Our Pix-Star vs Aura digital frame comparison is here to guide you to find the perfect digital frame for your home and family. We’re going to cover their best features, how each frame works, and what’s worth paying attention to.
By the time we’re done here, you’ll have a clear idea of which digital frame best suits your needs. We’ll compare them based on the most important features to look for in a modern digital frame.
Before moving on, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. Digital frames are not media hubs. They’re not designed to replace your TV, smartphone, or laptop. They’re made to replace the need for dozens of printed and framed pictures.
Digital frames hold and display tens of thousands of your favorite photos and videos in highly customizable slideshows – and let you effortlessly share these moments with the people you care about the most! With this in mind, let’s dive in!
Pix-Star vs Aura Digital Frame – Where Should You Start?
Before we start comparing Pix-Star and Aura digital frames, we must understand how they work. To do this, we need to look at some of their key features, missing functions, and intended uses.
Not all digital frames are created equal. They have different intended audiences, which in turn impact the areas in which the frame focuses. Digital frames for the solo user often have very different feature sets than frames for families and elderly users. Let’s start by first looking at the Pix-Star digital Wi-Fi frame.
Understanding the Pix-Star digital frame
The Pix-Star digital frame is easily one of the most popular premium frames on the market at the moment. Pix-Star is known for its robust feature set and easy-to-use interface. They’re one of the few premium frames that are made for families, individuals, and elderly users.
In terms of value for money, Pix-Star outshines almost every other high-end digital frame. Both their 10-inch and 15-inch digital frames are some of the most affordable in their size category. They’re quite a bit more affordable than Aura frames – which are known to be one of the more expensive premium frames.
Pix-Star’s frames are easy to set up, feature both internal storage and USB/SD card, and come with access to the Pix-Star Snap mobile app and the web interface.
Pix-Star’s frames offer a host of effortless photo-sharing features that include a USB/SD card, email, direct from social media and photo-sharing sites, the mobile app, and more. The Pix-Star Snap mobile app in particular is one of the best of its kind. You can send photos in bulk, send videos, and even record and send audio messages using just the receiving frame’s unique email address.
Pix-Star’s frames are made for the modern home and family. This is seen through features such as their web albums (importing photos from a dozen external sources), remote configuration and control, a great mobile app, and multi-frame control groups.
No matter where you are in the world, Pix-Star lets you start slideshows, manage settings and storage, update firmware, sync new web albums, and much more via the web dashboard. You can manage all the frames in the family no matter where you are. They’re ideal for elderly users that want to get involved in photo-sharing and viewing, but don’t have the necessary tech-savviness.
Understanding the Aura digital frame
The Aura digital frame is one of the pricier frames on today’s market. They sell several frames ranging from expensive to very expensive, with the Aura Smith being their flagship digital frame. It costs around US$400 and is arguably the most expensive digital frame in its size range. Other Aura frames include the Aura Mason, Aura Carver, and Aura Buddy. There are also Luxe versions available for the Aura Mason and Aura Carver digital frames.
Aura is known for its high-resolution displays and high-quality displays – and few other frames offer similar display resolutions. This is a major part of why Aura digital frames are so expensive.
Given that the digital frame market is so competitive, there’s only so much a frame can get away with charging for their product. This means that there’s a limited “budget” for the frame’s display, features, and functions. In Aura’s case, much of this “budget” is spent on the frame’s display, leaving little room for features like internal storage, USB/SD card support, and offline usage.
Aura frames aren’t made for families and elderly users in the way that Pix-Star’s frames are. This is evident in their price, feature set, and lack of interconnectedness (with other Aura frames). You’re limited to sending pictures using the Aura mobile app, and there’s no way to bulk transfer pictures or videos by USB/SD card.
The Aura frame cannot play video and audio (though some models allow very short <15s clips), and doesn’t have internal storage. All photos need to stream from Aura’s cloud each time you want to view them in slideshows. As a result, Aura’s frames need a constant and good-quality Wi-Fi connection to work properly.
It’s worth noting that there are no remote configuration features and no web album imports. Aura frames rely heavily on the mobile app and limited feature set offered via their web interface.
Now, let’s take a look at how Pix-Star and Aura frames compare by features and functions in the section below!
Comparing Aura and Pix-Star Digital Frames for 2022
In this section, we’re going to look at how Pix-Star and Aura’s frames compare according to important and popular features. This will help you decide which frames meet your unique needs and fit better into your home and family. Let’s get started!
Price and value for money
Price is one of the deciding factors when buying a digital frame. It’s a competitive market, with many high-end digital frames selling at very similar price points, a couple of dollars can be the difference.
With that said, the Aura frame range is arguably the most expensive frame on the market in their size category. The Aura Smith is their most expensive digital frame and it sells at around US$400 – which is far more than most larger frames. For reference, Pix-Star’s 10-inch frame costs around US$150, and its 15-inch frame goes for around US$200.
When you consider that Pix-Star’s frames offer a lot more in terms of features and functionality, it’s hard to justify Aura’s high price – especially if you’re looking to get a couple of digital frames for the whole family. Value for money is one of Pix-Star’s key selling points.
Aura’s frames don’t work offline, they don’t have internal storage or USB/SD card support, and the mobile app isn’t as good as you’d expect for the price you pay. Pix-Star offers all of these features, and a host more. For example, you get web album support, remote configuration, a great mobile app, web dashboard, and more – and we’ll unpack these features in the coming sections.
In summary, Pix-Star’s frames offer much better value for money and a significantly lower starting price. While this doesn’t mean that Aura’s frames are useless; rather that they focus too much on display resolution. In turn, too many important features are sacrificed, leaving Aura’s frame as a less-than-ideal choice for families and modern homes!
Slideshows and customizable settings
When it comes to slideshow settings and customizations, Pix-Star is one of the best. Slideshows are easy to set up and they’re more versatile than almost anything else on the market. You have fine control over how, where, and when photos show. Adjusting the play order and frequency that they show it can be done without leaving the slideshow.
Pix-Star’s frames are ideal for elderly users as you can start slideshows remotely via the web interface. You can even include videos in slideshows, and play audio files over them from a connected USB/SD card.
Pix-Star’s USB/SD card support is a big win over Aura (that don’t offer USB/SD card support or internal storage). There’s a plug & play feature that lets you play slideshows directly from a connected USB/SD card without having to copy anything to the frame’s internal storage first. Pix-Star doesn’t restrict the maximum size of a connected USB/SD card, giving you unlimited storage space.
By comparison, Aura digital frames are far less versatile. Unlike Pix-Star, you can’t control the frequency of photos. Pix-Star’s internal file explorer lets you choose which files and folders to include in slideshows – something that isn’t possible on Aura’s frames.
Pix-Star let you create unique collages with either 4 or 5 photos. Aura’s smart split-screen rarely works as intended, despite them having a frame dedicated to doing this for pet photos.
In summary, for slideshows and playing video and audio, Pix-Star is more versatile, easier to use, and better for families and elderly users (thanks to remote configuration support). You can hold more photos, access them offline even if you imported them from social media, and much more.
Wi-Fi & cloud features
Both Pix-Star and Aura digital frames offer Wi-Fi and cloud connectivity. The major difference here is the Pix-Star frames can work without Wi-Fi; whereas Aura digital frames cannot. This is due to Aura frames missing both USB/SD card support and internal storage.
Pix-Star offers free-for-life cloud storage and automatic cloud backups for all photos, videos, and audio messages sent to the frame. Note that photos played from a USB/SD card aren’t backed up to the cloud. On the other hand, Aura frames save all photos to the cloud (via the mobile app). These photos are then streamed to the Aura frame when requested.
We don’t like the Wi-Fi and cloud-dependent setup as you’re at Aura’s whim and fancy. If their server goes offline, you can’t access your photos. If your frame drops its connection (which happens often), you can’t access your photos. We recommend getting a digital frame like the Pix-Star with extensive offline use. You’re less vulnerable to drops in connectivity and your photos are all the safer for it.
Internal storage & USB/SD card support
Pix-Star’s digital frames offer 8GB of internal storage and extensive USB/SD card support. By contrast, Aura’s frames don’t have internal storage or USB/SD card support.
With Aura’s frames, you cannot send photos to the frame by USB/SD card. This is one of the most popular bulk-sharing methods. It pairs excellently with a slideshow plug & play feature as you can play photos in slideshows direct from the USB/SD card (no need to copy anything to local storage first).
On the other hand, Pix-Star’s frames are great for offline use and plug & play slideshows. It’s the ideal setup for big families and elderly users. It’s great for sharing huge quantities of photos without relying on spotty Wi-Fi, confusing mobile apps, and slow cloud-based syncing – which are all major issues Aura users struggle with.
Screen resolution and aspect ratio
In terms of screen resolution, there aren’t many 10-inch frames better than Aura. The Aura Smith is their highest resolution digital frame, boasting a 2K display.
Now, there are several issues with a high-resolution display. The first and arguably most important is that they are expensive. They lead to features and functions being sacrificed to make room for the price of the display – or risk pricing the frame out of the market.
Another major issue is that high-resolution displays aren’t that useful in the real world on 10-inch and 15-inch digital frames. You’re rarely going to view the digital display from a couple of inches away – which is where you need to view to see the difference in resolution.
This isn’t the case for smartphones and we tend to have them plastered against our faces for most of the day; hence their very high-resolution displays.
You’ll typically view a digital frame from at least a couple of feet away once you’re used to having it in the room. After the initial “honeymoon” phase ends, you’ll likely view it from across the room most often. Unless you inspect the display at point-blank range, you aren’t going to notice much of a difference between Pix-Star’s and Aura’s frame.
In terms of the aspect ratio, Pix-Star’s 4:3 beats Aura’s 16:9 screen any day. Most smartphones capture photos in 4:3, and most DSLRs in 3:2, 4:3, and even 1:1. This doesn’t bode well for 16:9 and 16:10 displays as they’ll almost always be boxed in by black bars – or cropped, edited, and/or distorted.
Mobile and web app
Pix-Star’s mobile app (Pix-Star Snap) lets you send up to 250 photos to any of your Pix-Star frames at the same time. It’s a great way to bulk share directly from your phone no matter where you are in the world. Unlike Aura frames, Pix-Star doesn’t require the photos upload to the cloud before viewing them on the frame.
While the Aura mobile app isn’t bad, it’s quite limiting. You can’t send photos in bulk and there’s no way to send video clips or audio messages. The interface isn’t quite as intuitive and there are issues with iOS that lead to frequent crashing.
The fact that Pix-Star’s mobile app doesn’t require photos to sync through the cloud-first is a big win. Pix-Star’s ability to send pictures directly to each connected frame is better for families and elderly users. It’s a feature that pairs well with Pix-Star’s ability to automatically display incoming photos in the current slideshow.
Remote configuration is a feature that you won’t find on many frames – despite being incredibly versatile for the modern home and family. Pix-Star’s remote configuration and control function is easily one of the best on the market.
Use the web dashboard for your Pix-Star frame or multi-frame control group to adjust settings, start slideshows, import web albums, update firmware, manage local and cloud storage, and much more. It’s the perfect feature for large families and grandparents as you can easily control what photos are displayed, how, and when.
Aura lets you adjust a handful of minor settings via the mobile app and web interface, but not nearly as comprehensively as Pix-Star’s frames. Both brands require Wi-Fi access and a cloud-connected frame to allow remote configuration.
Pix-Star’s frame is the clear better choice here. When combined with their web album feature and automatic slideshows (along with the motion sensor), Pix-Star lets you automate most of the photo-sharing and viewing process – which is perfect for smart homes and modern families.
Importing photos from social media
This feature is often referred to as web albums – and is only found on a couple of the best digital frames on the market. Pix-Star’s frames arguably offer the best web album feature. You get support for importing photos from a dozen external sources including social media, photo-sharing sites, and online storage platforms. These include Facebook, Instagram, Google Photo, Flickr, Google Drive, Dropbox, and many more.
Additionally, you can create and sync a folder from your computer to your frame(s) with Pix-Star’s web album feature. Here you can drag & drop photos and they sync to all connected frames. If you set this folder to automatically update, whenever you add new photos, they automatically sync to connected frames – removing the need for manual input for the receiver.
Aura frames cannot import photos directly from social media or other external platforms. You would need to manually download these photos to your phone and then send them to the Aura frame using the mobile app – far less ideal compared to what Pix-Star offers at a much lower price point.
Our Final Verdict
Pix-Star’s frames offer better value for money and a far more robust feature set. They’re the better choice for elderly users and families, despite having a lower display resolution than Aura’s frames.
When you consider their ease of use, great mobile app and web interface, and enhanced features, it’s easy to see why they’re so popular.
While Aura’s frames are by no means bad, it’s just hard to justify their high price tag. You get so much more for so much less with Pix-Star – and a frame that more effortlessly keeps you connected with the people you care about most!