The Best Digital Photo Frames for Long-Distance Loved Ones

Keep everyone posted on how baby is doing with a digital picture frame.
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Published September 21, 2023
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Image: Skylight
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Being away from extended family can be tough during those early years of parenthood. After all, your baby is changing so much on what feels like a daily basis. While nothing can replace being together in person, there is something you can do to keep family up to date on all those gummy grins, adorable onesies, bathtime moments and more: Invest in a digital photo frame.

The best digital photo frame for grandparents allows you to deliver a steady stream of pictures to long-distance loved ones, so they can feel like they’re part of the action. While digital photo frames used to be intimidating to use, many now have easily understandable features that can make even tech-wary adults feel comfortable. Want a better solution for staying in touch? Consider these options.

What Is a Digital Photo Frame?

In case you’re not familiar, a digital photo frame is a device that displays pictures like a “regular” frame—it just doesn’t require you or your family members to print out photos. With a digital picture frame, you can share baby photos with faraway relatives and loved ones. They have the frame; You upload the photos. It’s that easy, and a great online photo storage solution for family members.

The Best Digital Photo Frames

There are a lot of different digital photo frames on the market, making it tough to know which is right for your loved ones. These are the best and most grandparent-friendly models out there.

Overall best digital photo frame

Nixplay - W10K Touch 10.1
Image: Best Buy

Nixplay’s Smart WiFi Photo Frame gives grandparents a lot of options for displaying photos. This frame can be mounted on the wall, displayed on a tabletop and used in portrait or landscape mode. In fact, they can turn it any way they want and the photos will automatically rotate and adjust. The frame contains a special smart sensor that wakes it up when someone is in the room and puts it to sleep when no one is there. The most recent photos and videos are displayed first and—this is nice—it keeps showing new content even if the WiFi is disconnected. You can create special playlists to celebrate big moments and allow loved ones to see grouped photos. The frame’s HD display also gives them the widest possible viewing angle with peak resolution, so photos aren’t blurry. Plus, you can seamlessly upload photos from an app on your phone. Choose from black, metal and white frame options, as well as a larger 15-inch version.

Display size: 10.1" | Resolution: 1280 x 800 pixels | Internal storage: N/A (unlimited cloud storage)

What We Love
  • Works from any angle
  • Can be wall mounted or perched on a tabletop
  • Automatically flips on when someone enters the room
Things To Consider
  • Requires WiFi
  • Setup takes time

Best WiFi digital photo frame

Aura Carver 10.1" WiFi Digital Picture Frame
Aura Frames Carver by Aura - WiFi Digital Photo Frame
Image: Kohl's

This massively popular Aura digital photo frame has rave reviews from fans who love the easy-to-use interface. You can send photos and videos from your phone straight to the frame via the Aura app, and invite your siblings or other loved ones to add their own pictures. The landscape frame sets up quickly on WiFi and works with both Apple and Android devices. A built-in speaker plays audio from videos, so you can pass along sweet messages to the grandparents from your baby.

A nice perk: The Aura Carver automatically adjusts the screen brightness, manages photo cropping and even turns off automatically at night so it won’t keep anyone awake. This particular model comes in a black gravel frame, but you can also choose from clay, sea salt and other options. Just be aware that prices will vary slightly depending on the color you choose.

Display size: 10.1" | Resolution: 1280 x 800 pixels | Internal storage: N/A (unlimited cloud storage)

What We Love
  • Updates from your phone
  • Several frame options
  • Plays video
Things To Consider
  • Needs WiFi
  • Only available in landscape orientation

Best non-WiFi digital photo frame

NIX 8 Inch Digital Picture Frame
Image: Amazon
Buying Options

Not everyone has WiFi, and that can make it tricky to find the right digital photo frame for your loved ones. Still, there are a few out there worth your money, including this popular model from Nix. The frame offers an 8-inch display and built-in stereo speakers to showcase photos and video. An energy-saving motion sensor automatically turns the frame on and off when someone is in the room or leaves, while the detachable stand lets the grandparents mount this on the wall or display it on a tabletop. A magnetic remote control makes for easy photo flipping and attaches to the frame when it’s not in use. Because this isn’t connected to WiFi, there is a little more lift required on your end: You’ll need to transfer your photos to a USB stick or memory card and then upload them to the frame. You also won’t be able to pass on photos in an instant like you can with WiFi-enabled frames. But for grandparents who don’t have internet or a wireless connection, it’s a great way to share your favorite photos.

Display size: 8" | Resolution: 1280 x 800 pixels | Internal storage: N/A (SD card storage)

What We Love
  • Great for tech-wary grandparents
  • No WiFi required
  • Magnetic remote
Things To Consider
  • Can’t update from your phone
  • Stand can be tough to remove

Best large digital photo frame

The Skylight Frame
Image: Skylight

With a 15-inch display, the Skylight Frame is a good five inches bigger than most models. It also has plenty of options to add photos, allowing practically any family member to add to it. Just email photos to a designated address (each frame has a unique one) or upload your pictures from the Skylight app. A gifting mode allows you to add photos to the frame before it’s even opened, so the grandparents can get their new frame ready to go with no setup required. This frame also offers both landscape and portrait modes, and comes with a mount to install it on your wall. Plus, touchscreen navigation allows you to flip through photos, adjust them and zoom into them right from the frame. Your folks can even continue to enjoy the photos when there’s no WiFi connection. Worth noting: This frame also comes in a 10-inch model if you prefer something smaller and more affordable.

Display size: 15" | Resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels | Internal storage: 8 GB

What We Love
  • Large viewing space
  • Works in landscape or portrait
  • Touchscreen navigation
Things To Consider
  • Pricey
  • No remote control

Best wall-mounted digital photo frame

10 Inch WiFi Digital Photo Frame Brushed Metal Gold - Polaroid
Image: Target
Buying Options

A wall mounted digital photo frame offers a sleek look, but not every model on the market offers this option. Those that do tend to be on the pricier end. Fortunately, the Polaroid WiFi Digital Photo Frame can be mounted on the wall or used as a free-standing frame. And the price is relatively affordable as far as digital picture frames go. In terms of technical features, the frame is among the best options out there. It auto-rotates between landscape and portrait modes for a wide range of photo displays. You can send up to nine photos or videos at a time through the app. Plus, you can pair several phones and tablets to one frame, so other family members can add their own snaps. Gifting a digital frame to both sets of grandparents? You can connect your phone and share photos to several frames at once. Better yet, this frame lets you add captions so your folks know what they’re looking at, along with emojis for a fun effect.

Display size: 10" | Resolution: 1280 x 800 pixels | Internal storage: 8 GB

What We Love
  • Easy to update
  • Plays video
  • You can add photo captions
Things To Consider
  • Can only send nine photos at a time
  • Menu only displays in portrait mode

Best budget-friendly digital photo frame

Kodak 10-inch WIFI Digital Picture Frame
Image: Walmart

Digital photo frames tend to be on the pricey side. While you can save by using a non-WiFi frame, you can’t upload pictures remotely. And those with WiFi will typically set you back at least $100. But this Kodak frame can be bought for as little as $60—and it has WiFi. With the free app you can share photos and 15-second videos whenever the need strikes. And you can even upload music to set the tone while your content is displayed on the frame. Display this frame on a tabletop or mount it on the wall—it offers both portrait and landscape modes. Better yet, the frame has an easy-to-operate touchscreen display and functions as a calendar, clock, alarm and weather app. Worth noting: There are slots for USB memory cards and ports to upload photos and videos in person.

Display size: 10.1" | Resolution: 1280 x 800 pixels | Internal storage: 16 GB

What We Love
  • Updates from your phone
  • Offers portrait and landscape modes
  • Plays videos and music
Things To Consider
  • Can only upload nine photos at a time
  • Calendar doesn’t integrate with other calendar apps

How We Chose the Best Digital Photo Frames

Digital photo frames can be a great gift for grandparents and other distant family members. But these are often larger purchases, making it something you want to get right from the start. To choose the best digital photo frames, we looked at the top products on the market and narrowed the field by elements like ease of use, storage size and other capabilities. Reviews from real users were considered to make sure we had the best sense of how these frames performed for a range of people. And only products with an average of four stars or higher were considered.

Interested in learning more about our editorial process? Read about how our team develops and reviews all articles here.

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