Is a cheap digital picture frame worth it?
The cheap digital picture frame range garners a lot of attention – especially when they promise the same features and functions you’d get from more expensive frames. While this seems like great value for money, there are usually hidden drawbacks that aren’t immediately obvious.
In practice, most cheap digital picture frames are just that – cheap. To get an idea of what to expect from a cheap frame, read what we think about the Polaroid digital photo frame. There are often quality control issues and sub-par performance. This is especially true when you compare features and functions to what more expensive and higher-quality digital picture frames offer.
Another important drawback to consider is the lack of Wi-Fi connectivity and versatility. Most cheap digital picture frames can only receive pictures by inserting a USB or memory card directly into the frame. They lack the functionality that more expensive frames have (mobile apps, web interfaces, web albums, and multimedia compatibility, etc.). They also don’t have features like listening to the radio, viewing weather reports, and multimedia playback.
It’s common for cheap digital picture frames to use low-resolution screens and small screen sizes with narrow viewing angles. You’ll often find cheap digital picture frames with a 640×480 display and 7” or less in diagonal length. They usually have large bezels and aren’t nearly as aesthetically pleasing as more premium frames.
If you just want basic picture playback without having much control over the order and style of slideshows, or color accuracy and sharpness – cheap digital picture frames might be right for you. On the other hand, if you want your frame to become a part of family life and let you easily stay up to date with the latest picture (and a good quality display) – cheap digital picture frames aren’t your best choice. It’s well worth taking the plunge and getting a more premium digital frame.
How do cheap digital picture frames compare to the Pix-Star frame?
Pix-Star’s frames are top-of-the-line digital frames with premium performance and great build quality. They’re quite a bit more versatile than popular mid-range digital frames like the Aluratek. Pix-Star’s digital frames are packed with useful features that work well and help the frame fit perfectly into the Pix-Star ecosystem.
Pix-Star’s frames are well built, attractive, and are some of the easiest frames to use for the elderly. It’s the combination of versatility and functionality that makes the Pix-Star one of the best frames on the market.
Cheap digital picture frames simply don’t have nearly the same level of versatility or quality. While you might find the odd frame that ticks a couple of the right boxes (i.e. internal storage, Wi-Fi compatibility), there are almost always several issues and difficulties in using them.
The Pix-Star digital picture frame has unique features like remote control capabilities and free-for-life cloud storage that you’d rarely find done correctly in a cheap digital picture frame. Additionally, the large 10” or 15” frames have 1024×768 with great color accuracy, brightness, and clarity. You can even adjust color settings like hue and saturation to make your photos and videos jump to life.
Pix-Star’s mobile app and web interface offer a whole new layer of functionality to an already versatile frame. You can send media to multiple frames at the same time (from a single phone) or link web albums from social media and photo-sharing platforms. All pictures and videos are saved to the frame’s local storage for offline viewing. These features are almost unheard of in cheap digital picture frames.
So while the Pix-Star isn’t a cheap digital picture frame, it’s also not the most expensive. You get impressive value for money and a top-of-the-range digital frame – with no recurring fees or hidden costs. It’s well worth the initial investment and quickly earns its place in the family’s life.
Can cheap digital picture frames use Wi-Fi?
Most cheap digital picture frames are not Wi-Fi compatible. They use a combination of local storage and external drives like USB drives and SD cards to load and display photos on the frame.
Many cheap digital picture frames only have enough internal storage for the operating system. You generally need to leave the USB/SD card plugged into the frame at all times.
There are a few cheap digital frames that can connect to Wi-Fi, but this is mainly to update firmware and clocks/region settings. They seldom have online sending/receiving options for getting pictures on the frame.
What to look for in a cheap digital picture frame?
When you’re looking for cheap digital picture frames, quality control is likely to be your biggest worry. Try to buy a cheap digital frame from a physical shop that lets you try the frame out in person. Unfortunately, this usually isn’t an option for most people. If that’s the case for you, make sure you buy the frame from a platform like Amazon that lets you read through customer reviews and Q&A sections.
Try to read as many reviews as possible, paying special attention to the negative reviews and low ratings. For example, frames that have a lot of quality control issues will often have higher numbers of 1-star ratings. Read these reviews to see if there are any recurring issues and how common they are.
As for the features, internal storage is one of the most important. Make sure you have at least 2GB of internal storage. This lets you copy pictures from USB/SD cards to the frame internal storage so that they can be viewed without the USB/SD card inserted.
Aim for a screen size of 7” or above with at least a 640×480 display – the higher the better. The frame should be able to either be mounted to a wall or have a sturdy stand.
Avoid cheap digital frames with touchscreens as they’re usually the first to pack up and have problems. Try to avoid cheap digital picture frames without any on-frame controls (or a remote controller) as this almost always means you can’t change the frame’s settings or manage its content.
Is a cheap tablet better than a cheap digital picture frame?
Cheap tablets are often just as difficult to use as cheap digital picture frames (and often much more difficult). While they might have higher resolution displays, their awkward aspect ratios and lack of compatibility are USB drives means they aren’t a very good substitute for a digital frame.
You also have to remember that tablets run on battery power, whereas cheap digital picture frames stay connected to power all the time. This might seem like an advantage, but in practice, it’s the opposite. Cheap tablets usually have slow charging times and terrible battery life.
It’s worth noting that even cheap tablets can be expensive compared to cheap digital picture frames. You’d only need to pay a little more than most cheap tablets and you’d be able to buy a good quality digital picture frame.