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4 Best Digital Picture Frames for Sharing Photos (2022)

4 Best Digital Picture Frames for Sharing Photos (2022)
Written by Techbot

Most of us have hundreds, if not thousands, of photos just sitting on our phones and computers that we rarely get to revisit in a polished way. There are too many to print and frame, and more keep piling up. That’s why I love digital frames

If you’re thinking of the tacky, pixelated digital frames of the early aughts, don’t fear! They’ve come a long way. They’re nice to have around the house, and they also make great gifts. You can set them up for others and push your latest vacation photos straight to them, so your folks or grandparents can always stay up-to-date. They do require a Wi-Fi connection, but if that’s no issue, I have several recommendations. These are the best digital picture frames (and the worst). 

Don’t have enough pictures? Check out our many other buying guides, like the Best Compact Cameras, the Best Mirrorless Cameras, the Best Photo Printing Services, and the Best Camera Gear for your Phone.

Updated November 2022: We’ve added the newest, less expensive Aura Carver as our top pick. We’ve also updated prices and links throughout.

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  • Aura Photo Scan digital frame showing child's artwork with child playing next to it

    Photograph: Aura

    Before You Buy

    Privacy Considerations

    You might not think that photos count as sensitive information, compared to a bank account statement or your Social Security number. But it can be devastating to find photos of loved ones used for nefarious or unsavory purposes. 

    This is why we prefer frames from reputable companies like Aura and Nixplay over cheaper ones with less clearly defined privacy and security practices. Nixplay offers reasonable security measures, like encrypting your photos during transmission, and Aura offers the option to delete metadata, like the location where a photo was captured. However, both say they may disclose personal information if court-ordered or subpoenaed, and neither provides safety guarantees against hacking. 

    Some digital frames can connect to voice assistants like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. By doing so, you give these companies more access to search through your entire photo album. For example, you can connect an Aura frame to Google Assistant and ask it to find a photo from a specific event; the Aura app will search your camera roll for what you’ve specified. 

    If you’re concerned about security, you can avoid connecting to third-party services, but your most secure option is to just download several photos on a tablet and disable all internet connectivity. 

  • Photograph: Aura

    Best Overall

    Aura Carver

    There’s no beating Aura when it comes to digital frames. This 2022 version of the Carver drops the price to $149—from there, styles go all the way up to $400, but they’re often discounted. All of them have high-quality displays, even this one at 1280 x 800 (compared to the other 1920 x 1200 frames), and unlimited photo storage. Plus they’re dead simple to set up, use, and share with family and friends.

    Maybe the best part is that Aura frames don’t look like shiny computer screens. Guests have said they didn’t realize it was a digital screen until the photo changed, which is exactly what I want. The app is also very straightforward, and there’s a scan feature to help better display physical photos or your kid’s drawings. Set it to slideshow or use the touch panel on the top of the frame to cycle through your album. The Carver and Buddy can only be used in landscape orientation, but you can rotate the brand’s other frames to portrait. You can use Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa to control some features, but you still need Aura’s app.

    For pet parents: Aura’s cute Buddy frame ($179), is designed with pet lovers in mind. Instead of liking photos via a heart, as on the other frames, you react with a paw print, and it comes in a cute animal-illustrated box. If you already have an Aura frame, there’s no need to spend more money on this one, but it would make a nice gift for pet lovers.

  • Photograph: Nixplay

    Runner-Up

    Nixplay 10.1-inch Smart Photo Frame

    Nixplay frames are priced comparably to Aura, and they look great too. There are additional perks, like a small clock you can add to the display, though that does make it look less like a real photo frame and more like a smart display.  I prefer this 10.1-inch frame for its slightly matter finish over the shiny (and pricey) 9.7-inch 2K Ultra ($300), but there are enough options for everyone.

    You can create your account via Nixplay’s app, but rather annoyingly, you need to use the remote to log in and connect to Wi-Fi. Google Assistant can only control power to the frames, but Alexa has more capabilities. As with the Aura, you still need to use the Nixplay app. As a bonus, Nixplay plants a tree for every frame bought in partnership with Trees for the Future.

    Touchscreen alternative: Nixplay now has a touchscreen version of the 10.1-inch frame ($190). The photos look just as nice, and if you know you’ll lose a remote, get this one. The touch capabilities are a little laggy compared to the high-speed screens we’re used to, but it’s nice to not be tethered to yet another remote and it’s not a screen you’re touching often anyway.

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