Digital Picture Frames Buying Guide

As the world marches onward into a futuristic state only envisioned in science fiction three decades ago, so does the simplest of home décor. Digital picture frames are a fun little twist to generic picture frames. Instead of a glass case with a border, digital picture frames are much like tablets except for only one purpose. They are designed to look like your standard picture frame except for the fact that they have screens. Because of this, you are no longer limited to displaying one photograph in a frame, and instead can display any picture you want.

Why Buy a Digital Frame?

Digital picture frames not only look cool, but are more convenient than standard picture frames. Digital frames either come equipped with internal storage or can be hooked up to a USB stick, a flash card, or the internet. This means a single digital photo frame allows you to showcase thousands of photos instead of just one. This also means you have been freed of the hassle of having to print out photos.

Some digital picture frames allow new photos to be emailed to them directly, instantly adding them to their collection. Multiple users can be authorized to use a digital frame’s dedicated app, allowing others in your family to send photos too. You can also find digital photo frames that work with Amazon’s Alexa, and some even ship with built-in speakers for playing videos. Digital picture frames also make for an excellent gift as well as a purchase for yourself.

What to Look for When Buying a Digital Frame?

So, you’re sold on digital picture frames, but what should you look for when buying one? There are a few things you should consider when buying a digital picture frame, including learning how to use digital frames. Let’s discuss what you need to know when buying a digital frame.


The screen resolution of the digital picture frame is very important because that is the main aspect that will influence how your photos look. Too low a resolution would mean pixelated photos that don’t look great, but frames with higher resolutions will be more expensive. Look for a compromise keeping your budget in mind. A 720p (1280 x 720) resolution should be the minimum, whereas a 1080p (1920 x 1080) resolution would be ideal.

The picture quality mainly depends on three things i.e. the backlighting technology (LED, IPS, OLED etc.), resolution and the screen size. 1080p looks great on a 10-inch screen, but not so on a 30-inch display. Similarly, IPS panels are more expensive, but have outstanding viewing angles and vibrant colors compared to simple LEDs.


The size of the screen also matters when it comes to digital frames. Naturally, you don’t want a very small digital frame as no one would be able to see your photos clearly unless they were nose-deep in the frame. But get a frame too big and it will look out of place, like a wall painting set up on a desk. When it comes to the size of a digital picture frame, think of it like buying a standard photo frame and go with that.

Connection Options

Some digital frames might only ship with a memory card slot, while others allow multiple connectivity options. When looking for a digital photo frame, find out all the connectivity options it gives you. Memory card slots are convenient and might seem like all you need, but having the option for USB connectivity means you don’t have to transfer photos from your USB to your memory card every time. 

If the frame allows images to be emailed to it or can be connected to your cloud account, that’s even better. The most convenience you can get however, is a digital picture frame that has its own storage and a dedicated app that allows multiple users to send pictures to it from their phones.

Format Support

Most digital picture frames will support the most widely used picture formats like .jpg, but buying a frame that supports more formats is a smart move. What this means is that no matter what camera you might have taken a photo with, you can be sure that your digital frame will be able to display it without issues. Else, you will have to convert photos from one format to another, which can become an issue in the long-run.

Control Options

Different digital picture frames have different means of being controlled. Yes, if you want, your digital frame could display only one picture or run a slideshow. But having control over what it shows is always welcome for whenever you need to get to a specific photo in your collection. Some digital picture frames provide you with wireless controllers to change the pictures onscreen, but you can also find digital photo frames that have a touchscreen and allow you to swipe between photos.


Something as simple as a photo frame might not look like something you can integrate intelligence into, but limited smart features can exist in some digital picture frames. The simplest feature is that, like your phone or tablet, the photo frame keeps track of its orientation and rotates its display according to how it’s held. This is useful when you have photos taken in a different orientation. Other smart features can be as cool as knowing when someone is in the room and switching itself off when they leave.


And lastly, something you would also consider when buying a standard photo frame; its design. Digital photo frames are available in a variety of designs to best match your room’s décor. From modern and sleek frames to those that look just like a normal photo frame, you have a plethora of options to choose from when buying a digital picture frame.


Digital picture frames can really change the look and feel of your house. All your guests will be wowed by the slideshows on your walls and desks, and they also make for excellent gifts for friends and family. While you’re interested in displaying your photos, why not learn how to take good ones yourself? We have multiple guides on photography, like our guide on how to become a successful landscape photographer, or our top seascape photography tips. We’ve also got guides on long exposure photography and jewelry photography. Or maybe you could do with learning how to make the most out of a camera.