Smart photo frame makes for a smart gift choice

Think of the plethora of pictures you snapped on your smartphone; chances are you haven’t printed one in eons but more likely shared them to the dark depths of Instagram and Facebook. But try to have that one particular memory at your fingertips to share at home or with family and friends without hovering around your phone or having to sign up for social media. 

It’s not such an easy task without a smart digital photo frame.

Today’s frames are smart and no longer simply grainy passive display mechanisms sitting off in a corner on some desk rotating through a bunch of grainy pictures. Many models from innovative companies like Nixplay and Photospring produce crisp images. 

They’re socially aware, fit within our digital ecosystem like cloud platforms and take advantage of the latest connected technologies like mobile app connectivity and voice activation. And they’re easy to use. 

With Father’s Day and graduation right around the corner, any Dad or Grad would be pleasantly surprised to get one.

Frames come in many different styles, sizes and resolutions but typically have a number of common features. They can be free standing or wall mounted and configurable in either landscape or portrait mode. They’re often controlled without the need of another device to show pictures and supported videos and speakers to hear sound. They’re Internet friendly and typically can connect via Wi-Fi and or Bluetooth and integrate with Cloud storage and social media apps.

Furthermore, the beauty of today’s Smart Frame is photos and videos don’t need to be added manually. They can be sent or downloaded to the frame from just about anywhere; via e-mail, web browser or through a dedicated iOS or Android app. 

Friends and family can even add their photos to your frame too and their frames can be connected to yours so photo can appear simultaneously. And like music, you can create albums and playlists along with custom slide shows with different timings, transitions and captions and of course also display the date and time.

Two fine examples, one each taken from Nixplay’s and Photospring’s collections already check off many of the smart feature boxes but with a few key differences.


Nixplay W10E

The Nixplay W10E has a stylish modern pebbled finish and designed for someone who likes being fully connected. It features a stunning 9.7-inch 2K (2048 x 1536 pixel) high-resolution display with a 4:3 aspect ratio similar to a traditional photograph. 

There are no on-board ports as it uses a cloud-based storage which secures all your original photos and media which can then be downloaded to your frame with 8GB of internal storage which can hold roughly 2500 photos. (Actual number will vary depending on photo resolution) It also works with Instagram, Facebook, Dropbox an even Google Photos so you can, for example, sync your Google photo album directly to the frame. 

Companion app also controls your Nixplay Frame

It can be controlled via a supplied handheld remote control, through the Nixplay app or your voice via Google assistant or Alexa. It also has a built-in motion sensor to power the frame on and off so you’re not wasting energy when no one’s around.

In keeping with its minimalist style, the cleverly designed power cable also doubles as a kickstand. 

Overall, it’s only 7.83 inches wide x 9.76 inches high and 1.22 inches deep and weighs 570 grams. 

Purchase includes 10GB of cloud storage and 15 seconds per video limit. An optional NixPlay+ subscription, extends the warranty from one to five years, upgrades cloud storage to 50GB, allows up to one-minute videos and connection with up to 10 frames and more.

The Nixplay W10E retails in Canada for $369.99 and can be found at Nixplay CanadaBest Buy and Amazon.


Photospring 10 Premium

Photospring 10 Premium frame may appeal to a different kind of Dad or Grad, one that likes things more traditional. In fact, it resembles a traditional 10.1-inch tablet mounted within a removeable frame.

It runs on AC adapter, but it also has a built-in battery – rated at up to 4 hours. 

Rather than a remote, it has 16:10 aspect ratio 1280 x 800 pixel touchscreen display with a tablet like interface. This makes it great for portability.

In addition to speakers, it also features a traditional audio-out jack for headphones or external speakers, a USB port to manually upload of copy images to and from, as well as an SD card slot to grab images directly from a camera’s card. This can be handy especially in places where Wi-Fi is not available.

It has 16GB of on-board storage. Uploaded videos are limited by file size, up to 1GB or about five minutes of HD video. Actual length will depend on resolution, and bit rate. 

The Photospring 10 Premium is also well connected. Friends and family can also send pics, videos and even entire albums simultaneously up to 10 screens. Photos can also be synced or backed up to Google photos.

PhotoSpring with and without Frame

This model can be used without the frame. With the frame, this model is overall larger, 13.1 inches wide x 9.9 inches high x 1.6 inches deep.

Photospring 10 Premium comes with a three-year warranty. It retails for $169 U.S and available from Photospring.comand Amazon.

Smart photo frames come in different shapes, styles, aspect ratios, screen resolutions with display sizes, typically ranging from eight to 15 inches. If you want to preserve those memories and make them easy to find, view and share, Smart digital photo frames are great for any Dad, Grad or any member of the family. 

A syndicated version of the article also appears at Troy Media and 32 affiliated syndicated sites.

Greg Gazin, also known as the Gadget Guy and Gadget Greg, is a syndicated veteran tech columnist, communication, leadership and technology speaker, facilitator at Crestcom International, blogger, podcaster and author. Reach him @gadgetgreg or at

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