December 9, 2022

The digital picture frame is the unsung hero of gift giving moments

There’s perhaps no better way to put a smile on your loved one’s face than to share a special photo. A magical wedding shot, a glimpse at a goofy childhood memory, or a sentimental group photo with your friends. With a digital picture frame, you can have each and every one of those moments on display, 24/7.

A digital picture frame is ideal for new parents, grandparents, newlyweds, long-distance couples, college kids missing home, or families separated by distance. Many digital picture frames are also perfect for the less-than-tech-savvy (we’re looking at you, grandma), but there are plenty of options out there that’ll impress even the most in-the-know tech aficionado.

Isn’t my phone just as good as a digital picture frame?

While you could just as easily use your phone to peruse your digital photo albums, a digital frame is a more passive, organic way to be reminded about your life’s most special moments. Swiping through your phone is all well and good, but being surprised with a throwback snapshot that makes you feel all warm inside is far better. And, of course, it’s easier to show off those memories to the company you keep.

Features to keep in mind

There are so many aspects to look for when you buy a digital picture frame that you probably never even thought of. Here are some things to take note of before you make your decision:

  • Connectivity: Is the frame WiFi- or Bluetooth-enabled? What is the sharing system like? It will be significantly easier to upload your photos with a picture frame that has some sort of internet connectivity, but if it’s a gift for someone who might not be great with technology, it may be better to get a frame where you just have to insert a USB to transfer photos. Some frames even allow photo uploads through email or a first-party app.

  • Storage: This is a no-brainer, as it’ll be the factor that decides just how many photos you can fit on the frame’s internal storage. Usually, digital picture frames have anywhere from 8GB to 32GB of space, utilizing onboard storage or a removable SD card.

  • Image quality: What’s the point of displaying your photos if they aren’t going to look good? Is the display clear and colorful? How big is the screen size? Most frames have anywhere from 480p resolution to 1080p. Also, some frames have an auto-dimming feature that changes with the lighting of the room, ensuring that your photos will be displayed in the best possible way.

  • Bonus functions: Can the frame handle videos, GIFs, and live photos? Most digital picture frames can’t, but a few can as long as you’re willing to forego audio. We assume you mostly care about still images, but it’s still good to know if your frame can do more.

  • User interface: Does the frame operate via touchscreen or remote? Can it do both? Does it have motion sensors, or is it an always-on display? Understanding these things before you buy will make getting used to your new digital picture frame much less of a hassle.

  • Portability and power: Unfortunately, most digital picture frames need to be plugged in, meaning they tend to lack portability (that’s where your phone can come in handy, though). But because most of them rely on an outlet for power, you won’t have to worry about them running out of battery.

So, now that we know what to look for, here are our top picks for the best digital picture frames you can get right now.