HomeComparisonsThe Only Nixplay Photo Frame Review You’ll Ever Need!

The Only Nixplay Photo Frame Review You’ll Ever Need!


How does the Nixplay photo frame work?

The Nixplay photo frame is a smart digital frame. It works through a combination of Wi-Fi connectivity, a connection to the cloud servers, and the Nixplay mobile app. You can send photos to the frame via the mobile app and email. Incoming photos are saved to the frame’s internal storage after being saved to the cloud. It’s worth noting that cloud storage is limited to 10GB. You can’t delete any of these photos or access your Nixplay frame’s cloud storage unless you pay for the Nixplay Plus monthly subscription.

Nixplay’s photo frames are subscription-based digital frames. Most features are locked behind the subscription paywall. These “locked” feature includes video & audio support, expanding cloud storage, access to the mobile app, online access to cloud storage, and more.

This leads to a major issue with Nixplay’s frames; namely, they don’t offer many “free” features. For example, you can only send a couple of photos by email to one Nixplay frame at a time. You can’t edit or manage cloud storage. The frame offers minimal offline functionality and cloud storage runs out quickly. You’ll learn more about the Nixplay Plus monthly subscription in the next section.

Note that Nixplay’s digital frames don’t have USB/SD card support. There is no way to load photos to the frame while offline. You can’t edit photos or change playlists while offline. It’s naturally not a great option for families and elderly users – especially when compared to frames like the Pix-Star. With Pix-Star, you get great offline features and slideshows, interconnectedness, and features built for both families and grandparents (and no monthly fees)!

Does Nixplay charge monthly fees for their digital frames?

Nixplay – along with other frames like the Skylight frame – charge monthly fees. It’s an annual/monthly subscription called “Nixplay Plus” and is required to unlock features like cloud storage, the mobile app, online access to the frame’s storage, custom playlists, video & audio, etc.

This has become quite a contentious issue on platforms like Amazon. Many users weren’t made explicitly aware of the subscription (or didn’t pay enough attention to the fine print). After a couple of months when their 10GB of “free” cloud storage fill up, they were left with no option. Either upgrade to the Nixplay Plus monthly subscription or stop loading new pictures to the frame.

You can manage your cloud storage, delete photos, or move them around without paying for Nixplay Plus. You can only send photos to the frame by email (and only a handful of photos at the same time). The use of the mobile app is locked behind the paywall too.

While you might think that 10GB is a lot of free cloud storage, in practice, it fills up very quickly. Nixplay only applies photos compression when syncing a photo from the Nixplay cloud to their frames. For example, a 10MB photo (which is quite standard for high-quality smartphone cameras) on the Nixplay cloud may be compressed to around 500KB when synced to the frame. This compression isn’t applied to the cloud-based copy. If you send a take a lot of photos on your smartphone or camera, Nixplay’s free 10GB cloud storage won’t last long.

We don’t recommend buying these subscription-based Wi-Fi digital frames – especially for families and grandparents. Several other top Wi-Fi frames like the Pix-Star offer the same feature (and often better features) without charging a cent extra. Pix-Star’s frames have the same base price as Nixplay’s 10-inch smart frames, yet they don’t charge any extra fees.

For reference, Pix-Star offers free-for-life cloud storage. You get access to both a mobile app (Pix-Star Snap) and a web interface. Each Pix-Star frame is remotely configurable, can import photos directly from social media, and can send & receive photos from anywhere. Pix-Star offers better slideshow controls and offers extensive USB/SD card support. You’d get much better value for money – particularly in the long run – with Pix-Star’s frames.

How to send photos to Nixplay frames?

Nixplay’s frame charge monthly fees to unlock most photo-sharing methods. If you choose not to cough up the extra cash for Nixplay Plus, you’ll only be able to send photos by email. Sadly, it’s a very limited feature. You can only send to one Nixplay frame at a time and can only load a handful of photos in one go. There’s no way to send videos and audio files to Nixplay’s frames by email.

If you decided to pay for Nixplay’s monthly subscription fee, you get access to the Nixplay mobile app. Here you can send photos from your phone’s gallery to any of your Nixplay frames. The setup process is much slower than we’d have liked. Unlike other top frames like the Pix-Star, Nixplay requires each user to create an account to use the mobile app. This is a major headache for big families and elderly users.

For comparison, Pix-Star’s frames let you send pictures to any/all of your frames through several methods. Send photos over email to several receiving frames at the same time. Use the Pix-Star Snap mobile app to send up to 250 photos to several Pix-Star frames in one go. Import photo albums from external sources like social media directly to any of your Pix-Star frames.

Insert a USB/SD card loaded with photos, video, and audio files to your Pix-Star frame. Use Pix-Star’s plug & play feature to play slideshows directly off the USB/SD card without copying anything to internal storage first. Pix-Star offers all of these features without charging any monthly fees or extra hidden costs.

How many photos do Nixplay’s smart frames hold?

Each Nixplay smart frame has 8GB of internal storage. This is standard for most premium digital frames and is enough for between 10,000 to 30,000 photos. Exact numbers depend on the size of photo files, photo resolution, pre-applied compression, aspect ratio, and whether or not you choose to store videos on the internal storage.
Nixplay’s main issue is its limited cloud storage. Without paying for the Nixplay Plus monthly subscription, you only get 10GB of cloud storage. Nixplay only compressed photos when they’re synced from the cloud to the Nixplay frame – not when you load them to the cloud (via email or mobile app).

For example, if you send a 10MB photo from your phone to a Nixplay frame, it will first be saved to the cloud – using up 10MB of your free 10GB allotment. This photo is compressed when synced to the Nixplay frame (~500KB), which is significantly smaller. In the end, you’ve used 10MB of your cloud storage space, but only 500KB of internal storage. That initial free 10GB won’t last long if you like to send photos taken on modern smartphones and cameras – making much of your internal storage space useless.

Can I play videos and songs on Nixplay digital photo frames?

Nixplay lets you play 15-second video clips for “free”. To extend this video support, you’ll need to pay for the Nixplay Plus subscription package. This is a monthly fee (that can be paid annually) that’s required to unlock features like the mobile app, video & audio, cloud storage, custom playlists, online access to cloud storage, and more. If you choose to pay for the Nixplay Plus subscription, you can play 1-minute video clips. Send videos to the Nixplay frame by mobile or web app (requires Nixplay Plus) or by email.

As for audio support, Nixplay’s frames can only play the audio of video clips. There’s no way to load audio-only files like songs or voice messages. A common way to do this – with other top frames – is by reading audio files from a connected USB/SD card. You can play these files over slideshows or individually by browsing the inserted USB/SD card.

For comparison, Pix-Star’s digital smart frames offer great audio and video support. They don’t charge any monthly or annual fees, yet offer more extensive support. Send and play video clips with a maximum length of up to 2-minutes. Set these videos to include in slideshows (or not) and to play muted by default.

Pix-Star’s frames can receive voice messages from the Pix-Star Snap mobile app. alternatively, load the desired audio files to a compatible USB/SD card, insert it into the frame, and play them over slideshows (or individually). You can even connect your Pix-Star frame to external speakers and headphones for enhanced immersion and improved audio quality!

Nixplay vs Pix-Star: Which frame is better for the money?

The most immediate difference between Pix-Star and Nixplay’s frames is that Nixplay charges monthly fees, Pix-Star doesn’t. The Nixplay Plus subscription is required to unlock features like cloud storage (beyond 10GB), video playback (from 15-seconds to 1-minute clips), access to the mobile app and web app, custom playlists, and more. By stark contrast, Pix-Star offers all of this feature – along with many more – without charging any recurring subscription fees.

With Pix-Star’s Wi-Fi photo frames you get free-for-life cloud storage, video & audio (2-minute clips), USB/SD card support, web albums (importing photos from social media directly), remote configuration support, more slideshow controls, and a more capable mobile app & web interface.

Pix-Star’s frames are better for families thanks to their robust feature set and remote configuration support. Use the web interface to manage and control up to 25 Pix-Star frames from anywhere in the world. You can adjust their settings, start & manage slideshows, update firmware, manage cloud storage, link new web albums, adjust slideshow settings, and much more. This is the ideal setup for elderly users and big families.

Pix-Star’s frames use a 4:3 aspect ratio; whereas Nixplay uses a 16:9 display. Since most modern smartphones capture photos in 4:3, Pix-Star’s displays will face fewer cropping and distortion issues. You have more control over which files and folders are included in slideshows via Pix-Star’s media library. You can even start slideshows directly off a connected USB/SD card. Nixplay doesn’t support USB/SD card and as such, offer very limited offline functionality.

Pix-Star and Nixplay have very similar upfront sales prices. Nixplay’s frames are barely more functional than most mid-range frames without purchasing the Nixplay Plus subscription. When you factor in the cost of that subscription over the frame’s lifespan – it becomes one of the most expensive frames on the market. By comparison, Pix-Star’s frames are much cheaper, more versatile, and pack features better suited to the modern home & family!

Can Nixplay’s Wi-Fi picture frames work offline?

Nixplay Wi-Fi picture frames offer very limited offline use. Even if you choose to pay for the Nixplay Plus monthly subscription package, most features don’t work offline. Nixplay’s smart frame has 8GB of internal storage. However, they don’t support USB/SD cards. This USB/SD card support – along with internal storage – are the main requirements for offline functionality.

For example, with Pix-Star’s frames, you get extensive offline use. Insert a USB/SD card loaded with photos, videos, and audio files into the frame’s relevant ports. Pix-Star’s plug & play feature then lets you start slideshows directly off the inserted USB/SD card. You don’t need to copy anything to the frame’s internal storage first. You can read and play audio files over slideshows, along with videos and pictures. Pix-Star doesn’t limit the maximum size of compatible USB/SD cards, giving you access to unlimited storage space.

With Nixplay, you can’t change slideshows while the frame is offline. You’ll need to start a slideshow while the frame is offline. You can then disconnect from Wi-Fi. The slideshow will continue without Wi-Fi. If you want to change the slideshow, edit pictures, or adjust several slideshow settings, you’ll need to reconnect to Wi-Fi.

Nixplay requires that all photos in slideshows need to be synced from the cloud. There’s no way to load photos to the frame while it’s offline. This is also the case with the Skylight frame and the Aura frame lineup. We don’t recommend buying a Wi-Fi digital frame that doesn’t offer offline use. It’s an essential feature for most homes. It’s particularly important for grandparents and families that don’t have constant Wi-Fi connectivity. It also leaves to less vulnerable to cases where the company servers go offline – or go out of business (something we’ve seen happen with Meural’s frames).

Is Nixplay different from Nix?

Both Nixplay and Nix fall under the “Nixplay” brand umbrella. The Nixplay smart frame lineup is a Wi-Fi-capable digital frame range. The Nix lineup are all non-Wi-Fi frames. They work using only USB/SD cards and internal storage. By contrast, the Nixplay Wi-Fi frame range doesn’t support USB/SD cards. You can only load photos to them via email (unless you pay for the Nixplay Plus monthly subscription).

Nix frames can’t receive photos wirelessly and don’t charge any monthly fees. There’s no cloud storage or online access. On the other hand, Nixplay’s Wi-Fi photo frames don’t work offline. There’s a monthly subscription fee that’s required to unlock features like cloud storage, video & audio support, access to the mobile and web app, etc.

Nixplay and Nix can often get confused with Pix-Star and Nexstar frames. Pix-Star’s frames are premium Wi-Fi smart frames. They don’t charge monthly fees and all features come fully unlocked when you buy the frame. You get free-for-life cloud storage, a mobile app and web interface, web albums (importing photo albums from social media), remote configuration support, video & audio, and much more.

Nexstar frames are not well-known frames. They’re budget frames that don’t feature Wi-Fi or cloud functionality. These frames have multiple quality control issues and don’t have the features or real-world performance to compete with Pix-Star, Nixplay, or even Nix digital frames.

Do Nixplay picture frames use touchscreens?

Only the newest Nixplay picture frame use touchscreens. Most of their older models use a combination of handheld remotes with onboard controls. We don’t recommend buying a digital picture frame with a touchscreen. These touch panels are far more expensive when dealing with screen sizes larger than 8-inches. Since premium frames are almost always larger than 8-inches (usually between 10-inches to 15-inches), this leads to a much higher cost.

To keep the frame competitive, these touchscreen digital frames often charge monthly fees. These monthly fees are used to unlock features like cloud storage, video & audio, mobile apps, etc. The main issue here is that many competing non-touch picture frames like the Pix-Star offer all the same features – without charging a cent extra.

Touchscreens – especially those with glossy displays – scratch very easily. They’re very reflective and difficult to see at an angle. The oil from your fingers leaves marks that smudge the display. You’ll have to wipe the display after each use as these fingerprints are highly visible.

Even a matte-finish touch display has unique issues. The oil and dirt from your fingers can be very hard to clean off, building up over time. This leaves you with an uneven display with darker and lighter patches – essentially ruining the viewing experience.

Buying a touchscreen digital frame like Nixplay, that charges monthly fees, and has a glossy screen is not worth it. Competing frames like the Pix-Star have a great remote configuration feature that lets you manage and control all your frames from anywhere in the world via the web interface. These types of features make the touch-capable digital frame rather superfluous. You’ll get better value for money from a non-touch premium Wi-Fi picture frame.

Are Nixplay’s 10.1-inch digital frames battery-powered?

Nixplay’s 10.1-inch digital frame needs to be plugged in at all times to function. This is the most common method for most top digital frames. Battery-operated digital frames are not popular in the premium end of the market. They don’t have great longevity and rarely pack enough battery power to effectively provide Wi-Fi and cloud connectivity.

Most battery-run digital frames are found in the cheap and mid-range of the market. This end of the market is notorious for offering very limited feature sets and poor real-world performance. Of course, the varies depending on the frame. Most battery-run frames have a battery life of 2 to 4-hours before needing recharging. They’ll need to live near their charger most of the time – negating much of their inherent mobility advantage (which is their only primary advantage over standard digital frames).

Can Nixplay photo frames play slideshows directly from my social media profile?

You cannot import photos directly from social media sites to your Nixplay frame. You need to feed them to your phone first then send them to the Nixplay frame with the mobile app. Unfortunately, access to Nixplay’s mobile app is locked behind a paywall. Without paying for the Nixplay Plus subscription, there’s no way to send photos from your phone. You’d only be able to do this by email. It’s much slower and limits you to send only a couple of pictures at a time.

By contrast, Pix-Star’s frames offer a great feature for importing pictures from social media. This “web album” feature supports a dozen external sources including Facebook, Instagram, Google Drive & Photos, Dropbox, Flickr, your computer, etc. They’re imported right to the frame’s internal storage and don’t need to be synced elsewhere first. You can then start slideshows from these synced web albums, no matter where you are in the world (via the web interface’s remote configuration support).

Are Nixplay smart photo frames worth the money?

When you take into account Nixplay’s poor feature set, subscription paywall, awkward aspect ratio, and price, they’re probably not worth the money. While Nixplay frames do have good quality displays, they’re not very easy to use – particularly for families and elderly users.

There’s no way to import photos directly from social media or photo-sharing sites. You can’t remotely configure your frames (as is offered by competing frames like the Pix-Star). You aren’t able to start slideshows remotely or access cloud storage via a web interface. In summary, when compared with all else that’s available on the market, Nixplay’s frames don’t offer enough value for money to justify in 2022.

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