Our Pix-Star vs Skylight digital frame guide is here to help you get accurate information on how these frames perform in the real world. We cover everything from how they work, to what features they offer, and if they’re worth the money.
We compare Skylight and Pix-Star digital frames through the lens of must-have features. We know that the modern home and family have very specific needs for digital frames, which is why we like to focus more on relevant features.
Almost all digital frames cater to the individual at some level. We’re more interested in how they cater to the modern family without excluding elderly users like grandparents. Frames that offer interconnectedness, cloud storage, and smart features tend to offer much better value for money.
With all this in mind, let’s dive into the guide!
Pix-Star vs Skylight Digital Frame – Where Should You Start?
To understand how Pix-Star and Skylight digital frames compare head-to-head, we need to first understand how they work at a basic level. How do these frames function, what is their target user, and are they easy to set up and use?
In the next sections, we’re going to unpack the basic functionality and feature sets of both Skylight and Pix-Star frames. We’ll point out a couple of important features and functions that are worth keeping in mind as you progress through the guide.
Before getting started, it’s important to remember that there is no perfect digital frame. It all comes down to your unique needs, home, and family. What works for another use might be a horrible choice for you. That’s why we’ll highlight important features and to whom they cater.
By the time we’re done with this guide, you’ll have a clear idea of which frame better suits your unique situation, and if they’re worth the money. Let’s get started!
Understanding the Pix-Star digital frame
The Pix-Star digital frame is among a small handful of the most popular frames on the market. Along with other frames like the Skylight, Dragon Touch, Aura, and Nixplay frames, Pix-Star frames are one of the best.
Pix-Star digital frames offer extensive Wi-Fi and cloud connectivity. This enables their robust feature set and versatility. They’re one of the few premium digital frames that cater to both the modern home/family and elderly users – without sacrificing functionality for the individual user.
Pix-Star is known for its ease of use, simple setup, and highly customizable general and slideshow settings. With free-for-life cloud storage, extensive USB/SD card support, mobile app & web interface, and video & audio support, Pix-Star is arguably the most capable digital frame at its price point.
Unlike other popular digital frames like Skylight and Nixplay, Pix-Star frames don’t charge any extra recurring subscription fees or hidden costs. All features are immediately unlocked and accessible when you buy the frame.
Perhaps the most unique aspect of Pix-Star’s frames is the combined effectiveness of their remote configuration support, web album feature, and great mobile app/web dashboard. You can create multi-frame control groups to manage up to 25 Pix-Star frames via the web interface no matter where you are in the world. It’s an excellent feature for families and elderly users that aren’t tech-savvy.
Pix-Star’s frames interconnect well, make sharing effortless, and let you manage any of your Pix-Star frames from anywhere. They use a versatile 4:3 aspect ratio and support both landscape and portrait orientation. Additionally, you can mount them on the wall using the standard VESA mount or dedicated hanging holes. Alternatively, you can rest the Pix-Star frame on a flat surface using the provided attachable stand!
Pix-Star frames offer excellent value for money and a frame that easily suits the modern home and family. You’ll find that Pix-Star’s intuitive photo-sharing, social media integration and imports, and robust feature set make it easier than ever to connect and share special moments with your loved ones!
Understanding the Skylight digital frame
The Skylight digital frame is one of the more popular premium frames in 2022 – though this doesn’t mean they’re better than the rest. Much like Nixplay digital photo frames, Skylight frames are subscription-based. This means that you need to buy the optional Skylight Plus subscription package to unlock most of the frame’s features and functions.
Unfortunately, almost all of the frame’s features are locked behind the Skylight Plus paywall. For example, without buying Skylight Plus, you don’t get access to cloud storage, the mobile app, web interface, online access, video and audio support, and more.
Without Skylight Plus, you can only send one photo to the frame for free. Once you’ve used this “free” allotment, you can only send photos to the Skylight frame by email. This is a poor method for wireless bulk photo-sharing. It also tends to be slow and doesn’t allow you to share video and audio clips with any of your Skylight frames.
Even if you choose to purchase the Skylight digital frame, you don’t have the most versatile feature set. There’s no USB/SD card support and no way to load pictures or other media to the frame without Wi-Fi.
Furthermore, Skylight photo frames don’t have internal storage space. This means that photos need to stream from the cloud to show in slideshows. We generally recommend avoiding these fully Wi-Fi-dependent frames as they don’t work unless connected to a stable and strong Wi-Fi network.
Despite this major issue, Skylight frames aren’t bad quality. Their displays are on par with Pix-Star’s in terms of resolution and quality. Sadly, they use a 16:9 aspect ratio (compared to Pix-Star’s 4:3). You’ll likely need to edit and resize photos before sending them to the Skylight frame – or deal with zoomed, distortion, and/or black bars around each photo.
Unlike Pix-Star’s frames, Skylight digital frames don’t offer motion sensors or auto-on/off schedules. This makes them less-than-ideal for families and modern homes. They’re okay for elderly users, though many find the mobile app interface hard to use.
Additionally, when you consider that Skylight frames charge a premium upfront price (very similar to Pix-Star’s frames) AND charge an additional subscription fee while offering few features – it’s hard to justify buying over competing frames like Pix-Star and Dragon Touch (or any other non-subscription-based high-end digital frame).
Comparing Pix-Star and Skylight Digital Frames – Do They Tick the Right Boxes?
In this section, we look at how Skylight and Pix-Star digital frames compare in terms of must-have features and functions. We cover topics like monthly fees, cloud storage, video and audio support, offline functionality, and other important features.
We look at this through the lens of the modern home and family. Since almost all high-end digital frames cater to the individual very effectively, we’ve found that family-focused and modern features like cloud storage and the ability to link with social media are more important to look at.
With all this in mind, let’s get started!
Price and value for money
In terms of price, both Skylight and Pix-Star frames have very similar entry points. Their 10-inch frames have near-identical price points. Unfortunately, these frames are not on equal footing.
With Pix-Star, when you buy the frame, you get all features and functions fully unlocked. There are no recurring fees or hidden costs. On the other hand, with Skylight’s frame, almost all of the frame’s features and functions are locked behind the Skylight Plus subscription paywall – but more on that in the next section.
When you add in the almost USD$40 Skylight Plus subscription, along with Skylight’s upfront cost, these frames become very expensive in the long run. The issue here is that they don’t offer the features and functions to justify their recurring fee. Many users aren’t even aware of the necessity of the subscription package until they’re already purchased the frame.
Pix-Star’s frames offer more and better features than Skylight’s frame – without charging a cent extra. At almost the same upfront cost, Pix-Star offers a lot more for a lot less. You get extensive offline functionality, USB/SD card support, free-for-life cloud storage, video, and audio support, and access to the mobile app and web dashboard. Skylight locks all of these features – and more – behind their premium Skylight Plus subscription paywall.
Monthly subscription fees
As discussed above, the Skylight frame charges an optional monthly subscription packaged called “Skylight Plus”. Unfortunately, this subscription is required to unlock the vast majority of Skylight’s features and functions.
Pix-Star, on the other hand, doesn’t charge any extra fees or hidden costs. All features come fully unlocked when you buy the frame. You get many features that Skylight locks behind their paywall without paying a cent extra – and for the same upfront price.
For example, you need to buy Skylight Plus to unlock cloud storage, multi-frame control groups (up to 10 connected frames), video and audio support, access to the mobile app and web interface, online access, bulk deleting and manage cloud storage, and more.
Without charging any extra fees, Pix-Star offers free-for-life cloud storage and automatic cloud backups. You can use the mobile app to send up to 250 photos to several Pix-Star frames at the same time, along with video clips (maximum of 2-minutes) and audio messages. Play these videos in slideshows alongside photos, play audio over them, and even connect to external headphones/speakers for a more immersive viewing experience.
Pix-Star goes on to offer advanced features via the web dashboard. Here you can manage and control up to 25 Pix-Star frames from a single user account. You can remotely configure them to adjust their settings, start slideshows, manage local and cloud storage, update firmware, link web albums, and much more.
You can even link and import photo albums from external sources like social media, your computer, photo-sharing sites, and more. They’re saved to the frame’s internal storage for offline use. You can even remotely start slideshows from linked web albums, set them to automatically update when you add new photos to linked albums, and more.
The fact that Pix-Star offers all of these features without charging any extra fees means you get much better value for money. With Skylight’s frames, you’re paying more, and getting a whole lot less. Skylight digital frames struggle to compete with Pix-Star’s – even if you decide to purchase the Skylight Plus subscription.
You’ll only get 15-second video clips, 10-frame control groups, no remote configuration support, no USB/SD card support, no internal storage, no offline functionality, and several other missing features. Pix-Star’s frames are better for the modern home and family – and save you a lot of money in the long run when compared to subscription-based frames like Nixplay and Skylight!
USB/SD card support and offline usage
USB/SD card support is an integral part of a digital frame’s ability to work without Wi-Fi. USB/SD card support and internal storage are the two most important factors to look for here. Offline functionality is a must-have feature – especially for families and elderly users. You don’t want to have to rely on a strong and stable Wi-Fi connection just to view your photos.
With Skylight frame, you have to stream all photos directly from the Skylight cloud server to view them in slideshows. Due to there being no internal storage, you can’t hold any photos directly on the frame. If the frame disconnects from Wi-Fi (which reportedly happens often), you can’t view your photos.
The lack of a file explorer means that you can’t manage or organize your photos. It also limits the personalization of the slideshow as you can’t select which files and folders to play from – or the order in which they display.
Pix-Star solves all of these issues by offering 8GB of internal storage, extensive USB/SD card support (there is no maximum size restriction on them), and a solid internal file explorer. All incoming photos save to the Pix-Star frame’s internal storage for offline access. You don’t need Wi-Fi to view your photos and all slideshow settings are adjustable offline.
Another great feature of Pix-Star’s file explorer is the ability to create custom slideshows. You can browse through and organize all of your photos into specific folders and files. You can then choose which files and folder to include in the slideshows – giving you fine control over what you see and when you see it.
As such, Pix-Star’s frames are better for photographers that transfer photos using USB/SD cards. They’re also more ideal for elderly users as they simply need to insert the USB/SD card into the frame’s relevant port and select the “Start slideshow” from the popup menu.
With Pix-Star, you don’t need to move the files from the connected USB/SD card to internal storage for viewing. Their plug & play function takes care of this for you – and makes it the ideal way to quickly share and view photos in bulk.
Social media photo imports
This is another area where Pix-Star dominates Skylight digital frames. Pix-Star’s web album feature is arguably the best of its kind on the current market. You can use the web interface to import photos from a dozen external sources directly to the Pix-Star frame’s internal storage. They’re available offline and can be managed remotely.
Supported platforms include a dozen external sources such as social media, photo-sharing sites, cloud storage platforms, and even directly from your computer (wirelessly). Supported platforms include Facebook, Instagram, Google Drive, Google Photos, Dropbox, Flickr, and more.
Perhaps the most useful feature of Pix-Star’s web albums is their automation. Once linked, set a web album to automatically update. Each time you add new photos to them, they’ll automatically sync to all linked frames, saving the photos to the frame’s internal storage. This is great for elderly users as they don’t’ need to do anything to get all the latest photos. It’s also a great way to bulk share photos to several frames at the same time – simply by dragging and dropping them into the relevant album.
Skylight’s digital photo frames don’t offer any web album functionality. There is no way to import photos directly from social media or photo-sharing sites. The only way to get photos to the frame without paying for the Skylight Plus subscription is by email.
If you choose to buy the extra Skylight Plus subscription, you can get photos onto the Skylight frame using the mobile app. You have to manually download all of the desired photos from social media, save them to your phone, and send them to each of your Skylight frames. This is a much slower process and is often beyond what most elderly users can manage.
Web dashboard & mobile app
The web dashboard is where much of the Pix-Star frame’s versatility comes from. Here you can manage and control up to 25 connected Pix-Star frames remotely – no matter where you are in the world. It’s easy to use and lets you adjust each frame’s settings, start and manage slideshows, make changes to cloud and local storage, update their firmware, import web albums, and much more.
Pix-Star’s mobile app is just as versatile, letting you send up to 250 photos to several Pix-Star frames at the same time. You can send 2-minute video clips and audio recordings to any Pix-Star frame from anywhere in the world.
By contrast, Skylight frames lock both of these features behind their premium subscription. It’s also worth noting that even if you purchase Skylight Pluss, neither the mobile app nor the web interface is as versatile as that of Pix-Star.
There is no remote configuration support, meaning you need to be by the frame in person to make any changes. You can’t remotely manage cloud storage, start slideshows, send videos, etc. Pix-Star’s frames are far more robust in this regard. Their extensive USB/SD card support slots in well here for bulk offline photo-sharing – making the Pix-Star an even better choice for families and elderly users.
Video and audio support
Pix-Star’s frames offer support for 2-minute video clips and audio messages. While this may not seem like much, it’s more than almost anything else on the market. You can send video clips to the frame via the Pix-Star Snap mobile app or by USB/SD card.
Using a USB/SD card, you can play audio files on a Pix-Star frame. Note that you can’t copy these audio files to the frame’s internal storage. That being said, you can play audio files over slideshows from a connected USB/SD card.
Pix-Star’s frames can also connect to external speakers and headphones. This greatly enhances the quality of the audio output and makes slideshows a whole lot more immersive.
On the other side, Skylight frames don’t let you play video and audio files without purchasing Skylight Plus. Even if you purchase Skylight Plus, you can only play 15-second video clips and short audio clips. Note that these frames don’t have internal storage, so video clips have to stream live from the Skylight cloud servers.
This isn’t the ideal setup and videos often fail to play. It’s also worth noting that you cannot include videos over slideshows; whereas Pix-Star’s frames let you play videos along with their highly customizable slideshows!
Motion sensor and auto-on/off
One final feature worth exploring is motions sensors and auto-on/off schedules. Pix-Star’s digital frames each come with a motion sensor. This sensor helps to wake and sleep the Pix-Star frame’s display when someone walks into the room – or if there is no movement for a set period.
Pix-Star’s auto-on/off feature lets you set when to turn the frame’s display on. This is great for families that want to have the frame off when nobody is at home during working hours or at night.
Skylight frames neither a motion sensor nor an auto-on/off schedule feature. This means you need to manually unplug or plug in the Skylight digital frame according to your schedule. This can get tricky for elderly users and big families. With Pix-Star’s frames, you can even manage the motion sensor and auto-on/off feature remotely via the frame’s web dashboard.
Skylight vs Pix-Star Digital Frame – Which is Better?
Our Pix-Star vs Skylight digital frame guide has covered a lot of important information. Take your time to work through it and don’t forget to keep your unique home setup and needs in mind.
Pix-Star’s frames are the clear favorite here. They’re easy to use, quick to set up, and offer arguably the most robust feature set at this price point. They do more for a lot less – especially when you consider Skylight’s monthly subscription and multiple missing features (internal storage, USB/SD card support, access to the mobile app & web interface, and more).
We highly recommend Pix-Star’s digital frames for families and modern homes. They have smart features like social media photo album imports and remote configuration support to easily cater to smart homes. You get excellent value for money and a digital frame that makes connecting and sharing special memories with your loved ones effortless and frustration-free!