HomeBuying GuidesAre Cheap Digital Picture Frames Worth It in 2021?

Are Cheap Digital Picture Frames Worth It in 2021?


Are cheap digital picture frames worth buying?

We rarely recommend buying cheap digital picture frames. They tend to feel very outdated and clunky in most modern homes. Additionally, they don’t suit families and elderly users very well. Since most cheap digital picture frames don’t have Wi-Fi capabilities, they can’t remotely receive photos or videos from family members that are far away.

Cheap digital frames generally have ultra-low-resolution displays. It’s common to see displays with 640×480 or even less. This results in almost all photos appearing pixelated and blurry. The viewing experience is sub-par and will immediately jump out at you. This is because we’re used to the higher resolution displays of our smartphones, laptops, tablets, and TVs.

The lack of Wi-Fi connectivity means you don’t get cloud storage. This is especially outdated in 2021 as you can’t automatically have your photos backed up. Nowadays, most of our devices are synced with the cloud and let you back up your most precious memories in just a couple of seconds. Cloud storage is a feature common to premium frames, though it’s something that’s well out of the reach of cheap digital picture frames.

You don’t get mobile apps that let you send photos to your frame from anywhere in the world. In a time when we always have our phones with us, not having a mobile app is a major hindrance. The ability to quickly snap and send a picture of your family lunch to all your loved ones is a big advantage. Premium digital frames like the Pix-Star have mobile apps with extensive functionality and functions suited to individual users, families, and even elderly users.

Perhaps one of the biggest dividers between cheap and premium frames is the control over slideshows. Premium frames let you control the play order and even the frequency at which photos are shown. You can create custom slideshows that contain only the files and folders you select. These slideshows offer tons of personalization settings like transition types, speeds, and styles. You can also include videos and play audio files (even radio stations in some cases) over slideshows.

Are Pix-Star frames better than cheap digital picture frames?

Pix-Star’s digital photo frames are some of the most popular premium frames. They feature extensive Wi-Fi and cloud capabilities and come with both a mobile app and a web dashboard. Pix-Star offers free-for-life cloud storage for its frames. All of your photos are automatically backed up to the cloud and this storage can be managed via the web dashboard.

Pix-Star’s mobile app lets you send up to 250 photos at once. You can send to several frames at the same time, all you need is their unique email address. The mobile app also lets you send videos and audio messages to all your loved ones’ frames. You can capture new photos directly through the app or select them from your phone’s gallery. You can even send entire collections or folders of photos with just a couple of clicks. Learn how to send photos from your phone to your Pix-Star frame here!

Pix-Star’s web interface lets you remotely control and manage up to 25 connected Pix-Star frames. You can change their settings, start & manage slideshows remotely, manage local & cloud storage, update the frame’s firmware, and link web albums. Pix-Star’s web dashboard can bulk manage all connected frames, or let you manage them individually. It’s an excellent feature for families and elderly users and removed much of the frustration involved with photo-sharing.

Perhaps Pix-Star’s most unique feature, when compared to cheap digital frames, is their web albums. These are photos albums that are linked to your Pix-Star frame directly from social media, photo-sharing, and online storage platforms. Supported platforms include Facebook, Google Photos, Instagram, Google Drive, Dropbox, Flickr, and more.

Web albums are saved to the Pix-Star’s internal storage and can be set to automatically sync whenever new photos are added. It’s a fantastic way to share photos with all the frames in the family without requiring the recipient’s input. You simply need to link all the frame to the same album and set it to automatically sync newly added photos.

Pix-Star’s frames can play videos in slideshows, web radio & music, and even play songs over slideshows. Their frames give you fine control over the play order and frequency of how photos are shown. You can select specific sources or files to display slideshows from and this can all be done remotely. Pix-Star’s frames are excellent for modern homes & families – and offer some of the best value for money available on the market at the moment. You can buy Pix-Star’s 10-inch frame and 15-inch frames here!

How to send photos to cheap digital picture frames?

Generally speaking, the only way to send photos to cheap digital frames is via USB/SD cards. Make sure the photos are in a supported format and that the USB/SD card is compatible. Avoid cards or drives larger than 8GB as they often have compatibility issues with cheap digital frames.

In most cases, you can play slideshows directly off the inserted USB/SD card – though you can’t control the play order or which photos are displayed. Alternatively, you can copy the photos across to the frame’s internal storage. That being said, many cheap digital frames don’t have internal storage and require a connected USB/SD card at all times.

How long do cheap digital picture frames last?

Cheap digital frames will typically last for less than 6 months. There will be outliers, but poor-quality control and low build quality mean these frames aren’t very robust. The display is usually the first to give in and you can notice flickering or dead pixels in just a couple of months. When you buy cheap digital picture frames, you get what you pay for – which is why we recommend going for a premium frame. The boost in durability and performance is far more significant than the price increase.

Can cheap digital picture frames play videos?

Very few cheap digital frames can play video clips. Even premium digital photo frames have limits on the length or size of the video clips that can be played. The combination of low-resolution displays and lacking internal support means that cheap digital frames can rarely play videos or audio. These frames are designed to be as basic as possible and adding features like video playback can significantly increase the cost of the frames.

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