Netgear’s new Meural WiFi Photo Frame focuses on family snapshots

Until now, Netgear’s line of high-end Meural photo frames has been primarily geared toward bringing the world’s masterpieces into your living room. The latest Meural frame is designed more for family snapshots than it is for great works of art (not that it can’t display art, mind you).

On sale now, the 15.6-inch Meural WiFi Photo Frame is not only smaller than the existing Meural Canvas II (which comes in 21- and 27-inch sizes), it’s also less expensive, with the new family-focused frame priced at $300 versus $400 and $600 for the two Meural Canvas II models.

Equipped with a full-HD (1920 x 1080) IPS anti-glare display, the wall-mountable Meural WiFi Photo Frame comes with a wood-grain trim and a removable metal stand that allows for placing it on a flat surface in either portrait or landscape mode.

Capable of connecting to dual-band Wi-Fi networks, the Meural WiFi Photo Frame can be synced with photo albums on your iPhone or Android phone, and any new snapshots added to a synced album will automatically be uploaded to the frame. That said, the frame doesn’t offer integrations for Facebook or Google Photos.

Besides uploading photos from your phone, you can also upload images to the frame via a web interface, as well as invite family and friends to share photos to the Meural. Unfortunately, the frame can’t notify you when friends share new snapshots.

Netgear offers up to 4GB of Meural cloud storage for free, or you can increase the storage cap to 20GB by signing up for a $8.95-per-month subscription plan. The storage plan also includes access to more than 30,000 works of art, just as it does for Meural’s larger frames.

The frame’s 16:9 display is designed to automatically display images in the correct orientation, meaning that if you’ve placed or mounted the frame in portrait orientation, you’ll only see portrait photos; conversely, if the frame is sitting in landscape mode, you’ll only see landscape-oriented images. An light sensor adjusts the display brightness according to the ambient light in the room, and it also turns the frame off when the room goes dark.

You can wave your hand at the Meural WiFi Photo Frame to switch to the next or previous photo, while gesturing up will display details about the image, including when and where it was snapped (based on the metadata contained in the image file).

As with other Meural photo frames, the Meural WiFi Photo Frame supports basic voice commands (such as “turn on Meural” and “next on Meural”) via Alexa, but there’s no support for Google Assistant or HomeKit.

We’re expecting a sample Meural WiFi Photo Frame to arrive soon, so keep your eyes peeled for a full review.

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