Digital Photo Frames

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Because of the excellent cameras in modern smartphones, it's easier than ever to build up a big collection of photos of family, friends, and other fond memories. Sharing pictures on social media is one way to look back on photos, but if you're looking for something you can display in your home, you should consider a digital photo frame. Digital photo frames are dedicated screens that can show slideshows of pictures you either load directly onto the frame or access from the internet.

They were popular for a while but started to fall out of fashion as social media became a more integral outlet for sharing photos. However, some nice, artsy digital frames remain on the market and still work well. You should also consider one of the other, more versatile options we detail below.

Voice assistants have come a long way. First, they appeared on smart speakers like the Amazon Echo. Then companies added a screen to the mix, creating smart displays. These countertop, desktop, and tabletop devices provide all of the voice control functionality you get from smart speakers, along with a colorful screen that can display additional media.

That media includes photos, letting you turn any smart display into a digital photo frame simply by uploading photos to your favorite service and asking the display to show them off. Your favorite tablet can serve as an excellent photo frame when it isn't in your hand. By getting a nice stand (or finding a tablet with a built-in stand), you can simply set it down on a desk to show off your photos when you're not using it.

TVs don't need to be dull black rectangles when they're not in use. Several feature low-power gallery modes that can show off works of art or your photos when you aren't watching anything else. Turning your TV into a digital photo frame is as easy as linking a compatible photo service or plugging in a USB drive with your favorite pictures.

Samsung's Frame stands out among these choices, thanks to a modular bezel design that makes the TV look like a framed painting. With that in mind, we've gathered the best digital photo frames you can buy, as well as our other favorite devices you can use as frames, from tiny desktop screens for snapshots to much larger panels for great works of art.

The Amazon Echo Show 8 is a larger, more powerful version of the Echo Show 5 that's still smaller and less expensive than the Echo Show 10. Its 8-inch screen is two inches smaller than the Echo Show 10's, but it has the same 1,280-by-800 resolution so pictures will look sharper.

Dragon Touch 10-Inch Digital Picture Frame

It also features a set of solid stereo speakers, and all of the same functions of the Echo Show 5, including video chat.

Size

Amazon Echo Show 8 (2nd Gen, 2021 Release) Review.
$229.00 at Google Store.
The Nest Hub Max is a essentially a larger version of the Nest Hub, like the Echo Show 10 is to the Echo Show 5/8.
It features a 10-inch screen with a higher 1,280-by-800 resolution than the Nest Hub, plus a camera for video calls.
The camera also doubles as a security device when you're out of the house, letting you check in on your home remotely.
Google Nest Hub Max Review. $249.99 at Amazon.

Card compatibility

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Landscape or portrait orientation
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Q. Can digital photo frames be mounted on the wall?

The Echo Show 15 is one of the biggest smart displays you can buy, and designed to be hung up on the wall. When it isn't cycling through art or your own pictures, it can serve as a home messaging hub, with information dashboards for different members of the family. Amazon Echo Show 15 Review. $189.99 at Lenovo. There are plenty of tablets out there you can use as a digital photo frame with the right case or stand, but the Lenovo Yoga Smart Tab is the best to use on its own.

Its unique design incorporates a flip-down stand that lets you easily set the tablet on a desk or shelf, and its 10-inch screen features a sharp 1,920-by-1,080 resolution for showing off your favorite photos from any Android-compatible source. Lenovo Yoga Smart Tab Review. $1,099.99 at Samsung. Samsung's The Frame TV is designed to look just as good when you aren't watching television as it does when you are. Its Art mode shows off works of art from a collection of over 1,200 pieces (or your own photos) while consuming less power than TV mode. A modular bezel design lets you customize the TV's look with a variety of frames to suit your decor.

As a 4K TV, The Frame is also the highest-resolution display on this list, at 3,840 by 2,160 pixels.

10. Feelcare 7-Inch Smart WiFi Digital Picture Frame

$43.99 at Amazon.
If you're looking for the most affordable option, Aluratek's 8-inch photo frame is a popular choice.
It only has 800-by-600-pixel resolution and you need to use a USB drive or SD card to load it with photos, but it costs just a fraction of what many of the other photo frames out there are going for.
$129.99 at Amazon.
While we haven't tested this model, it's one of the most popular digital photo frames on Amazon and it's reasonably priced.

Q. How many photos will my digital photo frame hold?

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Displays photos from Facebook and Instagram
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Resolution

Its 1,280-by-800 resolution is a bit low for a 10-inch screen, but it features 16GB of onboard storage and supports Wi-Fi for instant photo sharing, and automatically rotates if you want to use it in portrait orientation. $129.99 at Amazon. The Feelcare frame works with an app that makes it easy for you to take and send photos to it from anywhere, making it an especially good option for sharing recent images with family members.

$173.81 at Amazon. We haven't tested this model either, but Nixplay's 9.7-inch Smart Photo Frame features one of the sharpest pictures on this list, with 2,048-by-1,536-pixel resolution. This Wi-Fi-connected frame can work with Dropbox, Facebook, Google Photos, Instagram, and several other services, and can even be controlled with Amazon Alexa voice commands (if you have a smart speaker, since the frame itself doesn't have a microphone).

Its black or metal finishes and stand make it look good on any desk or shelf. $154.99 at Amazon. In addition to displaying your favorite photos, the Pix-Star frame is preprogrammed with hundreds of web radio stations, as well as a number of games.

You can connect a USB stick or SD card with additional music files to play through its built-in speaker, or you can connect a portable speaker to the frame to really pump up the volume.

Portrait or landscape

$99.99 at Amazon.
The PhotoShare is another frame that makes it easy to share images with friends and family by uploading photos from anywhere through an app on your phone.
You can send up to 50 photos at a time from your mobile device, or through email or a linked Facebook account.
$159.99 at Amazon.

TVs

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Friends can add photos using a code
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Internal memory

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Looks a bit plasticky

The Skylight is a super-simple digital frame that promises easy setup in just 60 seconds. Once it's up and running, you can load it with photos by emailing them directly to the frame. And if you have trouble with it or aren't satisfied, the company will provide a full refund. Not everyone wants to display photos on a digital screen. We've tested, rated, and reviewed the best online photo printing services to see which offer the lowest prices, the best user experience, and the highest-quality prints.

Everyone loves to capture unforgettable moments with their smartphone or digital camera, but openly sharing your favorite photos can be a pain. Few want to take time out of their day to have personal photos printed in that dusty “Photo Center” corner of your local pharmacy, and the high cost of photo paper and ink makes printing them at home fairly expensive. A digital photo frame is an excellent solution for a number of reasons: all of your favorite photos are on display where everyone can see them, and swapping them out for new pictures is incredibly easy.

A nice digital frame will pay for itself in no time. For many owners, a digital photo frame provides a special way to share photos that normally stay “hidden” on their phones, laptops, or in the Cloud.

A digital photo frame is a 21st-century take on the standard photo frame. In essence, it's a small screen surrounded by a frame that can store and display digital photographs.

Controls

The pictures may be stored in the frame’s internal memory, on an SD card, or on a USB stick.
Some WiFi-compatible frames are able to retrieve and display photos from your online albums.
A digital frame allows you to display your photos in a number of ways.
There's the option to choose one photo (or, on some models, a collage of photos) and change it manually when you want to display something new.
Another option is to program the frame to cycle through your collection of snaps.

Smart Displays

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16GB internal storage
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User management

Q. Do digital photo frames need to be plugged into a wall outlet?

If you choose the latter option, you can set the interval between photos, which may be as little as two seconds or as much as twelve hours. Digital photo frames offer many advantages over traditional photo frames. Here are just a handful:. You can display lots of photos without filling every inch of your walls/shelves with frames.

You save time and money by not having to get your photos printed. You can choose which photos to display depending on your mood or the occasion.

For instance, you could display your wedding photos on your anniversary. In faster interval modes, you can use a digital frame to show friends and family a slideshow of a recent holiday or event.

Tablets

Most photo organization apps have built-in tools to quickly identify and delete any potential duplicate images.
Use one of these before you load up your digital frame to ensure you don’t see any repeats!
We can’t tell you which photo frame is best for you, but we can we can help you narrow the field by guiding you through the following considerations.
Digital photo frames range in size, from the compact 7-inch model to the 15-inch behemoth frame.
Based on where in your home or office you’d like to place the frame, you might already have a rough idea what size you want.

Q. Where's the best place to display a digital photo frame?

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Wireness connectivity
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WiFi capability

But if you're not sure, we recommend opting for a mid-sized frame. A frame that’s too small may seem hardly worth it; a frame that’s too big might sacrifice some of its resolution quality for size — unless you pay top dollar, that is. A photo’s resolution reflects its image quality. In general, the higher the resolution, the better the quality. We recommend a frame with a resolution of at least 1200x800 pixels to get a good image. Most digital photo frames come with some internal memory, which allows you to store photos in the frame itself.

The more internal memory you have, the more photos you can store. This varies quite a bit from model to model. If you plan to use internal memory, look for a minimum of 4GB of internal memory, though the amount of internal memory you need will depend strongly on whether you plan to use cloud-based photo storage services, or if you plan on using a frame that works with microSD cards for expanding storage.

However, almost all digital photo frames come with an SD and/or MicroSD slot which you can use as part of your photo storage system.

Display and intervals

A photo’s aspect ratio refers to the proportional relationship between its width and height.
Digital photo frames usually display photos in one aspect ratio only, so you must choose wisely.
Check the aspect ratio of the camera that most of your photos will be coming from before you pick your digital photo frame.
Why is this important?
If the aspect ratio of a photo doesn't match the aspect ratio of the frame, it will automatically crop or stretch the image to fit the frame, causing distortion.

Aspect ratio

Reasons to avoid

Higher-end cameras, including DSLR cameras, normally shoot in an aspect ratio of 16:9. If you’re getting ready to upload photos online, do a quick check to see how much file storage your pictures take up before you start. It’s important to make sure that you’ll have enough available space in your cloud storage so you don’t run out mid-transfer. Many digital photo frames have WiFi capability, which means they can connect to the internet through your home wireless network and download or display photos directly from your storage accounts, such as Google Photos, Facebook, Flickr, and Picasa.

However, some WiFi-capable frames require you to work with their proprietary apps and cloud storage services, so you'll want to avoid these if you have an existing cloud-storage account on another platform that you want to use.

You can find WiFi-only models, meaning they don’t have any built-in storage or room for expansion.

Reasons to buy

These can save you money, but you need to be comfortable using cloud photo storage.
While WiFi features are pretty cool, if you're buying the frame as a gift or if you aren't particularly inclined toward technology, a more basic model might be the better choice.
If you’re using a cloud-based service for photos, create a new folder specifically for pictures for your digital frame.
That way, you can curate what images appear, and you avoid the risk of unexpected pictures from your collection appearing.
This can also help you make sure all of the photos you display are oriented correctly.

Specifications

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Gesture controls
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Reasons to avoid

Some digital photo frames allow you to display your photos in landscape orientation or portrait orientation — but not both. This is extremely limiting. We prefer frames that allow you to alternate between landscape and portrait orientation. Since some digital photo frames come with little or no internal storage, they'll need to be compatible with SD or MicroSD cards to use as storage. Check that the photo frame that you choose is compatible with the kind of SD card you most regularly use. While you might think touch screen controls are handy, you will need to wipe fingerprints off the screen in order to enjoy a clean view. Most touch screens offer both physical buttons and touch screen buttons. We prefer those that are either controlled with a remote or by buttons on the edge or back of the frame.

Although most digital photo frames allow you to select a certain photo and display it until you decide to change it, most people set their frame to rotate photos at regular intervals.

Specifications

The timing of these intervals varies from model to model, but it usually starts at a quick two- or three-second interval (ideal for slideshows) and goes all the way up to a slow interval of 12 hours or more.
This longer interval suits people who want their digital photo frame to act more like a regular photo frame — with a bit of variety.
If you’re buying a digital frame as a gift for a loved one or family member, you can set it up ahead of time so that their favorite images appear as soon as they plug it in.
Digital photo frames range in price from about $50 for a small, basic model with a high-quality display to almost $200 for a large, WiFi-compatible model with all the bells and whistles.
You could spend as much or as little as you like within this range, depending on your needs and requirements.

Reasons to buy

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No Wifi required to view photos
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Reasons to avoid

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Doesn't play videos

However, we wouldn’t recommend paying much less than $50 on even a basic digital photo frame. What you save in price would probably be sacrificed in the quality of the photo display and the durability of the product. The size of a digital photo frame is measured across the diagonal. For example, from the top left corner to the bottom right corner. The measurement includes the screen but not the outer frame.

Nixplay 10.1-Inch Smart Photo Frame

If you choose a model with a resolution that’s too low, your photos will look grainy and pixelated.

Specifications

When budgeting for a new digital photo frame, don't forget to factor in the cost of an SD card.
And if you don't already have a spare, you’ll probably want one for extra storage.
This depends on the amount of internal storage your frame has, the amount of extra storage you buy in the form of an SD card, and the file size of your photos.
Bear in mind that 1GB of memory will hold about 450 6MP JPEG photos.
From there, you can calculate approximately how much storage space you have.

Reasons to buy

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2GB of internal storage
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Reasons to avoid

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One of the higher-priced ‘budget’ frames

Caveat: if you have larger or higher-resolution photos, 1GB may hold significantly less. Yes, almost all digital photo frames need to be plugged into an electrical socket. The only frame we found powered by rechargeable batteries was the Kodak Easyshare, but the batteries last only a few hours at a time, so you can't really rely on battery power alone. Some models come with a kit that allows them to be mounted. However, as previously mentioned, the frame needs to be plugged into a wall.

If you were to mount the frame, you’d still have to deal with an unsightly power cord running down your wall.

Specifications

LCD screens don't work well in sunlight, as the glare makes the picture difficult to see.
A digital photo frame should be displayed in a relatively shady part of the room, out of direct sunlight.
The best digital photo frames will stop your guests in their tracks and have them gazing in awe at your memories.
It should display your favorite pics in a vibrant tone which draws the eye, without looking washed out or unrealistic.
And the images should be detailed enough to make you relive the moment.

Reasons to buy

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Send and receive photo emails directly from the frame
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8GB of built-in storage provided

Reasons to avoid

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A period of familiarity with its multi-use menus needed
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Frame surround and screen is 4:3 ratio rather than more common 16:9

As well as featuring an impressive display, the best digital photo frames should be intuitive to operate and easy to access — so you can add or remove from the gallery with ease. Some frames can connect to popular photo storage services to help with this, such as Google Photos, Facebook, Instagram and Dropbox. Bear in mind that if your frame can’t do this, you’re going back to basics in terms of adding images via a USB drive. Another useful feature to look out for is multiple frame accessibility, which means friends and family can add to your gallery as well. If you’ve got one of the best photo books, then a digital photo frame will make for a nice addition.

If you want to invest in a frame, but you’re not sure which to choose, we’ve tested a range of models and sizes to find the best you can buy, whether you’re shopping on a budget or you want to splash out for the latest features.

Based on our testing, the Pix-Star 15-inch Wi-Fi Cloud Digital Photo Frame is the best digital photo frame for most people. At $199, it's not cheap, but you get a big, bright, clear display.

You also get handy email features and integration with all the major social networks.