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Published Jan 25, 2023 1:00 PM
Created to store your most cherished memories and put them on display, the digital picture frame exponentially increases how many photos you can showcase. For the indecisive among us, this is really good news. And for those who hate clutter, getting rid of 25-plus picture frames and replacing them with a single digital one is even better news. Which leads us to the most important question: How do you pick just one? By reading our informative guide, that’s how! Here’s our selection of the best digital picture frames.
- Best overall: Aura Carver Smart Frame
- Best large: Pix-Star Digital Photo Frame
- Best small: Atatat Digital Frame With IPS Screen
- Best touch screen: Sammix Digital Picture Frame
- Best budget: Aluratek Digital Photo Frame
How we picked the best digital picture frames
To make our selections, we honed in on the following criteria:
Storage: Whether in the cloud or on your USB flash drive, photos have to live somewhere. We looked at what kind of storage each photo frame provides and the pros and cons of each option.
Design: If a photo frame is going to live in your home or office long-term, it has to look good. All of the frames in this list are not only functional but aesthetically pleasing as well.
Usability: With any technological advancement comes the difficulty of adjusting to new tools and gadgets. We made sure to select picture frames that provide a friendly user experience.
Size: Like traditional picture frames, digital ones come in different sizes. We included several different options in this category and explained the benefits of each.
Customization: Looking at family photos can be an intimate experience; we made sure to include what level of personalization each picture frame provides.
The best digital picture frames: Reviews & Recommendations
On the surface, a digital photo frame looks almost exactly like the traditional photo frame it was designed to replace. But with many hidden technological features and perks, these well-rounded rectangles are a whole new ball game.
Best overall: Aura Carver Smart Frame
Why it made the cut: Aura Carver’s app enables anyone in the family with a Wi-Fi connection and smartphone to add photos to the picture frame in seconds, making it the best choice for a household with lots of memories to put on display.
- Screen size/type: High-resolution 10-inch screen
- Connection type(s): Wi-Fi enabled
- Storage type(s): Unlimited cloud storage
- A sleek, minimalist design makes this frame appropriate for almost any room
- Extremely high resolution for an ultra-crisp display
- Compatible with Amazon Alexa
- Horizontal frame means vertical photos are displayed in pairs
- Automatically crops images if they don’t fit (no manual cropping option)
Aura Carver makes digital picture frames that stand out for their chic design and technological capabilities. With unlimited cloud storage, you could send tens of thousands of photos to any Aura Carver frame in the house and still not run out of space. Transfer your photos from an iPhone, iPad, or Android phone in seconds, with none of the hassles that come with using email. Once the photos are in the frame, display them in chronological order or randomly shuffled, and adjust the speed as you see fit.
This convenient, beautiful digital picture frame checks every box regarding usability, accessibility, and aesthetics.
Best large: Pix-Star Digital Photo Frame
Why it made the cut: This extra-large photo frame from Pix-Star is best for displaying your loudest, proudest moments (in both photo and video form).
- Screen size/type: 15-inch screen
- Connection type(s): Wi-Fi enabled, USB stick, SDHC card, or SDXC card
- Storage type(s): 8GB internal memory
- Additional features: Motion-sensor activated
- Share photos and videos via the Pix-Star app
- 8GB internal memory
- Motion sensor activated
- Large display could make low-res images look pixelated
Pix-Star made this photo frame with your biggest memories in mind: those moments that, even when condensed into a photo, seem to jump out from the screen. Think weddings, graduations, international vacations—the memories that really deserve front and center display are about to have a serious moment.
Conveniently, Pix-Star has an app via which you can share images from anywhere in the world, meaning that even if you can’t be with your loved ones at the moment, you can still send them memories of a happier time. Pix-Star doesn’t have cloud storage, though, so you’ll have to rely on the frame’s internal storage. But with 8GB (around 30,000 images), it’s unlikely that you’ll run out of room. Additionally, you can connect a social media account and share photos directly from your Facebook or Instagram profile, for example. Other ways to share include a USB stick, SDHC card, or SDXC card. Simply pick the 25 photos you’d like to display on this (huge!) screen and connect via whatever form is easiest for you.
Best small: Atatat Digital Frame With IPS Screen
Why it made the cut: This digital photo frame allows you to add background music, adjust the brightness, edit the slideshow, and more, making it one of the most customizable picture frames.
- Screen size/type: IPS screen
- Connection type(s): USB
- Storage type(s): 128GB
- Additional features: Adjustable brightness, background music
- IPS screen for optimized viewing
- Comes with a remote control
- Multiple slideshow modes
- No app or Wi-Fi capabilities
- No cloud storage
This digital photo frame may not have the bells and whistles of a more technologically advanced frame, but what it lacks in features, it makes up for in customization of what it does and does well. Here you’ll get an alarm clock, calendar, personal music (uploaded via USB), multiple languages, a remote control, and adjustable slideshow settings to create a truly personalized viewing experience.
With only 7 inches of screen, this is also one of the most compact digital photo frames. Despite being physically small, it has tons of storage: 128GB, to be exact. What’s more, an IPS screen makes for a much better viewing experience than an LED screen, so every photo you upload will look its best. Take this frame with you wherever you go, or find it a permanent home in your space. The options are endless with a small, portable screen like this one.
Best touch screen: Sammix Digital Picture Frame
Why it made the cut: It’s never been easier to set up, share, and enjoy a digital picture frame. Sammix’s laundry list of capabilities empowers every user, and a separate app means you can share photos from anywhere in the world.
- Screen size/type: 10-inch IPS touch screen
- Connection type(s): Wi-Fi enabled
- Storage type(s): 16GB
- Easy setup with an IPS touch screen
- Turns on and off via motion sensor
- Built-in 16GB storage
- Instant sharing only works with a 2.4GHz Wi-Fi network
- No built-in battery
Sammix makes sharing images with loved ones easy; it’s as simple as downloading their app, Ourphoto. With a 2.4GHz Wi-Fi network, adding photos to the frame can happen in seconds. Other features include a motion-activated on/off switch so that the slideshow automatically starts up when you walk into the room; a user-friendly touch-screen interface; and a sleep mode for evening or naptime.
This Sammix frame isn’t perfect; the instant sharing only works with a 2.4GHz network (so if you have a 5GHz network, this may not be the frame for you). And the frame won’t work unless it’s plugged in since it doesn’t have a built-in battery. Otherwise, Sammix does an excellent job of making the user experience accessible, and the IPS screen keeps things looking crisp. Lastly, additional features like background music, video compatibility, an alarm clock, a calendar, and daily weather reports make this digital picture frame a winner, though not quite top of its class.
Best budget: Aluratek Digital Photo Frame
Why it made the cut: Though Aluratek lacks a lot of the fancier features seen in other products, it’s much better priced than those items and still performs the most important duty of a photo frame: displaying your photos!
- Screen size/type: 7-inch screen
- Storage type(s): USB flash drives, SD cards
- Additional features: Automatic slideshow, high-quality wood frame
- Compatible with both USB flash drives and SD cards
- Various display and transitions options for your slideshow
- Frame adjustable for both horizontal and vertical orientation
- No built-in battery
- No remote control
- No touch screen
It’s back to basics with the Aluratek digital photo frame. It’s wallet-friendly, but there’s a price: It doesn’t boast many of the features that come standard in other frames. There’s no battery, no remote control, no touch screen, and no built-in memory. However, let’s not be deterred by the overt simplicity of this frame. For a very affordable price, the Aluratek frame performs the same basic function as the pricier frames. And without all of those gadgets, you may find it’s much easier to use, too.
Regarding storage, no built-in memory means that capacity will depend entirely on the size of your USB or SD card. Further, you’ll have to keep this frame plugged in for it to work, so be sure you have a spot in mind to display it that’s near an outlet. Choose from landscape or portrait orientation, select from several slideshow options, and you’re all set to enjoy this frame.
Things to consider before buying a digital picture frame
Unlike traditional photo frames, purchasing a digital picture frame isn’t necessarily a small expense. So it’s important to be intentional about what features you prioritize and whether or not there are features you can live without. And as technology advances, we should all be conscious of what gadgets could become obsolete in the near future. For example, will you really still have that SD card in 10 years, or will everything be on the cloud? Here are some more considerations:
First, ask yourself if you’re OK with a digital picture frame that requires an outlet or whether you would pay extra for a built-in battery. Then do the same for features like motion-sensor activation, Wi-Fi capabilities, and the like. Do you need them, or are they irrelevant?
You won’t be able to change out the color or size of your frame, so make sure it’s timeless.
When so many digital picture frames boast almost the exact same set of tools, it’s the additional features that really start to stand out. Think about those extra features—the motion-sensor activation, the background music, the weather reports—and decide which ones are make-or-break for you. Understanding your own preferences and priorities is the easiest way to weed out imperfect options and find the right frame for you.
Q: Are digital picture frames worth it?
In a word: Yes. These days, we take photos of almost everything we do, but most of our documentation never sees the light of day; rather, images sit hidden in cellphone albums, forgotten or ignored. Purchasing a digital picture frame is the easiest way to put these images on display and remember important moments that, though long passed, still carry immense importance. That, then, is the true worth of a digital picture frame: The ability to hold onto precious memories and display them almost without limits is the true worth of a digital picture frame.
Q: What size digital photo frame is best?
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as it depends on your space and preference. Do you have a huge hole in your gallery wall that is just begging to be filled? Or are you planning on squeezing a frame onto your already crowded desk? Take some measurements and shop accordingly.
Q: How many photos can a digital frame hold?
A lot! It depends on the frame’s capacity (or, if it doesn’t have in-frame storage, on your flash drive’s capacity), but, generally speaking, most photo frames can hold tens of thousands of photos.
Final thoughts on the best digital picture frames
After looking at each of these five digital picture frames, we can clearly see that there are several options and priorities to consider before purchase. The capabilities and perks run the gamut, and so do the prices. But, compared to the other four options or simply viewed as a standalone product, the Aura Carver Smart Frame is unmatched. Combining high-tech features with an easy user experience and a chic design, this photo frame will stay useful—and beautiful—for years to come.