What are the top digital frames to buy in 2021?
Pix-Star’s frames are arguably the top digital frames of 2021. They don’t charge any hidden or recurring subscription fees, offer rather unique features like free-for-life cloud storage, a mobile app & web interface; and are one of the only digital frames that cater to elderly users and anyone not-so-tech-savvy.
With Pix-Star’s frames, you can send & receive photos from anywhere in the world. Both videos and audio files can be wirelessly sent to the frame via the Pix-Star Snap mobile app. You can even send entire collections and albums directly from your phone to several Pix-Star frames at the same time.
Perhaps the most unique and versatile feature is Pix-Star’s web dashboard. Here you can link web albums (photo albums from online sources – or directly from your computer) to your Pix-Star digital frames. These web albums can be set to automatically update whenever new photos are added – automating much of the photo-sharing process for families & grandparents.
Another fantastic feature of Pix-Star’s web dashboard is the remote-control function. Here you can create, manage, and control groups of up to 25 connected Pix-Star frames. Adjust their settings, start slideshows remotely, change slideshow sources on the go, manage local and cloud storage, update the frames’ firmware, and much more. It’s an extremely versatile feature and Pix-Star’s frames are one of the only to offer it this extensively and with this level of smoothness & intuitiveness.
Where should I shop for the top digital frames?
Shopping for digital frames online can be a little bit tricky as you don’t get to test the frame in person – though there are ways to overcome this. The first way is to ensure that you shop on a platform with a broad digital frame selection. Amazon is your best bet in this case as you can choose from hundreds of digital picture frames at various price points. Amazon arguably has the largest selection of frames on the market – making it more likely that you’ll get better value for money.
The second important consideration is the reviews. You want to shop from a place that offers star-rated and in-depth reviews – better yet if they can be filtered by “verified purchase”. On Amazon, you get all of these essential features. Additionally, you can read through hundreds of Q&As and in-depth product descriptions to learn about all the intricacies of the frame – and how it performs in the real world.
Amazon also offers great return policies (though so do most other online platforms). Just be sure to keep all the original packaging and accessories in case you need to return the frame. Most reputable sellers like Pix-Star (they were the company that created the idea of having a digital frame with a unique email address) offer great return policies and do a lot to reduce the risk you take in buying a digital frame online.
Can the top digital frames work without Wi-Fi?
Many of the best digital photo frames offer extensive offline functionality – though this isn’t a universal feature. Some of the best frames (like Aura’s frames) don’t offer many offline capabilities as they rely on a direct connection with the company cloud servers to download and view photos every day.
You also have to consider whether the frame offers enough internal storage space – and which sources (that photos are sent from) can be saved to internal storage. For example, Pix-Star’s digital frames offer extensive offline use as all incoming photos (including web albums, videos, and audio files) are saved to the frame’s local storage. You can start slideshows while the frame is offline, adjust its settings, manage local storage, and much more.
All digital frames need to be reconnected to Wi-Fi to receive, update, and sync any new or pending photos. Unfortunately, some lower-end digital frames can re-sync backlogged or pending photos and they’ll need to be sent again. These frames are hard to use – especially for families or elderly users that do a lot of photo sharing or don’t have consistent Wi-Fi available.
How long do the top digital frames last?
The top digital frames are very different from the mid and low-end frames when it comes to durability & longevity. With premium frames like the Pix-Star, their effective lifespan can be several years when they’re treated well. The display is designed to be able to show a static image for up to 1,000-hours without suffering any damage or screen burn-in.
On the other hand, low to mid-range digital frames are often poor in their build quality, screen quality, and durability. Many cheap digital frames will often only last a couple of months before the screen packs up or dead pixels or lines across the display start showing.
If you treat a top digital frame well, keep it out of direct sunlight, and away from overly hot & humid spots, you’ll get maximum value from it. Avoid wooden frames as they are prone to warping and cracking over time. Stay away from touchscreen digital frames as they’re more expensive, less durable, and are prone to scratching and being damaged by small knocks & falls.
Can the top digital frames play movies and music?
While video & audio playback isn’t universally offered features, it’s relatively common to find with many of the top digital frames. That being said, some top frames like the Aura can’t play videos or audio files. They’re made to be visual-only digital frames, with features and hardware to match.
On the other hand, Pix-Star’s frames offer extensive video & audio playback. You can play 2-minute video clips (which is more than you can do with almost any other top frames), include videos in slideshows, set them to play muted, play audio files and radio stations over slideshows, and much more.
That being said, almost no digital frames can play movies. Video playback is usually limited by length or file size. Frames like the Skylight digital frames only let you play 15-second video clips – with 1-minute clips being unlocked if you sign up for the annual subscription premium plan (which is seldom worth the money).
Pix-Star’s frames let you listen to web music & radio, and let you play them through the frame’s internal speakers. Alternatively, you can play audio through a connected speaker or headset/earphones. Speakers can be connected via the USB port or through the 3.5mm audio jack. We recommend using one of these external sources as most digital frames’ inbuilt speakers aren’t very loud and don’t offer high-quality audio playback.