Last Updated On September 15th, 2021
Now that smartphones have put a quality camera into everyone’s pockets and we’re taking more photographs than ever before, you might be looking for an easy and attractive way to view them or to show your favourites to visiting friends and family. The best digital photo frame can become a beautiful feature in your home, allowing you to enjoy your favourite photographs and view them in comfort and style.
Rather than leaving your photographs to be forgotten on Facebook, they can be a piece of art in your home, displaying a favourite shot or cycling through a slide show of your most recent holidays. The right choice of frame can make a stunning centrepiece to enjoy.
Best Digital Photo Frame Reviews – Top 9 Picks
Our top pick is the excellent Nixplay Smart photo frame with a 10.1″ screen. This WiFi-connected photo frame also comes in either a black or wood effect finish. It has a 1280×800 16:10 HD IPS display for superb picture quality that automatically adjusts to portrait or landscape modes.
The built-in motion sensor will turn the pane on and off automatically when it detects people in the room, and the stand for the frame is cleverly combined with the power cable to keep everything as minimal as possible.
Photographs can be added to the built-in 8GB of storage via the easy to use Nixplay smartphone app on iOS or Android, downloading from social media such as Facebook, Instagram or cloud storage like Google Photos and Dropbox, or emailing them to a unique, secure address. All these options make adding new images or changing the required album very straightforward and can even be done remotely. The photo frame supports Amazon Alexa and Google voice assistants, allowing a specific album to be chosen at your command.
Videos can be played but are limited to 15 seconds in length. Longer videos of up to a minute long can be played but need a subscription to the Nixplay Plus at an extra cost, but this also comes with additional cloud storage.
This photo frame is operated by mains power only. A full wall mount kit is included, but the cable needs to be hidden. There are many options to add photographs to the frame, but they all require a WiFi connection which may be limiting for some users.
If you have an extensive photo library that you want to be able to display, then the Aura Smart could be the best digital photo frame for you. It even comes with free unlimited cloud storage.
The Aura is a digital photo frame with a minimalist design that focuses on clean lines and geometric shapes. Control is either by the Aura app or by Google or Alexa voice assistants.
At 10.1″ and a resolution of 1920×1200 this screen has one of the highest resolutions available with extraordinary image quality. An ambient light sensor automatically controls screen brightness, and the smart display will adjust to landscape or portrait orientations.
Images are added to the unlimited cloud storage via the Aura iOS/Android phone and tablet app or the web portal. The mains-powered device must have a WiFi connection available at all times to be able to download pictures for display from the Aura cloud services.
For the best value, you won’t go wrong with the Nix 8-inch digital picture frame which has a crisp 1280×800 HD (16:10) IPS screen with a matte black finish.
Photographs are played from either SD card or USB stick using the built-in ports, and the frame can either be free-standing, or wall-mounted with the included kit. Sound from videos can be played through the built-in stereo speakers.
While cycling images, the digital frame can also display the date and time if required. The built-in movement sensor means that the display will turn off when you leave the room and back on when you re-enter, thus saving energy.
This frame is rated by users as very simple to use as it just displays the photographs or short videos from the SD card or USB that you’ve attached without needing any apps. You can select to play in date or alphabetical order or random shuffle and control with the included remote. As it doesn’t have WiFI, you can’t add additional photographs without using the USB or SD card and loading them on with a laptop.
It’s also worth knowing that there isn’t a USB or SD card included so you will have to supply your own. The frame is mains powered only so if you want to wall-mount it you will need to find a way to hide the cable.
If you prefer uploading photos via WiFi, the Pix-Star WiFi Digital Photo Frame is a great option. This photo frame allows for simple direct photo upload and supports a decent range of file formats.
This digital photo frame displays images at 1024×768 resolution or a 4:3 aspect ratio. This is perfect for holiday snaps taken from standard point and shoot cameras.
We also like the WiFi connectivity. This makes the photo frame versatile and allows multiple people to contribute images. It also has a decent memory storage at 8GB – theoretically, this could allow for up to 30,000 images.
It also supports all common image format including JPEG, BMP, PNG, and GIF. The motion sensor activation is also an excellent feature which means the digital photo frame isn’t always on and using power.
Although this is a great digital photo frame, it may not be perfect. Firstly, it only has a USB port so you cannot upload photos via SD card. Also, you may notice that the audio quality for videos is not amazing. Lastly, it does not have native support for the HEIF image format.
Next on this best digital photo frames list is the Nixplay Seed Wave. It is not only a stunning, smart digital picture frame with a large 13.3″ screen, but it also has a built-in Bluetooth speaker system. The stereo speakers can play music streamed from your phone, tablet or laptop, or even from Spotify.
Photographs and short videos can be added to the Seed Wave digital frame’s 8G storage from the Nixplay mobile app, which can draw from your social media and cloud services such as Facebook, Instagram, Dropbox and Google Photos. Users love being able to add images to a frame remotely via the cloud. Photo selections can be made with the included remote, the app or even by Amazon Alexa or Google voice commands. This large digital photo frame makes sure that it always displays in the correct horizontal or landscape aspect, and the motion sensor turns the frame on and off when you enter or leave the room.
Due to the Bluetooth speakers being on the back of the digital frame, it can’t be wall-mounted, which might not be ideal for some users. However, the Nixplay Seed Wave combines the mains power cable with a minimalist stand for the frame to keep everything as neat as possible on your surface.
Some users have commented that the design is too modern for their tastes, but as this is talking about the back that usually is out of view, it isn’t generally a big deal. As with all the Nixplay smart digital frames, photographs can be added to the Seed Wave by WiFi only so you will need to have WiFi internet available.
The Yenock 8.2-inch digital photo frame is rated by buyers as being easy to operate with an updated and straightforward interface and remote control.
This frame can display not only photos but also play music, show videos and even a clock and calendar on its 8.2″ 1280 x 720 screen. Buyers should note that the resolution isn’t as high as some products and video can only be played up to 720p. The IPS screen does, however, have a nice wide viewing angle at a quoted 178 degrees.
Photos can be played on the frame via a USB memory stick and also SD card and unusually, as well as the remote, this frame can be controlled with the physical controls on the back which is useful if using it handheld to view photos.
There’s an included stand for holding the frame on a surface, but a wall mounting kit isn’t included. Some purchasers have reported that on occasion the remote control can be a little unresponsive taking several attempts to work.
It’s also only possible to play either photos or videos as part of a slide show and not both, so you need to choose which.
The Kenuo is a large 10-inch digital photo frame with a 16:9 widescreen panel and a high resolution of 1920×1080 that will display your photos fantastically.
Unlike many products, this digital photo frame comes complete with a 32GB SD memory card meaning that you don’t have to supply your own. Photos, video and music can also be read from USB sticks so this frame is quite versatile.
As well the fabulous resolution, the IPS screen has a wide viewing angle for superior overall display quality, and there’s a clear on-screen menu system to help you find a specific photo you might want to show.
One popular feature is the auto on/off timer where you can set the times you want the frame to work for, leaving it to switch off automatically at night. The frame supports auto-rotation, and if the power is disconnected, it will remember the last photo shown and when reconnected will restart where it left off.
The white finish might not suit everyone, and the included stand is only suitable for horizontal viewing, so for using the frame in portrait mode, another solution is needed. Users have commented that it’s disappointing that this photo frame can only shuffle a slideshow of 1,000 photos maximum rather than the full contents of their memory card.
For high-resolution image display, the Aura Sawyer Digital Picture Frame should not be missed. Showing images at 2048 x 1536px, you can see your favourite memories in glorious HD detail.
The design of this digital photo frame is eye-catching, too. It is made from premium materials and has an elegant style that will fit with any décor.
For its display, it shows images at an impressive HD resolution of 2048 x 1536px. The screen will also automatically adjust the brightness depending on the lighting in the room.
To upload photos, you can use the Aura App. Multiple people can upload to the device, and the app is available on both Android and iOS devices.
This Aura photo frame may not be without its issues, however. For example, the hand gesture controls may not be the most intuitive to use. Also, the cropping of images to fit the perspective can create some unusual compositions. Lastly, the Aura app has a tendency to upload all photos to the frame – whether you want it to or not.
If you want a smaller digital photo frame that has an excellent storage capacity and simple file upload, the FamBrow Digital Photo Frame is a good choice.
To control this photo frame, there is an infrared remote control. It has a simple operation and you can easily cycle through photos or change the settings of video and music such as the volume.
Aside from images, you can also display a calendar, a clock, an alarm clock, or even use it as a music player. For file uploads, it has both SD and USB ports. This means you can upload photos directly from your camera or use a USB stick.
We also like the style of the frame – it is simple, but the grey colour will match any décor. It can be used in either orientation and can be wall-mounted or erected on a flat surface using the pull-out back stand.
This is a good digital photo frame, but it could have a few issues. Firstly, it may not come with a standard UK 3-pin plug and a plug adapter may be needed. Also, you could find over time, that the screen quality could deteriorate and start flickering.
How to Choose the Best Digital Photo Frame
Choosing from the best digital photo frames might seem daunting, but we’re here to make it easy for you by looking at some of the essential photo frame features to consider before making your purchase.
You’ll want to consider the model’s design when choosing from the best digital photo frames. If you’re looking for a feature to add to your living room, den or elsewhere, you’ll want a design that you find attractive, and that is going to fit it.
Some models have beautifully designed metal, wood, or even stone surrounds while some are just generic plastic electronic cases. If you’re looking for a product that can be occasionally brought out to view some photos on and then put away, then perhaps the design is less important than other factors.
Screen Size and Quality
Screen size is important in home electronics such as DAB radios, cordless phones, and digital picture frames. Choosing the right screen size is essential for your digital photo frame and will depend a lot on the size of the room in which you’re going to have the frame.
A large space is going to need a larger screen size, usually a minimum of 10 inches. It’s also worth paying attention to the resolution of your digital photo frame. Generally, the higher the resolution you can get, the better, but you also need to consider the “view angle” which shows how clearly the screen can still be viewed when not looking at it head-on. A widescreen angle is vital for comfortable and clear viewing.
Many digital photo frame models use an In-Plane Switching (IPS) screen which offers a 178-degree viewing angle and has the best colours of standard screen types so this is a feature to look for.
Most, but not all, digital photo frames can be wall or surface mounted. Make sure that your frame is suitable for where you want to put it and consider that perhaps you might want to move it in the future.
The best digital photo frames include a motion sensor in the smart display to detect if people are in the room or not and will turn the screen on or off accordingly to save energy.
Similarly, digital photo frames often include a sensor that will detect if you’ve located it in a horizontal or vertical aspect and use it to display your photos correctly. This is very worthwhile as it means that you don’t have to make this setting manually.
How You Get Your Photos Onto the Frame
For some digital photo frames, you’ll have to load the photos onto physical media like a USB stick or an SD card with a laptop and then connect that to the frame. With other frames, you can load photos via WiFi using the manufacturer’s portal services and apps.
If you have a lot of photos already on your laptop or external hard drive, then the physical method can be relatively straightforward and quick. Suppose however you have pictures on your phone or social media accounts like Facebook or Instagram or other cloud storage like Google Photos. In that case, the WiFi and app method is usually easier for you.
Included Storage Capacity
Some photo frames have included storage, while others have none at all.
For frames that use physical media like a USB stick then these are usually not included, so you’ll need to buy one large enough to hold all the photos you want to display.
Frames that use WiFi fall into two categories, those that have some internal storage and those without any. Those with storage allow some photos to be loaded onto the frame and then others to be added using cloud services and WiFi. Sometimes the frame includes a certain amount of cloud remote storage capacity and then offers more for an extra cost.
WiFi frames without any internal storage need an internet connection at all times to display your photos held in cloud storage.
Voice Control Options
Suppose you have an Amazon Alexa device like the Echo Show or Google Home such as the Google Nest Hub Max.
In that case, some smart display photo frames allow you to voice control them through your hub so you can choose a particular photo or album, or make a slideshow start or stop. Make sure that you select a photo frame that is compatible with your Echo Show, Google Nest Hub Max, or whichever system you use or are planning to get.
How Does a Digital Photo Frame Work?
In their basic form, all-digital picture frames share the same essential characteristics. The frame houses a simple computer system which operates a flat-screen panel to show digital photographs and sometimes also videos for you to enjoy.
Depending on the type of frame you choose, you’ll add photographs either with a USB stick or memory card that you’ve loaded the photos onto, or you’ll set the frame up to connect your WiFi internet and load photos onto it that way with a smartphone app.
There’ll be a control system, usually a remote control, a touch screen or a phone app that allows you to control how the photos are displayed, choosing to have just one picture continuously shown or have an album display in a cycle. Usually, you can adjust the amount of time that each photo displays for and if an album plays in order or shuffles at random. It can be quite fun to have pictures randomly displayed and be surprised by a pleasant memory.
Usually, you can choose to mount your digital photo frame on a wall or have it standing on a surface like a shelf or a mantelpiece. The best digital photo frames allow you to show off favourite memories, and one significant advantage is that they can be updated or added to as you get new favourite photos.
Digital photo frames are an excellent way for you and your friends and family to look at your photos in person rather than just seeing them on Facebook, and are much better and more fun and versatile than having to go to the time and hassle of getting them printed to hand round.
We’ve shown you how to get your favourite photographs off your smartphone or Facebook and into your home with the best digital photo frame you can buy. If you’re finding it hard to choose from the models shown, then we thoroughly recommend our Editor’s Choice, the Nixplay Smart Digital Photo Frame 10.1 Inch.
The Nixplay Smart excels with its excellent 10.1-inch screen, and it saves energy with its motion sensor that detects when people enter and leave the room. The combined power cable and stand keep everything nice and neat when standing on your chosen surface or you can mount it with the included wall mount kit.
The Nixplay phone app and web portal are simple to use with a wide range of options for getting your pictures onto the photo frame, including from Facebook and Google Photos. You can even choose which photos you want to see with Amazon Alexa and Google Home voice control.