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The best digital picture frames of 2023

Free your precious memories from the confines of your phone.

Here's something I'll never understand: We all snap zillions of photos on our phones, but the only place we ever see most of those photos is ... on our phones. Don't they deserve a showcase? A shrine, even? Shouldn't you get to see not just a few favorites once in a while but all of your precious memories all the time? Yes, yes and yes. That's why I'll go to my grave championing digital photo frames, which display photos as a running slideshow on a stylish screen. Below you'll find my picks for the best digital photo frames you can buy right now.

Quick Overview
  • Best budget digital photo frame

    Jeemayswart 10.1-Inch Digital Photo Frame

  • Best portable photo frame

    PhotoSpring Portable 10-Inch Digital Picture Frame

  • Best big photo frame

    NexFoto 17-Inch Digital Picture Frame

  • Best photo frame that can receive texts

    Loop Wi-Fi Digital Picture Frame With 10-Inch Touch Screen

  • Best digital photo frame for families

    Nixplay 10.1-Inch Digital Picture Frame

  • Best photo frame to give as a gift

    Aura Mason Luxe 9.7-Inch Smart Digital Picture Frame

  • Best splurge frame

    Samsung the Frame 32-Inch Class QLED 4K TV

See 2 more

I can't tell you how much joy my wife and I get from catching glimpses of friends, family, past vacations and special moments. Where a photo album must be hauled out and paged through, a photo frame is full-time. You might notice it as you pass by throughout the day; you might sit and look at it all through breakfast.

However a frame weaves itself into your life, I consider it an unrivaled source of happiness — and, consequently, a great gift, especially for parents and grandparents.

Clockwise from top left: Digital picture frames from Aura, Nixplay and Loop.
It's time to free your photos from the tiny confines of your phone. Digital picture frames have come a long way since the early days. (Photos: Aura, Nixplay, Loop)

Let me pause here to note that modern digital photo frames are vastly superior to their first-generation counterparts, most of which were small, expensive and a pain to use. If you ever bought one of those, I understand if it left a bad taste in your mouth. But trust me: Modern digital picture frames are way, way better — and way more affordable too.

What to look for when buying digital photo frames

There are lots of choices, with prices ranging from around $40 to nearly $300. (You can also get super-splurgy if you want something really big; see below.) I've rounded up what I consider to be the top picks in this category, and I like to think I know what I'm talking about: I've used photo frames for years and tried lots of different models.

First up, let's identify a few key features and what you'll want to look for:

  • Size: The average photo frame measures about 10 inches diagonally, roughly the same as an entry-level iPad. I'd consider that the minimum size; anything smaller will make it hard to view photos from a distance. Indeed, when it comes to photo frames, bigger is always better.

  • Resolution: Similarly, the higher the frame's resolution display, the sharper your pictures will look. Don't settle for anything lower than 1,280 x 800 pixels; do look for 1,920 x 1,080 or higher if it fits your budget.

  • Aspect ratio: Although most modern phones can snap 1:1 (square) or 16:9 (wide) photos, the default setting tends to be 4:3. Many frames, however, have 16:9 screens, meaning you'll end up with black bars or similar cropping on some pictures. If you want the best chance of filling the screen from edge to edge, look for a frame with a 4:3 aspect ratio.

  • Wi-Fi: Sure, you can buy a frame for as little as $40, but it won't have Wi-Fi — meaning you'll have to manually add photos via your PC, a memory card or a USB stick. That's a huge hassle and just not worth it; definitely choose a frame that has Wi-Fi so you can easily add photos from your digital camera or phone (which is where most of them are kept anyway, right?).

  • Storage: Most frames come with at least 16GB of internal storage, which is enough to hold a couple of thousand photos. If you think you'll need more space, look for one that's expandable (usually in the form of an SD card or microSD memory card) or offers cloud storage.

  • Dedicated email address: I'm a big fan of this option, which makes it easy for friends and loved ones to send their favorite photos to your frame. Some models use an app for this instead, but then your peeps have to install that app, learn to use it, etc. I like the email option better for its ease of use. Many frames can also directly import pictures from social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Google Photos, so look for that option if you have albums parked there.

  • Smart features: The best frames have smart-home features and can be set to go on and off at certain times of day (no sense running them at night when you're sleeping), while others have sensors that detect motion: They'll switch into a low-power standby mode until there's movement nearby. I also recommend frames that will automatically detect if they're positioned vertically or horizontally and adjust the viewing angles accordingly.

  • Design: Nearly all these gadgets look like actual picture frames, which makes them a much nicer addition to your decor than, say, a tablet or smart display (see below). Thus you'll see color options like white, wood grain, stone and even metallic. If you have plans to use as a wall-mount instead of a tabletop display, keep in mind the power cord that'll need to run down (or through) the wall. Also, consider landscape or portrait orientation.

  • Subscription: I'm strongly partial to frames that offer full functionality without any kind of subscription. Skylight, for example, makes a very popular Skylight Frame model but limits various features unless you pay for Skylight Plus ($39 per year). Nixplay also has a subscription model, though it feels a lot more optional, adding nonessential perks like extra storage, product discounts and support for multiple frames connected to a single account.

Before we move on to my top picks for a high-quality, digital picture frame, let's address the rectangular elephant in the room: the screen you already have.

Dedicated photo frames vs. TVs, tablets and smart screens

Digital photo frame with smart display
Why not use something like this as a photo frame? You absolutely can, though many smart displays are on the smaller side and don't make it easy to add new pictures. (Photo: Amazon)

Yep, I get this question a lot. Why not just use a tablet as a digital frame? Or a smart screen? Heck, what about the TV? You absolutely can, though be aware of some considerations and limitations.

As noted above, dedicated frames look like real picture frames. A tablet looks like, well, a tablet — not something I'd enjoy seeing propped up on an end table — and it's going to have limited slideshow capabilities. There are apps that can help, so this is worth a try if you've got an old tablet lying around, but be prepared for some hoop-jumping.

Read more: Amazon's $250 Echo Show 15 is a smart display for your wall

As for smart screens, all Amazon Echo Show with Alexa and Google Nest Hub products have photo-slideshow capabilities, and in fact you can set that to be the fallback mode when the screen is idle. For me, the challenge lies in choosing what photos you actually want to display (the default is usually "everything" or "everything in a particular album") and then figuring out how best to add new photos. Looping in friends and family for the latter can be a struggle.

It's a similar story with TVs. Models from Amazon, Hisense, Roku, Samsung and the like all have a photo-slideshow mode that can be used as a screensaver, effectively turning the big screen into a picture frame when you're not watching The Last of Us. But as with smart screens, it's challenging to queue up exactly the photos you want, add new ones and invite others to contribute. Plus, big televisions consume considerably more electricity than digital frames, something to consider if you're leaving it on all day.

All that being said, there's no harm in experimenting with the screen you already have. I remain a fan of the dedicated photo frame, but in the end, the goal is to see your snapshots once in a while — and a tablet, TV or smart screen can definitely help you do that.

Although it's one of many similar "generic" photo frames, this very good budget model works with the popular Frameo app to allow for easy photo sharing from friends and family.

$65 at Amazon
  • Screen size: 10 inches

  • Resolution: 1,200 x 800

  • Storage: 16GB

  • Touch screen: Yes

  • Orientation options: Landscape/portrait

  • Motion sensor: No

  • Dedicated email address: No

Amazon is home to dozens of off-brand photo frames like this one, most of them priced in the $90-to-$130 range. I've chosen this one as representative of those "generics," the digital picture frames that all look pretty much the same and offer similar specs. The Jeemayswart is one of the better deals for a frame of this size.

Here you've got decent resolution, auto-rotation and expandable storage. To add photos to the frame, you use an app called Frameo, which is available for Android and iOS and admirably easy to use even if you aren’t tech-savvy. Friends and family will need to install the app as well in order to send their own photos (or video clips, up to 15 seconds in length).

The PhotoSpring 10 Premium can be used with or without its wood frame, but it has one more trick up its sleeve: battery power!
$139 at Amazon
  • Screen size: 10.1 inches

  • Resolution: 1,200 x 800

  • Storage: 16GB

  • Touch screen: Yes

  • Orientation options: Landscape/portrait

  • Motion sensor: No

  • Dedicated email address: Yes

Every other frame here must be plugged into an AC outlet. That's true of the PhotoSpring 10 Premium as well, but it can also operate unplugged for three to four hours thanks to its rechargeable battery. That extra feature could prove handy if, say, you're holding a party somewhere and want a photo slideshow as part of the celebration.

Beyond that, the PhotoSpring is pretty basic — nothing fancy on the resolution or storage side but notable for making it easy to add photos via email, app or web browser. You can also link to a Google Photos account and import from there.

One disappointment: These frames used to be covered by an industry-leading three-year warranty, but now the company backs them for just one year, same as others.

I haven't had the chance to test-drive this frame, but it's one of very few to have a battery option, and it has earned an impressive 4.6-star average rating from over 1,300 Amazon buyers.

The big kahuna here is NexFoto's 17-inch screen, which is bright and sharp and stocked with useful features.
$330 at Amazon
  • Screen size: 17 inches

  • Resolution: 1,900 x 1,200

  • Storage: 32GB

  • Touch screen: Yes

  • Orientation options: Landscape/portrait

  • Motion sensor: Yes

  • Dedicated email address: Yes

The bigger the screen, the easier it is to enjoy from across a room. NexFoto's 17-inch model is plenty big, no question, and in fact it's suitable for wall-mounting (though keep in mind the potentially decor-ruining power cord). Thankfully, NexFoto didn't skimp on the specs, starting with an impressive 1,900- x 1,200-pixel high resolution on an IPS display: Photos look sharp and stay visible even if you're viewing at an angle.

I haven't yet had the chance to test-drive this frame, but I can tell you it has plenty of storage, with room for more via microSD card. One feature I particularly love: an energy-saving motion sensor that will activate the screen only when there's someone present in the room.

I can also tell you the Vphoto companion app (the same one used by a lot of frames) is fairly easy to use but shares a common problem: It doesn't mark photos you've already sent from your phone, so it's easy to end up with duplicates.

Another consideration: While NexFoto's website includes the company's U.S. mailing address and a customer-service email, there's nothing else — no FAQ page, troubleshooting guides, easy setup videos or the like. I'm not saying that's a deal-breaker, just something to note.

Sometimes a single gimmick is all you need to stand out, and this frame's got one: It has its own phone number, so friends and family can text-message new photos to it. Beyond that, it's a solid frame that's easy to use.
$170 at Amazon
  • Screen size: 10 inches

  • Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080

  • Storage: 16GB

  • Touch screen: Yes

  • Orientation options: Landscape only

  • Motion sensor: No

  • Dedicated email address: No

Every frame here can accept new photos via app; some also have dedicated email addresses, which simplifies things a bit for friends and family. The Loop relies on an app as well, but instead of email, it has a phone number, meaning you can actually send photos via text message — arguably the simplest solution of all.

Less simple: Frame setup, which was more complicated than it should have been owing to some conflicting instructions between the setup guide and the app. Thankfully, things went smoothly after that, and, in fact, the Loop proved one of the more novice-friendly frames I've used. The app and onscreen settings menus are simple and straightforward, allowing you to set up different albums and tweak things like photo transition time and sleep mode.

However, there are some limitations to consider. The frame works only in landscape orientation and doesn't have a motion sensor. It can display two photos side by side but doesn't offer any transition choices beyond a basic fade. Finally, although you can configure the Loop for gifting, you have to go all the way through the setup process first; you can't preconfigure and preload the frame like you can with Aura's.

My main complaint is that the app doesn't flag photos you've already uploaded to the frame, meaning you might accidentally send the same ones, resulting in duplicates. (Unfortunately, this is true with a lot of frames.)

These gripes aside, I like the screen’s brightness and the Loop's overall simplicity. And it's the only frame that lets you text new photos. That option alone may make it the preferred choice for some buyers.

Far-flung family members can easily share photos thanks to Nixplay's private playlists. You also get unlimited cloud storage beyond what's stored in each frame.
$153 at Amazon
  • Screen size: 10.1 inches

  • Resolution: 1,280 x 800

  • Storage: 8GB internal / unlimited (cloud)

  • Touch screen: Yes

  • Orientation options: Landscape/portrait

  • Motion sensor: Yes

  • Dedicated email address: Yes

Nixplay has been in this biz as long as I can remember, so it's no surprise the company makes a damn fine frame. The current-gen 10-inch model looks lovely, with your choice of bezel and trim colors and even a stylish, patterned backside in case you display it somewhere you can actually see the back (like on an end table).

In my tests I found the Nixplay frame easy to set up, thanks to simple onscreen instructions that eventually lead you to the Nixplay app. The latter takes some learning, however, as it's heavily playlist-oriented and not super-intuitive overall. Even so, I think if you're looking to outfit not only yourself but one or more family members with a smart photo frame, this is a top choice. The app lets you set up "family circle" playlists for easy sharing between frames, plus you can pull photos from social networks like Facebook, Instagram and Google Photos.

I also like the frame's variety of display modes, which include fit-to-screen, pan-and-zoom and snapshot (which digitally frames each photo like a Polaroid and lays them down in a virtual, ever-growing pile). Most of these modes include nearly a dozen nifty transition options (push, wipe, cross-fade, etc.), including one that'll randomly cycle through them all.

Your frame purchase includes unlimited cloud service for your photos, though that means you need an active internet connection to see your full slideshow. Without one, the frame displays only your most recent additions, which are stored in local memory.

I did encounter a few image quality issues, starting with Nixplay's SmartFace Framing feature: It promises to automatically put faces near the center of the screen, but with some of my photos, it cut them off instead. Another oddity: SmartFace Framing can be enabled only via the frame's settings menu; it's not accessible in the app, even though most other display settings are. Meanwhile, the prominently featured Gift Prints option, which lets you order prints, photo books and the like, doesn't actually integrate with the Nixplay app. Instead, it leads you to a mobile browser, where ordering is a confusing process.

Of course, no frame is perfect, and I believe Nixplay's model makes a great choice for far-away families that want to easily exchange photos.

For razor-sharp images from a decor-friendly frame, look to the Aura Mason Luxe. It's especially good if you want something you can gift to others.
$249 at Amazon
  • Screen size: 9.7 inches

  • Resolution: 2,048 x 1,536

  • Storage: Unlimited (cloud)

  • Touch screen: No

  • Orientation options: Landscape/portrait

  • Motion sensor: No

  • Dedicated email address: Yes

With its 2K-resolution screen, eye-catching grooved frame and unlimited storage, the Aura Mason Luxe is for those who want something really close to a traditional photo frame — but with nearly all the benefits of a digital replacement.

Where it really stands out, however, is with the gift option: If you're ordering one to give to someone else, you can upload photos before gifting and even set it up for use with the recipient's Wi-Fi network. This works a little differently depending on whether you purchase from Aura proper or a retail partner like Amazon; be sure to read Aura's gifting page to learn more.

From there the Mason Luxe can sync with iCloud and Google Photos, or pull photos from the Aura app (one of the very few that flags photos you've already sent, great for avoiding duplicates). Friends and family can use that app as well, or send photos directly to the frame via email. I wish it had a motion sensor, but at least you can set sleep timers for off hours. It will automatically shut off when it detects darkness too.

Interestingly, this is the rare frame that doesn't have a touch screen. All settings are managed in the app, though there are touch bars embedded on the top and side edges; you swipe these to page through your photos. I thought this was weird at first, until I realized it keeps the screen completely free of fingerprints. Smart!

Less smart: Because the Aura relies solely on cloud storage, it requires a full-time Wi-Fi connection; it literally won't work without it. That's my only real complaint with what is otherwise a really beautiful frame.

A digital photo frame that's also a TV? Or maybe it's the other way around. Samsung's the Frame turns any wall into an art showcase, one that can also feature your favorite photos.
$598 at Amazon
  • Screen size: 32 inches and up

  • Resolution: 4K

  • Storage: 16GB

  • Touch screen: No

  • Orientation options: Landscape only

  • Motion sensor: Yes

  • Dedicated email address: No

Samsung's super-popular the Frame TVs are designed to blend seamlessly with your decor, to mount on a wall much like a framed work of art. In fact, when they're not pulling television duty, they can display world-famous paintings, photography and even — you guessed it — your kids or grandkids.

That makes these arguably the fanciest photo frames around. And because the screens are so large (the Frame ranges from 32 to 75 inches), you can show multiple pictures at once on a virtual matte background. The effect here is shockingly realistic and surprisingly cost-effective when you think about it: Instead of paying a framing store hundreds of dollars for a single framed matte-photo collage, here you can swap between dozens of them.

The current-generation models start at $600, but watch for seasonal sales at Samsung and elsewhere, where discounts can be significant. Just take note that the actual television is typically sold with a basic black bezel; if you want a different color or a larger, fancier wood frame, it'll cost you extra.