To select the best digital picture frame, we started by focusing on ease of use. Anything that required complicated set up was immediately cut from the top pick selection. Then we took it a step further and focused on alternative options for people who might be averse to relying on WiFi for uploading images or video footage to their frame. Once we passed those benchmarks, we focused on key factors such as resolution, screen size, and built-in storage so that you could display images without being connected to WiFi.
For these reasons, we’re confident that the Pix-Star 10 Inch Wi-Fi Cloud Digital Picture Frame is a top pick. Not only does it allow for remote and manual uploads thanks to cloud storage and USB ports, but it also features a 10-inch screen, a resolution of 1024 x 768, and an easy setup that is perfect for the tech-savvy or tech-averse user.
- 1 Top 7 Best Digital Picture Frames Compared
- 1.1 #1 Pix-Star 10″ Wi-Fi Cloud Digital Picture Frame – Top Pick
- 1.2 #2 NIX Advance 8″ Digital Photo Frame – Honorable Mention
- 1.3 #3 Aura Digital Photo Frame, 10” HD Display – Best High Res Screen
- 1.4 #4 MRQ 14″ Full HD Digital Photo Frame – Best Large Display
- 1.5 #5 Skylight 10″ WiFi Digital Picture Frame – Best Value/Best Traditional Frame
- 1.6 #6 Atatat 8” Digital Photo Frame – Best For Grandparents or Kids
- 1.7 #7 Aluratek 7” Digital Photo Frame – Best Budget
- 1.8 How We Decided
- 2 Buyer’s Guide
Top 7 Best Digital Picture Frames Compared
#1 Pix-Star 10″ Wi-Fi Cloud Digital Picture Frame – Top PickWHY WE LIKE IT: You don’t need to be especially tech-savvy to use this digital picture frame. Quick set up in less than two minutes, remote WiFi management, plus a user-friendly app to queue images make this a smart choice for users of all ages.
For people who want a digital picture frame that works straight out of the box, the Pix-Star 10 Inch WiFi Cloud Digital Picture Frame is a solid option. This frame is specifically ideal for older people who might struggle with picture or image sharing through more tech-savvy options like cloud storage or social media. The Pix-Star frame comes with eight gigabytes of built-in storage and the option of uploading pictures from a USB. You’ll also appreciate the built-in menu on the frame to organize pictures, change image orientations, and even play two-minute video clips.
For the savvy user, you can remotely manage pictures by enabling the WiFi setting and connecting through the Pix-Star app that works for both Android and iOS. Upload images from social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram, or upload from your preferred cloud storage account.
#2 NIX Advance 8″ Digital Photo Frame – Honorable MentionWHY WE LIKE IT: The Nix digital photo frame is one of the few on our list to include a remote control and no option to connect to your home’s WiFi. Because of this, it’s ideal for those that are less than tech savvy or want something a bit more secure..
The Nix Advance Digital Photo Frame is a smart alternative for people concerned about security breaches that you might experience from WiFi-enabled digital frames. While this doesn’t run on a network, you have a larger capacity to hold thousands of photos and videos that you upload from an SD card or a USB drive. This digital frame comes with a remote so that you can easily navigate through the menu or cycle through media.
Other great features include a built-in clock and calendar. You can also choose between various size models ranging from eight inches to 17-inches. Additionally, you’ll enjoy a resolution of 1064 x 768 and a 4:3 aspect ratio.
#3 Aura Digital Photo Frame, 10” HD Display – Best High Res ScreenWHY WE LIKE IT: The Aura 10” photo frame offers unlimited photo sharing and uploads thanks to the free cloud storage, a high resolution display of 2048 x 1536 and built-in WiFi. While perhaps a premium price, this photo frame offers the most versatility and is great for large families.
Most digital picture frames are only available in one colorway, even if they do offer multiple display sizes. The Aura Digital Photo Frame comes in five colors, which makes it easier to find a frame that works best with your home’s style.
But beyond that, you’ll like the higher resolution of 2048 x 1536 as compared to other frames on our list. This translates to a crisper display for photos. The Aura digital photo frame works via WiFi with Google Assistant and Alexa so you can remotely upload and manage media, as well as share content with friends and family. The screen also automatically adjusts its brightness for the perfect level depending on the ambient light detected in the room. A bonus, this frame comes with free unlimited cloud storage so you can expand the amount of media you can display.
#4 MRQ 14″ Full HD Digital Photo Frame – Best Large Display
The MRQ Full HD Digital Photo Frame is a smart purchase for budget-focused shoppers. While this doesn’t work with WiFi and lacks internal storage, occasional frame users will still appreciate the crisp display on the large 14-inch screen with a 1920 x 1080 resolution and 16:9 aspect ratio. The MRQ frame also includes other solid features such as motion sensors to automatically turn the frame on or off, and the ability to play background music with your slideshow.
While this frame lacks WiFi, the other features such as music integration, the large display, high resolution and added functions such as calendar, clock and e-book reader still make this a worthy investment. The ability to play videos, and zoom into image means you’re getting a variety of perks for a nominal price.
#5 Skylight 10″ WiFi Digital Picture Frame – Best Value/Best Traditional FrameWHY WE LIKE IT: The Skylight photo frame packs some solid tech into a traditional looking, including WiFi, a touchscreen for 60 second setup and its only email address that makes for adding photos a synch. This makes the frame ideal for those who want the features but the traditoinal photo fram elook.
The Skylight 10-inch WiFi Digital Picture Frame is best suited for people who crave easy setup. While the frame offers a 1280 x 800 resolution and connects via WiFi, it doesn’t support manual uploads via SD card or USB devices. However, shoppers with security concerns will like that you don’t need to stay connected to the WiFi to display photos — only for uploads.
If uploading photos from media sources is hard for you, you’ll like that Skylight simplifies the process by configuring each frame with a unique email address. You then create a custom email with a Skylight extension and remotely send pictures to the frame’s email address.
#6 Atatat 8” Digital Photo Frame – Best For Grandparents or KidsWHY WE LIKE IT: A budget-friendly digital picture frame that is packed with features such as 1920 x 1080 resolution, a remote control, video support, music playback, and automatic orientation adjustment. This is a great frame for those who want simple controls without the confusion of additional features.
The Atatat Digital Photo Frame comes in six screen sizes and two frame colors for enhanced customization at a nominal price. The Autorotation function instantly corrects image orientation. This digital photo frame doesn’t use WiFi but does allow you to upload content either via an SD card or USB. Make your slideshows more interactive with the option to add background music to your media. Also, customize slide modes by choosing between the 10 built-in transition options.
Even though the frame is one of the smaller options on our list, other features make this a worthy option in for those concerned about wireless network security. Added functions like clock, calendar, and music playback are nice features that make this frame a solid competitor on our list.
#7 Aluratek 7” Digital Photo Frame – Best BudgetWHY WE LIKE IT: A streamlined digital photo frame with 800 x 600 resolution and a 4:3 aspect ratio. People who prefer a low price and simple setups will appreciate the clean control panel on the back of the frame.
The Aluratek Digital Photo Frame lacks many of the features that our other picks have. , However, this is a great option for the no-frills customer who wants a simplified frame that only displays images or wants to use it to display static signage in a store or at an event. The Aluratek frame only measures seven-inches for the display but has an 800 x 600 resolution with a 4:3 aspect ratio.
Common features like built-in battery and memory are not available with the Aluratek model. So, you will need to keep the frame plugged into a power source at all times, and keep a media source attached to the device in order to display pictures.
How We Decided
Digital picture frames aren’t necessarily a new invention, but they are a device that has seen major improvements over the years. In general, we’ve found that there are a few key categories of shoppers who are looking for a product like this.
One of the first factors we considered was WiFi-enabled versus manual uploads. There are legitimate concerns over network security, as every device you connect to your home’s wireless network creates another entry point for hackers. But this can be easily corrected by creating a secure password and not relying on the factory-created passwords from your router. But if you’re still concerned about security, we focused on digital picture frames that didn’t necessarily feature WiFi accessibility but instead relied on manual upload options like SD cards and USB drives.
In contrast, more tech-savvy people may prefer remote access options such as connecting to their cloud storage, using a native app to upload content, or the ability to share images with friends and family wirelessly and via social media. For them, we focused on those tech features and especially on digital picture frames that offered free cloud storage.
Another concern was screen size, resolution and aspect ratio. These three factors will not only impact how your images will display but where you will want to place your digital picture frame. While the minimum resolution recommendation is 1024 x 768, we wanted to ensure that our picks featured higher resolutions for a crisper display. So you’ll note that many of our picks feature 1920 x 1080. The highest resolution found on a frame we’ve selected is 2048 x 1536. We should note that since the most common digital picture frame ranges from seven to 10 inches, a 1920 x 1080 resolution is sufficient. Trying to find a higher resolution for screens in this size range won’t have a measurable impact on image quality and clarity. We also included a range of frame models, many of which featured multiple screen sizes that ranged from seven to 17-inches and multiple frame colors to match your home’s decor.
Also, many people tend to default to taking pictures in portrait mode where they hold their phones vertically. However, most digital picture frames are designed to be set up in landscape mode, which would mean that your portrait images would be displayed sideways. To compensate for this issue, we also focused on frames that offered auto-adjustments. This means that a digital picture frame will automatically detect your image’s orientation and fix it so that the image displays correctly.
And finally, one of the last main features people want in a digital picture frame is the ability to customize slideshows and use mixed media. Depending on your budget, customization can range from controlling the order of your images to creating transitions, adding music, or even combining video clips and still images within one slideshow. Not all of these features are big-ticket upgrades, as many of our budget-friendly selections include slideshow transitions, the ability to include background music, and even video playback support.
- Screen Size
Obviously screen sizes for digital picture frames can vary, and the size you choose is going to be entirely dependent on your needs. In particular, you’ll need to consider the area where you plan to display your frame when picking the right size for your needs. However, you can find digital picture frames that range in size from as small as 7-inches to 21-inches.
- Screen Resolution
Of all the features, this is going to be one of the most important factors that you need to consider when purchasing a digital picture frame. You’ll find a range of resolution options when shopping for a frame, and the optimal resolution will depend on the display size you select. But as a general rule, you should focus on higher resolutions to ensure a clear image. The minimum resolution you should purchase is 800 x 600 for an eight-inch display. For frames that are 10 to 15 inches shoot for a resolution of at least 1024 x 768. Anything above 15 inches should have a resolution of at least 1600 x 1200.
- Aspect Ratio
Just like screen resolution, the aspect ratio is a critical factor you need to consider. The most common aspect ratios you’ll find will be 4:3 and 16:9 which is widescreen. While some digital picture frames will allow you to manually adjust aspect ratios, others will automatically adjust the ratio to fill the screen with the photo for a seamless experience. Just note that sometimes adjusting individual images to fill the screen can result in distortion.
- Storage Features
Depending on your budget and your needs, you may want a digital picture frame that includes built-in storage. The storage size and capabilities can often depend on whether your frame relies on WiFi or if you need to use a media source such as an SD card or USB drive to upload content. WiFi-enabled digital picture frames often rely on cloud storage to access the content. This means that images aren’t stored directly on your frame, and this can ensure that slideshow functions work quickly. In contrast, frames that don’t rely on WiFi may have a built-in amount of storage such as 32GB so that you can directly upload and store your most important images or videos. Meanwhile, some digital picture drives do not feature internal storage. So, these devices must always have a media source connected if you want to display images or video content.
- Ease of Use
Digital picture frames have come a long way from the original versions of the mid-1990s. While you can still get simplified models that allow you to upload images via USB, you can also find more enhanced versions. These days, you can control your frame through wifi based smart technology like Google Assistant and Alexa, or automation apps like IFTTT.
- What is a digital picture frame?
A digital picture frame relies on an LCD screen to display pictures. This cuts out the need to have your film developed or to go to a photo store and print out images from your phone or digital device. Digital picture frames can come in an array of sizes that range from seven inches to as much as 17-inches. But the most common size range is between seven to 10-inches. Depending on your needs, you can find frames that allow you to upload content remotely, or directly connect a media source such as an SD card or USB drive to upload images or videos for playback.
- I mostly take pictures with my smartphone, is there a specific aspect ratio I should get for my digital picture frame?
Generally speaking, smartphones tend to shoot pictures in a 4:3 aspect ratio. Look for digital picture frames that at least feature this ratio so that your images won’t appear distorted.
- I prefer to take pictures in landscape mode, should I opt for a widescreen digital picture frame?
You might be tempted to upgrade to a digital picture frame with a 16:9 aspect ratio which is known as widescreen. But the reality is, that even with images shot in landscape orientation if you’re using your smartphone or a digital camera to take the bulk of your pictures, you’re still shooting at a 4:3 aspect ratio. Upgrading to a 16:9 frame won’t improve your viewing experience. Instead, the frame will need to crop out portions of the upper and lower part of your image to properly display the image. So, no don’t buy a widescreen frame — stick to the 4:3 ratio.
- I don’t use SD cards or USB drives to store pictures and video, what should I do?
Know that you’re not alone! As cloud storage and sharing options continue to gain popularity, fewer people are relying on physical storage methods. Thankfully, it’s very common now for digital picture frames to feature remote methods for uploading images or videos. In particular, you’re going to want to look for frames that rely on WiFi and allow you to upload media from options such as your preferred cloud storage account or directly from your social media.
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