Time needed: 5 minutes.
Even with such a variety of choices in the digital frame market, learning how to choose a digital photo frame that’s right for you and your home can be tricky. Some areas of a frame’s make-up and build are more important than others – and it helps to know what to look for right out the gate.
In this guide, we take you through a few practical steps to choosing the right digital photo frame for your unique needs. You learn what to look for, where to find it, and how you can get better overall value for money with your next digital photo frame! Let’s dive in.
- Where will you put the frame?
When you’re learning how to choose a digital photo frame, this is a very important step because it will have a big influence on the choices you make going forward. Here you need to think about the room, lighting, space, viewing angle, and distance across the room. If you’re going to mount the frame in the living room, make sure you can view the frame from the angles most commonly viewed.
If it’s a well-lit room, you need a digital photo frame with more than 250cd/m2 of brightness. The frame should also be big enough to view from across the room (8-inches and up for most rooms). You should remember that overly glossy screens are more likely to reflect the light from opposite windows and reflections – which is why we recommend getting a frame with a matte finish.
- Wall-mounted or free-standing
Wall mountable digital photo frames usually come with a pre-set mounting method such as hanging holes or a standard VESA mount system. Wall mounting is great for larger frames 12-15-inches; whereas smaller frames (<12-inches) are better when rested on a flat surface.
If a frame is going to be wall-mounted, make sure the viewing angle is broader than 90-degrees. This is especially important as once it is mounted the frame needs to be viewable from all parts of the room. If you’re going to rest the frame on a tabletop or mantelpiece, make sure it comes with an attachable stand that does a decent job at hiding the power cable. Pix-Star’s frames offer attachable stands, wall hanging holes, and a standard VESA mount.
- Wi-Fi connectivity is crucial
Wi-Fi capability is the feature that makes the biggest difference in how a frame performs and functions. It enables other features like cloud storage, weather forecasts, mobile apps & web interfaces, and sending photos to the frame from anywhere in the world. Wi-Fi is a must-have if you have family members, multiple frames, or want to send photos without having to rely on only USB/SD cards.
Some frames like the Pix-Star offer extensive Wi-Fi and cloud features, even letting you remotely control the frame via the web interface. You can change almost any setting, start slideshows, create folders & albums, manage the frame’s local and cloud storage, link frames to social media and photo-sharing platforms, and much more. It’s one of the most capable and fantastic places to start – especially if you’re new to the market.
- Are touchscreens a good choice?
We advise you to avoid touchscreens for several reasons. They’re quite a bit less durable than non-touch displays while being a lot more expensive for any panel larger than 8-inches. Perhaps the biggest issue without touchscreens is how prone they are to fingerprints.
You have to clean the display after every use – especially with glossy screens. Matte-finish displays have their issues too as the oils and grime from your fingers are very hard to clean off the display – and it often never properly comes off.
Touchscreens can be tricky for elderly users to get used to. They’re also more prone to being damaged by small knocks and falls. Bear in mind that the higher cost of the touchscreen needs to be offset by sacrificing other features and functions so that the frame remains competitive.
- Screen size, aspect ratio, and resolution
To get the best possible viewing experience, avoid any digital photo frame with a screen smaller than 8-inches. At the other end of the scale, avoid frames with screens larger than 15-inches as they are often too big and bulky – and don’t offer the best range of options or value for money when compared to the ever-popular 10-inch digital photo frame.
The aspect ratio should be 16:9 or 4:3 (preferred). 4:3 aspect ratios are generally better as they match the aspect ratio of photos taken on most smartphones and point-and-shoot cameras. You won’t need to manually edit and resize photos before sending them to the frame. On the other hand, the 16:9 aspect ratio displays frequently crop, cut off, zoom, and distort photos sent from most smartphones.
Display resolution should be above 800×600 to ensure that photos aren’t pixelated. Higher resolutions are quite a bit more expensive but boost immersion – though won’t be too noticeable past a certain point. That’s why we recommend 1024×768 displays as they offer an excellent balance between cost and performance – leaving room for features and the user experience to be enhanced.
- Features for the win!
This is where your tastes come in – and where the most room for variance is. Here you can look for features like the ability to remotely control your frame, view weather forecasts, listen to the radio, link your frame to and display photos from social media and photo-sharing sites, and much more.
Each digital photo frame has a unique combination of features. For example, Pix-Star’s frames offer free-for-life cloud storage, multimedia support, remote control capabilities, Wi-Fi, weather, web radio & music, inbuilt speakers, a mobile app & web interface, motion sensors, and much more. They are versatile frames and it’s all achieved without additional hidden fees or monthly/annual subscriptions.
- Enjoy your perfect digital photo frame!
Use what you’ve learned here on how to choose a digital photo frame to start hunting. It might help to write down a few key features and functions you need to make shortlisting much easier. The best thing you can do now is to go to Amazon (recommended when hunting for digital photo frames) and start looking at some options. Read as many reviews and Q&As as possible to get informed – and to build a reliable understanding of the frame’s real-world performance and capabilities.
Once you’ve chosen a frame, go ahead and order it. Remember to keep all original packaging and accessories accessible in case you’re not happy with it and want to get a refund/return. This is one of the main advantages of shopping on Amazon as they have generous return/refund policies. Good luck and enjoy your new digital photo frame!