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The best digital picture frame 2021

Best digital picture frame: Digital picture frames on shelves in horizontal and vertical formation
(Image credit: Dragon)

The best digital picture frames allow you to enjoy your photos on rotation, giving new life to your memories of friends, family, holidays, weddings and more. However, with so many on the market, at a range of different prices, how do you choose the right one for you?

First you need to consider how you wish to upload your photos. Do you wish draw them from the cloud, social media or email, via Wi-Fi? Or would you prefer to just put them on a USB stick or SD card, and plug the latter straight into the digital frame?

You'll also want to think about what size screen you want, and what kind of picture resolution you're looking for. Beyond that, are you looking for special features, such as motion sensors to turn on the frame when you enter a room, and off when you leave? 

Maybe you want your device to be able to play video and music too? You might also be looking for voice control. Conversely, you might prefer a digital photo frame that's as simple as possible to use, particularly if it's a gift for an elderly relative.

In this article, we've brought together the best digital photo frames, and give you the information you need to choose between them. Read on to discover the best digital picture frames that money can buy, for a variety of potential purposes. Oh, and if you want to take more photos to show in your frame, also check out our guide to the best camera.

The best digital picture frames in 2021

Nixplay 2K Smart Digital Photo FrameCB

(Image credit: Nix)

01. Nixplay 2K Smart Digital Photo Frame

The best WiFi digital picture frame

Resolution: 2048 x 1536 | Display: 9.7in | Dimensions: 248 x 199 x 31mm | Touchscreen: No | Wi-Fi: Yes | Remote: Yes | Built-in storage: No | Video: No | USB: No | SD slots: No | Cloud services: Google Photos

High resolution 
Flexible positioning 
Reasonable price
No battery option

If you’re looking for the best digital photo frames with Wi-Fi, this is the model for you. The picture quality is superb, thanks to the pin-sharp 2K resolution, deep blacks, and bright, vibrant colours. The 9.7 inch IPS screen comes with a flexible stand that can be placed in either portrait or landscape position, and mounted to the wall if you choose. 

You can load up images from your smartphone, Google Photos, Dropbox, Facebook and Instagram, and the free app makes it easy to share photos with friends’ and family members’ frames too. A motion sensor turns the frame on/off automatically, there’s support for Alexa, and there’s a remote too. 

All this at a reasonable price makes the Nixplay 2K our pick as best digital picture frame overall. Do note, however, that this device is only mains powered and there’s no battery option.

Nix Advance 8-inch Digital Photo FrameCB endorsed

(Image credit: Nix)

02. Nix Advance 8-inch Digital Photo Frame

The best cheap digital photo frame

Resolution: 1024 x 768 | Display: 8 inches | Dimensions: 7.64 x 5.54 x 0.39 inches | Touchscreen: No | Wi-Fi: No | Remote: Yes | Built-in storage: No | Motion sensor: Yes | Video: Yes | USB: Yes | SD slots: Yes | Cloud Services: No

Good display
Easy to use
No Wi-Fi

Watching the pennies? Then check this out. The best digital picture frame that's available at a low price also comes from Nix. And as long as you don’t need Wi-Fi or smart features, it’s surprisingly capable, despite costing a fraction of other digital frames on this list.

Just insert a memory stick or SD card containing your photos and you’re on your way. You can choose to display images according to their date or their file name, or shuffle them. Its 8in LED screen does a good job of displaying your photos in crisp, bright colours, with a high resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels. And there’s a motion sensor that powers it down when no one’s around. 

Apart from a clock and a built-in calendar, that’s pretty much it in terms of features. But if you just want a digital photo frame that does the basics, this one comes in at a very cheap price.

Aluratek 8-inch LCD Digital Photo FrameCB endorsed

(Image credit: Aluratek)

03. Aluratek 8-inch LCD Digital Photo Frame

The best digital frame for grandparents baffled by tech

Resolution: 800 x 600 | Display: 8in | Dimensions: 8.5 x 7 x 1 inches | Touchscreen: No | Wi-Fi: No | Remote: No | Built-in storage: No | Motion sensor: No | Video: No | USB: Yes | SD slots: Yes | Cloud Services: None

Simple to set up
Easy to use
Reasonable price
Limited features

Digital picture frames are ideally suited for elderly relatives, but if yours are technically challenged, you’ll want something simple that doesn’t require messing about with the internet. In which case, we recommend the Aluratek 8-inch LCD, which is the easiest digital photo frame for grandparents to use. 

There’s no touchscreen, no built-in memory, no Wi-Fi connectivity, and no remote. You just plug in an SD card or a USB memory stick, and it displays the images on it. It’s as simple as that. There are a few customisation features available, but if your grandfolks don’t need to use them, they don’t have to worry about any of that. 

The 8in screen isn’t the most high-res on our list, but it still provides a good quality picture with bright colours. And most importantly, this is one of the best digital photo frames for easy set up, and easy use.

Meural WiFi Photo Frame

(Image credit: Meural)

04. Meural WiFi Photo Frame

The best large digital picture frame

Resolution: 1920 x 1080 | Display: 15.6 inches | Dimensions: 16 x 10 x 1.68 inches | Touchscreen: No | Wi-Fi: Yes | Remote: No | Built-in storage: 4GB | Motion sensor: Yes | Video: Yes | USB/SD slots: No | Cloud Services: No

15.6 inch screen
Anti-glare coating
Display famous art

Looking for the best digital picture frame with a big screen? Then the Meural WiFi Photo Frame, with its generous 15.6 inch display, should be just what you need.

With a gorgeous high definition IPS display (boasting 1920 x 1080 pixels), this big and beautiful screen has an anti-glare coating that means your images will look good from any angle. Plus, if you get bored of your own photos, you can browse through 30,000+ famous artworks via the free Meural app.

This digital frame also comes with sensors that auto-adjust the brightness and put it to sleep when it’s dark. The collapsible stand works in both portrait and landscape orientations, and wall mounting is also included. 

Nixplay Seed Wave

(Image credit: Nix)

05. Nixplay Seed Wave

The best digital picture frame with a medium-sized screen

Resolution: 1920 x 1080 | Display: 13.3in | Touchscreen: No | Wi-Fi: Yes | Remote: Yes, via Nixplay app | Built-in storage: 10GB | Card slots: No | Cloud services: Yes | Video: Yes, limited to 15 seconds per video | Dimensions: 3.76 x 33.58 x 21.31cm

Generous size
Bluetooth speakers
16:9 ratio may not suit

Want something sized in between the smallest and largest digital frames on our list? The Nixplay Seed Wave offers a screen size of 13.3 inches, which may be the happy medium you’re looking for. And a lovely display it is too, with Full HD 1920x1080 resolution.

You can share photos and videos from your phone or by email, there’s support for Google Photos, Dropbox, Facebook and Instagram, and you get a generous 10GB of built-in storage. A motion sensor turns the frame off when you leave the room, and Bluetooth speakers make adding music to your slideshows a joy. 

On the downside, this is quite expensive, there are no card slots, and the 16:9 widescreen ratio mean normal photos won’t take up the whole of the display.

Dragon Touch Classic 8 photo frame

(Image credit: Dragon)

06. Dragon Touch Classic 8

The best digital photo frame with a touchscreen

Resolution: 1024x768 | Display: 8in | Touchscreen: Yes | Wi-Fi: Yes | Remote: No | Built-in storage: 16GB | Card slots: Yes | Cloud services: Yes | Video: Yes | Dimensions: 29 x 3.8 x 21cm

16GB storage
Displays video
Attracts fingerprints

Looking for a digital picture frame you can operate by touch? Then we recommend the Dragon Touch Classic 8. It has a great 8 inch touchscreen with a high resolution 1024 x 768 pixel display, and allows you to upload pictures in a variety of ways, including app, email, FTP, Wi-Fi, USB stick and SD card. 

You get a generous 16GB of on-board storage, which should be enough for most people’s needs, and you can play music and short videos as well as still images. Features include alarm clock, calendar, weather forecast, automatic screen on/off, slideshow mode, interval time, and transition effects. The instructions aren’t the easiest to follow, and there’s no remote, but otherwise this budget priced digital frame offers very good value indeed.

Bear in mind, though, there’s a reason that most digital frames are not touchscreens: you’ll need to clean off your fingerprint smudges regularly, or it’ll mar your enjoyment of your favourite photos.

Google Nest Hub

(Image credit: Google)

07. Google Nest Hub Max

One of the best smart photo frames around

Resolution: 1280 x 800 | Display: 10in | Touchscreen: Yes | Wi-Fi: Yes | Remote: No | Built-in storage: No | Card slots: No | Cloud services: Google Photos | Video: No | Dimensions: 250 x 183 x 101 mm

Smart features 
Voice controls 
Fixed stand

The Google Nest Hub Max isn’t marketed as a digital picture frame: it’s primarily a hub for controlling your smart devices and a portal for accessing Google Assistant. But with its 10in touchscreen, it works very well as a digital frame too. 

With its 1280 x 800 resolution, you get a sharp, clear and precise picture, and you can use it to display images from your Google Photos account. And it’s packed with smart features, such as the ability to show portrait pics in split-screen, overlay your images with time, weather and image data, or hide, star or share particular images, either via the touchscreen or with voice commands. 

Be aware, though, that the stand is a fixed one, so this is not one of the best digital photo frames in terms of positioning flexibility.

Facebook Portal

(Image credit: Facebook)

08. Facebook Portal

The best digital picture frame that’s also a calling device

Resolution: 1280 x 900 | Display: 10in | Dimensions: 10.2 x 7 x 0.8 inches | Touchscreen: Yes | Wi-Fi: Yes | Remote: No | Built-in storage: None | Motion sensor: Yes | Video: Yes | USB: Yes | SD slots: Yes | Cloud services: Facebook, Instagram

Reasonable price
Adjusts to lighting
Many ways to add images
Requires account

Facebook Portal is mainly sold as a device for video calls via Facebook and Whatsapp. But it’s also one of the best digital photo frames around. 

The 10in touchscreen provides good picture quality, with a resolution of 1280 x 900 pixels and good levels of brightness and colour reproduction. As you’d expect, it can display your images from Facebook and Instagram. And you can also load images from a USB memory stick or an SD card. (Note, though, that either way you’ll need a Facebook or WhatsApp account to activate it.)

What’s more, Facebook Portal automatically adapts to ambient lighting and colour, to help make your photos look the best they can in different conditions. Plus it has Alexa built in, allowing you to play music, control your smart home, and get news and weather using your voice.

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Tom May

Tom May is a freelance writer and editor specialising in design, photography and tech. He is author of Great TED Talks: Creativity, published by Pavilion Books. He has previously been editor of Professional Photography magazine, associate editor at Creative Bloq, and deputy editor at net magazine.