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The best digital photo frames of 2021

Best digital photo frames
(Image credit: Aura)

The best digital photo frames let you show off your favorite memories — from family portraits to special events to amazing trips — either to enjoy yourself or to share with others. The best digital photo frames not only display cherished images, they are also a great way to stay connected with loved ones in far-off places.

Many of the best digital picture frames are accompanied by apps that are compatible with popular photo storage services like Google Photos, Facebook, Instagram and Dropbox. Some apps even connect to multiple frames, so you can set up designated contacts to contribute to your frame, and send new images to the screen automatically via email or Wi-Fi.

Our favorites digital photo frames come in a wide range of prices, sizes, resolutions and features, so it’s important to consider all of those factors to determine which one 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.

The best digital photo frames for going back to school

Based on our testing, the Pix-Star 15-inch Wi-Fi Cloud Digital Photo Frame is the best digital photo frame for most people and perfect for college students going back to school. 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. 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.

An all-new digital picture frame is an excellent premium option, too. Netgear's 15-inch Meural WiFi Photo Frame is a smaller take the Netgear Meural Canvas II, but with a stronger emphasis on personal photo albums. It costs $299 and is available now.

The best digital photo frames you can buy today

Pix-Star 15-inch Wi-Fi Cloud Digital Photo Frame (Image credit: Pix-Star)

1. Pix-Star Wi-Fi Cloud Digital Photo Frame

The best digital photo frame overall

Specifications
Resolution: 1024 x 768
Dimensions: 15 x 11 x 1.2 inches
Wi-Fi: Yes
Touch screen: No
Remote: Yes
Built-in storage: 4GB
Motion sensor: Yes
Music player: Yes
Video: Yes
USB/SD slots: Yes/Yes
Cloud Services: Google Photos, Facebook, Flickr, Smugmug, Instagram, Dropbox, Shutterfly, OneDrive, Photobucket, Verizon
Reasons to buy
+Handy email features+Photos look sharp and clear+Connects with major social networks+Facilitates multiple frame accounts
Reasons to avoid
-Low-resolution video playback

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.

Aura Mason Frame (Image credit: Aura)

2. Aura Mason Frame

The best looking frame and images

Specifications
Resolution: 1600 x 1200
Dimensions: 9.7 x 7.6 x 1.9 inches
Wi-Fi: Yes
Touch screen: No
Remote: No
Built-in storage: No
Motion sensor: No
Music player: No
Video: No
USB/SD slots: No/No
Cloud Services: iCloud, Google Photos
Reasons to buy
+Gorgeous high-resolution screen+App controls image posting and other features+Compatible with Apple’s Live Photos+Integrates with Google Photos and iCloud
Reasons to avoid
-Ambient light sensor can be finicky-Does not play videos-No ports

Many digital picture 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. 

Photospring digital photo frame

(Image credit: Photospring)

3. PhotoSpring 10 Digital Photo Frame

The most versatile digital photo frame

Specifications
Resolution: 1280 x 800
Dimensions: 13.1 x 9.9 x 1.6 inches with outer frame/11.1 x 7.9 x 1.1 inches with inner frame
Wi-Fi: Yes
Touch screen: Yes
Remote: No
Built-in storage: 16GB
Motion sensor: No
Music player: No
Video: Yes
USB/SD slots: Yes/Yes
Cloud Services: Google Photos/Flickr/iCloud
Reasons to buy
+Clear, bright screen+Touch screen facilitates access to photo/video playlists+Platform stand offers sturdy base for landscape or portrait viewing+Accepts media from a variety of sources
Reasons to avoid
-Peg leg stand fits poorly-No motion sensor-Separately purchased hardware needed for wall mounting

PhotoSpring 10 has the unique advantage of two different visual frame modes: a traditional matted look with a black, gallery style outer frame or a streamlined modern look. After removing the top black frame, it’s easy to see how superior the plain white frame looks and how nicely it sets off your images, but it’s your choice and switching modes is easy. This frame is for tabletops only for now — no wall mounting unless you purchase a power cable with a 90-degree magnetic connector, which the company says will be available as an accessory.

PhotoSpring’s flexibility extends to its mode of input. You can send up to 30MB of photos directly to the frame via email, proprietary app, text, photos app share button, or from a browser. All media uploaded to the frame is automatically stored on the device. High-resolution videos of up to five minutes in length (or 1GB file size) play automatically in an integrated slideshow, though the frame does not recognize Apple’s Live Photos as videos, only stills. 

Various onscreen controls are accessible via a subtle green dot at the upper right corner. It’s hard to discern at first — you may have to consult the instructions unless you find it by chance while poking around the screen — but once you discover and tap it, the current image zooms out to reveal on-screen controls that let you delete, hide, favorite, alter rotation, add to an existing album, adjust formatting, or mail images to or from the frame. A settings menu facilitates the management of cloud accounts like Google Photos for sync or backup or Flickr for sync. 

The interface also lets you invite friends to upload images to your frame, change brightness and volume levels, schedule the frame on and off, and set up parameters for viewing slideshows and onscreen EXIF info for each image. We tested the Premium version of the frame, which features four hours of battery life, as opposed to the standard version, which you must keep plugged in. 

PhotoSpring is easy to use with most tasks accomplished with a quick tap and simple on/off switches — ideal for its non-technical target audience. Image quality is high resolution for the frame’s size, and because you can schedule on-off intervals, a motion sensor is not sorely missed. 

Nix Advance 8-inch Digital Photo Frame (Image credit: Nix)

4. Nix Advance 8-inch Digital Photo Frame

Best digital photo frame value

Specifications
Resolution: 1024 x 768
Dimensions: 7.64 x 5.54 x 0.39 inches
Touch screen: No
Wi-Fi: No
Remote: Yes
Built-in storage: No
Motion sensor: Yes
Music player: No
Video: Yes
USB/SD slots: Yes/Yes
Cloud Services: No
Reasons to buy
+Sharp, colorful display+Stereo speakers+Motion sensor
Reasons to avoid
-No onboard memory-Video limited to 720p

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.

Best Digital Photo Frames: Meural WiFi Photo Frame

(Image credit: Future)

5. Meural WiFi Photo Frame

The best digital photo frame that's also an at-home art gallery

Specifications
Resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels
Dimensions: 16 x 10 x 1.68 inches
Touch screen: No
Wi-Fi: No
Remote: No
Built-in storage: 4GB
Motion sensor: Yes
Music player: No
Video: Yes
USB/SD slots: No
Cloud Services: No
Reasons to buy
+Stunning display+Motion gestures work well+Expansive art library with membership
Reasons to avoid
-Very large

The Netgear Meural WiFi Photo Frame is a more compact, photo-focused version of the museum-worthy Netgear Meural Canvas II. While the Canvas II excels at bringing art from the louvre to your living room, the charcoal grey WiFi Photo Frame drops the mat framing for a homier look. 

Of course, to maintain a gorgeous 1920 x 1080-pixel display the WiFi Photo Frame is rather large compared to many of the best digital photo frames. As a result, it might not fit well on some side tables or desks. But if you have the space for this 15.6-inch full HD display, you won't be disappointed. 

The Meural WiFi Photo Frame's anti-glare coating holds an impressively clear picture from any angle, while responsive gesture controls let you navigate your photo albums and settings. Or you can control the frame with the Meural app, which offers both Meural's expansive library of art and a suite for creating collaborative photo albums for your frame.  

Facebook Portal (Image credit: Facebook)

6. Facebook Portal

Best for video calling and Alexa integration

Specifications
Resolution: 1280 x 900
Dimensions: 10.2 x 7 x 0.8 inches
Touch screen: Yes
Wi-Fi: Yes
Remote: No
Built-in storage: None
Motion sensor: Yes
Music player: No
Video: Yes
USB/SD slots: Yes/Yes
Cloud Services: Facebook, Instagram
Reasons to buy
+Makes video calls through Facebook and WhatsApp+Attractive design+Displays photos from Facebook and Instagram+Alexa is integrated
Reasons to avoid
-Facebook voice assistant not as good as Alexa

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.

best digital photo frames: Aura Carver

Aura Carver (Image credit: Aura)

7. Aura Carver

The best looking widescreen digital photo frame

Specifications
Resolution: 1920 x 1200
Dimensions: 10.63 x 2.6 x 7.45 inches
Wi-Fi: Yes
Touch screen: No
Remote: No
Built-in storage: No
Motion sensor: No
Music player: No
Video: No
USB/SD slots: No/No
Cloud Services: iCloud, Google Photos
Reasons to buy
+Gorgeous high-resolution screen+App controls image positioning and lighting+Integrates with Google Photos and iCloud
Reasons to avoid
-Does not play videos-No ports

Aura’s Carver Frame is, in many respects, similar to another of the best digital photo frames, 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. 

Nix Advance Digital Photo Frame 8-inch Widescreen (Image credit: Nix)

8. Nix Advance Digital Photo Frame 8-inch Widescreen

A good compact choice

Specifications
Resolution: 1280 x 800
Dimensions: 7.87 x 5.55 x 0.47 inches
Touch screen: No
Wi-Fi: No
Remote: Yes
Built-in storage: No
Motion sensor: Yes
Music player: No
Video: Yes
USB/SD slots: Yes/Yes
Cloud Services: None
Reasons to buy
+Spacious widescreen with a small footprint+High-resolution and bright display+Motion sensor
Reasons to avoid
-No onboard memory-15-second video limit

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.

Best Digital Photo Frames: Dragon Touch Classic 10 Digital Picture Frame

Dragon Touch Classic 10 Digital Picture Frame (Image credit: Dragon)

9. Dragon Touch Classic 10 Digital Picture Frame

Best midsize connected frame

Specifications
Resolution: 1280 x 800
Dimensions: 11.40 x 8.2 x 1.50 inches
Wi-Fi: Yes
Touch screen: Yes
Remote: No
Built-in storage: 16GB
Motion sensor: No
Music player: Yes
Video: Yes
USB/SD slots: Yes/Yes
Cloud Services: No
Reasons to buy
+Multiple ways of adding photos and videos to the frame+Has a headphone jack +Home screen has the date, time, weather, and an alarm function
Reasons to avoid
-Frame case appears to damage easily-No motion sensor

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 WiFi 10.1-inch Widescreen Digital Picture (Image credit: Nixplay)

10. Nixplay Smart Photo Frame 10.1 inches

Best midsize widescreen connected frame

Specifications
Resolution: 1280 x 800
Dimensions: 10.55 x 7.36 x 1.22 inches
Touch screen: No
Wi-Fi: Yes
Remote: Yes
Built-in storage: 8GB (cloud)
Motion sensor: Yes
Music player: Yes
Video: Yes
USB/SD slots: No/No
Cloud Services: Facebook, Instagram, Dropbox, Flickr, Google Photos
Reasons to buy
+Good online/social media image access via apps+Alexa integration+Built-in wall mounting+Magnetic remote attachment
Reasons to avoid
-No USB or SD slots

Nixplay’s 10.1-inch Smart Photo Frame, with its 1280 x 800 pixel display, and wide16:10 aspect ratio, makes your photos and videos pop with dazzling color and detail. Watch photos and videos a part of a playlist and set up slideshows with multiple timed transitions for endless entertainment in either portrait or landscape orientation.

While as a free-standing frame, it’s compact enough to sit nicely on a desk or living room mantle, it’s also specifically wall mountable by removing a small cover from the back and re-attaching the cord. On the tabletop, Nixplay’s remote can magnetically adhere to the back of the frame so it stays securely within reach.

The frame’s mobile app lets you lets you connect to and control your frame from anywhere, which is especially useful for elderly or non-technical family members. Because it works via Wi-Fi, there’s no physical input, such as SD cards or USB sticks, but the frame does have 8GB of onboard memory for direct storage of photos and video.

This frame was recognized in the 2021 Tom's Guide Awards for Smart Home.

Feelcare 7-Inch Smart WiFi Digital Picture Frame (Image credit: Feelcare)

11. Feelcare 7-Inch Smart WiFi Digital Picture Frame

Great connected touch screen small frame

Specifications
Resolution: 1024 x 600 IPS Panel
Dimensions: 7.99 x 5.59 x 0.87 inches
Wi-Fi: Yes
Touch screen: Yes
Remote: No
Built-in storage: 8GB
Motion sensor: No
Music player: No
Video: Yes
USB/SD slots: Yes/No
Cloud Services: No
Reasons to buy
+Small and compact for tight spaces+Photos look sharp and clear+App lets up to 500 contacts add photos directly from a smartphone+You can personalize photos and videos with captions
Reasons to avoid
-Can only physically load images via micro SD card or micro USB drive-Videos play for only 15 seconds-No motion sensor

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. 

Aluratek 8-inch LCD Digital Photo Frame (Image credit: Aluratek)

12. Aluratek 8-inch LCD Digital Photo Frame

A good non-connected budget pick

Specifications
Dimensions: 8.5 x 7 x 1 inches
Resolution: 800 x 600
Touch screen: No
Wi-Fi: No
Remote: No
Built-in storage: No
Motion sensor: No
Music player: No
Video: No
USB/SD slots: Yes/Yes
Cloud Services: None
Reasons to buy
+Very easy to use and set up+Screen is bright with intense pleasing colors+
Reasons to avoid
-Low-resolution screen-Does not play video

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.

Jackie Dove

Jackie is an obsessive, insomniac tech writer and editor in northern California. A wildlife advocate, cat fan, and photo app fanatic, her specialties include cross-platform hardware and software, art, design, photography, video, and a wide range of creative and productivity apps and systems. Formerly senior editor at Macworld and creativity editor at The Next Web, Jackie now writes for a variety of consumer tech publications.

  • liukuanliam
    admin said:
    These are the best digital photo frames in multiple s based on ease of use, image quality and features.

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