The most common feature among the best digital photo frames is Wi-Fi connectivity. Wi-Fi is needed for a lot of the most useful features like sending and receiving photos through email and via supported mobile apps. Wi-Fi is used to update, sync, and show new photos the moment they’re sent – keeping you up to date on your friends and family.
Another common feature is email photos. All you have to do is attach the photo to an email and send it to your frame (via the provided dedicated email address). Along with this email-in feature, a couple of the best digital photo frames have mobile apps that can take photos, or let you select photos you’ve already taken from your gallery.
A couple of digital photo frames even let you link the frame directly to your social media profile and online photo-sharing platforms. When you add new pictures to that social media account, they’ll show up on the frame within a couple of minutes.
Display sizes of over 8” and resolutions above 800*600p are important. Some brands like the Pix-Star digital photo frame come in different sizes (9.7” and 15” specifically). They almost always have a brightness of over 250 cd/m². Together, these features give you clear and sharp displays with good viewing angles, that work well in brightly lit rooms.
Finally, internal storage and/or USB (and memory card) compatibility of at least 4GB is quite common among the best digital photo frames. Internal storage space lets the frame save web albums for offline viewing and lets you store up to 30,000 photos (with 8GB storage).
2021 has been a year defined by lockdowns and isolation. Even the best digital picture frames have had a hard time keeping the joy alive. The main issue with 2021’s lockdowns is how little we’ve been able to see each other face-to-face.
For example, if your grandparents live far away, visiting them has been nigh impossible during the pandemic. If they have trouble with their digital photo frame, there isn’t a whole lot you can do – without certain features.
The best digital photo frames for 2021 can be controlled and managed remotely. A good example is Pix-Star’s digital photo frame. You have the same level of control as you would if you were there in person – and it can be done from almost anywhere in the world. If your grandparents don’t know how to change slideshow settings, or how to update the frame’s firmware, you can do it all remotely.
Another fantastic feature for 2021 is video playback. This is especially true for the older generation as they usually aren’t great with social media and online storage platforms. Digital photo frames that can automatically sync with social media and web albums are perfect for this. Even if the frame supports short video clip playback, it’s enough for sharing special memories, or showing friends and loves ones that they’re on your mind.
Intuitive mobile apps are another 2021 essential. Given all the restrictions and temporary lockdowns, it’s not always possible to be near a computer or paired digital photo frame. You might also have more photos to send than is allowed via email.
This is where great mobile apps come in. You should be able to take photos and videos in the app (or choose them from your gallery) and send them directly to any digital photo frames in your network. The apps need to be easy to simple to use.
It’s these small features that can help to fill the void left by isolation and less face-to-face interaction with the people you care about most.
Digital photo frames need Wi-Fi for specific tasks – mainly during set up, updating, and sending/receiving media. The best digital photo frames have internal storage that saves all the received photos, videos, and audio so that they can be viewed offline.
That being said, most digital photo frames are designed to stay connected to Wi-Fi. This helps you receive live updates, and immediately show newly received media the moment it comes in. Some features like remote control functionality need a good Wi-Fi connection.
Generally speaking, most of the best digital photo frames don’t need an active Wi-Fi connection to display photos and videos that have already been saved to the frame’s internal storage. You’ll still have access to all the frame settings and slideshow settings when offline.
Some digital photo frames like the Pix-Star are USB and memory card compatible. You can store ~30,000 photos on an 8GB memory card, and view them directly on the frame. This is great for families that live in remote places and don’t have constant access to Wi-Fi.
Keeping a digital photo frame powered will help you make the best use of all its features. Most of the good digital photo frames regularly sync and update web albums and check for new messages and media. You don’t want to be the last one in the family to see your new baby nephew or granddaughter.
On top of this, some of the best digital photo frames have smart on/off functions that save power when nobody is around. This is done through a combination of motion sensors and pre-set down-time schedule like nighttime.
If you want to make full use of all a digital photo frame has to offer, and receive the latest photos and videos your family is sharing on time – leave the frame powered at all times.
8-15” display size offers the best viewing experience without compromising on quality. Larger display sizes need higher resolution and brighter screens to provide the same image and video quality as smaller screens.
Any digital photo frame with a screen between 8” and 15” is right in the sweet spot. Frames with a screen smaller than 8” have quite a limited viewing angle and range. Frames with screens larger than 15” are quite a bit more expensive, and don’t fit naturally into most rooms.
You’ll notice that most of the best digital photo frames on the market have screen sizes in this range.