Best Digital Photo Frame Reviews
In today’s mega-connected world, it seems like everything we own or interact with is digital. The news is full of stories and reports of digitally-powered stuff: Drones to deliver our packages and groceries. Cars that drive without anyone behind the wheel. Homes that may one day be automated to such a degree that, thanks to digital technology, we won’t even have to make our own cup of morning coffee, let alone adjust the lights, lock the doors, or play our favorite slice of digital media. With all of this hands-free digital infrastructure becoming simply another commonplace aspect of life in the 21st century, it should come as little to no surprise that even our photographs, as well as the frames they sit in, have become part and parcel of this new and more innovative world. Indeed, digital photo frames are a highly popular gift for many occasions, especially ones involving family and friends. With so many options to choose from when it comes time to actually buy one, though, it can be somewhat daunting to actually pick one out – but fear not! To learn what to look for when picking out the best digital photo frame for you or your loved ones, simply keep reading.
Most people who shop for gadgets like these look first at their glitzier features. How much memory does it have? Can it sync remotely to my other devices? What about processor speed? While all of these things are important (we’ll see more about them later in this guide, in fact), none of it will matter if you can’t even figure out how to turn the thing on! This holds true for digital picture frames as well. It’s important that whichever frame you choose has a simple, elegant user interface. The goal is for the user controls to look good while being simple enough for anyone to use, regardless of age or technical skill. Most digital photo frames have tactile interfaces of some kind – buttons are the tradition, but touch screens are quickly catching up. Other options include remote control or wireless control, with most frames allowing for a combination of some sort.
Incidentally, it isn’t just the actual menus and control systems that should be clean and clear. Manuals and printed materials should hold to the same standards. After all, if you can’t understand the manual or other technical information included with your purchase, what good is it? These things may seem trivial, but it all boils down to the delivery of a pleasant and fluid post-purchase experience. As such, try to patronize retailers with a reputation for attention to these details. You’ll be glad you did.
Making sure the frame looks nice in your home, office, or wherever you plan to put it is also a factor. Many frames come with interchangeable faceplates or frame covers, while the frames themselves come in a variety of materials (wood or other natural finishes, plastics, metals, and so forth). For the best experience, make sure your frame matches the overall decor of the surrounding environment.
Modern digital photo frames come with a staggering array of features. Some of these include:
* A variety of charging / power options (wired, semi-wired, or wireless)
* A range of wireless photo delivery options, including Bluetooth, cellular, WiFi, and so on
* Basic in-frame editing functionality
* The ability to play slideshows and non-photographic media such as music and video
* Photo printing (requires a separate and compatible printer)
* Web-based CMS (Content Management System) / photo frame integration
While not all frames will come with every feature listed, most come with at least a few, so don’t forget to check the tech specs for yourself or ask for help from an in-store employee when making a purchase decision.
STORAGE, COMPATIBLE FILES, AND MORE
Transferring photos and other files to and from your new digital picture frame is the easy part – it’s determining what kind and how much data you can work with that can be tricky. Here are some things to watch out for:
* Storage capacity (which can range from a few megabytes to many gigabytes)
* Supported file types (JPEG, GIF, FLAC, MP4, MP3, and so on)
* Supported external storage / memory (USB, SD cards of various sizes & types, SIM cards, and the like)
All other features aside, the viewing experience is what really counts when buying a digital photo frame – that is why they were made, after all! When buying one for yourself or a loved one, make sure to note the aspect ratio (standard vs. widescreen or other non-standard options), screen resolution (including screen type – LCD, OLED, or other – viewing angles and overall frame size; larger frames tend to have better viewing quality, and vice-versa), and overall pixel density, which, just as in computer or cell phone screens, is measured in PPI, or pixels per inch.
Battery life is also a consideration when speaking of one’s overall viewing experience, which is why care should be taken in selecting a frame with the power source that will suit your needs best – wired, wireless (both rechargeable and non-rechargeable), solar, and so on. The majority of frames will be wired, but as with much of today’s technology, wireless frames are far from uncommon. While wired frames can be used virtually indefinitely, provided they’re plugged in, the runtime of wireless frames is a more finite. A common power-saving solution when not using a wired frame is to select a frame with programmable viewing times, such as 9-5, Monday through Friday, thus prolonging the life of the unit and saving power for when it’s needed most.
Top 5 Digital Photo Frames
1) NIX 12 inch Hi-Res Digital Photo Frame with Motion Sensor & 4GB Memory – X12C
The NIX 12 inch Hi Res Digital Photo Frame is very easy to use with a plug-and-play feature. The frame saves electricity by turning itself on when there is someone moving in the room and turning itself off when movement stops. This is the right frame for people who are tech-challenged and just want to view clear, hi-res photos without much effort. It can also be used to play MPEG_4/AVI videos and can be set to play them from where you stopped watching. It has a 4GB memory and a USB drive for easy shifting of photos from your computer to the frame. The remote control is also very easy to use and can be stored right on the back of the frame. It comes with a full manufacturer’s one year warranty.
2) Pix-Star PXT510WR02 10.4 Inch FotoConnect XD Digital Picture Frame
The Pix Star Foto Connect XD Digital Photo Frame includes Wi-Fi and email, so you can send and receive photos directly from the frame without the need of a computer. There is no extra fee for this feature. The frame can be configured with the remote control and just needs to be in contact with the required network. Only a password is needed, and there is no software to install. It has an 800 x 600 resolution screen for clear photos and has a built-in spam blocker, so you don’t have to worry about unwanted photos arriving in your frame. This is the best frame for keeping in touch with family members who live far away. You can give one as a gift to your parents or grandparents, and let them see regular updates of all your activities. If the frame is set to automatically accept incoming photos, a tech-challenged person won’t have any problem.
3) NIX Ultra Thin 10 inch Digital Photo Frame
You can put photos on your NIX Ultra Thin Digital Photo Frame in three ways. It has an included 4GB USB memory thumb drive as well as an SD card slot. It also has motion sensors, so you never have to turn it on or off. The timing of the motion sensors can be set-up with the remote control. It’s called Ultra Thin because the frame is extremely thin, but it has a very strong stand. It’s one of the best looking frames on the market. Compared to other 10 inch frames, it has twice the number of pixels as the previous model and an HD picture screen. It also plays MPEG-4 videos. This is the best option for parents and grandparents who want regular photos to feel involved in your life, but who don’t want to deal with the technology.
4) ViewSonic 8-Inch Digital Photo Frame (VFD820-50)
The ViewSonic Digital Photo Frame is an easy-to-use photo frame with 800 x 600 resolution. The photos are crisp and the frame is slim and attractive. With the aspect ratio of 4:3, your photos are never distorted. It can receive photos from any digital media device including most SD cards and USP sticks. It receives a JPG file format and has a calendar and clock feature. It’s a sophisticated looking frame that looks attractive on a desktop, side table or coffee table. Along with brilliant image quality the built-in light sensor accommodates the lighting in any environment, and it has an automatic on/off which means lower energy consumption. It comes with a one-year limited warranty on parts, labor and backlight.
5) Aluratek ADPF08SF 8-Inch Digital Photo Frame
The Aluratek Digital Photo Frame is an elegant looking frame that would be suitable in any home or office. The LCD screen has 800 x 600 resolution with the aspect ratio of 4:3. This means your photos look vibrant and clear. Photos can be installed on the frame with a SD card or a USB stick. This frame is very easy to use, making it a good selection as a gift for family members who may not be very tech-savvy. It will automatically recognize most file formats and will show various picture formats. Aluratek uses true digital LCD panels for the clearest pictures possible, rather than analog panels that are used by other frame manufactures as a cost-cutting option. You can set up slide shows with or without background music. This frame is also designed to be an excellent signage solution for a waiting room or place of business where products can be showcased or a message displayed.
Digital photo frames make great gifts, but gift-giving can sometimes be an anxiety-ridden experience. Happily, thanks to this handy guide, it should now be nothing short of a breeze to purchase the best digital photo frame for any person or occasion, with many cherished memories sure to follow. All that’s left to do now is place the order and say cheese! Happy hunting!