The top performers in our review are the Sungale Cloud Frame, the Gold Award winner; Pix-Star FotoConnect, the Silver Award winner; and Nixplay Edge, the Bronze Award winner. Here’s more on choosing a unit to meet your needs, along with detail on how we arrived at our ranking of 10 wireless photo frames.
In other eras a handful of photos per person, per lifetime was pretty normal. We take a lot more now. There are billions of photos on Facebook alone. With decent camera phones in the purse or pocket of most adults and many children, we are likely to take all sorts of photos at all sorts of times. The story often ends there, with the photo never escaping the camera phone. Those important memories can be forgotten if you don't display your photos somewhere people will see them.
A wireless digital frame gives you a place to display your favorite photos without the clutter and bulk that comes with framed paper prints. Displaying photos on a computer screen or cell phone screen may be perfectly adequate for many, but there is something nice about displaying your favorite photos more prominently.
Today's Wi-Fi digital photo frames make the whole process very easy. You do not even have to reorganize your photos– you can simply plug in a memory stick or link them to your social media accounts and let the photo collections play as they are. You can also carefully arrange your collections if you choose. For more ideas on displaying your favorite photographs, see our articles on wireless digital frames.
There is a whole class of digital picture frames with excellent color displays that are not linked to the internet via a Wi-Fi connection. You plug in a memory card and then either save your photos to the internal storage on the frame or just play photos locally from the card or stick. More and more, though, for about the same price, you can get a frame that can do all of that plus play photos from your online collections. There is an initial learning curve for anyone not used to technology, but it is worth it. At the end you have a frame you don't have to connect to anything in order to add photos – not a jump drive or a USB cord. You do it all over your wireless internet connection. It can become one more way to make your house a smart home.
That means that family and friends who have your login information can add photos to your frame from anywhere in the world. The wireless picture frame basically updates its own collection and you can wake up to new photos of the grandkids on your Wi-Fi picture frame every day.
We lined up all of the units in our wireless digital frame reviews in the same room, under the same lighting and examined the same set of photos to compare the quality of photo reproduction. Our in-house experts evaluated how clear photos looked from different angles, comparing each to a print of the original photo. They looked for how the color in each photo was reproduced and for any graininess. They considered which frames looked best from the most viewing angles, too.
Scores for ease of use factored into our rankings as well. These frames are naturally a little more complicated than the digital frames not connected to Wi-Fi, but it should still be relatively easy to get them up and running. Most of the units in this comparison require setting up an online account that you can add to from your social media accounts or via email. The manufacturers should make it very clear how to do all of that. We docked them when it was difficult.
One thing people dislike about these wireless cloud digital frames is the potential energy drain. The best wireless digital frames ease that concern with a motion sensing feature so that the frame is only on when someone is in the room to enjoy the photos. Some also have a sleep timer, allowing you to decide which hours during the day the frame is displaying photos.
It's natural to want anything going into your home or office to fit your personal style. We did not give scoring advantages to any one design over another, but it is worth noting that some of the frames come in multiple colors and sizes. The picture quality inside matters most but some frames give more options than others for fitting personal tastes.
We found the Sungale Cloud Frame, Pix-Star FotoConnect and Nixplay Edge to stand out the most. The picture quality was noticeably crisp and accurate when compared to the original photos on each digital Wi-Fi picture frame.
Our expert panelists were impressed with the Sungale Cloud Frame especially. The color and clarity are superb and this frame is a great multitasker, able to pull in photos from just about anywhere – social media accounts, physical storage, your smartphone and more.
FotoConnect also got mostly positive reviews for its picture quality, and it has a versatile design. This frame allows for a lot of personal flair in in the details of each slideshow –you can make a collage of several photos if you like. You can also decide how long each picture displays.
Nixplay makes a wide range of excellent digital picture frames with Wi-Fi – the Edge is the most versatile, helping you display videos and photos from a range of social media and other sources. The pictures look crisp and true-to-life on this Wi-Fi digital photo frame.
All of the units we considered will help you organize and display your favorite digital photos without the hassle that comes with paper prints, and these are much easier to update when you want some new images. Having friends and family crowd around a cell phone is fine for sharing some images, but a more permanent display is a nice way to highlight the best ones. Social media helps you share images but not everyone has every type of social media account. These Wi-Fi cloud digital photo frames can serve as a portal for strengthening family ties – everyone can send photos to grandma's digital frame, via a Wi-Fi connection, even when she may be many time zones away.