Usability is a key consideration for any digital picture frame. You have to look at how easy the frame is to set up and how smooth and simple the features, functions, and interfaces across the frame, app, and web interface are. Frames like the Pix-Star are known to be some of the easiest and simplest frames to use on the market. In Pix-Star’s case, you get this enhanced usability without having to sacrifice versatility or functionality.
The setup process on the Pix-Star digital picture frame is quick and simple. All you have to do is get your frame online by connecting to Wi-Fi and then registering it on the Pix-Star.com web interface via its unique email address. This gets you ready to send photos to the frame by email, mobile app, and via importing photos with the web interface.
As for the user experience on the Pix-Star digital picture frame, the interface is very intuitive. You’re never more than a few steps from the main menu and most settings on the frame can be changed without needing to leave or exit slideshows. It’s great for grandparents and elderly users that get overwhelmed navigating on devices.
You have plenty of control over slideshows and the play order/frequency of photos. When you combine this with automated features like web albums that can be updated automatically when new photos are added to linked accounts/albums – and you have a frame that takes almost no effort to view and share your favorite memories.
On the other hand, the Brookstone digital picture frame has received a lot of heat about the user interface being overly complex. It requires a ton of work to set up and customize for the average user. This can be a nightmare for any elderly or not-so-tech-savvy user. Combine this with the need to create accounts with the PhotoShare app before connecting to Wi-Fi and the lack of a web interface and it’s not an easy digital frame to use.
The mobile app doesn’t offer an improved interface or controls either. While it’s capable of sending multiple photos to several frames at the same time – it’s not an easy feature to grasp. You also can’t control your cloud storage or remotely manage all your frame’s photos via the web interface. Cloud storage is limited to 5GB and old photos can’t be deleted. This lack of utility and control means it’s not a fantastic frame for people that share lots of photos and like to send pics to the frame with the mobile app.
Pix-Star’s frame offers multiple methods for sending pictures to the frame. For a simple and quick offline option, you can load photos by USB/SD card and have the frame play the photos directly off the USB/SD card without needing to copy it across to internal storage first.
The easiest way to send photos to the Pix-Star frame is with the mobile app. Unlike the Brookstone frame’s app, you have unlimited sending storage and can send up to 250 photos to 25 connected frames at the same time (10 with the Brookstone). You can choose photos and entire folders from your phone’s gallery, or natively capture new photos directly inside the Pix-Star Snap app. No need to create an account – just input your frame’s unique email address and send it away. You can send videos and audio notes through the mobile app too.
Pix-Star’s web interface lets you link and sync web albums (photos from your social media and photo-sharing platforms/accounts) directly to your frame’s internal storage. It’s all done through the web interface and doesn’t take very long. You can link your frame to platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Google Photos & Drive, Dropbox, Flickr, and more. Web albums are automatically synced and downloaded to your frame. They’re also automatically updated whenever you add new photos to the connected albums. You can link a single account to multiple frames and multiple accounts on the same platform to the same frame. It’s an extremely versatile feature.
Pix-Star’s frames let you send photos by adding them as attachments to an email sent directly to your frame’s dedicated and unique email address. When you compare all of these features with Brookstone’s, you’ll find the Pix-Star is very versatile. Brookstone only lets you send photos through the mobile app via PhotoShare (limited to 5GB) or via a USB/SD card. The limited internal storage and severely limited cloud storage means that you’ll run into trouble relatively soon if you are part of a big family or send a lot of photos to your frame.
Pix-Star’s frame is better for big families thanks to handy features like multi-frame control (up to 25 frames from the same account), the ability to remotely control a connected frame from anywhere in the world, multimedia support, an elderly-friendly design, and a great mobile app & web interface.
You can make sure your grandparents get all the latest photos without them needing to lift a finger. You can remotely start and manage slideshows on any connected frame via the web interface. Here you can also adjust settings like brightness, color, firmware updates, play order, transition speeds/styles, and much more.
Great families benefit the most from the mobile app and multi-frame control. Sending photos to all the frames in the family can be done in a few quick steps and quite effortlessly. Cloud storage is free-for-life and unlimited, so you and your family don’t need to worry about running out of space ever. Cloud storage and photos are easily managed through the web interface.
We usually recommend avoiding digital picture frames with touchscreens as they are quite a bit less durable. The display needs to be constantly wiped down as touchscreens are fingerprint magnets – reducing immersion and hampering the viewing experience.
Touchscreens are a lot more expensive and this cost needs to be balanced by reducing some functions and features to stay competitive. They’re more prone to being damaged by small knocks and falls and are far more prone to scratching.
Pix-Star’s digital picture frame is widely regarded as one of the most versatile and feature-packed frames on the market. On the other hand, Brookstone’s frames are often reviewed as being minimally viable with many missing features that are common to many of the top digital frames on the market.
Considering the price of the Pix-Star and Brookstone frames are very similar, it’s hard to justify the lack of features and functionality of the Brookstone frame – especially with its low-resolution display and awkward aspect ratio. Pix-Star’s frames offer a far more balanced and versatile frame with an immersive display and elderly-friendly design.