In this helpful guide, we’re going to answer the most burning questions about the best digital frames, what they can do for you and your home, and why getting one can change the way you connect & share with your loved ones! Let’s dive in!
What are the best digital frames that are worth buying?
There’s no getting around the fact that the many digital frames aren’t living up to their expectations. This is especially true in the cheap to mid-range of the market. It makes it hard to find a digital frame that’s truly functional and great for the family at the same time. When you’re looking for the best digital frames, it’s almost always better to go with frames in the premium range – they’re simply built better and offer tons more functionality and versatility.
Pix-Star’s frames are arguably the best digital frames on the market at the moment. Featuring extensive Wi-Fi and cloud features, these frames can be remotely controlled from anywhere in the world, receive pictures & other media from multiple sources at the same time (at any time), and have immersive displays with a great viewing experience. You get free-for-life cloud storage for all your frames that automatically backup and protect your memories – and give you easy access via the web interface.
Pix-Star’s digital frames let you send pictures, videos, and audio messages through the intuitive and handy Pix-Star Snap mobile app. Unlike many other premium frames’ apps, Pix-Star Snap is free to use. You can send up to 250 pictures to multiple connected frames at the same time from anywhere in the world. There’s no need to create an account or pay any recurring subscription fees.
The Pix-Star web interface lets you link photos directly from social media and photo-sharing sites like Facebook, Instagram, Flickr, Google Photos, and more. These are called web albums and they make sharing photos with all the Pix-Star frames in the family quick and simple. Any newly added pictures to any connected album will be automatically updated to any linked frames. All web albums are saved to the Pix-Star’s internal storage and can be viewed offline. Here’s how to link picture albums from Facebook to your digital frames.
The web interface also lets you remotely manage and control up to 25 connected Pix-Star frames. You can easily change their settings and slideshow settings, start & manage slideshows, adjust brightness, update firmware, link photos, manage cloud & local storage, and more. You can even set slideshows to include videos and select which sources to play the slideshow from. It’s an excellent feature for large families and unique – even among premium digital frames.
Do the best digital frames have subscription fees?
Not all of the top digital frames charge additional subscription fees. The ones that do typically charge an annual recurring fee that’s used to unlock or extent cloud storage, give you access to the mobile app or web interface, let you send videos & play them on the frame, or send multiple pictures at the same time.
Subscription fees are a little controversial as other top digital frames like the Pix-Star don’t use any subscription fees – yet they offer better utility from the mobile app, web interface, cloud storage, and include video support. This makes frames that charge subscription fees to use features that are offered for free on similarly priced digital frames a little superfluous.
You have to factor in the cost of the subscription fee for the number of years you’ll use the frame for. It’s worth noting that many of these frames lose significant features and functions when not used with their premium subscription service. For example, Nixplay’s frames only let you play 15-second video clips without the subscription package.
When you consider that frames like the Pix-Star are often slightly cheaper by base price – and significantly cheaper in the long run – it’s seldom worth getting a digital frame that uses a premium subscription fee.
What are the best digital frame features to look for?
Wi-Fi and cloud storage are two of the most important digital frame features to look for. Wi-Fi is the foundation for features like weather forecasts, mobile apps, web interfaces, remote control functionality, photo-mail, web albums, radio & music, and more. You’ll usually only find Wi-Fi-enabled frames in the upper-mid to high-end of the digital frame market.
In terms of the display, look for a 4:3 aspect ratio as it naturally and natively matches the photos and videos we take on most of our smartphones & point-and-shoot cameras. This means that pictures don’t need to be cropped, distorted, or boxed in by black pillar bars – enhancing the viewing experience and boosting immersion.
You should find a digital frame that links in with a family of connected frames. For example, Pix-Star’s frames can link and sync with up to 25 connected frames. These frames can all be remotely managed and controlled through the web interface where you can manage storage, start slideshows, and change settings. It’s an essential feature for families and groups with elderly users (or any non-tech-savvy users).
Can the best digital frames play videos and audio?
Not many digital frames can play video or audio. This is usually a feature that’s only found in mid-high-end digital frames. Videos and audio are supported by many top frames, but there are always limits on video length and size (the same applies to audio). In some cases, as with Nixplay and Skylight frames, you need to pay for the annual subscription package to unlock the ability to send and play videos on the frame (or to extend video playback maximum length). Here’s how to Pix-Star and Skylight frames compare head-to-head.
Some digital frames like the Pix-Star can play videos in their slideshows and play the audio (or can be set to mute videos). Audio is played through the frame’s inbuilt speakers. You can even connect external USB speakers or headphones via the USB port or the 3.5mm audio input.
How to listen to the radio on the best digital frames?
Radio is not a commonly offered feature and is only found (or at least executed right) on the best digital frames like the Pix-Star. This web radio & music feature lets you connect to dozens of radio stations from around the world and play them through connected speakers or Pix-Star’s inbuilt speakers. You can also play radio stations over slideshows to have music.
Pix-Star’s radio feature lets you sort through radio stations by country or by genre. There’s a massive database of stations, with countries like the US, France, and Australia having dozens of stations to choose from. It’s an excellent way to add more personality to your home/slideshows and listen to your favorite music/radio stations from a central hub.