We dive deep into the top 4 Wi-Fi digital photo frames 2022 has to offer. Here you’ll learn about how these frames work, why you should – or shouldn’t buy them – and which frame is the best overall pick for 2022!
We’ll cover the important features of each frame, check how they compare with other top frames, and show you if they’re worth the money. You’ll learn about subscription-based frames like Skylight and Nixplay, along with online-only frames like the Aura frame – and why they’re at the top with Pix-Star and Dragon Touch digital frames.
Before we dive into each of the frames and their features, take a minute to find out how we picked these top 5 frames. Let’s get started!
Top 4 Wi-Fi Digital Photo Frames in 2022 – What Makes Them Better Than the Rest?
There is no perfect Wi-Fi digital photo frame on the market. Much like all other products, there’s a bit of give-and-take at play. For example, using a high-resolution display look great, but often sacrifices features and functionality to keep the frame competitively priced.
That being said, some features are more important than others. There are clear trends when it comes to features that make a digital frame a great choice for 2022 – despite many arguing that digital frames are “outdated”.
While “outdated” might be the right word for many cheap and mid-range frames, it’s certainly not true for the frames in this list. They’re packed with smart features that help them slip effortlessly into the modern home and family!
Here we’ll take a look at the features and focus points that we consider to be the most important in a great digital Wi-Fi frame for 2022 and beyond! Let’s dive in!
Family and Elderly-Friendly Features
While digital frames aren’t made exclusively for families and grandparents, it’s a very important part of their makeup. In this regard, we look for features that make photo-sharing as simple and inclusive as possible.
This means that features like mobile apps and web interfaces need to be both capable and versatile. Ideally, they should allow bulk photo-sharing to several frames at the same time. Features like video and audio messages are a bonus.
Features like remote control and configuration are also important here – along with multi-frame control groups and cloud storage. These are heavily Wi-Fi and cloud-dependent features and are only offered by a handful of the best Wi-Fi digital frames on the market.
A digital frame should be easy to use, start and manage slideshows, and send and receive photos – no matter where you are in the world.
We also looked for additional features like USB/SD card support. While this is better for elderly users, it’s also great for photographers and anyone that doesn’t have consistent Wi-Fi access.
Features for the Modern Home
Most of the top Wi-Fi picture frames of 2022 offer various features for the modern home. Arguably the most versatile of these is the ability to link and import photos directly from social media and photo-sharing sites.
Traditionally, you’d need to manually need to download these photos, load them to your computer or phone, and send them to the frame via the mobile app, email, or even by USB/SD card.
Top digital frames like the Pix-Star let you import photos as web albums from a dozen external sources, including social media. These types of features are great for automating photo-sharing, getting elderly users involved, and sharing pictures to all the frames in the family – no matter where they are in the world.
Another great smart feature is remote configuration support. It lets you take control of any of your frames, remotely adjust their settings, start slideshows, and much more. Remote configuration isn’t very common but allows for families to get more members involved and make sure nobody misses an important photo or update.
Immersive Viewing Experience
Immersion tends to be more subjective than other features in this list. That being said, there are some important things to know. First of all, the display resolution needs to be at least 800×600. This avoids pixelation and keeps pictures looking sharp.
Following on from this through, high-resolution displays aren’t always better. They tend to be indistinguishable from lower resolution displays when viewed from a couple of feet away – or from across the room. At these standard viewing distances, the display’s aspect ratio, brightness, color, and feasible viewing angle are arguably more important than display resolution.
Slideshow customizability is another important feature for enhancing immersion. For example, Pix-Star’s frames let you adjust the speed, style, play order, and frequency of photos. You can play videos, create unique collage slideshows, play music over them, connect to speakers/headphones, and more.
We tend to avoid touchscreens are fingerprints make the screen hard to see when in the same room. Features like remote configuration support, a handheld remote controller, a mix of motion sensors, and auto-on/off schedules make the touchscreen display rather superfluous.
Superior Build Quality
Build quality is often the silent killer for many digital frames. Many mid-range and budget frames look great on paper, but last only a couple of weeks/months. The display is one of the first areas that break early on for frames with low build quality.
All of the digital frames in this list have a long record of delivering well-above-average build quality. We pay particular attention to their display quality and the frame’s material build.
That being said, the real-world performance of the features also relies on the quality of the frame’s software and internal workings. This is why we always suggest reading through a lot of reviews on the frame’s Amazon page. Top Wi-Fi frames like the Pix-Star have thousands of reviews, Q&As, and in-depth product descriptions.
What Are the Top 5 Wi-Fi Digital Picture Frames of 2022?
Here we’ll rank our top 5 Wi-Fi digital picture frames of 2022 from our favorite (overall best pick for 2022) and down. We dive into the top pick’s features in more depth, comparing them with the other options in this list.
For the remaining four digital frames, we’ll give you a couple of reasons why you should – or shouldn’t – buy each of the frames.
Bear in mind that there is no perfect digital frame. They tend to specialize in specific functions or features and pay less attention to others. We’ve taken this into account, putting a little more weight on features that are more practical for families, elderly users, and modern homes.
Let’s get started!
Pix-Star Wi-Fi Digital Picture Frame – The Best Overall Frame for 2022
The Pix-Star Wi-Fi digital photo frame is arguably the best overall digital frame of 2022. It has one of the most robust features set out there, along with extensive Wi-Fi and cloud integration. Not only are Pix-Star’s frames one of the best frames for families – they’re one of the few that cater specifically to elderly users.
Pix-Star is known for its ease of use, quick setup, versatile slideshows, and great mobile/web app. You can easily bulk-share photos to all your Pix-Star frames at the same time – no matter where you are in the world.
Pix-Star’s frames support remote configuration, importing photos from social media, free-for-life cloud storage, and more. They come with either a 10-inch or a 15-inch display, use a 4:3 aspect ratio, and offer manually adjustable brightness and color settings.
You can mount these frames on the wall via the standard VESA mount or hanging holes. Alternatively, rest them on a flat surface using the attachable stand. Each Pix-Star frame comes with a handheld remote controller and has on-frame controls. They also have a motion sensor and let you set auto-on/off schedules.
Below we take a deeper look at each of Pix-Star’s most unique features, and why they’re better than almost every other frame on the market in 2022!
Remote configuration is the ability to access and manage your digital frame from anywhere in the world. Pix-Star’s remote configuration feature is arguably the most robust and versatile among premium digital frames.
Using your frame’s web interface (or your multi-frame control group interface), you can access, manage, and control up to 25 Pix-Star frames from a single user account. Here you can adjust each frame’s settings, start and manage slideshows, access and manage cloud and local storage, update their firmware, import web albums (more on this feature below), and much more.
It’s the perfect feature for families as you don’t have to spend forever on phone calls trying to explain to grandma how to start slideshows. This feature ties in well with Pix-Star’s web albums, mobile app, and automatic cloud backups. You have almost total control of your Pix-Star frame(s) from anywhere.
No matter where you are in the world, you can control any of your frames. All you need is access to your frame’s web dashboard, Wi-Fi, and an online and registered Pix-Star frame!
Pix-Star’s web album feature is one of their more unique and versatile ways to automate photo sharing. Here you can link and import photo albums from a dozen external sources. These sources include social media, photo-sharing sites, and online storage platforms. You can import photo albums from Facebook, Instagram, Google Drive & Photos, Dropbox, Flickr, and more.
One of Pix-Star’s best web album features is the ability to set linked albums to automatically update. Once an album is linked, you can set it to sync any photos you add to the album in the future.
A great way to automate photo-sharing is to create an album, link it to all of your Pix-Star frames, turn on automatic updating (via the web interface), drag-and-drop photos, and Pix-Star will take care of the rest.
You can link several frames to the same web album, link multiple web albums from the same platform to any of your frames, and more.
Pix-Star’s web albums save automatically to the frame’s internal storage. You can then use the web dashboard’s remote configuration feature to remotely start slideshows from saved web albums – no matter where you are in the world. Change the currently playing web album with just a couple of clicks.
This is an excellent feature for families and elderly users. It’s easy to set up, simple to use and saves you a lot of time. Few other premium Wi-Fi digital frames offer any web album feature, and almost none of them offer anything nearly as versatile as Pix-Star’s web album feature!
Free-for-Life Cloud Storage
Each Pix-Star Wi-Fi digital photo frame comes with free-for-life cloud storage and automatic backups. Whenever you send photos to any of your registered Pix-Star frames via the mobile app, web interface, and/or email, they’ll be backed up to the cloud.
Manage your frame’s cloud storage remotely via the web interface. Here you can move files around, create new folders, delete pictures (from both the cloud and local storage), and more.
It’s worth noting that many other popular premium Wi-Fi digital frames charge monthly fees to unlock and expand cloud storage. For example, both Skylight and Nixplay digital frames charge recurring subscription fees to unlock/increase cloud storage. Pix-Star offers this feature without charging a cent extra.
Extensive Offline Functionality
This might not seem like an important feature in a modern digital frame – but it’s essential for both families and elderly users. If you’re a photographer or take a lot of pictures on a DSLR, you need a digital frame with USB/SD card support. The same goes for anyone that doesn’t have consistent Wi-Fi or simply prefers using a USB/SD card.
Pix-Star’s frames offer 8GB of internal storage and extensive USB/SD card support. Unlike many other popular digital frames, Pix-Star doesn’t restrict the maximum size of supported USB/SD cards. This means you can use them as a form of external storage.
Additionally, Pix-Star offers a plug & play feature. You can play slideshows from a connected USB/SD card without having to copy its content to the frame’s internal storage. It’s very well suited to elderly users as you simply need to insert the USB/SD card and select the slideshow option from the pop-up.
4:3 Aspect Ratio
The final important feature we’re looking at here is Pix-Star’s aspect ratio. Where many digital frames use a 16:9, Pix-Star’s frames use a 4:3 aspect ratio. Since most smartphones capture pictures in 4:3, digital frames that match this aspect ratio will offer the best viewing experience. You don’t need to edit pictures before sending them to the frame.
Now, a common issue with 16:9 digital frames like the Aura, Nixplay, Skylight, and more, is that most photos from smartphones and cameras don’t match their aspect ratio. Unless you edit and crop each picture, the frame with crop, zoom, or distort the photos. In most cases, they’ll fill the unused space with black bars, detracting from immersion.
We always recommend getting a digital frame with a 4:3 aspect ratio. They’re more versatile, offer more height, and are great for displaying in both portrait and landscape mode.
Aura Digital Wi-Fi Frame – Great Display & Classy Design with a Limited Feature Set
The Aura Wi-Fi digital frame is known for offering a great display – and for being one of the most expensive frames on the market. Sadly, this high price doesn’t lead to enhanced features and functionality.
Aura’s digital frames range from 1080p up to 2K. This is where most of the frame’s high price originates. As we said before, there’s always some give-and-take at play with most digital frames. In Aura’s case, you sacrifice features for a higher resolution display.
In terms of aesthetics, Aura’s frames are attractive and sleek. You pay a premium price tag for this, so it doesn’t add much to the frame’s value for money.
Aura sells a range of different frames, with the Aura Smith being their most expensive digital frame. It’s worth noting that Aura’s frames don’t offer internal storage, USB/SD card support, offline usage, video & audio playback, remote configuration, and web albums.
These digital frames are made to be background displays, not media hubs. As such, almost all of Aura’s frames fall into the 9 to 11-inch display size range.
Why You Should Buy the Aura Picture Frame
The Aura digital frame has a great display – arguably with the highest resolution in this price and size range. Screen quality is high and the frame’s overall build quality is great – which is reflected by their high price tag.
In terms of versatility, slideshows are decent. You may need to edit photos before sending them to the frame (due to its 16:9 aspect ratio).
Aura’s frames are Wi-Fi-dependent and stream photos directly from the cloud – and all photos are automatically saved to the cloud. This is both an advantage and a drawback. If you lose access to the Aura servers or your Wi-Fi connection, you won’t be able to access, stream, manage, or view your photos.
Why You Shouldn’t Buy the Aura Frame
One of the main reasons to avoid Aura’s frames is their lack of features and functions – despite being some of the most expensive 10-inch digital frames on the market.
Aura doesn’t offer internal storage, USB/SD card support, video and audio playback, online access to your cloud storage, remote configuration, web albums (or any way to import photos from social media), and there’s no file explorer.
For comparison, Pix-Star offers all of these features, along with a great mobile app and web interface, without charging extra fees – and at a much lower upfront cost.
Bulk photo-sharing with Aura’s frames can be tricky. You have to use the mobile app and can’t import photo albums from external sources like social media. If you take a lot of photos on a DSLR, you will need to manually load these to your phone and then use the Aura mobile app to send them to the frame.
One final issue is the lack of controls that Aura offers. There is no remote controller, no onboard controls, and no remote configuration settings. There are only swipe controls on the top of the frame (not on the display). They’re slow to respond and severely limit what you can do with Aura’s frames – especially when compared to the versatility and robustness of Pix-Star frames.
Nixplay Smart Digital Frame – Great Features but Requires a Subscription
Nixplay offers a range of smart digital frames, with most having a 10-inch display. Nixplay’s digital frames use a subscription-based model; whereby you need to pay for the Nixplay Plus monthly subscription to unlock most of the frame’s features.
With Nixplay Plus, you get access to Nixplay’s cloud storage, video and audio support (though not nearly as extensively as other frames like the Pix-Star offer), online access, and access to the mobile app.
On the other hand, if you choose not to subscribe to Nixplay Plus, you can only send a couple of photos at a time via the mobile app. Once you’ve used the free allotment with the mobile app, the only way to send photos to the frame is by email.
Nixplay’s frames have great display quality, with some higher resolution models. The main issue here is their aspect ratio as many photos will have black bars around them.
Why Buy the Nixplay Smart Frame
Nixplay’s frames have great aesthetics and several different frame styles to choose from. They rather closely resemble a real picture frame and can mount on the wall.
In terms of features, Nixplay’s frames are relatively versatile – but only if you subscribe to Nixplay Plus. This is required to unlock and expand cloud storage, offer video playback, unlock the mobile app, etc.
Nixplay’s mobile app is pretty good considering all this. You still need to buy Nixplay Plus to get full use of the mobile app though. It’s easy to use and quick to set up, though not quite as versatile as the Pix-Star Snap mobile app – especially for bulk photo-sharing.
Nixplay does offer videos and audio playback, but with limitations. You can send videos to the frame but can’t include them in slideshows alongside photos. The onboard audio quality isn’t too great, though is better than nothing.
Why You Should Avoid Nixplay Frames
The most common complaint against Nixplay is their combination of a high upfront cost AND a recurring subscription fee. Typically, devices that charge subscription fees offer their hardware for free or for a much lower price.
With Nixplay, their frames are similar to – and often more expensive – than non-subscription competing frames like the Pix-Star. Despite their lower cost and no recurring fees, Pix-Star’s frame offers a lot more in terms of features and functionality.
For example, Nixplay doesn’t offer USB/SD card support, remote configuration support, importing photos from social media, cloud storage and video playback (without Nixplay Plus), and more. Pix-Star offers all of these features – more comprehensively too – without charging any extra or hidden fees.
Nixplay’s lack of USB/SD card support is a big deal. While they do offer 8GB of internal storage, you’ll often struggle to access this storage without connecting to Wi-Fi first. For comparison, Pix-Star’s frame offers extensive USB/SD card support (no maximum size restrictions), 8GB of internal storage, and a plug & play feature (which lets you play slideshows direct from the USB/SD card).
When it comes to slideshows and adjustable settings, Nixplay falls short of the mark. Where Pix-Star’s frames offer a diverse and highly customizable host of settings, Nixplay is very restrictive. You can’t easily manage the play order and frequency of photos in slideshows. You can’t manage the frame and its settings remotely and don’t have online access to your cloud storage (without Nixplay Plus).
Considering the high price of both the frame’s upfront cost – and the recurring subscription over its lifespan – Nixplay’s frames are hard to justify choosing over other top options. Unfortunately, many users exceed the eligible return period before discovering these issues, which is why you can find several poor reviews for Nixplay’s digital smart frame on sites like Amazon.
Skylight Wi-Fi Digital Frames – Simplicity for a Monthly Fee
Much like the Nixplay digital frame, Skylight Wi-Fi frames are subscription-based. The main difference between these frames and Nixplay’s frames is that Skylight offers little to no functionality unless you purchase Skylight Plus.
Skylight’s digital Wi-Fi frames don’t have internal storage or USB/SD card support. As such, they require a constant Wi-Fi connection to access and stream photos in slideshows.
Skylight sells a 10-inch digital frame with a 16:9 aspect ratio and a 1280×800 resolution. They use touchscreen displays and don’t offer any form of remote configuration or control.
The Skylight mobile app lets you send photos from your phone to your skylight frame. The use of this app requires that you purchase the Skylight Plus subscription package. Additionally, you can send pictures to Skylight’s frame via email.
Reasons to Buy the Skylight Wi-Fi Frame
Skylight prides itself on its simple setup and easy-to-use interface. While the setup process on the frame is simple, the same isn’t true for their mobile app.
These frames are easy to send photos to directly from your phone’s gallery. Note that you’ll need to purchase the Skylight Plus subscription to gain access to the mobile app and cloud storage.
In terms of aesthetics, Skylight digital Wi-Fi frames are quite attractive. The display is surrounded by a white matte finish, giving it the impression and visuals of a standard photo frame. Unfortunately, this leaves less space for the display, and the 16:9 aspect ratio requires that photos are cropped, zoomed, or boxed in by black bars.
By price, Skylight’s frames have a very similar upfront cost to that of Pix-Star – but that’s before you factor in the cost of the Skylight Plus subscription over the frame’s effective lifespan.
Reasons to Avoid the Skylight Wi-Fi Picture Frame
The main reason to avoid the Skylight Wi-Fi digital frame is the subscription-based model. We’ve seen this before with Nixplay’s frames. Unfortunately, it diminishes much of the value for money – especially when you figure in the cost of the subscription over the frame’s effective lifespan.
If you choose not to purchase the Skylight Plus subscription, you’ll lose access to almost all of Skylight’s features. This includes the mobile app, web app, cloud storage, online access, video and audio playback, and more.
For reference, Pix-Star offers all of these features – and much better by comparison – without charging any recurring subscription fees. When you consider that Pix-Star has an almost identical upfront cost, a 10-inch (or 15-inch) display, similar screen resolution, and offers free-for-life cloud storage (along with web albums, remote configuration, and much more), it’s hard to justify Skylight’s Plus subscription.
Another big negative point with Skylight is its lack of offline functionality. Skylight doesn’t offer USB/SD card support and doesn’t have any internal storage space. All photos need to stream straight from the cloud to the frame for each slideshow. No Wi-Fi means no photos – it’s as simple as that.
Skylight’s frames miss several important features for families and elderly users. It’s hard to set the mobile app up for families as this requires a subscription. You can’t import photos directly from social media or wirelessly from your computer. The lack of USB/SD card support makes bulk sharing difficult.
Skylight’s frames aren’t ideal for elderly users either due to their touchscreen interface and lack of remote configuration support. By contrast, Pix-Star offers all of these features – and more. For less money, you get a lot more value!
What is Your Top Wi-Fi Digital Photo Frame for 2022?
Which is your favorite pick from the top 4 Wi-Fi digital photo frames of 2022? If you want an in-depth guide on each of these frames, make sure to follow the links for each frame. We discuss their features and compare them to top digital frames like the Pix-Star and other popular frames.
We hope you’ve got a clearer picture of what you need from a Wi-Fi digital picture frame for your home and family in 2022! Enjoy effortless photo-sharing and stay connected with your loved ones through treasured memories, live updates, and special moments that’ll last forever!