC support)
    - USB port
    - Support for SD / MMC memory cards
    - Update firmware via USB or Wi-Fi
    - Supported photo formats: JPEG
    - Clock, alarm clock
    - Built-in memory 200 MB
    - Dimensions: 260 x 260 x 25 mm
    - Weight: 650 g

    What's in the box?

    You begin to feel the premium class of the device before opening the package. The frame comes in a relatively large and weighty white box with silver embossed lettering: Parrot by Martin Szekely. We open the box and find the following inside: the Parrot Grande Specchio frame, instructions in several languages, a cloth for cleaning the frame, an envelope with a certificate, a power supply with three nozzles, two nozzles for wall mounting, a support stand.

    Package contents

    Everything looks very high quality and expensive. Now about the frame itself. In the off state, its entire front part is one large mirror with a golden tint. The rest of the body is made of plastic golden color. The plastic feels high-quality and durable. On the left side is a slot for installing a memory card. Above are the controls, which include: 4 touch buttons (power, menu, back, home) and trackball. On the back of the digital frame are: a speaker and a USB port. In addition, a steel plate labeled “Parrot by Martin Shekely“ can be removed for wall mounting.
    Touch buttons and trackball The

    frame can be mounted on the wall, or mounted on a horizontal surface. To install on a table, you must use the stand-emphasis.

    Everything feels minimalism and hi-tech. There is no remote control included. I’m not sure that anyone is using it at all, from afar it is unlikely that you will be showing photos to friends. On the other hand, the framework, the price of which is 4 times lower, has it. We will not consider this a flaw, rather a wish. Since we started talking about wishes, I would like to mention that the presence of an additional slot for Memory Stick media would not be out of place.

    Turn on

    I will no longer languish in appearance, it's time to turn on the digital frame. We insert the plug into the outlet and we see the inscription: "Loading". Downloading takes about 20 seconds. The next time you turn it on, the frame does not load, but displays the photos immediately. Only if you unplug the plug, the frame will need to be loaded again. Once downloaded, Specchio immediately starts the slide show that was already in memory. We go into the menu and select Russian (the menu has been translated into 20 languages!), Set the time, adjust the brightness.

    Main menu

    Settings menu

    Management is implemented very conveniently, which is facilitated by the trackball. It allows you to navigate the menu in four directions and select the desired option by pressing.

    Talk about the picture. Resolution 800x600 is more than enough for high-quality image display on a 10 ”monitor. Photos are bright, juicy and pleasing to the eye. Most budget frames do not display colors very well, they are usually a little blurred. In the case of Parrot Grande Specchio - everything is perfect. Image is comparable to standard glossy LCD monitors. There are no complaints about the black level. The picture is very nice both in a sunny room and in a dark one. In the first case, the reflection of other elements of the interior is visible on the surface of the “mirror”, especially if the photograph contains more dark shades. Bright and bright photos to view quite comfortably even in a well-lit room.

    In fact, the illustration does not convey the picture of the frame well, because you don’t pay much attention to the reflection, and the picture is much brighter than what happened in the photo. Approximately, as in the following example:

    Another important factor is the viewing angles. There is a somewhat twofold impression. On the one hand, hardly anyone will look at the frame at an angle of 170 degrees, and with non-extreme deviations, the picture retains its clarity and color reproduction. On the other hand, when viewed at large angles, the image becomes more faded due to the reflective mirror surface. As the saying goes: "Beauty requires sacrifice."

    And now we will carry out an “extreme test”. We insert a memory card with photos taken from a 12.1 megapixel camera. In the slide show mode (which can be set within 5 seconds, before changing the photo once a week), the photos are downloaded instantly, which is very nice. If you scroll the photo yourself with a trackball, the frame does not have time to adjust the image size instantly, the process of loading a new image is noticeable (about 2 seconds). Photos pre-reduced to fit the frame size are very clear and do not have any artifacts. The display process takes place without any “brakes”.

    About functionality

    Parrot Grande Specchio has a number of functional features that significantly distinguish it from a variety of similar devices.

    Bluetooth support

    Everything is standard here: the name of the device, enable / disable the bluetooth module, visibility, additional settings. To send photos from the phone, select the image and transfer. The new photo is immediately displayed on the frame screen.

    The device is notable for the fact that Specchio is the first frame in the world that supports NFC technology. I quote: "Near Field Communication (NFC) - a combination of contactless identification and wireless communication of mobile devices, user electronics, computers and other devices." What does this give in practice? If your phone supports this technology, then select the image for transfer, bring it to the hidden frame sensor, click Yes - you're done! Simple and technological! NFC technology is supported by a small range of mobile phone models and is only gaining momentum.


    Wifi support

    Parrot Grande Specchio has at its disposal a built-in Wi-Fi module, which allows using a router to connect to any computer or laptop and even access the Internet. If the router supports WPS technology, the connection process will take no more than a minute. Otherwise, manual tuning may be required. The test used the wifi router Yota. The setup process took no more than a minute, all that had to be entered was the network access key. Connection is configured. Next, launch the browser, or use one of the pre-installed applications for working with the Internet.


    The frame boasts a full-featured browser with support for Java scripts, Macromedia Flash, bookmarks, saving history, downloads and many settings.

    Slight typing difficulties. To do this, type the site address or the desired word using the virtual keyboard and trackball. The page size can be adjusted to the screen size, or leave the original. These parameters are configured through the settings.

    Other functional features of

    In essence, “Holidays” is an application specifically designed for this framework. The application allows you to select any place on the Google map in the vicinity of which you would like to visit, and starts displaying photos and landscapes (which, apparently, are selected by the Google-images service). A very nice application that significantly expands the standard capabilities of the digital frame and allows you to choose a place for your next vacation without a computer.


    Another application that allows you to display photos of people downloaded from the Internet. All photos are quite high quality, bright and completely different. Among them can be displayed as “harmless” photos of children and adults, and, for example, photos from concerts of rock groups, where close-ups depict performers during the performance. In general, photographs of different types will help to diversify the displayed content.

    RSS feed.
    The device allows you to customize the display of photos, news, weather, exchange rates, traffic jams and more. To do this, you need to create a free account on the website , enter the activation code that will be specified when the application starts and select more than 1000 available RSS feeds. The thing is very convenient and useful.

    Post office.
    Photo frame can be configured to receive e-mail messages with photos. Photos are stored in the frame memory and are immediately displayed on the screen.

    PC connection.
    Parrot Grande Specchio allows you to connect to a computer and display photos using the built-in browser on the screen, as well as save them in the memory of the photo frame.

    The clock may appear in sleep mode when the frame is not used for its intended purpose.

    Alarm clock.
    It is possible to set an alarm with wide possibilities. You can set up to three alarms, for each alarm you can set one of three pleasant polyphonic ringtones. Literally everything is set up, up to the name of the alarm label.

    The display brightness, standby time, and the used memory source are also adjustable.

    Video from the official site

    To summarize

    Style, functionality, chic are the first words that come to mind when you see this photo frame. In the off state, it is a golden mirror. Turn on ... the picture is live, the color rendering is excellent. Glare and reflection of the interior in a well-lit room interfere with viewing a bit. The frame is a status thing that fits perfectly into the interior in the style of "high-tech". A notable feature of the device is that it is completely built on the Google Android platform. Theoretically, this means that the frame can work with applications downloaded from the Android Marketplace.

    There are other digital bezels with advanced functionality, but this is probably the world's first extensible bezel thanks to the full-featured Android platform. Additional applications built into the device (Holidays, People, RSS, e-mail) can significantly expand the standard features and almost turn the photo frame into a stylish minicomputer.

    The cost of the framework in Russia is 44,000 rubles. This is several times higher than the cost of similar devices from Sony, Philips, etc. Parrot Grande Specchio is a premium electronic device that is suitable for use by people with high social status, or real geeks for whom the technological component is above all . The frame can also be a beautiful and original gift.

    Parrot Grande Specchio is sold in only one Russian online store.

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