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This digital photo frame is my favorite holiday gift — and you can still get it before Christmas

Meural WiFi Photo Frame
(Image credit: Netgear)

I have a complicated relationship with holiday gift shopping. I’m not ashamed to admit gift giving is my love language — seriously, few things bring me as much personal joy as finding the perfect present for everyone close to me this time of the year.

The keyword being perfect. You see, it's a double-edged sword. I’ll lose hours of my life and sometimes my sanity laying out my gift game-plan to get a fix of that serotonin. And that’s before I’ve even procured ribbon and wrapping paper.

It’s not often I review a product that relieves some of this self-inflicted pressure to impress friends and family, but when I do, I like to call it out. I know I’m not the only one who makes a list, tosses the list, makes a new list and checks it twice; so trust me when I tell you, the Meural WiFi Photo Frame is worth the price.

Yes, with its $299 list price, the Meural WiFi Photo Frame isn’t the most affordable option among the best digital photo frames, but it’s worth every penny. Thanks to a 15.6-inch full HD display, I found this gadget makes memories look better than I remember them.

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

The Meural app is a suite for creating collaborative photo albums for your frame. No matter where your family members are, any paired user can upload pictures for display. Meural can even access your smartphone’s photo app for an automatic sync when you add more images.

Meural WiFi Photo Frame

(Image credit: Netgear)

Health-related travel restrictions have made it difficult for me to see my loved ones near and far. Rather than ship a one-time gift to let them know I’m thinking about them during the holidays, the Meural WiFi Photo Frame is a gift that keeps giving. Whether it’s a silly selfie or a daily snap of my dog Steve (Steve has lots of fans out there,) it takes a few clicks on my phone to send any photo I want the display-owner to see.

Any digital photo frame can fulfill this experience, which is why options from Nix and Pix-Star are pretty popular. But the Meural WiFi Photo Frame is the one I’d like to put under the tree because of the features I appreciated during testing: It’s larger than most alternatives, and the frame's anti-glare coating holds a clear picture from any angle better than some TVs can. I like how responsive gesture controls let you navigate your photo albums and settings, too.

In addition to your own photography, frame users also have access to Meural’s digital art collection, which includes more than 30,000 works from artists old and new. When you discover a playlist or work you like, click "Send to Canvas," and it should download onto the frame in seconds. I wish the art membership wasn’t $70 per year, but that’s pennies compared to how much it’d cost to visit the world’s art galleries in person. Which we can’t do right now, anyway.

By getting the Meural WiFi Photo Frame to select family members (very select, it’s still $299,) it feels like I’m investing in a unique kind of connected experience. Zoom calls stopped feeling personal for me months ago, so I’m hoping sharing photos and opening a portal to art museums does the trick.

Now, I have some gift wrapping to get back to, but I thought I’d let you know that Amazon has the Meural WiFi Photo Frame on sale for $249, or $50 off. The best part? Prime shipping will get it where it needs to be by Christmas.

Kate Kozuch

Kate Kozuch is a senior writer at Tom’s Guide covering wearables, TVs and everything smart-home related. When she’s not in cyborg mode, you can find her on an exercise bike or channeling her inner celebrity chef. She and her robot army will rule the world one day, but until then, reach her at kate.kozuch@futurenet.com.