Show off your pictures with a smart digital photo frame

Displaying photos of family and friends or snapshots of your pets is the easiest way to personalize your living space. The trouble is, traditional photo frames take up scads of room. You've upgraded from a flip phone to a smartphone and maybe from a desktop to a laptop, right? Why not step up from old fashioned photo frames to digital too? I've handpicked a few of my favorite digital photo frames and can't wait to share them with you.

A smart frame

Nixplay Seed

Staff Favorite

Some products billed as smart are lacking intelligence. That's not the case with the Nixplay Seed. This 10-inch digital photo frame has an infrared sensor that detects when someone walks into the room. It automatically turns on when eyes are present and off when no one is around. Talk about energy saving! The 10.1-inch IPS display is stunning. Colors are accurate, and images are clearer than any print. You can email photos to the frame for instant viewing from anywhere in the world. That feature alone makes it a spectacular gift for grandparents. You can also add photos from Google Photos, Flickr, Facebook, Instagram, and other services. The Nixplay Seed is compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant and comes with an infrared remote and power adapter. This model is also available in 8-inch and 13.3-inch sizes.

$147 at Amazon

Best for your budget

Aluratek 7" Frame

You don't have to spend money outside your comfort zone to get in on the latest and greatest digital photo frames. The Aluratek may not have all the bells and whistles of some higher-end units, but it does have a beautiful 7-inch TFT LCD and traditional-looking wooden frame. Once powered on, your photos show themselves off automatically. The Aluratek reads SD/SDHC memory cards and USB drives, too, so it's a cinch to add photos. Photographs are bright and vibrant, and the basic black frame blends in with any decor. Perfect for your office cubicle, a dorm room, or a bedroom, this small digital photo frame showcases your best work and is simple enough for anyone in the family to use.

$31 at Amazon

Big and bold

Pix-Star 15" Wi-Fi Frame

When you want your photos to come to life, you want the Pix-Star 15-inch photo frame. The humungous 15-inch LED turns on and off automatically when someone is near. Photos and videos are shareable over email or through a free smartphone app. And setting up the Pix-Star is surprisingly simple. Everything works over Wi-Fi, and the directions are so easy to follow that you can be up and running in just a few short minutes. The Pix-Star is compatible with Google Drive, Google Photos, and Flickr, and you can also move photos via USB drive and SDHC and SDHC cards. Bonus: you can get daily weather forecasts via the frame to keep tabs on what's happening outside in your neighborhood and in the backyard of friends and family. This is a big, bold frame that turns your snaps into visual masterpieces.

$200 at Amazon

Best touch screen

Dragon Touch Classic

With the Dragon Tough Digital Picture Frame, you'll get all the benefits of new technology in an old school wood frame. With a comfortable look and homey appeal, the Dragon Touch is a frame that's at home on a nightstand, kitchen counter, office desk, or a shelf. The 10-inch IPS touch screen shows off photos in HD. Photographs auto-rotate from portrait to landscape as needed. A nice touch! You'll get 16GB of internal storage to keep your memories, and photos and videos can also travel over Wi-Fi, SD card, and USB drive. There's enough internal space here to hold more than 40,000 photos, so loved ones are always near. This classic-looking photo frame comes with a free app to manage setup, display features, and to add or delete snapshots and video.

$111 at Amazon

Wall mountable

Nixplay Smart

The Nixplay Smart Digital Photo Frame is a slender 10.1-inch model that is wall mountable. Finally, a digital picture frame that doesn't need to be propped up, taking up valuable space! The IPS display is vivid and crisp and has a 16:10 aspect ratio that adjusts to portrait and landscape shots. Photos and video are sendable via email or app, and this model is controllable with Alexa and Google Assistant. If you have more than one frame, you can send unique pictures and videos to different rooms, creating a private family sharing network. Pretty cool!

$173 at Amazon

Our final thoughts

More than a few generations of digital photo frames have come and gone now. The years between the first release and today have led to a less complicated installation and more pleasurable viewing experience. My top pick this year is the Nixplay Seed. It's compatible with Google Assistant and Alexa, and photos are retrievable from Google Photos, Flickr, and other services. The Nixplay Seed is a thoughtful gift for grandparents who may not have the patience to fiddle with setup. Your photos can be emailed to the frame or sent from the app, and they display on their own without any further interaction required. Best of all, this energy-saving model automatically turns on when someone walks in the room and shuts off when no one is present.

If you want to keep costs down, you can't beat the Aluratek 7-Inch Digital Photo Frame. The wood frame is beautiful, and the small 7-inch TFT LCD is just the right size for exhibiting photos in your office cubicle, dorm room, or on an end table. The Aluratek pulls photographs from memory cards and USB drives. What could be simpler?

My favorite touch screen digital photo frame is from Dragon Touch. Cycle through photos with a finger or the Dragon Touch app. This classic-looking frame stores up to 40,000 pictures and videos and looks stunning anywhere in the house.

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