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Lenovo's 21.5-inch Smart Frame is a digital photo frame with awesome AI smarts

The Lenovo Smart Frame aims to elevate your photo memories and home aesthetic

Lenovo Smart Frame at CES 2020
(Image: © Future)

Our Verdict

The Lenovo Smart Frame ($399) is a clever piece of AI smart home decor that lets you turn your living room into a personal art gallery. Plus it’s offered at a lower price point than the top digital art frame alternative.

For

  • Cheaper than top alternative
  • Ambient light sensor
  • Potential for smart assistant integration

Against

  • No smart assistant functionality at launch
  • Only comes in one size

 Lenovo has waded into the smart home space one device at a time, starting with the Lenovo Smart Clock and expanding with counter-friendly Lenovo smart displays. Now the company wants to fill your wall space with its mountable Lenovo Smart Frame, announced at CES 2020 in Las Vegas and officially available for order at a special price for a limited time.

As the smart art frame pioneer, Netgear hasn’t been contested since its debut in 2018, and we learned why in our Meural Canvas II review. But Lenovo’s Smart Frame looks to challenge Netgear with an overall cheaper entry point and more foreseeable smart home integration. 

I went hands-on with the Lenovo Smart Frame at CES 2020 to see if this design-driven digital art canvas fits in among the best smart home devices

Lenovo Smart Frame price and availability

The Lenovo Smart Frame comes in one size and will be available at full price in August 2020 for $399. But if you'd like to score the Lenovo Smart Frame for half that — $199 — you can sign up for an exclusive limited-quantity order right now. Click this link and enter your email to be notified when the Smart Frame is listed to order at the discounted price via IndieGoGo.

Lenovo Smart Frame design

The Lenovo Smart Frame looks like a professionally matted and framed piece of home decor, except it features a 21.5-inch Full HD rectangular digital panel instead of a stagnant photograph or piece of art. The matte-screen display is topped with anti-glare coating, and surrounded by a white frame mat. A light-colored wood housed the review unit I went hands on with, but additional wood finishes will be available at launch. 

(Image credit: Future)

Though the Lenovo Smart Frame can be positioned on an easel or hung on a wall with the included snap-on mount. When mounted it can swivel between portrait and landscape orientations. I also liked how the Lenovo Smart Frame’s mount has a rubber nook to loop excess cord around so that its wires are neat and taut

Lenovo Smart Frame photo and artwork galleries

You can connect to your cloud photo platform of choice, like Google Photos, to the Lenovo Smart Frame using a proprietary app. The app also features a from library of beautiful artwork. The Smart Frame’s built-in artificial intelligence curates a custom slideshow, and automatically curates collages for albums with mixed photo orientations, too.

Lenovo Smart Frame additional smart features

(Image credit: Future)

The Lenovo Smart Frame packs an ambient light sensor, which adjusts the Frame’s display to best Color tone sensor that automatically adjusts the display’s brightness to best suit its surroundings. I found Lenovo’s sensor technology worked well in my Lenovo Smart Display 7 review. 

This digital frame also reads hand gestures. When I swiped my hand over the Lenovo Smart Frame’s bottom border, the montage moved to the next image. You’re able to pause, play and continue your photo slideshow using the corresponding motions.   

And while those features are useful, I’m more interested in the Lenovo Smart Frame’s built-in microphones and dual 2-Watt speakers. They won’t be active at launch, but suggest Lenovo is looking to add smart assistant functionality to the frame.

Outlook

Right now the Lenovo Smart Frame feels like a cheaper version Meural Canvas. While I’d have to see the two together to gauge which display looks better, the AI technology makes me optimistic about Lenovo's smart home endeavors. 

This smart art display’s secret weapon is its foreseeable integration with smart assistants, like Google Assistant or Alexa. I’d love to ask the frame to change photo albums using my voice. We'll see if this feature materializes when the Lenovo Smart Frame launches in 2020.

Be sure to check out our CES 2020 hub for the latest news and hands-on impressions out of Las Vegas.