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The best digital photo frames

Since the advent of digital cameras, computers, USB, and cloud-stored files are the new way of taking and storing pictures. But how do we display these much-loved vacation moments for friends and family to see? That’s where the digital photo frame comes in. Looking, feeling, and operating much like a standard photo frame, a digital photo frame allows you to upload your favorite pics by USB, SD card, or through the web. Other features like slideshows, timers, and various smart assistant functions come standard with many models, too.

There are several noteworthy digital photo frame makers out there, so we’ve put together this roundup of the best digital photo frames to help you hand-pick a frame that’s best for you and your home. Let’s get things started with our favorite frame of all (that just so happens to be a smart display).

Google Nest Hub

Google Nest Hub
Image used with permission by copyright holder

We’re going to start our list with a smart display. These are like touchscreen photo frames, but with a ton of added smart features and an intelligent voice assistant — in this case, Google Assistant. This display can easily show a slideshow from your Google Photos account, and it allows you to create live albums, which automatically add new photos of the people and things you care about, refreshing the rotation as long as you keep on using Google Photos.

Of course, this is only the beginning: Everything that Google Assistant can do, the Nest Hub can do, including internet searches, playing music, interactive games, reminders, event scheduling, and controlling any compatible smart devices you may have around your home. You get all of this for a price that’s comparable to or cheaper than most high-end digital photo frames. The only downside to choosing a display like this is that the Nest Hub has a more modern appearance instead of a traditional photo frame edge — but as you’ll see, this trend isn’t exclusive to smart displays.

If you need something a little bigger than the Google Nest Hub, the Nest Hub Max has you covered with its 10-inch display. While these are the only displays that Google itself offers, there are other Google Assistant smart displays that may function as digital photo frames while linking to the Google accounts you already have. You can check out our guide to the best smart displays for some other ideas.

Brookstone Photoshare

Brookstone Photoshare
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The 8-inch Brookstone Photoshare frame is a brilliant way to showcase your treasured family moments. Available in three frame designs (traditional, transitional, and modern) and featuring mat or mat-less options, uploading pics couldn’t be easier, thanks to the Photoshare app. Available for iOS and Android devices, the app lets you send 50 pictures to up to 10 Photoshare frames at once. If you’re not near your device, you also can upload photos by email, PC, or through your Facebook account. USB and SD card slots are an option, too, if you’re not a fan of cloud uploads.

Far from just a photo frame, the Photoshare also can display the date and time, making it a perfect desktop accessory. You also can mount the frame to your wall for ideal viewing in either landscape or portrait modes (auto-rotate ensures the frame conforms your images to the way your frame is displayed). Getting the Photoshare app up and running can be a little tricky, but once you’re through the learning curve, we guarantee you’ll love the way the Photoshare looks and feels in your home.

Pix-Star 15-inch FotoConnect XD

Pix-Star 15-inch XD
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Sporting a 1024 x 768 LED screen, the Pix-Star is one of the best ways to experience life’s greatest moments, thanks to the frame’s stunning picture quality. Web upload options are available through Google Photos, Facebook, Instagram, Dropbox, one drive, Flickr, and Google Drive, allowing you to add photos to up to 25 Pix-Star frames at once. Featuring 8GB (around 30,000 photos) of onboard memory, the frame also supports USB and SD card uploads if you’re away from a web connection.

One of our favorite features with this frame is the ability to stream music from radio stations all over the world, tunes that serve as perfect background sound to your digital slideshows. If you don’t have family nearby, you can send pics to several email addresses straight from your Pix-Star. Better yet, friends and kin also can send photos directly to your Pix-Star frame, too. Wall-mount or tabletop, this is a great frame for picture connoisseurs. The only troubles we’ve come across are the auto-sync (too infrequent — only three refreshes per day) and Pix-Star web interface (a little clunky). But in terms of image quality and social features, this is one of our favorite frames of this roundup.

Meural Wi-Fi Photo Frame

Meural Wi-Fi Photo Frame
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A smaller version of the Netgear Meural Canvas II, this 15.6-inch frame is still one of the bigger offerings on our list. While not ideal for every end table or shelf, the breathtaking 1920 x 1080 anti-glare display will remind you why you spent more than $200 for a digital frame. Uploaded images are vibrant, well-balanced for contrast, and loaded with color.

Getting your pics to the Meural couldn’t be easier, with uploading available through the Meural app (iOS and Android). The frame can be linked to any iOS or Android photo album for constant syncing, and you can program the Meural to display particular photos at certain times of the day. As a Meural owner, you also can take advantage of Netgear’s TruArt gallery, which lets your Meural display up to 100 onboard art gallery images (with access to up to 30,000 images via the additional TruArt membership).

Aluratek 15-inch Digital Photo Frame

Aluratek digital photo frame
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Many digital photo frames are a bit on the small side, at around 8 to 10 inches. If you want a larger frame that really displays images in all of their detail, this Aluratek frame is one of the largest available at 15 inches, with a 1,024 x 764 resolution LCD screen and built-in speakers for slideshow music. The frame allows you to create your own slideshows and transitions, and it includes a built-in clock and calendar as well as a timer mode. It also rotates if the user prefers a vertical frame instead, and it can be mounted directly on a wall.

You can connect a flash drive or SD card to the Aluratek 15-inch Digital Photo Frame for transferring files, but note that there’s no Wi-Fi option, so sending by email and similar features aren’t included.

Echo Show 8

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Out of the several Echo Shows available, it’s the Show 8 that really impresses as a photo frame — although, like the Nest frame, you also can use it to make calls, play games, answer questions, go online, set reminders, and much more. All of this is due to the Alexa voice assistant, which can play shows or display a photo album at will. This 8-inch screen works best in the center of an active area, like a kitchen, where people spend a lot of time. It also can voice control other smart devices, including compatible security cameras.

If you’re worried about privacy, the Show 8 includes privacy switches to shutter the cam and completely turn off the mic to provide some much-needed peace of mind.

On the other hand, if the Echo Show 8‘s price is still a little too much for you, you should consider the Echo Show 5 — a smaller 5.5-inch unit with a much lower price tag.

Skylight 10-inch Photo Frame

Skylight digital photo frame lifestyle image with baby on screen.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Looking for something simpler? The Skylight 10-inch Photo Frame has a very traditional appearance and an extra-simple setup. Plug it in, connect it to your Wi-Fi, and you’re good to go.

The Skylight 10-inch Photo Frame only works through a dedicated email you can use for uploading photos to the 1,280 x 800 resolution screen — a touchscreen you use to set up the photo frame in about a minute flat. It’s a frame specifically designed for those not comfortable with smartphone apps, but it does a great job.

Nixplay Seed 10-Inch

Image used with permission by copyright holder

The Seed is a more rectangular frame that can easily switch between vertical and horizontal positions (it also comes in a variety of sizes, but the 10-inch model is a good general choice). The Nixplay app allows easy management through iOS or Android, and can quickly connect to platforms like Google Photos, Dropbox, Facebook, and Instagram.

A motion sensor makes sure the Nixplay Seed 10 inch doesn’t run unnecessarily, and voice commands are supported via Alexa. While we like the more modern design of this digital frame, the fold-out stand does take up a little extra room in the back, so it may not be the best choice if you have narrow shelves.

Aura Mason Frame

Image used with permission by copyright holder

This Aura Mason frame not only looks beautiful but also has an excellent Wi-Fi-based app that makes sending over pictures incredibly easy. Available for iOS and Android, the app allows you to send more than 100,000 photos to a connected frame.

The FHD resolution display can automatically brighten based on the dimness of the room and will crop and fit photos into the frame so they don’t look odd. Swiping the Aura Mason will rapidly switch between photos, while double-tapping will “like” a photo for a longer display.

Dragon Touch Digital Frame

Image used with permission by copyright holder

The 10-inch Dragon Touch frame is especially versatile, allowing you to upload photos via email, app, or the cloud, depending on where you keep your favorite images. The 16GB of memory included allows the frame itself to hold more than 40,000 photos without any additional support, although it does have SD and USB ports for connecting more storage if necessary.

The display is a touchscreen that allows you to swipe between photos and comes with a variety of settings, including auto-rotate, alarm options, and brightness levels. You can share up to 30-second videos with the Dragon Touch Digital Frame and divide it between users for different types of slideshows, if necessary.

Nixplay Smart Digital Picture Frame

Nixplay Smart photo frame
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Available in black and wood frame finishes, the Nixplay Smart Frame is an excellent way to experience the treasured moments of you and yours. With photos displayable in both landscape and portrait modes, the Nixplay automatically adjusts picture orientation based on how the photo was taken. Boasting a 1,280 x 800 display, the Nixplay allows you to create photo playlists that you can share with friends and families that own a Nixplay of their own. Wall-mountable or table-top friendly, the smart frame is also compatible with Amazon Alexa. Once you teach your Alexa app the Nixplay skill, you’ll be able to call up whatever photo playlist you want to be displayed by only using voice commands. You get all of this and more for under $200.

Aura Carver

Aura Carver Smart Frame
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The 10-inch Aura Carver digital frame is designed for display in any home, thanks to its emphasis on minimalist design. Photo uploads are handled by the Aura app (for iOS and Android devices), which allows you to transfer up to 10,000 photos to any frame in your network. One of our favorite features of the frame is its AI-driven ability to wrangle images thematically. That day at the beach from 2017? Your Carver will be able to group and display all of these images one after the other. Better yet, the frame is smart enough to display two related portrait photos side by side. An industry-lauded 1,920 x 1,200 display delivers stellar image quality for all your photos, with adaptive brightness controls that make your frame shine regardless of how much light your room gets.

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Michael Bizzaco
Michael Bizzaco has been writing about and working with consumer tech for well over a decade, writing about everything from…
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