The 9 Best Digital Photo Frames

Updated April 30, 2018 by Ezra Glenn

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We spent 46 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Why display just one picture on your wall or mantel when you can display hundreds, or even thousands? These digital photo frames support a range of image formats and offer myriad sequence, timing, and transition options. They also boast handy features, like auto-rotation and the ability to play music or sound to accompany your most cherished memories. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best digital photo frame on Amazon.

9. Vera Wang Grosgrain

8. Nixplay Original 15"

7. Micca Neo

6. Tenker 10-Inch

5. Nix X18B

4. Pix-Star Cloud Frame

3. Aura Frame

2. OldTime Full View

1. Nix X08E

Preserving Memories Digitally

The photograph freezes a moment in time and is a piece of history in and of itself. While many still love the traditional route of taking their film into a camera shop to be developed, there is something to be said about the computer age and the ability to display digital imagery in the same way as a paper photo. The digital photo frame makes this possible and is an excellent alternative for displaying images from a digital camera without having to think about developing them first.

The digital photo frame is a liquid crystal display (LCD) monitor designed to store and present photos from a digital camera within a traditional-style picture frame. The device can be oriented in portrait or landscape setups and placed on either a table or mounted on the wall. Similar to a digital camera, the digital photo frame usually includes some amount of built-in memory and a slot for accepting a memory card to increase its storage capacity.

Digital photo frames come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes ranging from something as small as a keychain to a frame spanning several feet diagonally. Image resolution also varies from 128 by 128 to 1,440 by 900 pixels.

The majority of digital photo frames use a combination of their internal memory and software to run slideshows of image libraries, which makes them significantly more enjoyable to view as opposed to seeing the same image all the time. Many frames can display files in JPEG, TIFF, and BMP file formats. Some frames have internal speakers for playing music files or an audio message from a family member. Others have the capability for video playback and touch-screen interfaces. These frames offer several benefits, including saving additional money on printing costs and preventing the need to purchase a separate frame for every image you want to display. Unlike traditional paper photos, digital photos don't fade or discolor inside their frames over time. The frames also come with interchangeable mats in different colors and materials, so you always have something unique to look at.

Loading a digital photo frame with content can be accomplished in a variety of ways. Even the most basic frames have at least some internal storage capacity for images as well as a USB port for connecting to a computer. When connecting the frame to a computer via USB cable, the frame will usually be recognized by the computer as though it were a flash drive, allowing you to simply drag and drop your picture files from your computer right into the frame until its memory is full. If the frame has a dedicated USB port built into its design, you can also transfer your images to an actual flash drive and plug it into the frame itself. Depending on the size and type of frame, internal memory storage capacity ranges from as little as eight megabytes to as much as four gigabytes.

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

If you are familiar with the technology you own, you know what your digital camera is capable of, and you are aware of the types of photos you prefer to share with friends and loved ones, then the choice of how to display them depends on several factors. How and where a digital photo frame will be used can help determine the most appropriate option to invest in.

Since a digital photo frame comes in many different sizes and colors, one must consider the decor and available space of the room(s) in which they intend to place it. There is no need to be overly concerned about interior decor clashing with a particular color or style, since many frames offer interchangeable mats and exteriors to complement a variety of room types. One must simply do their homework to choose the one that most appeals to them.

Consider the intended recipient. If you are purchasing a frame as a gift for someone who isn't technically savvy, then the frame doesn't have to be packed with extra bells and whistles. It should have just enough functionality for the user power on or off and to control how the images are displayed on its screen.

Finally, one must be sure the digital photo frame chosen has the most convenient connectivity options available. Many frames accept SD cards from digital cameras and they have USB ports for transferring your digital photos directly from a computer with a USB cable.

A Brief History Of The Digital Photo Frame

While the earliest traditional picture frames can be traced back to the time of ancient Egypt, the concept of the modern digital photo frame evolved quickly from a form of simple curiosity to a personalized and practical art form that connects family and friends. The invention of the digital camera and its technology paved the way for the introduction of a corresponding frame that could display the fruits of the camera's labor without the restrictions of film development or the use of expensive photo paper.

The digital photo frame was originally patented by Peter L. Jacklin in 1996. However, more recent credit for the invention has been given to former Disney executives Dean Schiller and Paul Yanover, founders of CEIVA Logic in 2000. In 2000, CEIVA released its first digital photo receiver. The company originally started as an online-only service, but its subscribers (and those of similar digital picture frame services) can now send photos to their frames using Wi-Fi, email, and even camera phones.

Popularity of the digital photo frame peaked between 2005 and 2010, after which it became more of a novelty seasonal item. However, thanks to the digital age of cloud storage services, these frames are still going strong with respect to keeping people connected and providing heartfelt gifts to family members.


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Last updated on April 30, 2018 by Ezra Glenn

Ezra is a writer, photographer, creative producer, designer, and record label-operator from New York City. He's traveled around the world and ended up back where he started, though he's constantly threatening to leave again.


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