How to buy the best digital photo frame Digital photo frame features

Which? Archive

This article, How to buy the best digital photo frame, was last updated on 03 March 2010 and is now out of date and held in our online archive for reference. Explore our latest Technology articles.

Digital photo frame weather station

A weather station on a photo frame - a fun feature but is it one you really need?

Basic digital photo frames can do little more than show your photos.

However, if you're willing to spend a bit more money, you'll be offered a range of additional features. Here are some of the more useful ones.

Remote controls for digital photo frames

A remote control is a bonus, but as they're small and easy to lose. Some digital photo frames have only a power button on the frame itself, so all other features require the remote control.

Wall mounting

If you want to hang your digital photo frame on the wall, check that it comes with suitable mounting screw holes on the rear. Bear in mind, though, that most digital photo frames are powered by a mains adaptor rather than batteries, so the power cable will trail down the wall unless it’s cleverly hidden.

You can find a wall-mountable digital photo frame or one that plays music and videos using our digital photo frame product selector.

MP3 and video playback on digital photo frames

More expensive digital photo frames allow you to add background music to your slideshows, making them even more enjoyable, though the small speakers are unlikely to fill the room with sound. Check whether speakers are mono or stereo.

Some digital photo frames can also play short video clips.

Interchangeable inserts

Some of the digital photo frames we tested have interchangeable frame inserts. This is a nice touch, as it lets you choose a surround to suit your décor. Some cheaper frames can look and feel plasticky, so try to view your chosen model in a shop before buying.

Common frame styles include:

  • Gloss black
  • Clear glass
  • White
  • Stainless steel

Some digital photo frames have surrounds made from traditional natural materials like leather or wood.

It's important to choose the right style frame, as it may well spend most of its time turned off and not displaying photos.

Other digital photo frame functions

Digital photo frame manufacturers are now starting to add in other functions such as calendars and weather stations, but these are often little more than gimmicks.

For help choosing the best digital photo frame watch the Which? buyers' guide video

How to follow the latest Which? Tech news

Are you a Twitter user? Follow WhichTech on Twitter for regular tech tweets.

Prefer RSS? Don't miss a thing with the Which? tech RSS feed

For just the main headlines in newsletter form, sign-up to our weekly Which? tech email.

Apple iPad 2 3G data plans compared - find the best 3G plan for your iPad
Best Android tablets round-up - we look at the best iPad alternatives around
Best cheap laptops for under £500 - find the best laptop deals