Does the Pix-Star offer better value for money than the Echo Show?
Value for money is quite a subjective topic for most people. It comes down to which frame better suits your needs and home. That being said, when strictly considered by digital photo frame standards, the Pix-Star frame is one of the best on the market at the moment. While the Echo Show is quite useful around the home as a smart hub that can sync with Alexa, it’s not a great choice as a digital photo frame.
Pix-Star’s frames are built to be as user and elderly-friendly as possible, without sacrificing any design or feature quality. This results in a very capable frame that’s easy to use and suits larger families and elderly users well. Features like being able to remotely control the Pix-Star frame from anywhere in the world are a big help, especially when starting and managing slideshows for the rest of the family.
There’s also the issue of cost vs viewing experience. The whole point of a digital photo frame is a display to view your photos. This is the fundamental purpose and all the other features simply support this basic function. The Echo Show comes in sizes ranging from 5-10-inches. The smaller size has a very low-resolution screen, while the 8 & 10-inch models more or less match what the Pix-Star offers.
The biggest difference between the two frames is the aspect ratio. Pix-Star’s frames use a 4:3 display, which is far superior to the 16:9 display of the Echo Show. Pix-Star’s frames will naturally and natively match most of the photos taken on smartphones and point-and-shoot cameras. Photos don’t need to be edited before sending and they don’t need to be distorted, cropped, or surrounded by black bars to fit the screen. 16:9 frames frequently require you to resize and crop images before sending them to the frame. This has a big impact on usability and the viewing experience/immersion (if left unedited).
In summary, the Pix-Star frame is the better overall digital photo frame. As you’ll find out below, they offer far more control over slideshows and make sending photos and other media to the frame simple and quick. They’re also slightly cheaper than the Echo Show but offer an excellent aesthetic design and build. This isn’t to say the Echo Show is a bad photo frame, it just struggles to keep up with the massive value and functionality offered by the Pix-Star.
Can the Echo Show receive photos from a mobile app?
You have to use the standard Alexa app, which can be very confusing for first-time users. Alexa is also known not to be the smoothest and most intuitive system, so getting your grandparents used to it can be a nightmare.
By contrast, Pix-Star’s mobile app called the Pix-Star Snap is very intuitive. You simply open the app, take some pictures or record video & video, add your frame by its unique email address (only needs to be done the first time you send it), and send it away. You can send up to 250 photos to multiple Pix-Star frames at the same time. They’re all saved to the frame’s internal storage and can be viewed while offline. The mobile app also lets you select photos from your phone’s gallery, and even select & send entire folders or collections.
Unlike the Alexa app, the Pix-Star Snap mobile app is ready to go right away. Anybody can download the app and use it to send photos to your frame via its email address (you can block unwanted senders too). It’s much more intuitive and user-friendly than the Alexa app and isn’t quite as restrictive.
How to send photos to the Pix-Star frame vs Echo Show?
Echo Show digital frames require you to send photos via the Alexa mobile app, or by adding all the photos to the associated Amazon Photos account. On the other hand, Pix-Star’s frames let you send photos by email, mobile app, web interface, and USB/SD card. Pix-Star’s web album feature is excellent and lets you link selected albums from popular social media the photo-sharing sites like Facebook, Google Photos & Drive, Instagram, Dropbox, Flickr, and more. These are automatically synced to your Pix-Star frame and updated whenever you add new photos to a previously linked album.
Pix-Star’s frame makes sending photos and other media quick and easy. The web album feature in particular is one of the best and most unique on the market. You can link multiple frames to the same platforms, and multiple accounts within the same platform to your frames. It’s excellent for big families that want to automate and save time on sharing photos and other media with loved ones. Elderly users will appreciate this feature too as it’s a hands-off approach and doesn’t need their active input.
Are slideshows better on the Pix-Star or Echo Show?
This is another major area where the Pix-Star and Echo Show differ. Pix-Star’s frames offer plenty of control and customizations over slideshows and how photos are displayed. With Pix-Star’s frames, you can play all the photos on the frame by selecting the option right on the home screen. Alternatively, you can choose specific folders and albums to play slideshows from. Videos and audio notes can be included within slideshows too.
You can customize the play order and frequency of photos within slideshows. The frame can be set to play photos from the past “x” number of days more frequently than older photos – or to only play these newer photos. You also have several customization controls over slideshow speeds, transitions, and styles – all without needing to leave the slideshows. All of these features can be adjusted and controlled remotely via the web interface.
By contrast, the Echo Show is much harder to start and customize slideshows. You can’t start slideshows containing multiple different sources like you can on the Pix-Star. Even when you change the slideshow speed settings to be faster, they often don’t change without first restarting the frame and the slideshow. This can be very tricky for elderly users to grasp and understand.
Echo Show frames also don’t offer control over the play order and frequency of photos within slideshows. You have to accept the order they are played in and even the randomized setting doesn’t work too well. It’s likely based on the metadata of the photos which results in a lot of repeats – with some photos seldom showing.
Can the Echo Show be controlled remotely?
Other than using voice commands via Alexa, there is no way to remotely control the Echo Show. Voice control with Alexa is frustrating most of the time. You have to speak quite loud and it’s usually faster to directly change the settings on the frame.
On the other hand, Pix-Star’s frames offer extensive remote-control features. You can control up to 25 Pix-Star frames from the web interface. Here you can change settings, start and manage slideshows, create new folders & albums, perform bulk actions to the frame’s storage, update firmware, and much more. You almost have the same degree of control over the frame as you do in person.
Pix-Star’s frames come with a handheld remote control with around a 6-8m range. You can easily change slideshow settings without needing to stand directly in front of the frame. The remote is tactile, responsive, and intuitively laid out so that elderly users won’t struggle.