With the best digital photo frames, you can display your most memorable moments for you to remember and for others to see. They also make it easy to share images with others and are a great way to stay connected when many of us are stuck at home or live far from loved ones. Now that summer is here, there are more opportunities to shoot and showcase great photos.
Most of the best digital photo frames these days operate via their own apps and often link to popular photo storage services like Google Photos, Facebook, Instagram and Dropbox. They’re a breeze to set up, making it easy to see all your photos on a dynamic display. Some brands even let you connect to multiple frames from a single app, allow designated contacts to contribute to your frame, and send new photos to the screen automatically via email or Wi-Fi.
Our favorites come in a wide range of prices, sizes, resolutions and features, so it’s important to weigh how well each suits your needs before buying. We evaluated a number of the best digital photo frames, comparing image quality, ease of use, storage, social media integration, value and more to help you choose.
What are the best digital photo frames?
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 $199.99, 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. Plus, you can stream music broadcasts directly from the frame to set a soundtrack for your slideshow.
For the aesthetically inclined, we recommend the 9-inch Aura Mason Frame. It’s the same price as the Pix-Star, but it takes a completely different approach to the digital frame concept. The frame’s focus is on super high resolution images and the solid beauty of the frame casing as opposed to bells.
If you're on a tighter budget, the Nix Advance Digital Photo Frame 8 inch Widescreen costs just $79.99. The no-frills digital frame is compact enough to put on your nightstand, and offers plenty of ways to customize photo playback. It even packs a motion sensor that turns off autoplay when the room is empty to help conserve energy.
The best digital photo frames you can buy today
The best thing about the Pix-Star 15-inch Wi-Fi Cloud Digital Photo Frame is its stunning photo quality. With the 4:3 aspect ratio on a 1024 x 768-pixel screen, images look crisp, bright and clear. You can make adjustments to the LED backlit screen for brightness, hue and contrast depending on ambient lighting.
The Pix-Star has many smart extras. You can stream broadcasts from a number of international radio stations to play music over a slideshow, and there are many transitions available to customize image presentation. You can also set reminders, use the built-in calculator and play simple puzzles, Sudoku and other games.
This gadget lets you link up to 25 frames from a single account, where you can send and receive images and audio messages directly to and from connected frames. You can also view pictures from web albums, including Google Photos and Facebook. The frame has 4GB of onboard memory and supports USB thumb drives and SDHC/SDXC camera cards.
Overall, the Pix-Star is the best digital photo frame you can buy.
Many digital frames promise clear and bright images, but there is a profound difference when seeing your photos on the Aura frame, which is 9 inches with a 4:3 aspect ratio. Colors are vivid but realistic, and the 224 ppi resolution screen displays the depth of color as well as exquisite detail.
The Aura relies on its iOS and Android app more than most other digital frames. That’s because the frame accepts only cloud input – no SD cards or thumb drives. The Aura Mason also features a Smart Suggestions feature that helps choose images from your gallery.
An ambient light sensor automatically adjusts the display’s brightness and an auto function turns off the frame when it’s dark in the room. There’s no touch screen – and thus no finger smudges to mar the view. Instead, the frame operates via two touch bars: one on top and the other on the side of the unit.
The Aura Mason Frame comes in two colors – Graphite and White Quartz – and it sits on your table in either landscape or portrait orientation. The frame is a work of art from the outside in.
As a compact frame for a desk or end table, the Nix Advance 8-inch Digital Photo Frame is a bright, colorful choice among the best digital photo frames. Its traditional 4:3 aspect ratio, LED backlit display shows photos in realistic and appropriately saturated colors with crisp details. Skin tones look natural, and the frame shows deep blacks for black-and-white shots.
The motion sensor helps the Nix Advance 8-inch Digital Photo Frame conserve energy so that you don't have to switch the unit off if the room is empty. It accepts both USB and SD/SDHC cards for displaying a single photo, rotating a slideshow, or 720p video.
We also like its handy date and time display. It’s a subtle feature, but having this information available at a glance is always useful.
The Facebook Portal displays your photos from Facebook and Instagram on a 10-inch touchscreen that's easy to use. But you can also use this device to make video calls using Facebook or WhatsApp. The Portal's smart camera is smart enough to follow you around (by panning and zooming) as you move. Plus, you can apply fun filters to add some personality to your chats.
The Portal also has Alexa built in, so you can can ask the assistant anything you would ask one of Amazon's smart speakers or use the Portal to check who's at the front door. When you're not viewing photos, making calls or chatting with Alexa, the Portal can stream music from several services, including Pandora and Spotify.
To help protect your privacy, the Portal comes with a switch to shut off the camera, and you can delete any recordings the Portal has heard. Or you can just have the portal not save any of your recordings. Overall, the Portal is a pretty good deal given everything this device can do.
Aura’s Carver Frame is, in many respects, similar to the superlative Aura Mason Frame. It has many of the same characteristics, such as the 224 ppi screen resolution and an exterior that exudes minimalist chic – available in either Charcoal or White Chalk. There are a couple of differences, though. The Carver is designed as a landscape-only frame measuring 10.1 inches diagonally, offering a larger, more cinematic HD image presentation.
The Carver Frame delivers outstanding rendering of both colors and photo detail — and is bound to be the best image you will see of your photos. It accepts only cloud input from iCloud, Google Photos and your Camera Roll, meaning there’s no storage limits and all uploads to your frame cycle through the Aura app for iOS or Android. You, friends and family can, via the app, contribute photos to the frame from anywhere.
While the frame is limited to landscape orientation, because of its widescreen display, it can pair two vertical photos side by side, and does so automatically. There are no physical inputs on the frame, so to change which photo to view at will, you can use the touch bar at the top of the frame. This is an elegant solution, because it keeps the glass pristine, as opposed to other touch screen frames marred by icky fingerprints. An ambient light sensor automatically adjusts the display’s brightness and an auto function switches the frame off after dark.
For the best quality widescreen frame to complement any home décor, the Aura Carver is a fine choice.
The Nix Advance 8-inch Digital Photo Frame Widescreen, with its 1280 x 800 16:10 display, is for those who seek a desk or table frame that delivers the ultimate widescreen viewing. The image quality is superb — colors are natural but fully saturated for viewing both photos and videos from a USB stick or SD/SDHC camera cards, with a variety of creative slideshow transitions. Skin tones look natural, and the frame shows deep blacks for black and white shots, making this one of the best digital photo frames around.
A motion sensor shuts down the autoplay when the room is empty, and you can set the timer to turn the unit on or off at designated intervals. A remote control gives you access to all navigation through the menus for timing, slideshow details and screen adjustments. Nice extras like a clock and calendar make the frame more useful. Video playback is limited to 15 seconds and is optimal at 720p.
The Dragon Touch frame’s 10.1-inch, 16:10 touch screen lets you view everything from static images and slideshows with special effects transitions to 30-second video clips complete with a headphone jack for audio. There’s also multiple ways to input images into the frame, including an SD card, USB thumb drive, and Wi-Fi uploading.
The OurPhoto app is the easiest way to upload photos to the frame. You can also add remote users to the frame to let friends and family upload images via the app.
Image quality is top notch with bright detail and vivid colors. The Dragon Touch has some cool goodies, including video with sound, an alarm, calendar, and local weather. While there is no motion sensor to power down the frame when there’s no one in the room to view it, you can set a schedule.
The frame casing does not seem especially durable, as the paint started to chip on our model. And many frames shipped to addresses in the U.S. arrive with European or Asian power connections that do not fit into wall sockets. I received one of those for review, but was able to use it with an adapter that I had on hand.
Nixplay Seed’s 10.1-inch 1280 x 800 display, with its wide 16:10 aspect ratio, is a pleasure to behold. Images show up beautifully saturated with many ways to create slideshows. It's small enough to fit on a desk or an end table and its stiff cord is adjustable so you can place it in a comfortable position anywhere. An attractive matte-rubber frame looks great in any room where its built-in motion sensor automatically switches on when you're in the room.
The Seed lets you manage all your photos and multiple frames from a single account. Upload photos from your computer or mobile device or access photos from Facebook, Instagram, Dropbox and Flickr or Google Photos. You can create specific photo playlists for each frame, or connect iOS or Android mobile apps with the frame. You can also email images directly and give friends and family access.
The Seed also works with some of the best Alexa compatible devices for displaying playlists and checking connectivity.
The Feelcare is a compact, handy picture frame that displays your images beautifully. Its black matte plastic exterior is low key and subtle so it looks nice in any room. With a 1024 x 600, 16:9 picture, image quality is crisp and clear, and you can use the touch screen to adjust brightness.
The frame operates via a proprietary app for iOS or Android, or you can manually load images via a micro SD card directly into the frame, which has 8GB of internal storage. The frame saves the photos and videos to the built-in memory and you can use the touch screen to delete, hide, and adjust photos. Note that videos play for only 15 seconds.
You can send photos from the Frameo app or from the photo sharing utility in your smartphone gallery and add up to 500 friends who can also send photos to your frame. The lack of a motion sensor is a drawback but there is a timer. Despite a dearth of extras, Feelcare’s basic operation is flexible enough for its target audience of non-technical family members.
There's not much to the Aluratek 8 inch Digital Photo Frame except extreme simplicity, which is why it's still one of the best digital photo frames for some users who just want to display some photos and not mess with networks.
The unit has no touch screen, no built-in memory and no remote control. The 800 x 600 TFT LCD screen resolution offers some basic adjustments for positioning images on screen, how long each image lingers and the screen brightness. You can plug in SD camera cards (up to 32GB) or a USB stick.
The navigational controls are on the back of the unit and each command registers with a toy-like click, but you must put your hands on the frame to change controls. Strangely, you can't change any of the controls unless all SD cards and USB drives are removed from the unit.
The unit features a generic plastic frame that comes with a screw-in plastic stand, but there is no hole for wall hanging. Normal-size USB drives stick out of the frame's side. You can choose from 11 transition styles and display photos from 3 seconds to 1 hour.
How to choose the best digital photo frames for you
To choose the best digital photo frames for you, consider what you're expecting out of such a device.
No matter your budget, you want your images to look realistic on your digital photo frame. Aim for a high resolution least 1024 x 768), vivid colors and sharp details. Watch out for frames that are too bright, have muted colors, low contrast and soft images.
You'll also want to assess how technical you are and where most of your photos are currently stored. Non-connected frames are the easiest to use because you don't have to punch in long, complex passwords or hassle with finicky networks. These frames instead offer slots for camera cards or USB thumb drives to load up to 32GB of images, videos and music directly on your frame.
Connected frames, rather, offer considerably more flexibility in sourcing and swapping out images from social media photo sites, but are a more difficult to use. If most of your images exist on social media or cloud services, you'll benefit most from a connected frame.
How we test digital photo frames
We test the best digital photo frames on a variety of criteria. First, we assess at image quality and aspect ratio. The digital recreations of photos must look sharp and realistic, while maintaining a natural-looking crop.
Ease of use is another element we consider while reviewing the best digital photo frames. If a frame is simple to set up and navigate, it often has more value. However, an expansive offering of connected features is important, too. We think most of the photo frames on this list strike a solid balance.
Additional specs we look at are storage and sensors. Some digital photo frames feature onboard memory, while others rely on Wi-Fi streaming, USB thumb drives or camera SD cards. If you must use a camera card or a USB stick, be sure that the frame's body adequately keeps them out of sight.
Meanwhile, a motion sensor is practically a must. Digital photo frames do not need to waste energy by playing all day long if no one is in the room to view them.
Many frames offer calendar, clock, reminders, games, calculators, weather app widgets and speaker ports. These features aren't expectations, but make nice extras.