HomeBuying GuidesThe All-You-Need Wi-Fi Digital Frame Guide for 2021

The All-You-Need Wi-Fi Digital Frame Guide for 2021


What is the best Wi-Fi digital frame for the money?

The Pix-Star Wi-Fi digital frame is one of the most robust and capable frames on today’s market. They’re known for having easy-to-navigate interfaces, responsive menus, versatile slideshows, a great mobile app/web interface, and a broad feature set. Pix-Star’s Wi-Fi digital frames come in either a 10-inch display or a larger 15-inch display.

Perhaps the most valuable and unique offering is their free-for-life cloud storage. There are no hidden or secret fees written in fine print on page 15 of the user manual. Humor aside, Pix-Star’s Wi-Fi digital frame doesn’t charge anything extra – unlike many other top Wi-Fi digital frames like Nixplay or Skylight. Despite this, Pix-Star still offers even more features & functions than Wi-Fi digital frames that charge annual subscription fees.

The Pix-Star Snap mobile app lets you send photos, videos, and audio messages to your Wi-Fi digital frame’s email address. You can receive up to 250 pictures in one go and they can be sent to several frames at the same time. This complements Pix-Star’s photo-mail feature well and makes sending photos & other media to all your frames quick & effortless. Photo albums can be linked from social media & photo-sharing profiles via the web interface – and Pix-Star’s Wi-Fi digital frames also support USB/SD cards (with no maximum size limits).

Slideshows on the Pix-Star Wi-Fi digital frame are some of the best on the market. The frame’s 4:3 aspect ratio means that photos sent from most smartphones match the display perfectly – no cropping, distortion, or black bars. You can start a slideshow with just one click from the home screen – or manually select which files & folders are to be included. Both the play order & frequency of slideshows are easily adjusted without needing to leave the slideshow you’re viewing.

In summary, Pix-Star’s Wi-Fi digital frames are excellent companions for modern families & homes – without leaving out less tech-savvy users like grandparents. They’re also great for big families thanks to their remote management feature (change settings, start & control slideshows, etc., from anywhere in the world). Pix-Star’s Wi-Fi digital frames quickly earn their place in your home and make connecting & sharing with your loved ones effortless.

How to send photos to a Wi-Fi digital frame?

The number of ways for sending photos to your Wi-Fi digital frame varies wildly between brands and budget levels. The most common method for sending photos to a Wi-Fi digital frame is by USB/SD card. This is the only offline method and doesn’t require any internet connectivity – which is why it’s commonly found among cheap & budget Wi-Fi digital frames. It’s a feature that’s also available on most premium Wi-Fi digital frames, though it’s just one of many.

Another popular Wi-Fi-enabled way to send/receive photos on your Wi-Fi digital frame is photo-mail. This involves adding photos as attachments to an email and then sending the email to your Wi-Fi digital frame’s unique address. Pix-Star was the company that created this idea and arguably do it best. This is a very familiar way to send photos and is elderly-friendly.

Some Wi-Fi digital frames have mobile apps that let you send photos, videos, and audio to your frames. You can often send to several Wi-Fi digital frames at the same time – though it’s a feature that’s only found with a couple of the best Wi-Fi digital frames on the market (such as the Pix-Star). Mobile apps offer the most convenient way to send photos to your Wi-Fi digital frame as we almost always have our phones with us. You’re less likely to miss an important moment – and you can share them in just a few moments.

How to set up a Wi-Fi digital frame?

Here we’re talking about the setup of Wi-Fi digital frames, not offline frames that work off USB/SD cards. The first step usually involves connecting the frame to a reliable Wi-Fi network. Note that most Wi-Fi digital frames can’t connect to Wi-Fi networks that require web authentication as they require browsers (which Wi-Fi digital frames don’t have).

Once you’ve connected the Wi-Fi digital frame to Wi-Fi, you need to register it on the web interface. With Wi-Fi digital frame like the Pix-Star, all you need for the registration phase is the frame’s serial number (found in the “About” section of the frame’s settings page). This gives you access to the web dashboard for the frame. It’s where you’ll remotely control your frames and link/sync photos from social media & photo-sharing platforms.

The final step involves adding your Wi-Fi digital frame’s unique email address to the supported mobile. You’ll need to do this for each of the Wi-Fi digital frames you’ll use. They only need to be added for the first time – after that, they can simply be selected from a list of added frames.

Once all these steps have been completed, you can think about where to place the frame. Most of the best Wi-Fi digital frames like the Pix-Star frame support using standard VESA mounts, dedicated hanging holes, and an attachable stand. This means these Wi-Fi digital frames can be mounted on the wall (in either orientation) or rested on a flat surface (Pix-Star’s adjustable stand supports both landscape & portrait modes).

Can Wi-Fi digital frames be mounted on the wall?

Wi-Fi digital frames can mount on the wall if they come with support for using a standard VESA mount or dedicated hanging holes. While these are more common to find on many of the best Wi-Fi digital frames, they can also be found among some cheaper & mid-range digital frames. For example, Pix-Star’s Wi-Fi digital frame supports a standard VESA mount, has built-in hanging holes, and an attachable stand. The frame can be mounted or rested in either landscape or portrait mode easily.

If your Wi-Fi digital frame doesn’t have any wall mounting fixtures built into the frame, you can always make a DIY mounting frame. This is a little more difficult but gives you a lot of creative flexibility. Alternatively, you could cut it out on your wall and mount the frame flush with it. Make sure whichever option you choose, that the USB/SD card port, power inlet, and remote control/light sensor isn’t blocked or covered.

Can I play movies and songs on a Wi-Fi digital frame?

Wi-Fi digital frames cannot play movies as they almost always have limits on the maximum length or size of video files. For example, Pix-Star’s Wi-Fi digital frames can play 2-minute video clips that can be sent to the frame via the mobile app or by USB/SD card. This maximum length of 2-minutes is more than you get with almost all other Wi-Fi digital frames on the market.

Full-length movies are far too long to play on Wi-Fi digital frames. Songs on the other hand can be played quite effortlessly. Simply load the song files in a supported format to the frame’s internal storage via USB/SD card. You can then play them individually by locating them inside the frame’s media gallery/file explorer. With Wi-Fi digital frames like the Pix-Star, you can play these songs over slideshows for a more personalized viewing experience.

Do Wi-Fi digital frames run on a battery?

Very few Wi-Fi digital frames run on battery power. Wi-Fi connectivity & cloud-related features are becoming more essential for modern homes & families. These features often require more power to be used to their full potential – and often result in several background processes that make sure photos are updated & received regularly.

Battery-operated Wi-Fi digital frames often have very small displays and a limited feature set. Their short 2 to 5-hour battery life can be a major drawback, resulting in these frames spending most of their time near the charging cable/hub. This takes away much of the benefit of improved mobility – which is about the only practical advantage of getting a Wi-Fi digital frame that runs on a battery.

There’s also the issue of longevity. Most batteries have a limited lifespan and number of charge cycles. Once this point is reached, the battery will lose capacity – eventually becoming essentially useless. With most battery-powered Wi-Fi digital frames, you’d need to replace the entire frame when this point is reached.

These days, Wi-Fi digital frames need to be able to receive photos from anywhere in the world via mobile apps & web interfaces. They need to have big & bright displays as we’re so used to having them on our other devices. Other essential features like remote control functionality that let you remotely adjust the frame’s settings, start slideshows, connect the frame to a broader family of linked frames, etc., are very important – especially if the frame wants to be relevant for modern families & smart homes.

Can my Wi-Fi digital frame work without Wi-Fi?

Most high-end Wi-Fi digital frames offer good offline functionality. Basic requirements for offering any sort of offline use are at least 4GB of internal storage, automatic cloud backups, and USB/SD card support.

For example, Pix-Star’s Wi-Fi digital frames offer versatile offline functionality as all received photos are automatically saved to the frame’s 8GB internal storage. They’re also automatically saved to the cloud as Pix-Star’s Wi-Fi digital frames have free-for-life cloud storage. Even synced web albums from social media and photo-sharing sites are saved to Pix-Star’s internal storage. All of these saved photos and videos can be viewed in slideshows when the frame is offline.

Some Wi-Fi digital frames like the Aura frame require a constant connection to the company’s cloud servers. This lets you frame sync photos from the cloud and temporarily store them on the frame. Even once stored on the frame, the frame still needs to be connected to Wi-Fi (and the servers) to work normally. We don’t advise going for frames like these as they’re not the most practical – despite having great displays and a decent feature set.

How to save my Wi-Fi digital frame photos to the cloud?

Wi-Fi digital frames like the Pix-Star offer free-for-life cloud storage that’s automatically backed up as photos are received. All you need to do is register your Wi-Fi digital frames through the web interface using their serial number and you’re good to go. You’ll get access to the web dashboard where you can manage all connected frames’ local & cloud storage from anywhere in the world.

Other premium Wi-Fi digital frames like the Skylight or Nixplay charge optional annual subscription fees to unlock features like cloud storage (or to expand the free allotment), access to the mobile app/web interface, video support & playback, etc.

You’ll seldom get good value for money with Wi-Fi digital frames that have recurring subscription fees when you factor in the annual cost over the lifetime of the frame. Wi-Fi digital frames like the Pix-Star don’t charge any of these fees (and their base price is slightly lower), yet they offer all the same features – and to a greater extent in many cases.

Can I view my Facebook & Instagram photos on a Wi-Fi digital frame?

Viewing photos from social media, photo-sharing sites, and online storage platforms are referred to as web album functionality in the Wi-Fi digital frame world. It’s not a feature that’s offered very commonly and is limited to just a handful of the best Wi-Fi digital frames on the market. Pix-Star’s Wi-Fi digital frames arguably offer the most versatile and capable web album feature – and much of the process can be automated.

Pix-Star’s Wi-Fi digital frames let you select photo albums from almost a dozen platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Flickr, Google Photos, Dropbox, Google Drive, and more. Once you’ve linked an album, it’s automatically saved to your Pix-Star Wi-Fi digital frame’s internal storage. You can link the same album to several frames and can link several profiles on the same platforms to multiple Wi-Fi digital frames at the same time.

Pix-Star’s web albums can be set to automatically sync any new photos that are added to already-linked albums – making photo sharing for big families & elderly users easier than ever before. They can view all the latest photos without needing to lift a finger!

How to email photos to a Wi-Fi digital frame?

Pix-Star was the company that created the idea of giving a Wi-Fi digital frame a unique & dedicated email. This address was used both to identify the frame when it’s part of the large multi-frame control groups and to receive photos wirelessly from anywhere in the world. It also lets you send several photos to several Wi-Fi digital frames at the same time – unlocking a new level of efficiency.

Today, emailing photos to your Wi-Fi digital frames isn’t an alien concept. It’s still something that’s limited to just a handful of the best Wi-Fi digital frame – though it’s not as rare as other features like remote control functionality, free-for-life cloud storage, or web album support.

To send photos to your Wi-Fi digital frame via email, all you need is an online Pix-Star frame and its unique email address. That address will be the recipient of the email. Make sure to attach the pictures to the email as an attachment – don’t drag and drop them into the body of the text. This will often encode them into HTML, compress them, and leave them unable to be downloaded in the desired quality. Simply add them as attachments and send the email to as many Wi-Fi digital frames as you’d like.

What to look for in a Wi-Fi digital frame for grandparents?

When you’re looking for the best Wi-Fi digital frames for grandparents, remote control functionality is essential. This isn’t referring to just the handheld remote control that many Wi-Fi digital frames come with (these also help elderly users a lot). It’s referring to the ability to remotely take control of your frame to adjust the settings, start & manage slideshows, update the frame’s firmware/software, and manage cloud (and local) storage.

This feature is incredibly helpful for elderly users as you don’t need to worry about them getting stuck or overwhelmed. You can simply log into the web dashboard for their frame, adjust the necessary settings or start their slideshow, and that it! The changes should reflect within a couple of moments on the Wi-Fi digital frame – and they won’t have to lift a finger.

Another essential feature for elderly users is simple & intuitive menus. You don’t have deep menus that go several levels deep. You also don’t have to have to exit a slideshow to change a simple setting like the play order or frequency of the photos. Wi-Fi digital frames like the Pix-Star let you adjust almost all of the frame’s settings without needing to back out of the slideshows (just press the “Menu” button and browse through the options).

Are Wi-Fi digital frames with touchscreens worth it?

We don’t advise getting a Wi-Fi digital frame with a touchscreen. This is especially true for Wi-Fi digital frames larger than 8-inches as the touch panels are much more expensive. This additional cost has to be offset by other areas of the frame’s feature set or performance for them to stay competitive in today’s market. It often comes at the price of ease of use, supporting mobile apps/web interfaces, free cloud storage, remote control functionality, etc.

For the extra money, you’re getting more problems than solutions. Touch screens are very prone to fingerprints – especially for the matte-finish display. The oil and dirt buildup from your fingers can be a headache to clean off. They’re also scratch-prone and are more likely to take damage from normal use, small knock & bumps, etc.

This reduced durability is a major concern on premium Wi-Fi digital frames as the screen is usually the first feature to give in (for touchscreen Wi-Fi digital frames). Touchscreens can be harder to get used to – especially for elderly users. They require you to stand directly in front of the display – something that many of the best Wi-Fi digital frames like the Pix-Star make unnecessary.

With Pix-Star’s non-touch Wi-Fi digital frames, you can use either the handheld remote control or the web interface to adjust the frame’s settings, start slideshows, change slideshow sources, etc.

Is 16:9 a good display aspect ratio for Wi-Fi digital frames?

16:9 isn’t a good aspect ratio for Wi-Fi digital frames. Since we take most of our pictures with our smartphones or cameras, 16:9 displays aren’t the ideal choice. Due to the mismatch in aspect ratios, you end up with a lot of cropped photos or constantly have them surrounded by unsightly black pillar bars.

While 16:9 may be better for video playback, Wi-Fi digital frames are designed more for photo playback and versatile slideshows. It’s for this reason that 4:3 is arguably the best aspect ratio for Wi-Fi digital frames as they match the 4:3 that most modern smartphones capture photos in.

Additionally, since most full-frame cameras use a 3:2 aspect ratio, 4:3 digital photo frames are far better suited to displaying them than 16:9 or 16:10 digital frames. 3:2 Wi-Fi digital frames are very rare to find and often have issues with video playback or displaying photos not taken on DSLRs.

4:3 offers the most balanced support for videos and photos from various sources. Pix-Star’s Wi-Fi digital frames use a 4:3 aspect ratio and are arguably the most versatile and best value-for-money premium frames in today’s market.

Are large Wi-Fi digital frames worth the higher price?

If you’ve got a big room that’s well lit, a large Wi-Fi digital frame might be the perfect addition. They’re great for families as you can comfortably huddle around a large Wi-Fi digital frame to enjoy precious moments together. They’re also great for wall mounting due to broader viewing angles and greater viewing distances. Large Wi-Fi digital frames can be comfortably viewed from across the room or at angles, making them excellent choices for elderly users.

A large Wi-Fi digital frame would be considered any frame with a screen size of over 12-inches. While 10-inch digital frames are by no means small (especially when compared to the older 7 & 8-inch digital frames, they’re not quite big enough.

Pix-Star’s 15-inch Wi-Fi digital frame is a great example of a capable & balanced digital frame that caters to the needs of the modern home & family. It offers free-for-life cloud storage, access to both a mobile app & web dashboard, photo-mail, a 4:3 aspect ratio, and one of the most robust feature sets on the market. If you’re after a large Wi-Fi digital frame, the Pix-Star 15-inch version is a fantastic value-for-money premium option.

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