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.
• Read more: Best tablets for photo editing
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
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.
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.
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.
The Nix Advance may not offer Wi-Fi or integral storage, it does come packed with all the essentials you'd want in a very keenly priced 8-inch frame. Its respectable feature set includes the auto-rotation of images, USB and SD card slots, a motion sensor that automatically turns the frame on (or off). There's a slideshow feature that enables the viewing of images according to date or file name – or alternatively users can just hit ‘shuffle’.
The main ‘business’ of the unit includes the fact that it is, yes, 8-inches in size and offers a 4:3 image aspect ratio at a respectable resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels. Frill-free this may be, but the core reason why you may want such a device – Internet and Cloud connectivity aside – is well served.
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.
Featuring one of the sharpest screens on the market, the Nixplay 2K Smart Digital Photo Frame has a resolution of 2048 x 1536 pixels. This means that your images will be beautifully displayed with vibrant colors and crisp, sharp details. Measuring just 9.7", the Nixplay 2K Smart can be displayed in either portrait or landscape orientation – and it can also be wall-mounted as well. There are a variety of customization options, including sleep timers, transitions and color adjustments. Meanwhile, you can load up images from your smartphone or by syncing with Google Photos.
Aura is a big name in digital photo frames in the USA, which has finally arrived in the UK. We love this 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).
If you already have a selection of Google smart home devices around your house, then perhaps a Google Nest Hub Max would be the best digital photo frame for you. Not only is it a hub for smart devices and a portal for accessing Google Assistant at home, but it's also a great digital photo frame as well. With a 1280 x 800 resolution touchscreen, you can easily swipe through your photos – which are sourced from Google Photos. The only issue is that the Google Nest Hub Max comes with a fixed stand setup, so you're unable to adjust it from its default upward tilt. While this shouldn't be an issue if you're looking to place it on a desk or table, this will likely prevent you from positioning it on a higher shelf.