Here's the one digital photo frame feature you must start using in 2024

Aura Mason Luxe Frame on shelf
(Image credit: Aura)

At this time of year, digital photo frames skyrocket in sales. It’s a popular Christmas gift to say the least, and it’s no surprise when you consider the memories these devices contain and the display they can create. It can become the centerpiece of your home décor — stopping guests in their tracks and leaving them gazing.  

I’ve been a skeptic in the past of this technology, viewing it as somewhat dated and irrelevant. But, with the introduction of the best digital photo frames, one feature has come along which changes things. If you’ve purchased a modern design, you might already have access to this, or if you’re gifting it to a loved one, it’s a good function to explore in the New Year.

One digital photo frame feature to use in 2024 

The feature in question is video playback. Many modern digital photo frames can now play video clips as well as display typical still shots. Some even feature speakers, meaning you can add sound to the footage too. With the right frame, this creates a ‘Harry Potter’ effect for your photos — seemingly coming to life. 

This feature breaks up the traditional display you get from digital photo frames, and gives them a chance to reflect more memories. It can even compliment the shots you’re showing, by showcasing real footage alongside. However, there are a few aspects to consider when shopping for the best video playback from digital photo frames.   

If you’re choosing a new digital photo frame, you’ll want to make sure the video playback is up to standard. First, know that the video playback length can vary by model. Some can only show around 15-seconds worth, while others can last up to a minute, so keep this in mind when picking out your frame. Although, if your existing frame struggles to load and playback longer videos, shorter clips may make things flow more smoothly.

Aura Mason Luxe Frame settings

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

You’ll also want to factor in how easy videos are to upload — for instance, the Aura Mason Luxe Frame, which we recommend below, will let you upload videos easily via your smartphone, but not from the computer. Find a frame which suits your media, and is seamless in terms of uploading and removing articles from your gallery, both in terms of still images and videos. Finally, consider whether videos can sync and play with your image gallery simultaneously or need to be accessed separately. Otherwise, videos are less likely to make an appearance in your regular slideshow.

Care should be taken when shopping for this feature in particular though. Our winning photo frame, the Pix Star Wi-Fi Cloud Digital Photo Frame, features video playback. And despite a high resolution display (1024 x 768), our tester noted that the video playback is low resolution. The last thing you want is blurry and jumpy footage cluttering your gallery. So you ultimately can’t trust the effectiveness of this feature based on resolution alone.

Instead, we recommend a model such as the Aura Mason Luxe Frame. Our tester found that this frame provided exquisite detail in its video footage with deep and realistic colors to boot. It can play videos of up to 30 seconds in length as well, which is a good offering.

When you set up your new digital photo frame, make sure to peruse and try out all of the features on offer. The latest frames can come with video playback, speakers, motion sensors, calendar utilities and even the ability to stream broadcasts from radio stations. It might be capable of more than you know.

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Katie Mortram
Homes Editor

Katie looks after everything homes-related, from kitchen appliances to gardening tools. She also covers smart home products too, so is the best point of contact for any household advice! She has tested and reviewed appliances for over 6 years, so she knows what to look for when finding the best. Her favorite thing to test has to be air purifiers, as the information provided and the difference between performances is extensive.