HomeSmart HomesIs the Echo Show Digital Picture Frame Worth All the Hype?

Is the Echo Show Digital Picture Frame Worth All the Hype?


How does the new Echo Show digital picture frame work?

Amazon’s new 15-inch Echo Show digital picture frame is a hybrid between a digital frame and a smart hub for your home. These devices aren’t designed to be dedicated digital picture frames, and as such, don’t have many features and customizations. They’re very basic and – in many cases – offer fewer slideshow features than cheap digital frames.

There is no USB/SD card support, limited internal storage space (much of which is taken up by the operating system), and extremely limited control over slideshows and photo management. The only way to load photos to the frame is by syncing them from Facebook or Amazon Photos. Videos can’t be viewed in slideshows, and you cannot control the play order or frequency in which they’re displayed.

Amazon’s Echo Show works with Alexa – though most features don’t work as intended in the real world. If you spend any time going through the reviews for these devices on Amazon, you’ll see that there is still a ton of work that needs to be done. If the Echo Show 10 is an example to run by, this probably isn’t going to happen any time soon.

If you want a digital picture frame, we suggest getting a dedicated digital frame like the Pix-Star. If you want a media hub, we suggest sticking with your fire tablet or Smart TV. At the moment, Echo Show’s digital picture frames don’t fit into any place on the market.

There are a lot of issues such as an extremely difficult setup and wall-mounting process, a ton of system and feature bugs, and underwhelming real-world performance. Perhaps these will be worked out in the future – though we’d still recommend going with a digital picture frame with a proven track record and practical feature sets.

How does the Echo Show digital picture frame compare with the Pix-Star frame?

On paper, the Echo Show digital picture frame seems like an advanced smart frame that can act as a smart hub for your home, work with Alexa, sync other devices, etc. Unfortunately, in typical Amazon fashion, the system seldom works as intended.

The Echo Show falls into a grey area whereby it doesn’t fit into any marketable category. It’s not a great digital picture frame due to poor slideshow controls, a 16:9 aspect ratio, and severely limited methods for loading photos to the frame. It’s not effective as a media hub due to how difficult it is to set up and use, a tremendously buggy system, faulty Alexa integration, and many superfluous features & widgets.

On the other hand, Pix-Star’s digital picture frames are one of the best at what they do. They offer a clearly defined feature set that caters to families, elderly users, and even tech-savvy individuals. They’re one of the best digital picture frames on the market and can send & receive photos from anywhere in the world via mobile app, email, web interface, social media & photo-sharing platforms.

Pix-Star’s frames offer immersive video, audio, and picture support – with highly customizable slideshows and remote-control functionality. While you won’t be able to steam your favorite TV Netflix show, you can automate much of the photo-sharing process and make sure that all the frames in the family are up to date. Grandparents won’t miss another moment, everyone in the family will see all the latest pictures, and you don’t have to deal with complex interfaces and unintuitive features.

Can the Echo Show digital picture frame play videos?

Echo Show digital picture frames can play videos and stream content from platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime. This puts them in direct competition with your Smart TV, laptop, or tablet – while simultaneously not delivering any of the required features effectively. Many of the platforms that Amazon’s Echo Show claims to support don’t work in practice, with only a handful of streaming sites working as planned.

In terms of sending videos to the Amazon Echo Show 15-inch digital frames, it’s not possible. These devices don’t support USB/SD cards and the only way to load photos is by syncing them from either Facebook or Amazon Photos. Videos cannot be loaded to the frame’s internal storage and cannot be sent remotely.

Pix-Star’s digital picture frame lets you load videos to the frame’s internal storage via the mobile app from anywhere in the world. While video clips are limited to 2-minute clips (more than almost all other digital frames), they’re more than enough for quick video updates that can be sent on the go. Alternatively, you can play videos on the frame – and in slideshows – from a connected USB/SD card.

Are photo slideshows any good on the Echo Show digital picture frame?

Amazon’s 15-inch Echo Show digital picture frame is extremely limited when it comes to slideshow controls, settings, and customizations. There are several key reasons for this lack of versatility. The first is that Echo Show devices are not made to compete with digital frames. They’re designed to be a smart hub for your home (which it doesn’t do very well either) with Alexa integration and the ability to stream content, watch movies, listen to music, etc.

The trouble sets in when you realize that Echo Show’s new frame isn’t effective at any of these tasks – particularly photo slideshows. Sending photos is very difficult and slow (and can only be synced from 2 sources. On top of that, you cannot control the play order and frequency of how photos are displayed in slideshows – an essential feature that almost every premium digital picture frame provides.

You can’t remotely start slideshows, adjust them on the go, include videos in slideshows, play audio files over them, etc. You wouldn’t expect an “advanced smart” digital picture frame at this price point to offer fewer features than even budget digital picture frames. You can’t load photos to the frame by USB/SD card and can’t plug-and-play slideshows from connected devices.

If you want versatile slideshows to display your favorite photos, share them with your loved ones, and make the whole process effortless, Amazon’s Echo Show should be avoided at all costs. Premium frames like the Pix-Star offer a far more immersive experience with a 4:3 aspect ratio (compared to Amazon’s 16:9) with tons of slideshow controls and customizations (play order, frequency, color & brightness, source, remotely start slideshows, etc.).

How to send photos to the Echo Show digital picture frame?

The only way to load photos to the new 15-inch Echo Show digital picture frame by Amazon is from Facebook or Amazon Photos. These are the only 2 platforms supported by the frames and there seem to be no plans in place to extend support to other popular platforms like Google Photos & Drive, Instagram, etc.

When you consider the high price tag of Echo Show digital frames, you’d expect easier ways to send photos to the frame. You have to manually connect to the desired albums and import the photos. There is no way to set the albums to automatically update any new photos that are subsequently added.

For comparison, the Pix-Star is a much more affordable digital frame than Amazon’s Echo Show Frame. Despite that lower cost, you have a plethora of ways to send photos, videos, and audio messages to your frames from anywhere in the world. You can use the Pix-Star Snap mobile app to send up to 250 photos to several Pix-Star frames at the same time. You can link entire photo albums from almost a dozen social media, photo-sharing, and online storage platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Google Drive & Photos, Dropbox, Flickr, and more).

Photos can be emailed directly to any of your Pix-Star frames in just a couple of moments. This can be done from almost any device and from anywhere in the world. Incoming photo-mail (which includes photos coming from the app) can be set to automatically display in the current slideshow, save to internal storage, and back up to the cloud.

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