At CES 2020 back in January, we spent some time in the inviting surroundings of Lenovo’s private suite where we got our hands on the Duet tablet and the Lenovo Flex 5 Chromebook. Those weren’t the only cool gadgets spread about the room, however. We got to play with a Lavie Vega PC that is designed with Gorilla Glass. The Lenovo crew has a rather hefty steel ball that they let us drop directly on the lid of the device to demonstrate its durability. It was cringe-worthy for sure.
There were also multiple tablets displayed among the room’s furnishings but one piece of hardware that could have been easily overlooked appeared to be no more than a bit of artwork until we took a closer look. The Lenovo Smart Frame was just sitting there unassumingly on an easel and until the display changed, I honestly didn’t even notice it. At that time, we didn’t lend much attention to the digital photo frame because we were there for the Duet but now, Lenovo has announced that the Smart Frame is still on track for an August launch and a closer look at some of the features has me very interested.
As shared in Las Vegas, the 21.5″ digital display will retail for $399 but Lenovo is taking to the popular crowdfunding site Indiegogo to help ramp up excitement around the platform. According to The Verge, “it’s part of an effort to build a community of users who are specifically interested in the upcoming product and who can provide feedback on new ideas and features.” Early adopters to the Indiegogo will enjoy up to a 50% discount on their new Smart Frame.
On the surface, the Lenovo Smart Frame doesn’t appear to be anything earth-shattering but the devil’s in the details and this $400 piece of home decor could easily become the center of your home’s personality. The Smart Frame features a 21.5″ IPS display that comes in at a 1920×1080 Full HD resolution and it boasts a 100% color gamut and 89-degree viewing angle. If you’re a decent photographer (or you simply have a Pixel Phone), your photos should look pretty amazing on this display. Speaking of that. Lenovo mentioned partner integration back at CES for linking photo galleries and today’s announcement clarifies that that partner is Google. The free Lenovo Smart Frame app for Android and iOS will allow you to sync your Google Photos and uses an AI algorithm to curate your collection.
The Lenovo Smart Frame’s built-in AI curates your photo album by choosing the highest-quality images from your collection and then automatically composing them into digital collages to maximize the number of images viewed at once. The Lenovo Smart Frame also comes with a free app that comes with hundreds of art pieces that can be displayed throughout your home.
On top of curated photos and collages, the Smart Frame features gesture navigation that allows users to swipe through photos with just a wave of the hand. The display includes the discrete mounting kit with a built-in level as well as a metallic decorative frame that can be swapped out with a different frame to fit your specific decor. $400 may seem like a hefty price tag for a digital display for your photos but the Lenovo Smart Frame is hiding a couple of other features in plain sight that could make it a lot more useful in the future. On the spec sheet, the frame lists a dual-mic array as well as 2x2W speakers. Currently, they serve no purpose but instead were placed there to “future-proof” the device for the integration of digital assistants as well as other possible use-cases that have yet to be disclosed. This thing is powered by a MediaTek tablet SoC and has 2GB of RAM. It should make a very competent smart device.
Personally, I see myself getting one (or more) of these. I think they would be a great addition to the house and the possibility of deeper smart home integration in the future makes the Smart Frame a very intriguing product. If you’d like to sign up for updates and get notified when the Indiegogo goes live, you can do so at the link below. The Lenovo Smart Frame is slated to ship in August.