HomeGift IdeasAura Picture Frame in 2022 – Here’s What YOU Should Know!

Aura Picture Frame in 2022 – Here’s What YOU Should Know!


Is the Aura picture frame worth it?

The Aura picture frame is one of the most expensive 10-inch Wi-Fi digital picture frames on the market. Aura is known for its high display resolution and cloud-only photo streaming. There are good and bad points to both of these “focus” areas; we’re going to unpack them – and many more – down below.

One of the most impactful points worth noting about Aura picture frames is that they don’t have internal storage or USB/SD card support. This means that they don’t work offline. You need a constant and good quality Wi-Fi connection. If the connection drops, so does your ability to stream and view photos from the Aura cloud. We recommend avoiding this setup, especially when most competing frames offer extensive offline performance for a much lower price point.

Another key consideration is that Aura’s frames don’t offer video and audio playback. Where competing Wi-Fi picture frames like the Pix-Star offer 2-minute video clips, connecting to external speakers/headphones, and playing videos and music in slideshows – Aura offers nothing. Considering the price, you’d expect a lot more in terms of features and versatility.

To Aura’s benefit, their display resolution is top class. They offer either 1080p or 2K displays with each Aura picture frame. Unfortunately, this is let down big time by their 16:9 and 16:9 aspect ratio and poor slideshow customizability. Our smartphones mostly capture pictures in 4:3. Competing picture frames like the Pix-Star with a 4:3 aspect ratio will display photos without zooming, distortion, or black pillar bars.

Aside from its display and unlimited cloud storage, Aura doesn’t offer any remarkable features. For comparison, Pix-Star frames offer free-for-life cloud storage, a more capable mobile app and web interface, remote configuration support, importing photo albums from social media, and much more.

Pix-Star’s frames cost a lot less (~US$150 for Pix-Star’s 10-inch Wi-Fi picture frame) and offer a lot more. You get full USB/SD card support with a plug-and-play feature. There’s 8GB of internal storage and online access to manage cloud and local storage. You can import and automatically update web albums linked from social media, photo-sharing, and online storage platforms. Learn more about Pix-Star’s web album feature here.

Does the Aura picture frame need to be plugged in?

The Aura picture frame needs to stay plugged into an outlet at all times. Aura’s frames are not battery-operated digital frames. To function properly, make sure the frame is plugged in at all times. Set up the motion sensor and on/off schedule to manage when the display turns on to save power. It’s worth noting that digital frames with Wi-Fi don’t use much power, so wastage isn’t a big concern.

Very few top-end Wi-Fi digital picture frames are battery-run for good reason. Battery-operated digital frames typically have very limited feature sets due to their poor battery life and longevity. They often have a very small display (smaller than 8-inches) and don’t offer Wi-Fi or cloud connectivity.

We suggest avoiding battery-run digital frames as they don’t have the features necessary to cater to the modern home and family. Their main advantage is mobility – though much of this benefit is lost to their poor 2-4 battery life – which doesn’t offer enough to be effective as a digital photo display.

How much do Aura picture frames cost?

Aura picture frames are among the most expensive 9-inch to 10-inch frames on the market. Prices range from US$180 to US$400. Prices may vary depending on where you buy the frame from, the shipping fees, etc.

Aura’s picture frames are available in four different models; Aura Carver (US$180), Aura Mason (US$200 – US$250), Aura Buddy (US$180), and Aura Smith (US$400). The Aura Smith is the most expensive of the bunch, coming at around US$400 with a 2K, 9.7-inch display.

By comparison, Pix-Star’s 10-inch Wi-Fi digital picture frame costs around US$150. Despite costing much less than Aura’s picture frames, Pix-Star offers many more features, customizations, and interconnectedness.

Pix-Star’s 10-inch and 15-inch digital frames are better for families thanks to their robust feature set, remote configuration support, web album imports from social media, and intuitive mobile app. Pix-Star also offers great offline functionality, video and audio support, and internal storage (of which Aura offers none).

How do you send photos to the Aura picture frame?

The only way to send photos to the Aura picture frame is through their mobile app. Unlike many other high-end digital frames, there’s no photo-sharing over email, and no way to import photos from external sources like social media.

Aura’s frames don’t have internal storage and don’t support USB/SD cards either. They need to connect to Aura’s cloud to sync, steam, and display photos on the frame. If you lose your connection, you can’t view any of your photos. By contrast, competing digital frames like the Pix-Star offer both internal storage and full USB/SD card support (no size limit and let you play slideshows without copying photos to local storage first).

Does the Aura picture frame play videos?

Aura picture frames do not support video or audio playback. This is quite rare among top digital frames as competing frames like Pix-Star and Dragon Touch both offer both audio and video support.

That being said, some popular digital frames like the Nixplay smart frame and Skylight frame charge recurring monthly fees to unlock video and audio.

Almost all digital picture frames limit video and audio size by length and/or file size. For example, Pix-Star frames let you play 2-minute video clips, include them in slideshows, and even connect to external speakers/headphones. Dragon Touch’s frames can play 30-second video clips.

Can multiple people add photos to the Aura picture frame?

Aura’s mobile app lets multiple users add an Aura frame. To do this, you have to send each desired photo contributor an invite. Since Aura doesn’t have an email address or function, there’s no way to add a frame without an invite. This can be quite a tricky and frustrating process, particularly for families and elderly users.

For reference, Pix-Star’s mobile app (Pix-Star Snap) lets you add the frames you want to send photos to by their unique email address. You can monitor who can/cannot send photos to your frame and can even blacklist undesired sharers. We find this a much more convenient process as you only need to add a receiving once – the Pix-Star Snap app will remember it for effortless future sharing.

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