Yes, digital picture frames are worth the money. There isn’t anything else on the market that can do what they do. Their closest competitors are TVs and tablets, but they lack a lot of the features and dedicated functions you’ll find with standard digital picture frames.
Tablets and smart TVs are quite a bit more expensive than even the best digital picture frames. If you just need something to display photos and videos, receive them from a variety of different sources, and stay simple and easy to use – you won’t beat a dedicated digital picture frame.
They can receive pictures from sources like email and mobile apps, whereas your tablet usually only draws its pictures and videos directly from apps and its gallery. Digital picture frames can receive pictures from multiple sources at the same time, whereas this is quite complicated to set up on a tablet – and even more difficult on a TV.
The main advantage that TVs and tablets have over digital picture frames is screen resolution and internal storage. The latter isn’t that important anymore as many of the best digital picture frames can be used with USB drives and memory cards.
All-in-all, when it comes to displaying photos and videos, digital picture frames do it better – and with far more simplicity – than pretty much everything else on the market.
Digital picture frames work by receiving pictures and other media from multiple different sources – and displaying them as versatile slideshows. They’re designed to mimic and normal picture frame, but adding in tons of features and connectivity.
Most digital picture frames have a couple of common features such as receiving pictures via email, or through the dedicated app. Many of the better digital picture frames also allow you to sync up with your social media profile (Facebook & Instagram) and online storage platforms like Dropbox.
Digital picture frames also have internal storage so that you don’t need to be connected to Wi-Fi to display photos. They’re also compatible with USB drives and memory cards to increase how many photos and videos you can view without Wi-Fi.
Most digital picture frames are more-or-less Wi-Fi dependent – though this isn’t a bad thing. You need to stay connected to receive up-to-date and new photos from your friends and family that are connected to your digital picture frame – no matter where they are in the world.
Some of the best digital picture frames like the Pix-Star frame even have web interfaces that let you manage, add, or remove content from up to 25 digital picture frames. These types of digital picture frames are great for big families and the older generation that doesn’t have much technical skill.
Digital picture frames connect families and keep them up-to-date on each other’s lives; all while being as simple and quick to use as possible.
The first and probably most important feature to look for is Wi-Fi connectivity. This is essential if you want live updates and new pictures to be automatically added and displayed on your digital picture frame.
Linked closely with Wi-Fi connectivity is remote control and management. Some of the better digital picture frames like the Pix-Star frame, let you manage the settings and content of digital frames linked to your account – from anywhere in the world. Digital picture frames with this feature are great as your grandparents won’t need to do anything when setting up and receiving pictures/videos.
Another very important aspect of digital picture frames is resolution and display size. You should try to get a display that’s at least 8” or above. Pix-Star’s digital picture frames come in both 10” and 15” versions. Most other digital picture frames come in 8-10” variants, so that’s the standard. Bigger displays mean wider viewing angles and make your photos and videos easier to view in larger rooms.
As for resolution, you should avoid digital picture frames with less than 800600 resolution. Any lower than this and you’ll start to notice visibly blurrier images and low-quality video playback. 1024768 resolution is the sweet spot. Images will be sharp and clear, even on the larger displays.
Internal storage and USB/memory card connectivity is another essential feature. 8GB of internal storage will let you hold around 30,000 pictures. Most of the better digital picture frames have 4-8GB of internal storage. You can save photos and videos for offline viewing – perfect if you don’t have a constant Wi-Fi connection and don’t see your family members very often.
USB/memory card connectivity lets you plug in a USB or memory card with pictures and videos. You can view this media directly on your digital picture frame without needing a Wi-Fi connection.
Finally, you should look for a digital picture frame with broad compatibility with social media and online storage platforms. For example, with Pix-Star’s digital picture frame, you can sync directly with your social media accounts and photo platforms. This automatically displays the photos in the albums you choose to your digital photo frame – without having to manually download anything.
Video playback is not a universal feature, but many of the better digital picture frames can play short video clips. For example, Pix-Star’s digital photo frame can play short video clips of up to 2 minutes. This is usually enough for short travel clips and fun moments and memories.
You’ll need to check the manual of the specific digital picture frame you’re interested in. Pay attention to the accepted video formats, sizes, and video length requirements.
Yes, almost all digital picture frames need to be plugged in to work. This lets them display photos and videos around the clock. It also keeps them “online” so they can receive and automatically display new photos and videos as soon as they get sent.
If you’re worried about cables lying around, most of the better digital picture frames have cable clips or use a smart design to control or hide cabling. The appearance will still be clean and minimalistic.
You can also mount the digital picture frame to the wall and run the cabling through the wall behind the frame.