Back in the day, a digital photo frame was perhaps viewed as something of a novelty item. A gift that would be played with for a while, before eventually making its way into the drawer of miscellany that exists in every household.
But these have now been around for over a decade, so perhaps it's time to take another look at them, and decide whether or not they are a legitimate substitute for traditional photos. We'll run through a few key things to think about, to help you frame your decision.
Is A Digital Photo Frame Worth It?
As we mentioned above, the early digital photo frames were not great. Pictures were often small, not particularly clear, and ultimately unsatisfactory.
But as with so much technology, time passes, and things get better. The question is, what do digital photo frames offer now, compared to how they used to be? Here are some of the main reasons to consider getting one.
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Let's start with one of the most important factors. Image quality used to be an issue with digital photo frames. But that really isn't the case anymore. Now, the image quality can be incredibly sharp.
Take, for example, the Aura Luxe 2k digital frame. This has a 9.7-inch screen with a 2048 x 1536 resolution. It's pin sharp, crystal clear imagery that more than competes with printed images.
Other companies offer even larger frames, ranging from Nixplay's 15-inch offering with a 1024 x 768 XGA screen, to frames that are big enough to be classed as wall art. One example is the Canvia Smart Digital Canvas - with a 24-inch display with a 1920 x 1080 FHD resolution.
The bottom line is that no matter what screen size you want, there will almost certainly be something suitable, without having to compromise on image quality.
And actually, if you want high-quality images printed, it will cost you. Whether that's for a home printer with photo quality printing capability, plus ink and photo paper, or going to a shop. And that's where ease of use is another factor.
Ease Of Use
As well as offering great quality images, digital photo frames mean you can change the image you want to display quickly and easily. It's far, far easier than having to print another image and physically put it into a frame. And it doesn't waste paper and other resources if you are someone who wants to regularly change the images you have on display.
Most digital frames these days are WiFi compatible, enabling you to add images via your computer or phone. Some even allow you to take pictures from social media feeds such as Instagram and Facebook.
The ease with which you can change images is a critical aspect of the digital frame offering. And some go a step further, allowing you to share your images with other people. Whether that's curating a 'playlist' that you can share with friends and family who may live far away, or simply sharing images between frames that are on the same network, the options do exist.
Some devices on the market now will offer additional features, rather than simply displaying photos. One popular example is the Meta Portal, which offers a wealth of features. Video calls, WhatsApp, and even voice control.
But perhaps most importantly for this article, it can also serve as a digital photo frame. So when you aren't using for one of the other purposes it offers, it will simply blend into the background and show you beautiful images instead. Which is much, much more than a traditional picture frame can do.
Actually Being Able To Enjoy Your Photos
We've saved this until the end, but that doesn't mean it is less important a factor. Given that almost all of us now carry a camera everywhere via our mobile devices, we probably have thousands upon thousands of images stored. But how many do we actually then go back and look at?
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And this is arguably where a digital photo frame really makes a difference. With a traditional photo frame, you'd have to select any image you want to view, then go and print it, and then put it in a frame.
But a digital photo frame allows you to quickly and easily revisit any moment. Even if you only want to view something for a few minutes, you can. Without having to go to much effort at all. And having access to all those precious memories at the touch of a few buttons is difficult to place a value on.
So is a digital photo frame worth it? We think there are plenty of good reasons why you might want to consider one (or more). The image quality and ease of use make them far more compelling than they used to be. And if you have hundreds of photos you enjoy looking at, it's so much easier than printing them off.
And something we haven't actually mentioned yet - digital photo frames can look really stylish, and actually augment your home decorating. So there are fewer reasons than ever to rule them out.