The word “Polaroid” might invoke images of those old Polaroid cameras and washed-out prints – but that wouldn’t be of much use. Polaroid digital photo frames bear no resemblance to the old Polaroid cameras and have no common functions.
Polaroid digital photo frames are entry-level frames designed for a limited budget – and their feature set is accordingly limited. You can’t expect to get the same display and features on a Polaroid digital photo frame that you would on say, a Pix-Star frame.
Polaroid digital photo frames are known for their compact size, low-resolution displays, and entry-level price point. They make intentional use of lower-quality displays and limited functionality to keep the price as low as possible. These entry-level frames come in a small 7-inch version, and a rarer 12-inch version (which is quite hard to get your hands on).
You don’t get Wi-Fi and cloud features as Polaroid digital photo frames can’t connect to Wi-Fi. This means the frame operated completely offline and the only way to send photos to it is through a combination of USB/SD cards. While this is quite outdated when compared to modern digital frames, it’s a feature that some users still appreciate – even though most modern frames also support USB/SD cards.
Polaroid digital photo frames are some of the cheapest on the market and as such, only offer the absolute basic functionality and features. While a case can still be made for their existence, they struggle to find a place on the market – especially when you consider premium frames like the Pix-Star are affordable and incredibly versatile and capable.
The most noticeable and influential aspect of a Polaroid digital photo frame is its lack of Wi-Fi capabilities. You can’t connect a Polaroid digital photo frame to an external network for updating, sending, receiving, or syncing – meaning you’re severely limited in how you can send photos to your frame.
Polaroid digital photo frames can only receive photos via USB thumb drives and SD memory cards. There are often some compatibility issues, so make sure the thumb drive or card you choose is supported. The frame reads the photos directly from the USB/SD card and can display them on the 800×480 pixel display. This is a very low resolution and will be notably worse than the high-resolution displays you’ve been accustomed to on modern smartphones and laptops.
Unfortunately, Polaroid digital photo frames are also very limited in the control they offer over slideshows, photo display order, display settings, etc. It can be quite frustrating controlling the frame, preparing slideshows, and managing the photos you’ve saved. This is especially true for grandparents, as the user interface isn’t user-friendly and doesn’t make for a great gift-for-grandparents.
Right off the bat, this isn’t a very equal comparison – though it is necessary. With the price and accessibility of premium digital photo frames like the Pix-Star improving every year, budget frames are struggling to find their place on the market.
With top-of-the-line frames like the Pix-Star, you get all the basic functions you’d expect from a digital photo frame (USB/SD card support, extensive offline capabilities, etc.). You then have to consider the massive boost in performance, versatility, and supported features through the use of Wi-Fi and the cloud.
Wi-Fi alone is enough to provide a massive increase in functionality and convenience. In Pix-Star’s case, it enables features like sending photos, videos, and audio notes through a fluid mobile app, via the web interface, and over email. This means you can send photos to your frames, or any frame connected to your account, from anywhere in the world. It offers the next step in keeping families – especially large families and those with several elderly users – connected and up-to-date.
Wi-Fi also lets you remotely control a connected frame through the web interface. You can change settings, start slideshows, sync and download new photos, manage the local storage, and much more. It’s an excellent feature for controlling your grandparents’ frames and making sure they see the photos they want – without all the added frustrations.
Cloud compatibility further improves the versatility of the Pix-Star frame. All of your photos, videos, and audio files are backed up to the cloud. You can manage this storage quickly and easily through the web interface and even export it for external use.
Cloud support also enables a unique web album feature. This lets you connect your frame to social media and photo-sharing platforms and display selected photo albums. These web albums are saved to your frame’s internal storage once synced and can be viewed offline. Once you’ve linked and synced an album, they’ll be automatically updated on the frame every time you add new photos.
With the ability to control up to 25 frames from a single user account, the Pix-Star is a great choice for larger families. Ease of use and simplicity is at the core of the user experience. When you consider additional features like weather & radio, brain games, adjustable color and brightness settings, and so on, it’s tough to go with a budget option like the Polaroid digital photo frame.
While some still go for the back-to-the-basics frame, you’re far more likely to get huge value from a Pix-Star frame. It’s well worth the higher price, and if your budget can stretch, the far better choice. Pix-Star frames quickly earn their spot in your house and become an important part of the family in no time.
Polaroid digital photo frames are not battery-operated frames. This means you need to leave them connected to a power outlet at all times. While there are limited auto-on/off features, they don’t work all the time. If you want to give your frame a rest during the night, you should turn the frame off completely.
Polaroid digital photo frames don’t have Wi-Fi capabilities. This means you can’t connect the frame to any Wi-Fi network or hotspot. They don’t support SIM cards and can’t be used with mobile networks either. Polaroid digital photo frames are designed to simply display photos you load onto a supported USB thumb drive or SD card.