What is a digital art frame?
A digital art frame is a type of digital frame specifically designed to display high-quality artwork. They are usually quite a bit larger than standard digital photo frames and generally have higher resolution displays. They’re also quite a bit more expensive than normal digital photo frames.
Digital art frames aren’t as commonly used as digital photo frames, even though many new models integrate well into smart homes. They have modern features like swipe and gesture navigation, as well as well-designed mobile apps.
The main deciding factor between digital art frames and digital photo frames is their price. Many of the best digital art frames can cost several times more than the best digital photo frames – especially the flagship models.
Can I use a digital photo frame as a digital art frame?
Digital photo frames like the Pix-Star have all the functionality you’d expect from a digital art frame. It can display in portrait mode, has a bright and sharp display, and has loads of features and customizations when displaying artwork.
The main difference is in the size. Not all digital photo frames come in large sizes. Pix-Star’s largest digital photo frame has a 15” display. While this is bigger than most other digital photo frames on the market, it’s still quite a bit smaller than standard digital art frames and digital canvases.
There are a few other differences in price and features (mainly when compared with smart digital art frames) but are quite similar overall. You need to consider if the higher price of digital art frames is worth it for you and how you plan to use it.
What to look for in a digital art frame?
Matte finish, large size, high res, accurate colors and temp, mobile app & control, mounting options and swivel landscape/portrait, hidden cable, free art and picture, video/live photos.
The most prominent and noticeable feature on a digital art frame is the size of the frame. While most digital photo frames sit in the 8-17” range, digital art frames are often far larger. They can have up to 50” displays and are usually rectangular with a shorter and wider aspect ratio. Larger digital art frames tend to demand a high price tag, but it’s worth the money if you often buy artwork to display around your house.
Another important feature is a matte finish on the screen. This avoids reflections and gives the artwork you display on the frame a more natural appearance. Matte finishes are more fingerprint and scratch-resistant too.
High-resolution displays are essential if you want to display high-quality artwork that’s color accurate and realistic. Some digital art frames have displays with resolutions up to 4K, though they are expensive and harder to find. In practice, any resolution from 1024×768 and above should be enough for most digital art frames. Aim for higher resolutions if you want to buy a frame with a screen larger than 20”.
Color accuracy and neutral color temperature are essential if you want to accurately portray your own (or others’) artwork on the frame. Color accuracy is even more important if you want vibrant colors and deep blacks. Try to avoid a digital art frame with side-lighting as it becomes more noticeable as the frame ages.
Compatible mobile apps that let your send artwork directly to the frame are very helpful. Some digital frames even let you swipe between pieces of artwork and adjust some of the frame’s settings from a distance. Good mobile apps make it easier to manage the frame’s content and how it’s displayed on the screen.
You should get a digital art frame with versatile mounting options. Most digital art frames are designed to be mounted on the wall, so you want something easy to install and durable. On this note, swivel mounts are super-useful for switching between landscape and portrait. It’s a rounded mounting frame that lets you rotate the frame as the artwork requires.
Some digital art frames offer premium subscriptions that give you access to large databases of artwork to display. While this is a useful function, you should try to find a frame that has decent unpaid content that doesn’t need a subscription. Adding your artwork or artwork that you’ve downloaded elsewhere should also be an option.
One last helpful feature is being able to play live photos or repeat videos. This feature isn’t too common, though it helps the frame fit into a smart house’s ecosystem better as you can display artistic videos and moving designs.
Where are the best places to put a digital art frame?
Dedicated digital art frames are best when they’re mounted on a wall and surrounded by blank or empty space. This helps to draw attention to the artwork on the display.
Bear in mind that you will have to find a way to cover up the cabling. Digital art frames need to be plugged in the whole time. If you’re doing a proper wall mount (like you would with a TV), the cables should feed through the wall. This is the best way to get a clean, cable-free, and aesthetic appearance.
Some digital art frames can be rested on a table or mantelpiece. There is usually a stand that connects to the hook-type holes on the frame’s back, or in a few cases, the power cable is designed to be more rigid near the frame. It doubles as a stand but isn’t quite as studied and makes it harder to hide the cable completely.
Is a digital art frame better in portrait or landscape?
If you had to choose one orientation to set your digital art frame (if it doesn’t support swivel mounts), landscape orientation is almost always better. If you prefer artwork of people and faces, portrait orientation would naturally be the better choice.
Luckily, most modern digital art frames support or even come with swivel mounts. These are round mounts that fix to both the frame and the wall, allowing you to manually rotate the frame between portrait and landscape orientations.
This is a fantastic choice if you prefer to display a variety of artwork in different styles, or even mix in portraits of your family members. It’s the most versatile mounting option, so bear this in mind when making your buying decision.