With so many digital photo frames in our collection to choose from, it can be a bit overwhelming as to which frame is perfect for you and your home. We’ve assembled a digital photo frame buying guide to help you discern what type of frame may be the best fit for your home or office. Read on to learn everything you might want or need to know about digital photo frames!
What is a Digital Photo Frame?
A digital photo frame (or a digital picture frame) is exactly what it sounds like - a picture frame that calls in photos for display from a digital source. Typically digital photo frames include a small LCD monitor where the images are displayed, but these images can be called in from a variety of sources: a memory card or USB inserted into the frame itself, or even WiFi connection. From style to size to aspect ratio, there are more options than ever available for digital photo frames.
What to Look for in a Digital Picture Frame?
When it comes to shopping around for digital picture frames, here are some of the features you may want to consider:
Below, we’ve laid out a detailed guide to each of these features, so you can make the best digital photo frame decision for your needs.
One of the first things you’ll probably consider in buying a digital photo frame is the aesthetic - what does it look like? Luckily, digital photo frames today come in a wide variety of colors, finishes, and styles.
At Aluratek, our frames come in a variety of styles to fit any home or office decor. Looking for something modern, traditional, or rustic? We’ve got the right frame to fit your style. Here are some of the most popular aesthetics for digital photo frames.
Black Digital Photo Frames
Our black digital photo frames are perfect for nearly any home. With it’s sleek and simple color and design, it’s a no-brainer option. It’s also the perfect option for gifting - a simple and sleek frame will please just about anyone:
Even within the black color field, there are a number of finishes you could choose from:
Gloss is great if it’s not too directly near a light source as it’s reflective and it does normally attract more fingerprints than our matter counterpart. Most people, however, prefer a gloss due to the high-end look to it.
Shop 8" WiFi Digital Frame here.
Choosing a matte frame is great if your frame is facing a light source like a window, or bright lamp since it’s not reflective. And just like the gloss, it has a sleek feel to it and definitely brings a modern touch to any home.
Shop 10" with 4 GB Built-In Memory Digital Frame here.
Some of our frames include a white or off white matting to give it a more traditional look.
Shop 10" Digital Frame with White Matte here.
Add even more style to your room with a classic beveled frame with a slant edge on the bevel to make your picture the centerpiece.
Shop 9" Motion Sensor Digital Frame with Bevel Design here.
White Digital Photo Frames
Our white digital frame available is perfect for the minimalist who wants something clean and effortless. It comes in a gloss finish, and has an edgy look that’s perfect for displaying personal photos.
Shop White Digital Frames here.
For something truly unique and special, opt for a vintage and rustic distressed wooden digital photo frame. We incorporate our classic frame with two different types of distressed woods, making it one of the trendier frames in the market.
Shop Distressed Wood Frames here.
Screen Size, Resolution and Aspect Ratio
After visual aesthetic, the next thing you’ll likely consider in choosing a digital photo frame is the size. You may be looking for a smaller photo that can be placed on a desk in your office or a coffee table in the living, or you may be looking for something larger - like a wall mount frame for a commercial space. Regardless of what you’re looking for, there are endless options for digital photo frame sizes.
At Aluratek, we offer a variety of sizes, from 7” to 18.5” frames which offers a range of versatility whether it’s for your nightstand, living room table, kitchen, or desk. At the end of the day, bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better. It’s good to understand what you’ll be using your frame for whether it’s for personal use, or business.
The Personal Frame
We offer a variety of sizes, from 7” to 18.5” frames which offers a range of versatility whether it’s for your nightstand, living room table, kitchen, or desk. At the end of the day, bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better. It’s good to understand what you’ll be using your frame for whether it’s for personal use, or business.
Shop 8" Slim Frame here.
The Universal Frame
For the living room, kitchen, and everything in between, show off your family vacations and daughter’s graduation with our cutting edge frames. Our 12” - 14” models are the perfect size to put memories on the forefront, yet are not too big to distract guests. We offer not only the classic digital frame, but ones that have an inner white matting for a more traditional look. Rest assured that any frame you select is a great option for the home.
Shop 14" Digital Frame here.
The Professional Frame
If you’re looking to bring your office lobby or storefront to the next level, many of our frames make a fantastic digital signage solution for your clients and customers to enjoy.Showcase videos of your product or service in action or play a greeting message, tutorial or educational video. You could also use pictures in slideshow mode to tell a story, display business hours, sale items, specials and menu boards, etc. The possibilities are endless! Cut the need to spend money on expensive printed signs just for them to go out of date.
Desk Signage Solutions: We definitely recommend any frame sized 8” - 12”. It’s the perfect size to display current announcements, yet small enough to not take up all your counter space. Most of our frames have built-in speakers, built-in memory and video playback to customize any message.
Shop 10" Slim Frame here.
Wall Mount Solutions: Our 14” - 18.5” frames include either a VESA mount, wall mount slots or both so you can hang the frame on the wall. These large signage frame are perfect for any business environment to display anything you want for your customers or clients to see.
Shop 18.5" Digital Frame here.
Aspect ratio is the relationship between the height and width of the image. Most of the digital frames use a 4:3 or 16:9 aspect ratio. The dimensions of the digital picture frames differ as those of HDTV and computer screens. If the aspect ratio of a digital frame closely matches the dimensions of the photo then the image will fill the whole screen.
Standard (4:3): A 4:3 ratio means that for every 4 inches of length, there will be 3 inches of height. It fits most of the standard photo print sizes and still photos you would normally take. If you’re using a DSLR camera, the aspect ratio is normally 3:2, which is closest to a 4:3 aspect ratio. The typically sized photos will fill the entire digital photo frame. If you’re looking to display just photos, then we recommend a 4:3 aspect ratio frame.
Widescreen (16:9): Since normally photos are taken with a 4:3 aspect ratio, photos may appear stretched when using a frame with a 16:9 aspect ratio if you’re trying to display the full image. A 16:9 aspect ratio is mostly used for displaying movies and videos. So if you’re planning on doing a lot of video playback, then this might be the perfect frame for you.
Choosing a frame with a high resolution is probably the most important factor. Resolution is measured in the term pixels. Pixels are technically dots of an image, so the more dots you have, the better and more clear your photos will turn out.
And even at the highest quality resolution, it’s important to mention that any digital photo frame will still come out a little bit less than what you took it at.
A helpful tip is to resize your image to your frame’s resolution to maximize your photos so they don’t get distorted. Any resizing tool on your computer will do the trick.
TFT LCD Screen vs. Touchscreen IPS LCD Screen
After aesthetic, size, and aspect ratio, you’ll want to look at the technology of the photo screen itself. As we mentioned above, typically digital photo frames use LCD screens - but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There are multiple options for types of LCD screens.
Two of the most common types of screens used in digital photo frames are TFT LCD and IPS LCD.
TFT stands for thin-film-transistor, which is a type of LCD screen (Liquid Crystal Display). TFT LCD is the use of light modulating properties from unlit liquid crystals to provide a flat panel a electronic, visual panel. TFT’s produce greater color, contrast, and response time in LCD displays. Our standard digital photo frames are a great option for TFT LCD screens.
Shop Standard Frames here.
If you’re looking for an upgrade, however, we highly recommend looking into an IPS LCD. IPS stands for In Plane Switching - which is still a version of an LCD screen. With IPS, the liquid crystals are aligned in way that it allows for better viewing angle and better color reproduction. The IPS screen is definitely a clear winner if you’re looking for a frame that will be seen at all viewing angles.
Shop WiFi Frames here.
How Photos Are Displayed: File Transfers
One of the most important things to consider in buying a digital photo frame is how the photos will actually be displayed on your new frame. Below we review a few of the available options from getting photos from their original device to your new digital picture frame.
Built-in memory is a very simple option for digital photo frames (and may be best for those with limited technological prowess). With built-in memory, you transfer photos directly to your digital photo frame via USB 2.0. Most of our frames offer built-in memory ranging from 2 GB - 8 GB, which is perfect for a select amount of photos, however, it is really dependent on how large (file size) your photos are. You can transfer your photos directly to the frame via a USB port on your desktop or laptop computer. A USB 2.0 cable is provided.
Another option for displaying photos on a digital frame is through the use of a USB port. Add photos to your USB flash drive and just insert into the USB port on the frame. This is perfect for switching out photos when needed, adding, or removing photos with ease.
SD Card Slot
Another way to expand memory to the already existing storage space is through a SD card (up to 32 GB). Simply insert the SD card into the integrated SD card slot and view pictures directly from the card. Every frame in our lineup comes equipped with a card slot.
WiFi Frame Applications
The newest technology in digital photo frames is the use of WiFi-based systems to find and display photos. With the use of WiFi, you can pull in photos from an associated Smartphone app, from social media (like Facebook or Twitter), or even from email.
With the smartphone app setup, you can easily upload your photos through the app, then send the photos to your designated frame. This is a perfect option if you take a lot of photos from your phone and different sources, and can put them all together in one spot. Send photos to a frame directly to your family members. If you want to give your frame as a gift, this frame is functional for sending pictures to your loved ones, and the best part, by surprise! Any image you post with your smartphone or tablet will transfer directly to the frame!
Facebook and Twitter
A good option for those who post their memories to Facebook or Twitter, our WiFi frames allow you to login directly to Facebook and Twitter to select the photos you’d like displayed on the frame. This option is very easy to use, and allows you to update your photos as often as you update your social media accounts!
Many WiFi frames also support sending photos straight through emails! If you have photos attached through your email, select digital photo frame devices now support them.
Shop WiFi Digital Frames here.
Multimedia Support & Other Features
For some extra bells and whistles beyond just photo display, look for multimedia frames. Some of our frames are great options for just photo playback and displaying cherished memories and photos, while others have multiple functions.
Our photos only frame make a good choice If you are looking for a simple, low cost solution. When the photo frame is powered on, your photos will automatically play in slideshow mode. You can easily configure photo slideshows to play in various display and transition modes. Simply connect a storage device such as a USB flash drive or insert an SD card into the photo frame to access your photos.
Shop 7" Auto Slideshow Digital Frame here.
Photos, Videos and Music Support
Other than doing photo playbacks, many of our frames have built-in speakers, audio playback, and video playback as well. So whether you’re just displaying pictures or want to display your latest America’s Funniest Home Videos clips, then these would be the perfect solution. This is a great entertainment solution for parties and if you have guests over to display all of your memories or clips. It comes with built-in speakers and you can even play music in the background of a slideshow to your photos. It allows for more flexibility in your frames. For not only photo playback, but video and music playback as well, our WiFi touchscreens and built-in memory are both great options.
Shop 12" w/ 2 GB Built-In Memory Digital Frame here.
You can set your digital photo frame to turn on or off, with the auto timer feature. Just set the time you want to have it on until and let the frame do the rest. This is a great way to save some energy and money simultaneously.
Clock and Calendar
A select few digital photo frames have a clock and calendar app - so if you’re not displaying photos, you can display the date or time! WiFi frames allow you to display different types of clocks depending on the style you want, and our more simpler frames allow you to solely display one.
Motion sensor frames are suitable for anyone who is environmentally friendly and looking to save some money on their energy bill. Instead of wasting electricity with your frame running all the time, just display pictures when it matters most - when someone is actually around! Don’t worry about unplugging your frame, wasting energy or turning off before you go to sleep. The frame will detect movement up to 10 feet away.
Some frames include a remote that allows you to easily update and manage your digital photo frame from a distance.
How to Choose a Digital Picture Frame
As you can see, whatever look or feature you want in a digital photo frame, there's a variety of options for you. Whether you’re looking for the latest and greatest technology, or a simple digital photo frame to share with an older family member, there’s something out there for everyone.
At Aluratek, all of our frames have different characteristics and we’ve laid out the different options to make choosing a frame quick and painless. Keep in mind that there really is no right answer when choosing a frame, but it really is dependent on your needs. Display your memories, your photography, or anything you'd like with our versatile frames.
Shop all Digital Photo Frames here!