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The best digital photo frames you can buy

ZDNET experts rounded up the best digital picture frames from Nix, Skylight, Amazon, and more to gift this holiday season.
Written by Allison Murray, Staff Writer and  Maria Diaz, Staff Writer
Reviewed by Nina Raemont
Nixplay Touch 10 | Best digital picture frame overall
A digital photo frame with a vacation photo on its screen next to a salt lamp on a living room side table
Nixplay Touch 10
Best digital picture frame overall
View now View at Amazon
Skylight Frame | Best large digital picture frame
Skylight Frame
Skylight Frame
Best large digital picture frame
View now View at Amazon
Amazon Echo Show 8 (3rd Gen) | Best smart digital picture frame
Echo Show 8
Amazon Echo Show 8 (3rd Gen)
Best smart digital picture frame
View now View at Best Buy
Aluratek | Best budget digital picture frame
A black digital photo frame with a smiling man and a boy
Aluratek
Best budget digital picture frame
View now View at Amazon
Aura Mason | Best splurge digital picture frame
White photo frame with a mother hugging her son as the picture
Aura Mason
Best splurge digital picture frame
View now View at Amazon

'Tis the season of gifting, and if you are looking to impress a loved one, digital photo frames are great gifts to evoke feelings and show thought behind your gesture -- since ultimately, what's better than taking a trip down memory lane? Whether you pre-upload images as part of the gift, or simply give the digital photo frame as is, both friends and family can enjoy hundreds of memories as they cycle along the frame every day. 

Digital photo frames have been around for a while, and they've had time to get better and smarter. And there are plenty to choose from, especially when it comes to choosing a gift. 

Also: 12 smart home devices that make great gifts this holiday season

ZDNET experts have tested some of the top digital photo frames available (both Wi-Fi and non-Wi-Fi) and consulted photographers to help you pick the best one for you or the person you're gifting. Our pick for the best digital photo frame is the Nixplay Touch 10 for its vivid picture quality, its ability to print photos from the app, and the chance for people to customize photo and video playlists. Another top choice, Skylight Frames are on sale ahead of the holidays.

The best digital photo frames of 2024

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Vivid picture quality
  • Print photos right from the Nixplay app
  • Friends and family can add photos or videos to your playlists
Cons
  • Some reviewers complain of connectivity issues with Wi-Fi and the app
More Details

Nixplay Touch 10 features: Screen size: 10.1-inch touchscreen | Resolution: 720p | Wi-Fi connectivity: Yes | Orientation: Dual| Memory: 8 GB

The Nixplay Touch 10 Smart Frame is easy to set up, and the accompanying app gives you unlimited photo storage, the ability to upload photos and videos from your smartphone or through a cloud service like Google Photos, and the ability to invite your friends and family to add photos to your playlists. 

Adam Khan, a photographer and founder of his company, WeShootYou, agreed that the Nixplay photo frame is a good choice for most consumers. "It has a high-resolution screen (1280x800), which is great for displaying more pixels so images appear sharper and cleaner," he said. "It also supports multiple image formats including JPEG, PNG, and TIFF (for you Photoshop fanatics), and offers features such as motion sensors and cloud connectivity." Kahn also noted that Nixplay has a good balance of storage and ease of use, especially with its touchscreen.

Review: Nixplay Touch 10 Smart Frame

One bonus is that this digital photo frame also has a motion sensor that wakes up the frame when you are in the room and turns it off when you're not. In addition, the company promises all your data is encrypted, so your photos and videos are secured. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Large display
  • Vibrant images
  • Easy to use
Cons
  • Need subscription to unlock all capabilities
  • 15-inch is expensive
More Details

Skylight Frame features: Screen size: 10-inches or 15-inches | Resolution: 1280x800 or 1920x1080 | Wi-Fi connectivity: No | Orientation: Dual | Memory: 8 GB

The Skylight Frame is a beautiful option if you're looking for a stylish, captivating, sleek design. The 15-inch is a splurge-worthy buy at $300, though the 10-inch version is competitively priced at $160 and no less compelling. 

The touch display makes it easy to navigate, letting you pause and resume slideshows, rotate images, pinch to zoom in or out, select favorite photos, view your gallery, and more. Images on the Skylight Frame display vibrant colors and beautiful quality, as the screen stays true to captured contrasts. The Skylight app lets you send pictures that appear displayed on your Frame within a minute, and you can also have friends and family email photos to your personalized Skylight email address to be displayed on your Frame.

The frame can be wall-mounted or set up with an included stand like a traditional photo frame, in portrait or landscape orientation. You can add a Skylight Plus subscription to display videos and create slideshows, albums, and more to unlock more capabilities. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Smart display can act as an assistant or display favorite photos
  • Auto-framing camera keeps you centered in the frame
  • Adaptive color for photos
Cons
  • Need to have Amazon Photos or Facebook to use photo display feature (or Prime)
More Details

Amazon Echo Show 8 features: Screen size: 8-inch touchscreen | Resolution: 1280 x 800 | Wi-Fi connectivity: Yes | Orientation: Horizontal  | Camera: 13 MP with built-in shutter and auto-framing 

If you prefer a digital picture frame with more bells and whistles, the latest Amazon Echo Show 8 is the perfect all-in-one display. It is a smart home assistant, a way to make video calls, a smart home hub, and a digital frame to show off your favorite photos. It has an adaptive color display to show your photos in their true colors, and Amazon Prime members even get unlimited cloud photo storage.

"My Echo Shows all display photos from my Prime photo storage when not in use," ZDNET managing editor Alyson Windsor said of using the Amazon Echo Show 8 to rotate family photos in her home. "I like that I can customize which photos each device shows based on folders I create."

Also: I tested the Amazon Echo Show 8 for a week. These are its best features (and misses)

You can also get calendar reminders and traffic updates, set timers, or even enjoy your favorite playlist via Spotify. There is even access to streaming services like Prime Video and Netflix. And as an Alexa device, the Echo Show can control other smart devices in your home.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Inexpensive price
Cons
  • Resolution isn't as crisp as other options
  • No photo rotation -- best for horizontal photos
More Details

Aluratek features: Screen size: 8 inches | Resolution: 1024 x 600 | Wi-Fi connectivity: No | Orientation: Horizontal | Memory: 4GB

For a more budget-friendly price, this digital picture frame still has great features like a built-in clock and calendar and the ability to add music to your photo slideshow. 

If you're especially concerned about privacy, this frame also forgoes Wi-Fi and allows you to add photos via a USB flash drive or an SD card up to 32GB. However, while it has true digital LCD panels to display your favorite memories, the resolution isn't as crisp as the pricier options on this list. 

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Crystal clear picture quality
  • Touchscreen display
  • Unlimited photo storage at no extra cost
Cons
  • Expensive
  • No touchscreen
More Details

Aura Mason features: Screen size: 9-inches | Resolution: 1600 x 1200 | Wi-Fi connectivity: Yes | Orientation: Dual 

If you want a more stylish design, the Aura Mason is carved from natural stone like white quartz or graphite. It has a resolution of 1600 x 1200 with 224 pixels per inch, making your photos look sharp and detailed. 

Professional photographer Kevin Mercier said this frame stands above other digital photo frames he has used to display his work. "I found the 4:3 screen aspect display perfect for adding some color to my room with my photos and getting an up-close look at them as well," he said. "The color is natural-looking and well-saturated as well, so I can be sure that I see a fair representation of the photos that I fling its way. 

Like other digital photo frames on this list, you can invite friends and family to send photos to the frame. "Everyone in this inner Aura circle can like and comment on the photos, creating a cozy and private social network," Mercier added. 

With unlimited storage, you can store endless amounts of memories on the Aura Mason frame. 

What is the best digital picture frame?

The Nixplay Touch 10 Smart Frame is my top pick for the best digital photo frame. It's turned me into a fan of digital picture frames, and I love how easy it is to use and add photos to. However, I spoke to a few photographers and experts to come up with fantastic alternative options for you to consider. 

Digital frame

ZDNET's take

Price

Resolution 

Size

Touchscreen

Nixplay Touch 10

Best digital photo frame overall

$150

1280x800

10 inches

Yes

Skylight Frame

Best large digital photo frame

$160

1920x1080

15 inches

Yes

Amazon Echo Show 8

Best smart digital photo frame

$105

1280x800

8 inches

Yes

Aluratek

Best budget digital photo frame

$70

800x600

8 inches

No

Aura Mason

Best splurge digital photo frame

$179

1600x1200

9 inches

No

*Lowest price at the time of writing. Please note that prices may vary based on retailer and available promotions, sales, or discounts.

Which digital picture frame is right for you?

While all of these digital picture frames are great, it ultimately comes down to how you want to upload your photos, the amount of storage you want, and what you're willing to spend.

Choose this digital picture frame..

If you want...

Nixplay Touch 10

The best overall option, complete with an attractive design. It features a touchscreen for ease of use, and you can even print photos from the app.

Skylight Frame

A large digital photo frame with a beautiful touch display. Its imposing form factor makes it a great addition to any home.

Amazon Echo Show 8

An all-in-one smart home device that can display your photos. It even has an adaptive color display to show your photos in their true colors.

Aluratek

A digital picture frame that is budget-friendly. You can add photos via a USB flash drive or an SD card up to 32GB.

Aura Mason

A digital picture frame that is budget-friendly. You can add photos via a USB flash drive or an SD card up to 32GB.

How did we choose these best digital picture frames?

ZDNET editors considered our own experiences testing and using some of these digital picture frames. We contacted professional photographers for their takes on which digital photo frames are best and what features are most important to them. Finally, we researched the top digital picture frames from renowned brands and focused on the following features: 

  • Customer reviews: User reviews, in addition to hands-on testing, were crucial in understanding the performance, durability, and user experience of digital picture frames.
  • Storage: Whether you are gifting the frame or buying one for yourself, make sure you consider how much storage (a.k.a how many images you can showcase in your frame). Throughout this list, we included frames with various storage capacities to meet different needs. 
  • Photo resolution: The quality of a display is crucial when determining the best digital picture frames. Blurry images and color inaccuracies will detract from the experience of reliving your fondest memories. Look for photo frames with at least 800 x 600 or 800 x 480 pixels; all the ones we included on this list are 1200 x 800 pixels or above.
  • Pricing: Digital photo frames are great gifts for just about anyone, but ultimately, how much you spend on a frame depends on who it is for. That's why we included various top-quality digital photo frames, so you can find a suitable option that meets your budget without compromising features. 

What features to look for in a digital photo frame?

Photographers like Mercier and Kahn agree that display quality is perhaps the No. 1 most important feature for digital photo frames. Mercier said that frames with an IPS (In-Plane Switching) display are ideal, allowing for wider viewing angles and more accurate colors. 

"If you plan to use the frame in a bright room or in direct sunlight, look for one with a high luminance rating to ensure that your photos are visible," Kahn adds. 

Other important features include image format support, frame size, and how easy the frame and accompanying app are to use and add photos. 

What is the ideal aspect ratio for a digital photo frame?

The ideal aspect range for a digital photo frame varies depending on your intended use. Mercier said that an aspect ratio of 4:3 is ideal for most people for digital photo frames. 

"Most digital cameras and smartphones capture photos in a 3:2 or 4:3 aspect ratio, while some newer devices have a 16:9 aspect ratio," he said. "I believe a 4:3 aspect ratio frame is ideal, as it displays most photos without any distortion or cropping, while a 16:9 frame might require some cropping of photos taken in the 4:3 aspect ratio."

However, Kahn adds that a 16:9 ratio is good if you're looking to use a mix of video content and photography. 

Do you need Wi-Fi to use a digital picture frame?

Although most digital picture frames require Wi-Fi to connect to services like Google Photos or Dropbox, some products available that don't need Wi-Fi. Instead, they use a USB or an SD card to showcase photos and videos. 

The non-Wi-Fi digital photo frames on this list are the Loop and Aluratek frames. 

Are there alternative digital picture frames worth considering?

There are a lot of digital picture frames available on the market today. While I think the above are the best digital photo frames, here are a few other options to look into so you can display photos.

View at AmazonView at AmazonView at Amazon
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