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myFirst Frame Doodle review: Buggy software

myFirst Frame Doodle review: Buggy software

myFirst Frame Doodle

A digital photo frame to bring loved ones closer today. That's the premise of the myFirst Frame Doodle. Unfortunately, it relies heavily on myFirst's Circle social network. And seeing as most folks have probably never heard of myFirst Circle — and the other features on this photo frame feel half-baked — I wouldn't recommend this product.

Quick specs

  • 9-inch IPS LCD touchscreen (1,067 x 800 pixels)
  • Smart motion sensor
  • Displays content from myFirst Circle social network
  • USB and microSD card support

What gives the myFirst Frame Doodle its name is the blank white canvas around the display. The company says kids can draw and colour on this plastic surface as a way of customising it. A second yellow frame cover is included — for more doodles, I guess. It has perfectly acceptable hardware for a digital photo frame: A 9-inch matte IPS LCD touchscreen that's decently bright with good viewing angles. A flexible, detachable prop at the back keeps the frame upright. A built-in motion sensor wakes the photo frame from its power-saving state when it detects activity. It works well enough, and sensed my presence the moment I stepped into the room.

At the back of the myFirst Frame Doodle are two USB ports (USB-A and USB-C), as well as a microSD card slot. The latter is located right next to the power connector. I found it almost impossible to remove the SD card after ejecting it — unless I'm using tweezers — because of its proximity to the power connector. I had to unplug the photo frame before I could extract the SD card. Another grouse: The USB-A port is meant for a flash drive, but my drive, which isn't that large, couldn't fit in the recessed space. I did manage to connect the frame to a laptop via the USB-C port to transfer photos and videos.

myFirst Frame Doodle
Credit: Vincent Chang/Can Buy or Not

Connecting a Windows PC to the myFirst Frame Doodle reveals the file system in the device. It's basically an Android device, and you can copy files directly to it. I realised that for video playback, I had to copy them to the Movies folder inside the frame. Otherwise the videos wouldn't play properly. I would get audio, but not the visuals. The user interface crashes quite frequently. It would also freeze occasionally, requiring a power reset. I couldn't even set the date and time initially. It wouldn't save my manual input while the time zone option wouldn't stick. But it somehow worked after a restart.

Another example that the myFirst Frame Doodle is still a work in progress is that there's no way to play music from the device. This is despite the product specs touting support for music formats like MP3 and AAC. I heard that a music player is coming in a future update, but I suspect there are other more urgent issues to fix.

myFirst Frame Doodle
Credit: Vincent Chang/Can Buy or Not

As mentioned, the basic premise of the myFirst Frame Doodle is to help family and friends stay connected. The frame is especially intended for grandparents, so that they can connect with their grandchildren via the myFirst Circle social network. You set up and link the frame to a myFirst Circle account by scanning a QR code on it with the myFirst Circle app. But I encountered issues with this kid-centric social network, too. For example, the photo frame would continue to show posts from a Circle contact that I had already removed.

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Hardware-wise, the myFirst Frame Doodle is decent enough. But the software is terrible — buggy, performs poorly, and lacks essential features. Tying it with myFirst's social network also limits its audience. I don't really know too many folks who use it. However, you can probably ignore that feature entirely, and just use it as a digital photo frame — if only it worked as intended. In its current state, I wouldn't recommend it, especially not at S$139, when a more polished and capable option like the Google Nest Hub is available for similar or less. It would require a Herculean effort to improve the interface and software to change my mind. The myFirst Frame Doodle is available on Shopee and Lazada.

Review unit provided by Oaxis.

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Buggy with missing features

Buy it at Shopee
Buy it at Lazada

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