All our photos are digital these days. Does your home need a digital photo frame to catch up? These frames are designed with touchscreens and easy uploading options that allow you to showcase your digital photos from a variety of sources.
Which digital frame is the best for you? We’re putting together our smart device expertise and reviews to help you narrow down your list. Our top pick is the extra-smart Google Nest Hub, but we’ve also chosen other frames, from the traditional to the super-modern, so there should be something for everyone.
Google Nest Hub
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 added voice assistant — in this case, Google Assistant. This display can easily show a slideshow from your Google Photos account, and 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 Nest smart devices you may have around your home. You also get all this for a price that’s comparable 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.
Pix-Star 15-inch Photo Frame
This extra-large Pix-Star model is designed specifically for photos, but also has a host of other smart features designed to make the photo frame more interactive. It can work with a dizzying array of online photo services, including Facebook, Picasa, Flickr, and many more – or you can just email your photos to the frame with a dedicated email address you get when setting. If you keep your photos on your phone, no problem, there’s an iOS and Android app for moving photos that way. Physical devices? The frame has you covered with USB and SDHC memory card compatibility.
You can also arrange to have the frame give you weather updates for nearby major cities. If you find a picture that you particularly like on the frame, you can use the touchscreen to easily email it to anyone on your contact list. It’s an excellent option for older users who may not want to learn all about a smart display, but can manage a frame with their email just fine.
Echo Show 2
The original Echo Show was one of the first smart displays to hit the market, but it was a little too bulky to serve as a good picture frame. Thankfully, the Echo Show 2 switched out the design for a photo frame-like model that also has superior sound. Much like the Google Nest Hub, this smart display can do a little of everything, including play or stream music, shows, and online videos. You can also use Alexa voice commands to search the internet, ask for reports, and control smart devices throughout your home. You can also create photo slideshows to view via Amazon Prime photos, or a collection of Facebook photos (if you download the accompanying Facebook skill). You can create multiple photo albums and switch between them as you want, too. And all this for a price that isn’t any higher than high-end smart picture frames.
On the other hand, if the 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.
Nixplay Original 15-inch Photo Frame
Nixplay’s photo frame offers you app and email options for uploading photos, but also creates a cloud account for you to hold 10GB worth of photos online for you. It also works with Dropbox, Facebook Instagram, Flickr and Picasa, making it one of the most social media-friendly frames on our list. Physical ports offer USB and SD/SDHC connections, too. It can also handle 15-second video playback for short video clips that you may want to intersperse with photos.
The frame, like many modern digital photo frames, uses a motion sensor to activate when people pass by so it doesn’t waste energy. It’s also VESA compatible if you want to mount it on the wall, giving you plenty of options to work with.
Aura 9.7-inch Photo Frame
The 15-inch frames are great, but you might want something a little smaller — and with a more traditional frame. This smart Aura frame does exactly that with its 2,048 x 1,536 resolution display that you can use either vertically or horizontally. There’s no email upload here: Everything is controlled via the Aura app and the touchscreen itself, which allows you to swipe past photos and swipe up on a photo to learn more about it. The Aura app also has a fun trick that identifies the faces of family and friends and sends new photos with these people straight to your frame.
Skylight 10-inch Photo Frame
Looking for something simpler? The Skylight frame has a very traditional appearance and extra-simple setup. Plug it in, connect it to your Wi-Fi, and you are good to go. The frame only works through a dedicated email that you can use for uploading photos to the 1,280 x 800 resolution screen. It’s a frame specifically designed for the older generations, especially those not comfortable with smartphone apps, but it does a great job of it.
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