Here we take a deeper look into the 4K digital photo frame. You’ll learn how these frames work, what sacrifices are made for the 4K panel, and if it’s all worth it in the end. We’ll also show you the market standard at different price points so that you know what kind of value to expect. Finally, we’ll compare these 4K digital frames with one of the top-rated digital frames on the market. Let’s get started!
Is a 4K digital photo frame worth it?
4K digital photo frames might sound like an alluring purchase at face value. After all, we’re so used to high-resolution displays on our smartphones and laptops that we kind of expect them in everything we buy. Admittedly, there’s a lot of biases attached to this. Some resolutions might appear to be low on paper – but offer sharp and accurate pictures in the real world.
4K digital photo frames are few and far between. Outside of the digital art frame sphere, there are almost no frames with 4K displays – and for good reasons. First of all, they’re very expensive. A decent 4K digital frame will cost close to or over $1,000. This is no small price for a digital photo frame, especially considering the premium photo frames like the Pix-Star cost under $200.
Secondly, due to the lack of choice and variety, there isn’t a broad selection of products. This leads to sub-par feature sets and poor functionality, with the key selling point of the frame hinging on the 4K display. It usually comes at the price of versatility, making many of these 4K frames a “one-trick pony” of sorts.
Thirdly, 4K is overkill for any display smaller than 20-inches – especially for digital photo frames. You don’t need impressively high resolutions to view photos in a natural and color-accurate way. These frames don’t support high-resolution video playback, so you’re paying a lot extra for a feature you’re not going to maximize on.
In summary, the combination of poor functionality and features with an extremely high price point and limited product selections make 4K digital frames a poor choice. You’d get far better value for money with a premium frame like the Pix-Star – but more on that below!
Is the Pix-Star a better choice than a 4K digital photo frame?
Pix-Star’s digital photo frame is one of the most versatile and capable options on the market at the moment. Even the larger 15-inch model comes in at under $200 and offers the full package. You get extensive Wi-Fi connectivity and features, free-for-life unlimited cloud storage, video & audio playback, a mobile app, and a web interface.
You can send pictures, videos, and audio notes to your Pix-Star frame from anywhere in the world. Loading pictures to the Pix-Star frame is quick and easy – even for elderly users. Videos and audio notes can be sent to multiple frames at the same time through the Pix-Star Snap mobile app. There’s no need to create an account and all you need is the receiving frame’s email address.
The Pix-Star web interface is where you can link and sync photos from various social media and photo-sharing sites like Facebook, Instagram, Google Photos, Dropbox, Flickr, and more. It’s easily managed through your dashboard. Additionally, you can remotely control any connected frame in your multi-frame account through the web interface. Here you can start slideshows, change settings, manage local and cloud storage, and much more. It’s a fantastic feature for elderly users and big families that want to stay up to date.
While the Pix-Star might not have a 4K display, adjustable color, and brightness settings give you all the clarity and sharpness you’d need for photo and video playback. The ease of use and versatility of these frames make them great choices for families and make it simple enough for your grandparents to get involved.
All in all, you get much better value for money and an immersive and accurate viewing experience (thanks to the 4:3 display). You’d be able to get 5 of these frames for the family – for less than you’d pay for a 4K digital photo frame.
Can I play 4K videos on a digital photo frame?
Most premium digital photo frames support video playback and support. Some top frames like the Skylight and Nixplay charge additional annual subscription fees to unlock or extend the limits on video playback (and to use the app for sending videos). On the other hand, Pix-Star’s frames offer video playback and support for free (max length of 2-minutes) with more lenient limits than most other premium frames.
The issue with sending 4K videos to a frame that doesn’t have a 4K display or 4K video support is that you end up wasting a lot of storage space. 4K videos are large, their file sizes are many times larger than standard 720p and 1080p videos. If your frame can only play 720p videos (quite common), sending 4K videos offers no additional benefits over sending smaller “scaled-down” videos.
Try to match the resolution of your frame with the videos being sent. Most digital photo frames will compress or scale the videos down to match their native resolution. In some cases, sending higher resolution videos can create compatibility issues.
How to send 4K photos to a digital photo frame?
The best way to send 4K and other high-resolution photos to your digital photo frame is either by mobile app or by USB/SD card. Photos with large file sizes are usually better sent by USB/SD card due to the faster transfer speeds and the ability to plug-and-play slideshows directly from the connected drive/card.
While the mobile app is more convenient, transferring large photos over Wi-Fi will almost always be slower than direct methods like USB/SD cards. The main benefit of the mobile app or web interface import is that you don’t need to be by your frame to send the photos – so there is a bit of a trade-off either way.
Can I use a 4K TV as a digital photo frame?
4K TVs can be used as a makeshift digital photo frame, but there are limits you should be aware of. You won’t have much control over the play order and frequency of the photos and videos. TVs aren’t particularly portable, so you’ll need to use it wherever it is currently standing.
You also don’t have that many options for sending or automating the sharing of photos with the TV. Digital photo frames are designed with these functions at heart – which is why they’re usually the preferred choice. Frames like the Pix-Star add in a little extra with their remote-control functionality and free-for-life unlimited cloud storage.