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Best digital photo frame 2020: 5 great home displays for your photos

Facebook Portal
(Image credit: Future)

Looking for the best digital photo frame you can buy right now? Whether you want fresh photos for your office or a slideshow to liven up your living room, there are plenty of frames to consider. From small, affordable options to larger smart displays, there’s an ideal photo frame out there for you.

Digital photo frames have come on leaps and bounds in the last few years, offering sharper screens and better image quality, as well as enhanced connectivity. Many of the best displays come with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support, with the option to store your slideshow in the cloud – or source photos from social media – while several include features such as Spotify support, voice assistants and smart home controls.

There are a number of factors to consider when deciding which digital photo frame is right for you. Price and screen size often go hand in hand, with larger displays – or those with higher resolutions – costing more. You’ll want to find one with a design that fits the aesthetic of your room, but it’s also worth thinking about where you’ll place the frame. Most models ship with a stand, but a few can also be wall-mounted – and remember that reflections can be an issue when opposite a light source.

We’ve extensively tested the best photo frames on the market and our current favourite is the Aura Mason. A stylish and versatile display, it offers excellent image quality, a slick interface and a chic design that should be at home on any shelf. On a tighter budget? Our top affordable pick is the Nixplay 8-inch frame.

But before you make a purchase, be sure to read the whole buying guide below: whether it's size, smart features or price, there might be a digital photo frame that’s better suited to your specific requirements.

Aura Mason

(Image credit: Future)

1. Aura Mason

Smart, chic and slick, this is the best digital frame you can buy

Display: 9-inch LCD | Resolution: 1600x1200 pixels | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth | Dimensions: 246 x 193 x 48 mm | Sources: App | Remote control: No | Cloud storage: Unlimited (free) | Orientation: Portrait/landscape (automatic) | Wall-mounting: No

Seamless design & interface
Vibrant, high-res screen
Fixed display angle
Only ships with a US plug

The name of Aura’s minimalist frame is no accident: the Mason feels as if it’s hewn from stone. With a tiered bezel, sculpted back and premium finish, it’s a lesson in stylish understatement – a real thing of beauty. And though its display is a decent size at 9in, the freestanding design gives it a compact footprint that can fit anywhere a traditional frame would.

The Mason’s 1600x1200 display is one of the best out there, offering excellent depth, sharpness and saturation. Images are vivid but balanced, and the added pop helps counter what is a slightly reflective screen. While the standing angle cannot be changed, its viewing angles are the class of the field – aided by the ambient light sensor’s brightness adjustments.

As with the frame itself, the partner app is pretty pared-back. Customisation options are limited to slideshow timing and sleep schedules, while individual images can be selected as favourites and the crop on portrait shots adjusted. While some might want more control, the interface is uncluttered and intuitive, even for the uninitiated – which is ideal, given that you’re able to invite family members to contribute. Snaps can be added individually or as albums, and there’s also support for Live Photos.

Two touch bars are seamlessly integrated into the top and right sides of the frame. These can be used to swipe through photos, bring up more details and select the current photo as a favourite. Subtle, smart and effective, they’re just like the Mason itself.

Facebook Portal

(Image credit: Future)

2. Facebook Portal

This social screen doubles up as a stellar connected frame

Screen size: 10-inch touchscreen | Resolution: 1280x800 pixels | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth | Dimensions: 260 x 175 x 141 mm | Sources: App, social media | Remote control: No | Cloud storage: Unlimited (free) | Orientation: Portrait/landscape (automatic) | Wall-mounting: No

Chic contemporary design
Vibrant smart display
Fixed stand is too big for some shelves
Sleeps after an hour without motion

Primarily a device for calling friends and family, Facebook’s social screen does a side-gig as a slick digital photo frame. Styled like a floating box frame with neat lines and a quality finish, it’s an attractive fit for contemporary shelves – provided there’s space for the supporting leg. The stand can prop the Portal in portrait or landscape, but it sticks out by 12cm – and the power cable exits from its end, so it can’t sit flush against your wall. 

Up front, the 10-inch display is vibrant and responsive, with good detail and colour reproduction. The panel is quite reflective, but there’s enough brightness to counter glare – though this dips when viewing from a 45-degree angle.

Setup is straightforward and the slick touchscreen interface is matched by the polished partner app. Photos can be sourced from Facebook, Instagram or your smart device, then sorted into albums which can be individually enabled. 

You can’t change how the Superframe slideshow is sorted or tweak the transition style, though – only the duration of each slide. Nor can you extend the sleep setting beyond an hour: if the Portal’s sensor doesn’t detect motion for 60 minutes, it’ll automatically sleep. Not a major issue, unless you position the Portal on a high shelf or in a far corner where it misses any movement.

You do need a Facebook or WhatsApp account to activate the Portal, which will be a negative factor for some – but with Alexa, Spotify and family apps included, it’s certainly a feature-packed frame.

Nixplay Nix Digital Photo Frame 8-inch

(Image credit: Future)

3. Nixplay Nix Digital Photo Frame 8-inch

Small but versatile, this is the best affordable frame you can buy

Screen size: 8-inch LCD | Resolution: 1280x800 pixels | Connectivity: N/A | Dimensions: 212 x 148 x 30 mm | Sources: USB, SD card | Remote control: Yes | Cloud storage: N/A | Orientation: Portrait/landscape (automatic) | Wall-mounting: Yes

Good value
Plenty of settings to adjust
Definition could be better
File browser interface isn’t the slickest

Compact and affordable, Nixplay’s 8-inch digital photo frame is also surprisingly feature-packed – provided you’re happy to skip the cloud connectivity offered by more expensive frames.

Front-on, it apes the aesthetic of a traditional photo frame. Its plastic build doesn’t feel premium, but a bevelled bezel and unique rippled back mean it stops short of characterless. Propping it up is an adjustable stand that works in portrait or landscape (the display automatically rotates) and can also be removed for wall-mounting.

The 8-inch screen is at the smaller end of the spectrum, but it displays landscape snaps at a size similar to standard photo prints, so it’s a natural fit for most shelves. The panel is bright with decent colour reproduction, though there’s noticeably less contrast depth and detail definition than some frames with the same 1280x800 resolution.

That said, the matte finish means reflections aren’t an issue, while the brightness, contrast and colour settings can all be adjusted to suit. In fact, from transitions to interval times to sleep settings, tinkerers will find plenty to customise in the settings menus, including the activation of the motion sensor.

The downside is an interface that feels like a file browser. The infrared remote is easy to use and navigating images on an SD card or USB stick is straightforward, but the system simply isn’t as slick as some – and it can sometimes feel quite sluggish, especially when scrolling through thumbnails. But it’s a minor compromise on an otherwise versatile budget frame.

Google Nest Hub Max

(Image credit: Future)

4. Google Nest Hub Max

A capable smart screen for your Google Photos

Screen size: 10-inch touchscreen | Resolution: 1280x800 pixels | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth | Dimensions: 250 x 183 x 101 mm | Sources: Google Photos | Remote control: No | Cloud storage: 15GB (free) or pay to expand | Orientation: Landscape | Wall-mounting: No

Decent screen brightness
No shortage of smart features
Screen angle is fixed
Slideshow only supports Google Photos

The Nest Hub Max is both a hub for smart devices and a portal for accessing Google Assistant at home, but it also does well as a digital photo frame. Styled like a 10-inch tablet attached to a fabric-skinned speaker, it forms a neat free-standing package with a small shelf footprint – even if the screen’s plastic shell and bezels don’t feel particularly premium.

The fixed stand setup means you can’t adjust the display angle from its default upward tilt. While this will be an issue if you want to place the frame on a higher shelf, the viewing angles are otherwise good, with decent saturation and plenty of brightness – provided you’re fine with a reflective panel.

At 1280x800, the resolution of the touchscreen could be higher, but there’s still good detail with no noticeable pixellation – and it makes controlling the Nest Hub Max a cinch. Swipe between photos or tap the pop-up controls to hide, star or share particular images, or do the same thing with voice commands.

The Nest Hub Max can display art backgrounds, a full-screen clock or a selection of snaps from your Google Photos account. It supports Live Albums, features the option to show portrait pics in split-screen and offers time, weather and image data overlays – but you can’t manually change the slideshow order. And because it only works with Google Photos, the Nest Hub Max makes sense mainly for those already invested in the company’s cloud backup service.

Nixplay Seed Wave

(Image credit: Future)

5. Nixplay Seed Wave

A sizeable display with distinctive speakers to soundtrack slideshows

Display: 13-inch LCD | Resolution: 1920x1080 pixels | Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth | Dimensions: 336 x 213 x 38 mm | Sources: App, social media, cloud storage | Remote control: Yes | Cloud storage: 10GB (free) or 30GB (£14.99/year) | Orientation: Portrait/landscape (automatic) | Wall-mounting: No

All sorts of settings to tweak
Integrated speakers with Spotify support
Chunky bezel isn’t subtle
Images aren’t crystal clear

If you’re looking for a centrepiece display, the Nixplay Seed Wave is one of the biggest digital photo frames you can buy: at 13 inches, there’s no shortage of screen real estate – though the widescreen proportions mean many images will be cropped or bordered by black. 

And while the Full HD resolution is higher than on many alternatives, the extra pixels are stretched over a larger area. As a result, images lack detail and, though colours are fairly well balanced, photographs can feel a little flat and lacklustre.

On the other hand, the matte finish keeps glare at bay and viewing angles are decent. With a smooth but chunky plastic bezel around its edge, the frame isn’t especially subtle, though it does feel sturdy. Flip it round and you’ll find two mesh elements harbouring the 5W speakers. These are surprisingly punchy and, with support for Spotify and 15-second videos, give the frame a welcome dose of versatility. 

As for the stand, that’s a flexible affair: the thick, reinforced cable – which also houses the power connection – can be adjusted to almost any angle to support the Seed Wave, aided by a clumsy but effective rubber base.

Photos are added through the comprehensive Nixplay app. Snaps can be uploaded in batches to different playlists, while the app also allows you to adjust the Seed Wave’s many options – from transitions to sleep schedules. Alternatively, you can use the bundled infrared remote. Both are useful compliments to what is a slightly cumbersome but generous frame.