What are digital picture frames & buying guide02/26/2019

What are digital picture frames?

Hdgenius wifi digital picture frame on table

Digital picture frame is a specially designed micro computer with screen to display photos in frame looking.

Usually a digital picture frame including a power plug to keep it work continuously. 

Digital picture frames are in different outlook, size, material and features.

Most digital picture frame have components computers have like lcd display,  CPU, memory(ROM and flash memory) , control, operation system, WiFi or modem module.

They do simple task to slideshow pictures or videos and can adjust content on portrait or landscape orientation.  

Display size: 

Generally, digital picture frame size range from 3*5 to10*12 inch or even larger size to 24*32 inch(diagonal size 40 inch). The larger, the better view experience. Most welcomed digital frame size is 10 inch, it is the best size to play digital camera photos and smart phones.


Display resolution advises us the number of distinct pixels in each dimension(horizon and vertical) that can be displayed on a display device like LCD screen. We suggest user to buy at  least 800*600, 1208*800 or even higher resolution display like 1080P full HD. Same size screen, the higher resolution, the better view experience.

Aspect ratio: 

The aspect ratio of the display is a consistent relationship between width and height. It is expressed as two numbers separated by a colon (x:y). Common aspect ratios for digital frame displays include  4:3(fits digital camera photo, standard ) and 16:9(good for video usually called wide screen).

Frame material: 

The Outer layer material used on the digital frame, usually from plastic, metal(aluminum, brass, alloy ), glass or wood. Some digital frame provide interchangeable cover for decor.

Built-in storage: 

The internal memory to store pictures. The greater the better. A large built-in memory don’t need extra SD card to put in or USB stick to connect. Now many digital frame offer 4GB, 8GB or even greater memory base on price.

Memory card/USB driver: 

Extra way to display photos once the built-in memory is full or don’t have photos source to slideshow pictures. Usually digital frame support same memory card as digital camera use called SD card, memory stick and USB flash driver .

Wi-Fi connection: 

Additional and convenient way to connects electronic photo frame with photo site and mobile device like smart phones and tablets to receive photos.

Some digital frame have speaker to play videos and music, some even use Android system to slideshow photos from Facebook,Instagram, Flicker, Google photo and more.

What Is a Digital Picture Frame Made of?

Below is the disassembly picture of Hdgenius 7 inch WiFi Digital Picture Frame wooden frame for example:

Hdgenius wifi digital picture frame disassembly


CPU is the shorten of Central Processing Unit, a digital frame usually use a  CPU same as  video game or smartphone and tablets use.


The image quality of a digital picture frame is demonstrated by its screen surface material. Most digital picture frames are equipped with matte, non-reflective screen such as LED, LCD or IPS. On the same time, there are others that come with a screen placed under a piece of glass. As glass reflects light, an anti-glare coating is always required for glass screen frame to make images clearer.


Wood, plastic, metal or glass is the most common material of its surrounded frame. Some types of digital frames also offer interchangeable face-plates that can change its look to fit the surrounding decor.


Most digital picture frames have RAM(Random Access Memory) to run the operation system and built-in flash memory (512 MB, 4 GB or 8 GB) to store images, and some with memory card slot to extend extra image space. The most common types of supported memory cards are SD, compact flash and memory stick.

Hdgenius provide dual quality DRAM to run the system faster, load pictures quicker for smooth view experience. Premium Micron or SK Hynix 4GB NAND can store up to 7500 photos in the WiFi picture frame.


Most digital picture frames adopted one or more connectivity like USB flash, SD card, Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connectivity . Some also offer direct E-mail transmission from mobile phone or computer.

Other Functions

Besides image display, some digital picture frames are also equipped with built-in speaker to play video and music. Clock, calendar, alarm, motion sensor and social media downloading functions are available now.

How many types of digital picture frame?

Since the birth of digital picture frames in the 1990s, they have seen much evolution in terms of storage method. Generally speaking, they can be divided into three generations:

Generation Main Features Pros Cons
Gen Ⅰ Card Transmission Easy to use,low price Unconvenient, hard to update photos
Internet Connectivity
Save time to share photos Complicate than Gen Ⅰ
Gen Ⅲ Intergaration and smarter Smarter and more function Most expensive

First Generation: Card Transmission

The first generation frames were born in the 1990s after the widespread adoption of digital camera. At that time, digital camera was widely adopted, but it also left consumers thousands of photos without a feasible way to view them. Digital picture frame was therefore emerged, featuring in the capacity of receiving photos via memory cards, such as SD and SDHC.

Being a new media to display photos, the first generation frames saw a peak market revenue in 2009 until the introduction of Apple's iPad.

Second Generation: Internet Connectivity

The Gen Ⅱ frames allowed consumers to upload photos from web or other wireless way like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or cell phone connection. Some digital picture frames also offered a cloud storage of up to 10 GB.

Third Generation: Integrated Functionality

As new technology booms, more advanced functions are added and integrated in the third generation frames.
These functions including touchscreen, WiFi remote control, camera technology, etc. 
Some frames are equipped with alarm, music and movie player. Many third party APP also be introduced for easy use like Google Photos, Flicker, Instagram, Facebook and Dropbox. The digital picture frame is more like a physical platform to communicate by photos and short videos.

During the past decades, digital picture frames have developed to more than just a photo frame. Which function do you expect in future digital picture frames?

What is the size range of digital picture frames? 

Digital picture frames vary in their sizes from 2.8 to 32 inches. Choose the right one when purchasing. Since the option relies in which kind of photo experience you expect, and where you are going to use the frame - to put on desk, or to mount on wall.

The smallest ones are 2.8 inches. They might be too big as key chain, but they are perfect to be kept in a purse, which you may take it anywhere you go.

The 3.5 inch, 5.7 inch,7 inch and 8 inch ones look much more like a conventional picture frame. They are used by most customers as bedside table decoration.

The large one variants range from 9,10, 12 to 15 inches. With wall-mount function of some brands, you can choose to make it a wall painting or conventional table decoration.

The ones larger than 19 inches are definitely wall decoration for home. Compared with still image of picture frame, the large digital picture frames bring an immersive experience for home with high-definition, clear and dynamic image.

The Digital Picture Frame Buying Guide:

In order to find the right digital picture frame, here are 5 tips for you for reference

  1. Select the easy set up and easy use digital picture frame for non-tech savy parents and grandparents, touchscreen will be easier to set up and use.
  2. Select wifi digital frame for better update photo experience.
  3. It is good to select 10 inch and above size for elderly.
  4. IPS LCD display have almost full angel to view photos and slideshow photos in great clarity and color.
  5. Service is a plus, some digital frame need customer support.

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