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The best digital photo frames in 2020

Best digital photo frames

The best digital photo frames can help you relive your most memorable moments any time and also make it easy to share images with others —  which is a great way to stay connected with others when may of us are stuck at home.

Most digital photo frames you’ll find today link to some of the best 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 and send new photos to the screen automatically via email or Wi-Fi.

These frames come in a wide range of prices, sizes, resolutions and features. Not all are the same, so it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of each 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. 

Digital photo frames are a great tech and decor gift for friends or family. But if you’re looking to print out your photos in a permanent medium, check out our roundups of the best photo books and best photo cards.

See all of the best digital photo frames below.

What are the best digital photo frames?

We spent several hours testing the best digital photo frames to determine which models earn our recommendation among the dozens of options available to purchase out there.

Based on our criteria, the Pix-Star 15-inch Wi-Fi Cloud Digital Photo Frame is the top pick for most people. At $199.99, it's not cheap, but you get a big and clear display. It leads our list of the best digital photo frames because of its 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 those on a tighter budget, the Nix Advance Digital Photo Frame 8 inch Widescreen is another one of the best digital photo frames and costs $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.

If you're looking for a digital photo frame that's a lot more versatile, check out the Facebook Portal. This smart display has video calling built in for keeping in touch with friends and family, and it has Alexa inside. We prefer the 10-inch Portal to the 8-inch Portal mini because the former has a larger display.

The best digital photo frames you can buy today

Best digital photo frames: Pix-Star 15-inch Wi-Fi Cloud Digital Photo Frame

(Image credit: Future)

1. Pix-Star 15-inch Wi-Fi Cloud Digital Photo Frame

The best digital photo frame overall

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

Handy email features
Photos look sharp and clear
Connects with major social networks
Facilitates multiple frame accounts
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 offers 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.

Best digital photo frames: Nix Advance 8-inch Digital Photo Frame

Nix Advance 8-inch Digital Photo Frame

2. Nix Advance 8-inch Digital Photo Frame

Best digital photo frame value

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: None

Sharp, colorful display
Stereo speakers
Motion sensor
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 how its handy date and time display. It’s a subtle feature, but having this information available at a glance is always useful. 

(Image credit: Future)

3. Facebook Portal

Best for video calling and Alexa integration

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

Makes video calls through Facebook and WhatsApp
Attractive design
Displays photos from Facebook and Instagram
Alexa is integrated
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 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: Nix Advance Digital Photo Frame 8-inch Widescreen

Nix Advance Digital Photo Frame 8-inch Widescreen

4. Nix Advance Digital Photo Frame 8-inch Widescreen

A good compact choice

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

Spacious widescreen with a small footprint
High-resolution and bright display
Motion sensor
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: Pix-Star 10.4-inch Wi-Fi Cloud Digital Photo Frame

Pix-Star 10.4-inch Wi-Fi Cloud Digital Photo Frame

5. Pix-Star 10.4-inch Wi-Fi Cloud Digital Photo Frame

Best midsize connected frame

Resolution: 800 x 600 | Dimensions: 10.6 x 7.75 x 1.07 inches | Touch screen: No | Wi-Fi: Yes | 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

Can send and receive images and audio messages via email
Lets you tune in to international radio stations or play music files
iOS and Android apps
Multi-frame account setup is complex
Low-resolution screen

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 and other social media and receives updated weather for a selection of countries and cities.

Best digital photo frames: Nixplay Seed WiFi 10.1-inch Widescreen Digital Picture Frame

Nixplay Seed WiFi 10.1-inch Widescreen Digital Picture Frame

6. Nixplay Seed WiFi 10.1-inch Widescreen Digital Picture Frame

Best midsize widescreen connected frame

Resolution: 1280 x 800 | Dimensions: 10.2 x 6.69 x 0.98 inches | Touch screen: No | Wi-Fi: Yes | Remote: Yes | Built-in storage: 10GB (cloud) | Motion sensor: Yes | Music player: No | Video: Yes | USB/SD slots: No/No | Cloud Services: Facebook, Instagram, Dropbox, Flickr, Google Photos, Verizon Cloud

Good social media access
Free 10GB online storage
Alexa integration
No USB or SD slots
No holes for hanging on the wall, initial setup was frustrating

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.
  

Best digital photo frames: Aluratek 8-inch LCD Digital Photo Frame

Aluratek 8-inch LCD Digital Photo Frame

7. Aluratek 8-inch LCD Digital Photo Frame

A pretty good budget pick

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

Very easy to use and set up
Screen is bright with intense pleasing colors
Low-resolution screen
Does not play video
No remote control

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. 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.  
  

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 the best 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.