Anton Galang is a Lifewire writer with a background in journalism and more than 12 years of experience in the areas of tech and education. He tested several digital photo frames for Lifewire and ended up keeping a few for his home and giving others as gifts.
Andy Zahn is a Lifewire writer and reviewer with expertise in all sorts of consumer technology—with the added bonus of photography experience that helped inform his testing of the Google Nest Hub and other digital frames.
Erika Rawes has been writing for Lifewire since 2019. Specializing in consumer technology, she’s previously been published on Digital Trends, USA Today, and others. She’s reviewed a number of smart home and lifestyle devices, including several digital photo frames.
How do I add photos to a digital photo frame?
Different frames offer different ways of loading your photos, so you’ll want to check if it supports the method you prefer to use. More basic frames have a port for a USB storage drive and/or a slot for an SD card, so you’ll need to load your files to an acceptable medium and then plug it in. (Some frames ship with a modest-sized SD card for you to use.) Some frames have internal storage to transfer your pictures into; otherwise, you’ll have to leave your drive or card inserted.
More advanced digital frames connect to the Internet and let you send photos via e-mail, upload wirelessly from your computer or smartphone, or link directly to your existing photo storage or social media accounts. Many of these web-based frames don’t allow for offline photo transfers, so it’s often a case of one or the other.
Do digital photo frames run on batteries?
While there are some frames that are powered by rechargeable batteries, most displays use too much power to run efficiently on batteries. Having a high-end LCD screen displaying images all or most of the day usually requires that it be connected to a power source, i.e., a power adaptor plugged into the wall. In most cases, the frame is intended to serve as a piece of home décor that stays plugged in and stationary.
Can I hang a digital photo frame on the wall?
Traditional photo frames could easily be hung on your wall in any orientation, but digital frames need to specifically account for this option for it to be viable. With the Nixplay Smart Photo Frame, for example, you can remove the adjustable kickstand from the back to access the wall-mounting holes and then use the included hardware (or other VESA-compatible accessories). Digital art frames like the Meural Canvas are designed to be displayed on the wall, and you can purchase it with a standard or swivel-friendly mount. Other frames may have stands, power cords, and other pieces in the back that prevent them from being hung against a wall.
What to Look for in a Digital Photo Frame
Display – Display size is likely a personal preference, with models measuring as small as seven inches and as large as 21 inches. This decision is largely based on your interior design and how much room you have for the frame. Resolution, though, is less negotiable. Some of the best frames out there offer 1920×1080 16:9 IPS displays that will be visibly sharper to the naked eye than lower-resolution models.
Memory – The more memory a digital photo frame has, the more photos (and even videos) the device can store. Most offer between 4GB to 32GB of storage, with some even offering additional capacity via USB, SD, and SDHC memory cards. Still, 4GB of memory can hold about 20,000 pictures, so that should be ample unless you’re uploading large videos.
Cloud features – Higher-end frames today can connect to Wi-Fi and take advantage of a wide assortment of cloud-based functionality. This can include everything from uploading pictures through a computer or mobile device to social media integration and sharing to remote control via a mobile app. Such features can add a lot of convenience and flexibility, but at the same time can make installation and use of the frame much more complicated than some users want to deal with.