One of the best digital photo frames are an amazing way to display your most treasured memories on a never-ending rotation. This means that you no longer have to choose between a fun snapshot of your last holiday or a beautiful wedding photo – you can have all of your favorite images on display without having to invest in countless traditional photo frames.
Previously, the best digital photo frames required a USB memory stick or SD card in order to display your shots. However, many digital photo frames are now able to draw your images directly from Cloud storage – or even your social media. You can then choose between a continuous slideshow or simply just a single image that you can manually change whenever you please.
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Just like their analog counterparts, digital photo frames come in a variety of different styles, sizes and aspect ratios. However, other specifications also include wire-free connectivity and high-definition screens. If you're interested in investing in a high-end digital photo frame, then you'll have to be prepared for a steeper price tag. However, there are still some very reasonable frames on offer.
Aside from quality and cost, we would also consider examining how easy the digital photo frame is to operate – especially if this is a gift for an elderly relative or it's intended for general family use.
The best digital photo frames in 2021
While it comes with a higher price tag, the Nixplay Seed Wave is also one of the most comprehensively specified when it comes to digital photo frames. Not only is the screen size decent at 13.3-inches, there are also built-in 5-watt Bluetooth speakers for streaming music, a motion sensor (with an active range of 2.5 metres), and a relatively generous 10GB of on-board storage. Bringing things bang up to date, a Nixplay app for iOS or Android gives users control of the frame via phone or tablet, and the ability to pull images from Google Photos, Dropbox, Flickr, Facebook and Instagram and display them.
The core features of the frame itself include a 16:9 aspect ratio display to match your widescreen telly, at a 1920 x 1080 full HD picture resolution. On the downside, video playback is limited to 15 seconds per video and there are no card slots – although Nixplay suggests the latter is actually a good thing.
A well-specced model that offers just about everything you could want from a digital photo frame, the Dragon Touch Classic 10's headline feature is its 10-inch touchscreen interface, which enables you to view and change images quickly and easily. The Classic 10 is more than a one-trick pony, though, especially when it comes to transferring your photos and videos across.
The unit can receive files using its own email address, a free smartphone app, via Wi-Fi and FTP server (with user management, so you can control who can access your frame), USB device and SD card. Its 16GB of internal storage is more than enough to store all the photos you could want, as well as good number of videos (which are limited to 30-second clips).
The frame is very attractive and would sit equally well on an office desk, a unit in the home, or even mounted on a wall.
If you're looking for your digital photo frame to double up as a video calling device (which might be particularly useful if your country is still in some kind of lockdown), then the Facebook Portal is a great option for you. You can make video calls using either Facebook or Whatsapp – and the Portal's smart camera is even intelligent enough to follow you around the room as you move by panning and zooming.
However, even if you're just looking for a straight-up digital photo frame, the Facebook Portal is still a fantastic option. The Portal is able to display your images from Facebook and Instagram – plus you can load images from either a USB drive or an SD card.
For those concerned about their privacy, the Facebook Portal also comes with a switch to shut off the camera. You can also delete any recordings the Portal has heard, or choose to prevent the device from saving any of your recordings in the first place.
Aura makes some of the best-looking frames around. We love the Mason frame it is designed so that you can set it up without having to open the packaging – making it a perfect gift for those who may struggle with setting up the image. Thanks to a QR code on the box, you can use the app to pick the pictures to be displayed – providing a wonderful surprise when the recipient unwraps their present (you can then add more images to the cloud-based library remotely later at any time you fancy). The app is simple to use, allowing you to find your images, and crop them if necessary. This model allows you to use the frame in upright or landscape formats – with a scroll bar for you to advance through the image library for both orientations. You can, of course, se the frame up to advance through the images at a preset interval (from 15 seconds to every four hours).
The Meural range of digital frames is an innovative idea from Netgear, who are one of the best-known names in wifi routers. The original Meural models were large Canvas II models available in 29x19in and 24x16in sizes for hanging on your wall. The Meural WiFi Photo Frame is much smaller - but with its 15.6in screen is still much bigger than most, giving a striking statement on your shelf, desk or mantelpiece. It comes with a stand that allows it to displayed in landscape or portrait format, but there is also a wall mount in the box too, should you want a more permanent fixture in your home. The unique feature of the Meural range is that you not only get to show off your photos - you can show off famous paintings and artworks too. The frame comes preloaded with 100 images from leading museums, artists, and collections from around the world. And if this appeals, you then have the option to subscribe to the Meural Art Library with over 30,000 artworks - although this costs $69.95 a year.
Want a digital frame that closely resembles an actual analogue frame? This black rimmed beauty with inner white mount certainly looks the business and at 15-inches too the angle adjustable LCD screen is big enough to make an impression, with a 4:3 aspect ratio to match the most common digital image ratio and built in stereo speakers to add a bit of oomph and sound to video files. It may be towards the higher end of the current ‘budget’ frame line up, but we get a 2GB internal memory and remote feature, even if, frustratingly for some, there’s no Wi-Fi connectivity offered.
Seeking a digital photo frame that closely resembles a traditional frame and you wouldn’t be ashamed to hang on the living room wall? Then take a gander at this Aluratek 10-inch digital photo frame. This wall-mountable example offers a 16:9 widescreen ratio LCD display, 1024 x 600 resolution, supports SD cards up to 128GB in size and additionally allows the connection of a USB flash drive, or even hard drive.
Described as easy to use, with features including automatic photo slideshows, this could be the perfect no-fuss solution for those wanting a ‘plug and play’ digital image display, without the need to connect or stream images via Wi-Fi or pull images from Cloud storage sites and social media. A basic feature set then, but paring things back to the essentials makes it both affordable and easy to operate.
A compact 10-inch screen with 180° viewing angle that provides the facility for widescreen viewing in 16:9 crop mode, and the ability to utilize USB drives and SD cards up to 32GB for transferring images. The frame also features a 3.5mm earphone jack as well as built in speakers, plus a motion sensor that automatically activates the frame when it detects someone in the room from up to two meters away. If you do want to use it manually, you can as a remote also comes handily provided out of the box. There’s no internal memory though and no touch screen facility, but these are really the only negatives.
Boasting a sufficiently large viewing area of 10-inches – more compact alternatives are also available from the same manufacturer – this Full HD 1920x1080 dot resolution 16:9 widescreen ratio photo frame features bells and whistles a-plenty, including clock and calendar features, plus the ability to be operated via wireless remote control. Capable of playing stills, video and music via built-in stereo speakers, with memory expandable up to 128GB via SD card or USB drive, plus 10 slideshow effects to choose from and the ability to have one, two, three or four images displayed on screen at the same time, this device pretty much offers all we could want at its mid range price.
This is a clever all-in-one multimedia screen that allows users to directly send and receive photos via email and the Internet, not just cards or USB sticks. While hooking up your camera or slotting in an SD card to a digital photo frame is fine, in this multimedia age, wouldn’t it be good if you could also send and receive photos directly from/to the frame via the Internet? Especially useful for older members of the family perhaps, the latter is the premise of this compact, standard 4:3 ratio 10-inch screen device that conveniently comes with 8GB of built in storage, which its maker suggests should accommodate up to 30,000 photos. Set up is made easy via the provided remote, with peace of mind provided courtesy of a two-year manufacturer’s warranty.