Want to make the most of your photos from trips, family get-togethers and other memorable moments? Today's digital photo frames can link to online services like Google Photos, Facebook, Instagram, Flickr, and Dropbox and send and receive images via email and mobile apps.
And don't worry about setup. Some brands offer a way to connect multiple frames from a single web app so non-technical users can be sent new photos automatically via email or Wi-Fi as easily as opening an envelope full of prints.
Here are the best digital photo frames based on our testing.
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, Sodoku and other games.
As a compact frame for a desk or end table, the Nix Advance 8-inch Digital Photo Frame is a bright, colorful choice. 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 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.
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.
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.
Image quality for the Pix-Star 10.4-inch Wi-Fi backlit LED Cloud Digital Photo Frame is impressive, featuring a 4:3 aspect ratio and large, bright display with optional adjustments for hue, saturation and contrast. It's got that square look with a presentable matte black plastic frame that's designed to perch on a table — there's no option to hang it.
While the resolution is lower than some other models of its size, the aspect ratio compensates by filling the entire frame with your image. A smart-fill option stretches images or you can opt to show photos as a collage with four to five images per screen with many transition options.
Like the 15-inch Wi-Fi model, the 10-inch Pix-Star offers internet radio, playing your own music, reminders, games and a calculator. All HD video will automatically be downsized. The 10-inch Pix-Star links to Facebook, Flickr, Smugmug and other social media and receives updated weather for a selection of countries and cities.
The trickiest part of setting up the Pix-Star is coordinating multiple frames. If you have multiple frames you can set up a special address to sync photo collections. While I was able to sync online photo collections, and email photos and audio messages to the frames, I could see only one frame at a time via the web app.
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 Alexa-enabled devices for displaying playlists and checking connectivity. I found the software set up a bit fiddly at first with different kinds of albums and playlists, depending on where you derive your photos, but it was easy to manage multiple albums, playlists and frames via drag and drop. You can also share photos and videos directly from the iOS mobile app, though not with Android as of yet.
The Skylight frame operates on a simple concept: Its main feature is to display images shot with a smartphone or tablet and instantly beam them to the Skylight frame of a non-technical loved one. Skylight is targeted to older generations who don't want to mess with tech. As a touch screen, it differs from many of the frames in its class. The frame relies entirely on email to download the images onto the frame, where it will then work without an internet connection.
While the frame does have a USB slot, it is not functional at the moment and there is no SD card slot. There are no adjustments for brightness or choices of how to fill the frame if the photo is not the right size. You can use smartphone-like gestures to enlarge images, but the frame won't automatically resize images.
There's not much to the Aluratek 8 inch Digital Photo Frame except extreme simplicity. 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 three seconds to an hour.
This 4:3 ratio, 8-inch photo frame has a lot going for it, including a relatively high-resolution screen of 1024 x 768 and a wide 175-degree viewing angle. Its motion sensor saves energy when there's no one in the room. The unit supports both SD camera cards and USB sticks up to 32GB and runs on a generic operating system via a remote control with manual controls on the back.
It's a very basic frame and does the trick for most purposes and even plays HD video in 720p and 1080p quite nicely. However, the image quality regarding color, saturation and contrast is just so-so compared with other 8-inch frames.