HP digital picture frames are about as cheap as digital frames come. They target the very entry-level and are priced accordingly, so it’s no surprise that they only have the absolute basic features needed on a digital frame. There are 2 sizes available; a 7” frame, and a slightly larger 8” frame. The 7” measurement is for the frame and not the screen. The screen measures somewhere around 3.5”.
HP digital picture frames are extremely low resolution with 800×600 on the 8” frame, and 480×234 on the 7” frame. This is very low and is immediately noticeable – especially when compared with the high-resolution screen we’re used to on our phones and computers. Even compared to other frames, HP digital picture frames don’t have the best display – hence the low price.
As for features, both the HP digital picture frames are severely limited. They are offline and don’t have any kind of Wi-Fi capabilities. The only way to send media to the frame is on a USB thumb drive or SD card. Be warned that the frame is only compatible with the FAT file system, meaning that a thumb drive can only hold 255 photos at the most. The HP digital picture frame’s internal storage is only enough for around 800 photos. Compared with other digital frames, this is quite a low number and usually not enough for even a couple of months’ worth of photos.
The lack of Wi-Fi compatibility means that you don’t have any cloud-related features like linking to social media account or sending media to the frame through a mobile app or even via email. The result is a frame that feels very outdated – though expected considering the budget price tag.
There are some mid-range features like an auto-on/off function and a basic calendar & planning app. This sounds great on paper but doesn’t work all too well. This is probably a by-product of the cheap build quality, which is further reflected by the plasticky back cover and relatively flimsy stand.
Each frame comes with a remote control unit that’s used to do all the navigating through the frame’s user interface. Unfortunately, the frame doesn’t respond very well to the remote control and is inconsistent at best. This makes it especially tricky for elderly users as the limited on-frame control is even more confusing.
Overall, the frame seems about right for the price it asks for. That being said, the HP digital picture frame struggles to find its place on the market. Its outdated interface and build are very noticeable and can quickly become frustrating. Given that the price of better frames – and even premium flagship digital frames – are getting more affordable, it’s probably not worth going the entry-level route.
Premium frames like the Pix-Star are affordable and feel like a leap through time with the features, versatility, and functionality they offer the user – but more on that below.
Pix-Star’s frame is one of the best-rated and most versatile on the market; whereas the HP digital picture frame is arguably one of the most basic. Granted it’s not the fairest comparison to make – it’s still worth weighing up your options. Given the massive leap in functionality between budget models like the HP digital picture frame and class-leaders like the Pix-Star, many people decide to bite the proverbial bullet and get a premium frame – and they’re almost always happy for it.
Pix-Star’s frames are Wi-Fi capable and make full use of cloud storage capabilities. You can link and sync photos and albums from your social media accounts (e.g. Facebook & Instagram), photo sharing platforms (Google Photos), and even cloud storage platforms like Dropbox. These can be linked to multiple frames, and you can link to several different accounts on the same platform. It’s a great feature for automated updates so that everyone in the family can see your latest photos on their frame without having to manually do anything.
These kinds of features are just the tip of the iceberg for premium frames like the Pix-Star – and well out of the reach of entry-level models like the HP digital picture frame. If you like HP digital picture frames for their claimed simplicity, Pix-Star can also offer a quick and easy plug-and-play feature. This lets you load pictures to a USB or SD card, insert them into the frame, and display them away – just without the compatibility issues and file type limitations. Despite being a Wi-Fi frame, Pix-Star’s frames also have extensive offline capabilities for when you don’t have access to the internet.
Pix-Star’s frame has a bigger and brighter display that can be color adjusted by their hue and saturation via the frame’s settings. This lets you set the frame to display just how you like and to add more life into your photos or videos. Their higher resolution screens give you a sharper and clearer viewing experience and the broader viewing angle means more people can enjoy it with you. Audio can even be played through the frame’s internal speakers to make videos and audio messages feel more personal.
All-in-all, if your budget can stretch a little, the Pix-Star is one of the best choices out there. With its robust and rich feature set, great display, easy-to-use interface, it’s hard to choose another frame over it.
HP digital picture frames can only display JPEG still images on the display. Video files can’t be played on an HP digital picture frame.
Load the photos onto a USB drive or compatible memory card. Insert the USB/memory card into the frame and copy its content across to the frame’s internal storage. Note that the frame can only hold up to around 800 photos in its internal storage, and only support USB drives formatted to the FAT file system.
HP digital picture frames are not battery-powered and need to be plugged in all the time to work. Make sure the frame stays connected to the power source while transferring pictures from a USB or SD card.