PhoXo is an image editor which emphasises its fun extras, but also has some useful tools to explore.
Launch the program and you'll first notice the large Clip Art and Frame windows. Cartoon-style emoticons, car images, animals, flags and more are available to be pasted into your images, and a whole gallery of frames can be added with a double-click.
And there are other quirky options, too, like the ability to turn your photos into ASCII art.
The program has plenty of more useful features, though: four selection tools, simple paint and drawing options, lots of colour tweaks and adjustments, layer support and a batch watermarking tool, as well as the usual basics (crop, resize, rotate and so on).
We particularly liked some of the effects. While they're not exactly original, filters like "Oil Painting" and "Lens Flare" do deliver good results with minimal effort - they're not just the very basic and limited equivalents you'll sometimes see with other tools.
PhoXo does have a few interface oddities. It always opens full-screen, regardless of how you closed it; the lack of an Edit menu is annoying when you're so used to seeing it everywhere else, and the zoom option is a little clumsy.
On balance PhoXo is a useful tool, though, and it's entirely free: no ads, no nag screens, even clicking the "Sponsor Us" button on their web site asks only that you "tell your friends" about it.
It's not going to compete with Photoshop any time soon, but PhoXo is a good editor, fun for beginners yet also with the power to do more serious work