What is the best digital photo frame for families?
When people think of a digital photo frame, it’s seldom of an interconnect device that can send & receive photos, video, and audio messages from anywhere in the world. Digital picture frames can be incredibly versatile for families – but not all frames are created equal. Some features heavily outweigh others in terms of their functionality and real-world practicality. It’s all about finding the digital photo frame that focuses on the areas most important to families.
Pix-Star’s 10 & 15-inch digital photo frames are arguably the most versatile and capable frames on today’s market. These digital photo frames have extensive Wi-Fi-enabled features and surprisingly offer free-for-life cloud storage. Where many other premium digital photo frames are charging extra fees, Pix-Star’s frames are doing it for free.
Perhaps the best feature for families is the multi-frame control groups. With this unique feature, you can add, manage, and control up to 25 connected Pix-Star digital photo frames. You can bulk perform certain actions across all connected frames at the same time. It’s an excellent way to centrally manage all the digital photo frames in the family. You don’t need to worry about spending hours chatting to each frame’s owner to explain how to get the latest photos.
With Pix-Star’s digital photo frame, you can remotely take control of any of these connected frames to change their settings, start & manage slideshows, update the frame’s firmware, and much more. This can be done from anywhere in the world via the web dashboard. You can individually control frames, or bulk manage them from a multi-frame control account. There is arguably no better feature for families on the market at the moment.
If Pix-Star’s remote-control functionality wasn’t enough, you can remotely link web albums directly to your Pix-Star frame(s) – and have them automatically save to internal storage. Web albums are photo albums on social media and photo-sharing platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Google Photos, etc. Pix-Star’s frames support about a dozen different platforms and let you link selected photo albums directly to your frame.
Web albums can be set to automatically update whenever you add new photos to them. This makes sharing photos with everyone in the family as simple as loading pictures to Facebook. Just link all the frames in the family to a dedicated web album and load all the pictures you want them to see there.
This key digital photo frame feature combines excellently well with Pix-Star’s remote-control feature. You can start slideshows with specific pictures and from selected sources – no matter where you are in the world. With Pix-Star’s frames, everybody in the family from your grandma to your cousins halfway across the world can see all your latest photos without having to lift a finger. Learn more about Pix-Star’s digital photo frames here and see what they can do for your home & family life!
How to send pictures to a digital photo frame?
There are a couple of common ways to send pictures to a digital photo frame. The ease of use & simplicity of these features will have a massive impact on the overall performance and real-world practicality of the frame. Let’s start with the most commonly found method – USB/SD cards.
Sending pictures to a digital photo frame by USB/SD card is probably the most common method. It’s found on almost all digital photo frames – from the cheapest budget frames to the most premium flagship digital photo frames. USB/SD card support offers the only offline method for getting photos & other media onto your digital photo frame. Simply load the photos and insert the USB/SD card into the frame’s relevant port. In some cases, your digital photo frame may be able to play slideshows directly off the inserted USB/SD card without needing to copy them to internal storage first.
The most popular method for sending pictures to your favorite digital photo frame over Wi-Fi is by mobile app. This feature is far less common and is found on only a couple of the best digital photo frames on the market. For example, Pix-Star’s mobile app (Pix-Star Snap mobile app) lets you send up to 250 pictures to several frames at the same time. It’s done via each frame’s unique & dedicated email address and only takes a couple of moments. All of these photos are also backed up to the Pix-Star digital photo frame’s internal storage.
It’s worth noting that some brands charge an optional annual subscription fee to unlock the use of the mobile app and access to features like cloud storage and video support. That being said, they’re seldom worth it as top digital photo frames like the Pix-Star offers the same features without charging a cent extra.
Some digital photo frames can even receive pictures via email. It’s a great way to send pictures while you’re on the go – and offers a familiar and easy-to-use method for sharing your favorite memories. It’s arguably easier to use than most mobile apps and is a little more elderly-friendly – though you can’t send videos & audio messages, and can’t send as many pictures in one go (at least when compared to Pix-Star’s digital photo frame).
Does a digital photo frame need Wi-Fi?
Wi-Fi is arguably the most important feature in a modern digital photo frame. If you want something that’s able to handle the needs of the modern home & family, great Wi-Fi capabilities should be the start point. Wi-Fi enables features like sending photos by email, mobile app, via the web dashboard, and more. It also lays the foundation for more advanced & unique features like cloud storage & the ability to remotely control your digital photo frame.
Sending a photo to digital photo frames with Wi-Fi is far easier than the alternative – loading photos by USB/SD card. You can send photos from anywhere in the world and at any time – without needing to be by the frame in person. Once these pictures are saved to the digital photo frame’s internal storage, you’ll have more control over their play order & frequency without slideshows (when compared to the control you over slideshows started from USB/SD cards).
Wi-Fi lets you back your favorite and most treasured photos & videos to the cloud. You don’t need to worry about losing your pictures and can even remotely control both local & cloud storage via the web dashboard. Wi-Fi digital photo frames let you link from social media and photo-sharing platforms directly to your frame without needing to download & manually send them. This saves a ton of time and lets you automate much of the photo-sharing process.
While some mid-range digital photo frames have Wi-Fi connectivity and features, we usually recommend sticking to more premium digital photo frames. They have better overall performance & durability, along with a smooth & more intuitive user interface and a more robust feature set.
Can a digital photo frame play videos & audio?
Not every digital photo frame can play videos & audio – it’s a feature more commonly seen on premium frames. Even then, almost every digital photo frame place limits on the length of supported videos and audio messages. It’s common to see digital frames that only support 15-second video clips; while some frames charge optional annual subscription fees to unlock or extend video playback & support.
Popular digital photo frames like the Pix-Star let you play 2-minute video clips. This is more than almost all other premium digital photo frames and can be sent via the Pix-Star mobile app or by USB/SD card. Read our quick guide here on why you should get a digital photo frame with video!
Audio playback is a little more common, but not many frames offer inbuilt speakers that are loud enough to be practical. Digital photo frames with audio like the Pix-Star let have decent inbuilt speakers but also let you connect to external speakers, headphones, or earphones via the USB port or the 3.5mm audio input jack. The quality when using external audio devices is far superior to the inbuilt speakers and well worth the extra effort – especially when viewing quick personal video and audio messages.
How long do digital photo frames last?
A digital photo frame is designed to last for around 1,000-hours displaying the same image constantly – without suffering from side effects like screen burn-in or damage to the display. In practice, you’re never going to hit this limit as digital photo frames aren’t made to just show a single photo for that length of time.
To get the most from your digital photo frame, create customized and personalized slideshows to showcase your favorite memories and make connecting with your loved ones effortless & meaningful. In terms of their effective lifespan when treated well, quality digital photo frames like the Pix-Star can last for several years.
You still need to be mindful of where you place them and be sure to preserve the screen. Keep them out of direct sunlight and away from overly hot/cold or humid spots. Simply cleaning the frame once in a while will further improve its long-term durability. The most significant factor is the quality of the frame – which is why we almost always recommend getting a premium digital photo frame. Their build quality and real-world performance are far superior and offer more value than you’re paying for – especially when compared to cheap & mid-range digital photo frames.
How many photos can digital photo frames hold?
The exact number of pictures & other media a digital photo frame can hold varies hugely between brands and models. Some of the best digital photo frames like the Pix-Star can hold around 30,000 pictures on the internal storage along. Once you factor in USB/SD card support (no limit on the size of compatible drives or cards) and Pix-Star’s free-for-life cloud storage, this number gets significantly higher.
At the other end of the spectrum, some cheap digital photo frames can only hold around 500 photos. Additionally, many of these frames require you to copy the contents of an inserted USB/SD card to the frame’s internal storage – meaning that you can’t use a USB/SD card as a virtual storage expansion.
Important features to look for in a digital photo frame for families is at least 4GB of internal storage. This ensures you can hold a decent number of photos offline – and can view them without needing an active internet connection (which is common for some elderly users too). You should be able to insert a USB/SD card into the digital photo frame and view slideshows without having to copy the contents to internal storage first. Finally, cloud storage should be an option offered without needing to pay extra recurring or hidden fees. A great example is Pix-Star’s 10-inch digital photo frame as you get free-for-life cloud storage.
How do cloud digital photo frames work?
Before looking at how cloud digital photo frames work, it’s worth noting that only a few of the best digital photo frames offer cloud storage. Even then, some of these premium frames charge optional subscription fees to unlock features like cloud storage, use of the mobile app, video support, etc.
Cloud digital photo frames rely heavily on Wi-Fi. While these digital photo frames may not need a constant internet connection to work, they’ll need to be online when syncing with the cloud or backing up your pictures. Digital photo frames like the Pix-Star offer free-for-life cloud storage; whereas some other premium digital photo frames like Nixplay & Skylight charge a subscription fee to unlock or extent cloud storage.
Cloud digital photo frames work by saving your photos to the frame’s cloud server. These photos are often saved on the frame’s internal storage too – so that they can be viewed and added to slideshows without needing an active Wi-Fi connection.
In some cases, digital photo frames with cloud storage let you link pictures from social media and photo-sharing platforms like Facebook, Google Photos, Instagram, etc. These are known as web albums and are heavily dependent on both Wi-Fi & cloud functionality. Very few frames offer web albums – though it’s an excellent feature to have for modern homes, big families, etc.
How to set up a digital photo frame?
Digital photo frames without Wi-Fi don’t usually require much in terms of setup. You usually just need to connect them to a power source and turn them on for the first time. Often, you simply need to insert a USB/SD card into the relevant ports on the frame to view slideshows – or copy the contents to the frame’s internal storage. Unfortunately, this simple setup process is one of the only advantages of these offline frames and they are seldom worth buying – especially for families & modern homes.
Setting up Wi-Fi digital photo frames takes a little longer. The first time you set the frame up, you’ll be guided by the setup wizard. The first step is to connect to a home Wi-Fi network that you have the admin login details for. Once you’ve connected to Wi-Fi for the first time, you may also need to update the frame’s firmware. This can take several minutes depending on the size of the package to be downloaded, the install time, and the speed of your internet.
Once your digital photo frame is connected, online, and up to date, it needs to be added to the web dashboard. This is often the registration step and is very important as it unlocks features like cloud storage, use of the mobile app & web interface, etc. The specific steps to register your digital photo frame here will differ depending on the brand and model of your frame.
The final step is to add your digital photo frame’s email address to the mobile app. This usually only takes a minute or two to perform. All you need is your digital photo frame’s unique email address and the supported mobile app installed on your phone. Once your digital photo frame has been added to the mobile app, you can simply select it from the list of added apps in the future. This step lets you send photos to your digital photo frame by email (and to several added frames at the same time) from anywhere in the world.
What to look for in a digital photo frame for grandparents?
A digital photo frame for grandparents needs to be easy to use. This means the setup process needs to be quick and easy – or for it to be done remotely by a family member. It also means that there shouldn’t be many deep menus or confusing interfaces.
The features of digital photo frames for grandparents need to be straightforward and intuitive. Sending photos by email is a must – as is loading pictures by USB/SD card. You should be able to start slideshows without needing the frame to be connected to Wi-Fi (which requires enough internal storage to hold all the desired photos).
A big display of at least 8-inch with a resolution of at least 800×600. The aspect ratio should be 4:3 so that the pictures everyone in the family sends to grandma’s frame from their smartphones have the same aspect ratio. Most smartphones capture photos in 4:3, which is why you should avoid 16:9 digital photo frames. It avoids your grandparents having to edit or resize photos – or struggling to troubleshoot photos being boxed into the center of the display.
One final essential feature is the ability to remotely control the digital picture frame over Wi-Fi. This is usually done through the web interface. This feature lets you change the digital photo frame’s settings, remotely start & manage slideshows, manage both local & cloud storage, update the frame’s firmware, and much more. It helps avoid much of the frustration involved with addressing issues that come up that your grandparents don’t know how to fix. Something that would take them an hour to figure out can be done in 10-seconds remotely.
What is the best digital photo frame size?
10-inch digital photo frames are the most common premium digital frame size. Most flagship brands offer a 10-inch digital photo frame and almost all of them include Wi-Fi as the main feature. Pix-Star’s 10-inch digital photo frames are arguably the best among the pack with their free-for-life cloud storage and versatile feature set.
For large digital photo frames, 15-inch displays are the way to go. They offer enough of a change from 10-inch frames to justify the higher price. The viewing experience is very immersive and it offers a unique way to add personality to a modern home or a large room.
Many cheap and mid-range digital photo frames have 7 or 8-inch models, though these tend to be a little small to be considered practical for most homes and families.
Is a digital photo frame worth it in 2021?
It’s an ongoing debate that many new digital photo frame buyers struggle to grapple with. Is it worth paying more for a premium digital photo frame, or should I take less of a risk and get a cheap digital photo frame.
We almost always suggest you go for a top-tier digital photo frame. Features like Wi-Fi & cloud functionality, video support, ease of use, and sending/receiving photos from anywhere in the world is essential. They make all the difference and offer far superior real-world functionality and performance. They’re well worth saving up a little longer for – especially when compared with what cheap and mid-range frames are capable of.
Cheap digital photo frames struggle with longevity and quality control. It’s overwhelmingly common to see a multitude of reviews that claim the frame only lasted a few short months. The comparison between the cash savings and the loss of versatility, performance, and quality isn’t equal. Cheap digital frames don’t have what it takes to cater to the 2021 home & family. There’s a lack of essential digital photo frame features like Wi-Fi, cloud, video support, quality displays, mobile app & web interface, web album support, etc. Save up a little longer and get a digital photo frame that suits your home & family and brings you closer to your loved ones!