Digital Picture Frame Buying Guide

There is tons of variety when it comes to digital picture frames. This means there is one for every person’s needs, but only if they can figure out which one that is. Should you get LCD or OLED? What features do you need to look out for when shopping for a digital picture frame? What brands are the best? This article will answer these questions and lead you on the road to finding your perfect digital picture frame.

Types of Digital Picture Frames


LCD, or liquid crystal display, is the most common type of display for digital picture frames. LCD allows displays to be much thinner than with CRT displays. LCD also uses less energy than LEDs because it works to block light whereas LED works to emit light. It is made with a passive or active matrix. The active matrix is best known as a thin filter transistor (TFT). Active matrixes require less current to control the light in an individual pixel because of a transistor that is located at the intersection of each pixel.


Standing for organic light emitting diod, OLED is made of organic compounds that brighten when given electricity. OLEDs can be extremely thin and a single pixel can be lit up at a time, unlike LCDs. While LCDs struggle to show dark blacks, OLEDs can do so simply by not feeding electricity to the organic compounds in the pixels desired. In addition, OLEDs can display more and finer shades of a color than LCD. This is a relatively new technology, however, and it has a way to go before it outshines LCD in all categories. For example, the organic compound used for the color blue has a shorter lifespan than that of the other colors and once one color goes out, the other colors will have trouble as well. Certain companies are working on this problem and have come up with a bandage that may or may not work in the long-term.

Pay Attention to

Screen size

Digital picture frames range in size greatly, from the tiny keychain frame at 1.5 inches to the wall-mounted giant frame at 32 inches. Frames less than fifteen inches are best displayed on tables or nightstands, while anything larger is best suited to the wall or as a digital sign. The larger the screen size, the more likely you are to see the individual pixels, which makes the whole picture much harder to comprehend.

Aspect Ratio

Aspect ratio is the relationship between the height and width of an image. There are two commonly used aspect ratios for digital picture frames. The first is standard or 4x3. This is the standard aspect ratio for most photographs. The second aspect ratio is widescreen or 16x9. If your frame only displays widescreen photos, your standard-ratio photographs will be either cropped or stretched.


This feature is measured by the number of pixels on the display. A low-resolution picture will be less clear because it uses fewer pixels to create the image, thus the term “pixelated.” High-resolution displays will almost appear not to have pixels at all, as the pixels are small due to the large number of them. However, high-resolution picture frames can get quite expensive, so you will have to strike a balance between price and resolution. Your best bet is to go with 800x600 for an eight-inch frame, while anything larger than ten-inches should have a resolution of at least 1024x768.

Frame style

You will want to consider carefully where you will be placing your digital picture frame before buying it so the frame will match the décor of the room. There are a wide variety of frame styles, from wood to metal, white to brilliant red. Keep in mind, also, that most frames need to be plugged in, so choose a location for your digital picture frame near a wall socket. While many frames are stuck in place, some frames are removable, making placement of your picture display much more flexible.

Image Transference

There are quite a few different ways you can transfer images to your digital picture frame. When buying your picture frame, make sure to find out the methods of transference available, such as via USB cable, memory card, and thumb drive, wireless, Bluetooth, or even via a cell phone. The easiest ways to transfer images are via wireless, Bluetooth or cell phone connection, while the most annoying is via A USB cable. After all, who wants to have to remember where yet another cable is stored?

Internal Memory

Most frames come with a set amount of internal memory, from eight megabytes to eighty gigabytes. The more pictures you want in the picture frame, the more memory you will want it to have. If you do not want to have to change out the pictures very often or you have a large amount of pictures, you should consider a digital picture frame with a large amount of internal memory.

Top Brands and Product Lines


A company well-known for their mobile phones and other electronic devices, Samsung was founded in 1938. It makes a wide range of digital picture frames, including the SPF -87H 8 inch Touch of Color digital photo frame. This frame has one gigabyte of memory and has a resolution of 800 x 480. This digital picture frame can even be used as a second mini-monitor for your computer.


A global leader in digital photo frames, Nix has eight years of experience in providing this type of product. Their Nix Advance frames allow you to show movies and pictures in the same slideshow and have motion sensing technology to turn on the device when you enter the room and turn it off when you leave. In addition, you can show your pictures directly from a memory card or place them on the picture frame via a USB cable connected to your computer.