HomeComparisonsIs a Digital Photo Frame with a Wood Finish Worth Buying?

Is a Digital Photo Frame with a Wood Finish Worth Buying?


What is the best digital photo frame with a wood finish?

The best digital photo frame with a wood finish is the Aluratek Distressed Wood digital frame. Aluratek is the only popular digital photo frame brand that sells a wood finish on its frames, offering both a 10-inch model and a larger 13-inch variation.

Unfortunately, Aluratek doesn’t use real wood. Instead, the wood finish uses a plastic imitation to mimic the look. There is only a driftwood color option for the frame finish, with no options for an ebony or dark brown wood finish.

While the Aluratek digital frame may be one of the best with a wood finish, it’s far from competing in any meaningful way with the top digital frames. This Aluratek digital photo frame doesn’t offer Wi-Fi or cloud connectivity, cloud storage, mobile/web app, or remote configuration support. You can import photos wirelessly from social media, email, etc.

The only way to load photos to the frame is through an SD card or USB drive. Note that there is no internal storage, so you can’t hold photos locally on the frame. Leave the USB or SD card plugged in at all times to view its photos in slideshows.

In terms of features and functionality, these wood finish Aluratek digital photo frames perform like most budget digital frames. You can’t remotely access the frame, start slideshows wirelessly, manage storage remotely, import pictures from social media, send photos with a mobile app, etc.

These more advanced features are typically offered by more popular digital photo frames like the Pix-Star. You get to choose between several photo-sharing methods that include imports from social media, using the Pix-Star Snap mobile app & web interface, USB and SD cards, email, and more.

We don’t usually recommend buying a wood finish digital photo frame as they often miss too many key features. With Aluratek digital frames, you sacrifice too many important features and functions to justify the purchase.

With top digital photo frames like the Pix-Star, you get features and functions designed to connect families, modern homes, and elderly users – without all of the traditional roadblocks due to lacking tech-savviness, poor interconnectedness, and limited feature sets. Pix-Star’s frames are great alternative digital photo frame that doesn’t pump unnecessary cost into a “pretend” wood finish.

Does the Pix-Star digital photo frame have a wood frame?

The Pix-Star digital photo frame doesn’t use a wood finish – and for good reasons. Most digital frames that use a wood finish (such as the Aluratek Distressed Wood digital frame) sink unnecessary cost into the frame’s finish, leaving little room for important features and functions.

In most cases – including the Aluratek wood finish digital frame – these frames don’t use real wood. While the title may say “distressed wood finish”, it’s not. They’re almost always plastic imitations, glued to a plastic internal structure.

We don’t have an issue with plastic but don’t think it should be packaged (and priced) as wood. Many users don’t realize this until they get hands-on with the frame. They then have to return it to the manufacturer, who may or may not approve a refund.

Pix-Star’s frames use a neutral dark-grey finish on their frames, drawing attention to their fantastic 4:3 display. Since Pix-Star’s digital photo frames can mount on the wall and rest on flat surfaces, the neutral finish goes a long way to enhance immersion.

Pix-Star focuses more on features and functionality for families, modern homes, and elderly users. They’re one of the only high-end digital frames that focus intentionally on elderly users through features like remote configuration, importing photos wirelessly from social media, and a great mobile app (Pix-Star Snap) and web interface.

How long do digital photo frames with wood finishes last?

Digital photo frames with wood finished won’t last as long as traditional plastic or steel digital frames. If you leave the frame in a humid spot, in direct sunlight, or somewhere where the temperature fluctuates a lot, the wood can warp and separate from the frame. These real wood finish digital photo frames aren’t likely going to last for more than 6-12 months.

In cases where plastic is used to imitate a wood finish – as is the case with Aluratek’s distressed wood finish digital frames – they will likely last longer. If the plastic imitation is glued or painted on the surface (over the plastic beneath) then the wood finish will not be very durable (likely lasting only 3 to 6 months).

If you’re going to buy a wood finish frame made from plastic, make sure the plastic is molded and dyed to imitate the wood finish. Avoid plastic imitations that use painted surfaces or sticker-like covers to replicate the wood finish.

Can I replace the wood frame on my digital photo frame?

Some wood-finish digital photo frames let you completely remove and replace the frame. In some cases, you can alternate between plastic frames, steel frames, and even wood frames. These frames are typically very expensive and often lack the features and functionality to compete with standard digital photo frames.

With digital photo frames that don’t support interchangeable outer frames, you will have to do some DIY work. This involves measuring and cutting a frame to match the display size, choosing the right materials, and gluing or fixing (via screws/nails – done carefully) the frame around the display.

If you don’t have experience with this kind of DIY work, we don’t recommend it. You may damage the display or internal hardware, rendering the frame useless. If you’re technically inclined, you could always give building a DIY digital frame!

Do wood digital photo frames use real wood?

Very few wooden digital photo frames use real wood. In almost all cases, digital frames with wood finishes use molded and dyed plastic to imitate a wood finish.

We don’t recommend plastic imitations as they likely charge extra for the “wood finish” without offering functionality to match. To keep prices competitive, these frames often sacrifice features like Wi-Fi and/or cloud connectivity, leaving you with few photo-sharing options (namely USB and SD card support with limited internal storage space).

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