Best digital photo frames 2021: connected frames for your pictures

This selection of the best digital photo frames are a great choice for making the most of your memories

A woman looking at the best digital photo frame, the Nixplay
(Image credit: Nixplay)

Your phone is probably full of family photos and holiday shots, but when was the last time you looked at them? The best digital photos frames help make your photos more accessible so you can enjoy them daily. 

Of course, you could just print some photos and buy regular frames, but there are big benefits to going digital. For example, digital frames let you cycle through heaps of photos and you can access them from your phone or social media accounts. If you tried a digital frame a decade ago don’t be put off. The current crop of frames offer sharp images, great connectivity options and lots of features, rather than turning your holiday snaps into scenes from Minecraft.

As you might expect, there’s a lot of choices out there, making purchasing the perfect frame almost as tricky as picking a favourite photo. You’ll need to consider which screen size and style will look best on your mantelpiece, not to mention which connectivity features will work best for you within your budget. 

If you're hoping to capture picture-perfect images for your new digital photo frame, ones that are a cut above what the best smartphones can record, then you'll also want to check out T3's guide to the best mirrorless cameras, best DSLR and best compact camera.

But we’ve rounded up the biggest and best value to help you make a picture-perfect decision. Best snap to it…

The best digital photo frames you can buy today:

Nixplay Smart Digital Photo Frame

(Image credit: Nixplay)

1. Nixplay Smart Digital Photo Frame

Best overall digital photo frame

Specifications
Screen size: 10.1 inches
Resolution: 720p
Connectivity: Wi-Fi
Reasons to buy
+Easy to share photos+Can be managed with a phone+Supports Facebook and more+HD display
Reasons to avoid
-Design won’t be for everyone

The Nixplay Smart Digital Photo Frame is a great all-rounder offering tonnes of features for a competitive price. It’s a good size, with a generous 10.1-inch screen and when it comes to resolution, the HD 720p screen shows pictures clearly. Sure, it’s not the best on the market and pictures could be crisper, but for the price it does the job really well. However, it’s connectivity where this frame shines.

The Nixplay frame lets users share photos and videos from their phone or email via Wi-Fi. You can make playlists, including video snippets up to 15 seconds long and invite others to share or contribute photos too in a secure network, which could be great for families scattered across the country, or world. The frame pairs with the Nixplay App for iOS and Android, letting users manage it from their handset and connect to Google Photos, Dropbox, Facebook, Instagram and more to access pictures. There’s a remote control too, but users can even control it by speaking thanks to Amazon Alexa.

The frame holds 10GB of photos and videos, which isn’t as much as some, but is relatively generous. As managing the photos is easy, this shouldn’t be a dealbreaker as users can easily switch up pictures.

However, the style of this frame is a little Marmite. The front is undeniably plastic and the back is unapologetically modern with an interesting texture. While it may not suit traditional homes, it does look good and will probably be a crowd-pleaser in more modern houses.

Kodak Classic Digital Frame

(Image credit: Kodak)

2. Kodak Classic Digital Photo Frame

The best budget digital photo frame

Specifications
Screen size: 8 inches
Resolution: 720p
Connectivity: Wi-Fi
Reasons to buy
+Wi-Fi connectivity+Decent resolution+Good storage options+Great price
Reasons to avoid
-Not modern looking

Kodak is a name synonymous with photography and this Classic digital photo frame packs a punch for a really great price point. Unlike some more basic options, this one lets you receive pictures and short videos up to 15 seconds long from Android and iOS phones via a Wi-Fi connection. This is a big plus as it means you will be more likely to refresh your photo selection than if you had to plug it into a computer and find a lead in that terrible drawer in your house with all the other mysterious wires and defunct chargers.

As well as 16GB internal memory and room for more storage, users get 5GB of cloud storage for two years, which is handy for showing off extra shots on the frame’s 8-inch HD screen. Being touchscreen, it’s easy to play photos and slide shows as well as music and videos.

Traditionalists will love the look of this faux-wood frame, which would look good in many neutral interiors, but more minimalist options are available for people who like their home more modern.

Aura Sawyer

(Image credit: Aura)

3. Aura Sawyer Digital Photo Frame

The best for resolution – a high-tech frame that pays attention to detail

Specifications
Screen size: 10 inches
Resolution: 2k-ish
2k-ish: Wi-Fi
Reasons to buy
+Wi-Fi connectivity+Decent resolution+Good storage options+Great price
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive

Aura’s Sawyer frame is its most advanced and boasts ‘unparalleled image quality’. The 10-inch frame has an eye-catching resolution of 2048x1536, making it the highest in the industry, according to the company. This is a big advantage as it displays photos in true colour and showcases little details that frames with lower resolution may overlook. Photos are automatically cropped and positioned to best fit the 10-inch screen and the whole frame can be rotated so users can display their snaps in portrait or landscape.  

As with all digital photo frames, connectivity options are key. The Aura Sawyer uses Wi-Fi to enable users to share photos via the dedicated app to the frame. And, if homes or families have multiple frames, photos can be sent to the whole network. Compatible with iOS and Android phones, owners and their families, can control their frame and share photos using Amazon’s Alexa. 

Last but not least, while most frames rely on internal storage, this one comes with unlimited digital storage via Aura’s cloud service. All these features combined make the frame’s slightly higher price point great value, in our opinion.

Nixplay 15-inch digital frame

(Image credit: Nixplay)

4. Nixplay Smart Digital Picture Frame 15 Inch

The biggest digital photo frame – if size matters

Specifications
Screen size: 15 inches
Resolution: 720p
Connectivity: Wi-Fi
Reasons to buy
+A really big screen+Secure sharing +Connectivity to Facebook et al
Reasons to avoid
-There’s a lot of plastic

Nixplay’s 15-inch digital photo frame is much like the others in the range… expect it’s bigger, and that comes with big advantages. The photo set-up is more eye-catching and pictures are easy to see, even if the resolution is 720p or HD, which is totally adequate but not market-leading. 

There’s also an activity sensor that turns the frame on and off automatically, which is great for forgetful users or those keen not to waste energy. While the frame has to stay plugged in, it can be used in portrait or landscape and there’s a detachable stand that reveals a wall mount, giving users plenty of options about how they use it.

Connectivity options are where Nixplay frames shine. They enable private, secure and encrypted sharing of photos and video clips between families thanks to the ability to set up private sharing networks, making them great presents for grandparents and other relatives. Photos and video clips of up to 15 seconds can be shared remotely from iOS and Android phones and users are able to connect to Google Photos, Dropbox, Facebook and Instagram. Not all frames support these apps so this is a nice feature for heavy users of social media. The frame also works with Amazon Alexa so users can chat to it to select a playlist. In all, this big frame offers a large array of features, but the price tag isn’t small.

Kodak digital photo frame

(Image credit: Kodak)

5. Kodak Digital Photo Frame

The most stylish digital photo frame for image conscious photographers

Specifications
Screen size: 10 inches
Resolution: HD
Connectivity: Wi-Fi
Reasons to buy
+Rechargeable+Great looks+Extra features incl. a calendar
Reasons to avoid
-Quite expensive for the spec

Kodak’s eye-catching digital photo frame would look great in a trendy mid-century modern-styled apartment. Mixing colourful plastic and wood, it certainly looks different from its rivals, but it includes a fairly standard 10-inch HD screen, although it does boast a touch panel.

The frame has 16GB of RAM inside – that’s enough space for about 10,000 photos - but there’s the option to use media from USB, an SD card or the cloud for more flexibility, making it a great choice when it comes to storing photos. Wi-Fi means it’s easy to upload photos, video, and audio from a smartphone or tablet and there’s a KODAK Photo Frame app that lets users update their album easily, and share it with friends and family.

Many digital photo frames must be continually plugged into the mains, but this one has a four-to-five-hour battery life, making it easy to pass around when showing off pictures at family gatherings. And there are other little extras too that make this frame as good features-wise as its looks. For example, it can double as a clock and calendar, and shows the weather once hooked up to the internet, which is handy.  It’s a good job, as this isn’t a cheap frame, but users who aren’t keen on faux wood or geometric patterns on black plastic will love this frame’s looks as well as its features.

Facebook Portal

(Image credit: Facebook)

6. Facebook Portal 10"

The best multi-tasking digital photo frame

Specifications
Screen size: 10 inches
Resolution: 720p
Connectivity: Wi-Fi
Reasons to buy
+Multitasking+Shows Facebook and Instagram photos+Works with Alexa
Reasons to avoid
-Social media centric-Do you really want Facebook hearing and seeing all?

The Facebook Portal is different from all the other devices on the list, because being a digital photo frame is just one of its functions. Like many of the frames it has a 10-inch, HD screen, but that’s pretty much where the similarities stop. 

The device is primarily for keeping in touch with friends via Messenger and WhatsApp, and boasts a smart camera that can zoom and widen automatically, while Smart Sound reduces background noise. Alexa means users can control music, news, timers and all sorts with their voice too.

As for the photo frame, the screen resolution shows images off nicely, but higher spec devices capture more details. Portal is designed to display Facebook and Instagram photos when other features aren’t being used, making it a perfect digital photo frame for lovers of social media. But this is a make-or-break feature, as it’s not much use for people who don’t live for the ‘gram. Overall, this probably isn’t the best choice for grandparents, but might be the best pick for a teenager.

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Sarah Griffiths
Sarah Griffiths

A journalist with 10 years experience, Sarah specialises in Science and Technology, writing for the BBC, national papers and consumer magazines, including T3, of course.