aura carver vs nixplay vs skylight

Aura Carver vs Nixplay vs Skylight: Digital Frame Faceoff [2021]

In Gadget Gift Ideas, Recommendations by Tim BrennanLeave a Comment

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In the post, I promise to give you a “full-picture” comparison of the Aura Carver vs Nixplay vs Skylight digital frames—just in time for the holidays.

Don’t want the details? Here is a quick summary of the main differences:

The Aura Carver has the highest resolution at 1920×1200 vs 1280×800 for the other two. Nixplay has the most features including a touchscreen, a motion sensor, music/video players, Alexa support, and both landscape and portrait orientation. The Skylight is slightly larger and has USB-A, 3.5mm audio, an SD card reader, and USB Mini-B slots.

A Thousand Words

carver vs nixplay vs skylightWe’ve all heard the phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words.”

When it comes to digital frames, this couldn’t be truer. The rising popularity of these frames is certainly given digital frame makers something to smile about.

According to the Global Digital Photo Frame market research report published last year, the market is expected to reach 6 million US$ by the end of 2026, growing at a CAGR of -20.2% (source: SSN News and 360ResearchReports.com).

The question is which frame has the ideal set of options to hold your beloved memories?

The three best options in the market today are Aura Carver, Nixplay, and Skylight.

I say this with confidence after spending the better part of the past week scouring through hundreds of reviews from at least a dozen frame manufacturers. The result is this review and comparison of Aura Carver vs Nixplay vs Skylight where I break down each digital photo frame below. My goal is to help you decide which one best fits your needs.

Let’s start with a side-by-side comparison table of key technical specifications.


Tech Specifications: Aura Carver Vs Nixplay Vs Skylight

The following table illustrates key technical specifications between the three products.

Note: The price displayed in the table is pulled in nightly via direct integration with Amazon’s API. For the up-to-the-minute price, click the See It At Amazon button.

Specifications
Aura Carver
Nixplay
Skylight
Aura Carver Smart Digital Picture Frame 10.1 Inch HD WiFi Cloud Digital Frame Free Unlimited Storage Easy Setup to Send Photos Remotely Via App More Secure Than Email
Nixplay Seed Wave 13.3 Inch WiFi Digital Picture Frame with Bluetooth Speakers, Share Moments Instantly via App or E-Mail
Skylight Frame: 10 inch WiFi Digital Picture Frame, Email Photos from Anywhere, Touch Screen Display, Effortless One Minute Setup - Gift for Friends and Family
Resolution
1920 x 1200
1280 x 800
1280 x 800
Dimensions
10.6 x 7.5 x 2.6 inches
10.55 x 7.40 x 1.53 inches
10.7 x 7.4 x 0.9 inches
Wi-Fi
Touch screen
Built-in storage
No
8GB
8GB
Motion sensor
Music player
Video
Wall Mount
Portrait Orientation
USB/SD slots
No/No
No/No
USB-A, 3.5mm audio, SD card reader, USB Mini-B
Cloud Services
iCloud, Google Photos
Facebook, Instagram, Dropbox, Flickr, Google Photos
Limited to manufacturer's cloud
Voice Assistant Support
Alexa
Alexa
No
Price
$199.00
$345.21
$159.00
Specifications
Aura Carver
Aura Carver Smart Digital Picture Frame 10.1 Inch HD WiFi Cloud Digital Frame Free Unlimited Storage Easy Setup to Send Photos Remotely Via App More Secure Than Email
Resolution
1920 x 1200
Dimensions
10.6 x 7.5 x 2.6 inches
Wi-Fi
Touch screen
Built-in storage
No
Motion sensor
Music player
Video
Wall Mount
Portrait Orientation
USB/SD slots
No/No
Cloud Services
iCloud, Google Photos
Voice Assistant Support
Alexa
Price
$199.00
Specifications
Nixplay
Nixplay Seed Wave 13.3 Inch WiFi Digital Picture Frame with Bluetooth Speakers, Share Moments Instantly via App or E-Mail
Resolution
1280 x 800
Dimensions
10.55 x 7.40 x 1.53 inches
Wi-Fi
Touch screen
Built-in storage
8GB
Motion sensor
Music player
Video
Wall Mount
Portrait Orientation
USB/SD slots
No/No
Cloud Services
Facebook, Instagram, Dropbox, Flickr, Google Photos
Voice Assistant Support
Alexa
Price
$345.21
Specifications
Skylight
Skylight Frame: 10 inch WiFi Digital Picture Frame, Email Photos from Anywhere, Touch Screen Display, Effortless One Minute Setup - Gift for Friends and Family
Resolution
1280 x 800
Dimensions
10.7 x 7.4 x 0.9 inches
Wi-Fi
Touch screen
Built-in storage
8GB
Motion sensor
Music player
Video
Wall Mount
Portrait Orientation
USB/SD slots
USB-A, 3.5mm audio, SD card reader, USB Mini-B
Cloud Services
Limited to manufacturer's cloud
Voice Assistant Support
No
Price
$159.00

Last update on 12/01/2021 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Aura Carver

The Aura Craver is a sleek and stylish digital photo frame for those who want a simple way to display photos. It stands out for its design and its ability to display photos in high resolution.

Aura Smart Frame has a nice overview video of the product out on their YouTube channel:

Pros:

  • Wi-Fi enabled.
  • Beautiful packaging with a “gift mode” that will allow you to pre-load photos onto the frame before you gift it.
  • Sleek design that will suit any room setting.
  • Ability to display photos in high resolution.
  • Cloud-enabled offering nearly unlimited photo storage.
  • Hand gestures to swipe through photos.

Cons:

  • Lacks advanced features- no touchscreen, built-in storage, motion sensing or audio-video support.
  • Not wall mountable like the other two frames.
  • Does not support Portrait mode.


The Nixplay

The Nixplay is probably the best feature-packed digital photo frame out there. It has a brilliant screen, supports portraits, and is wall-mountable. It also supports playing music, video playback and comes with all the essential features like cloud connectivity, motion-sensing, Amazon Alexa support, and more.

9To5Toys has a great video review of the Nixplay out on YouTube. I’ll embed it below if you want to take a look.

Pros:

  • Brilliant design.
  • Wall mountable frame for flexible positioning in your living space or at work/office environment.
  • Cloud-enabled so you can easily access your photos from anywhere.
  • Versatile—can play music and videos as well.
  • Customers generally rave about this frame – check out the reviews over at Amazon at the link below.

Cons:

  • Doesn’t have the versatile set of USB/SD slots provided by the Skylight.


The Skylight

The Skylight is a budget buy and one of the cheapest high-rated digital frames around. It’s a no-frills offering at an affordable price. Plus, it’s slightly larger than the other two featured here.

Paul aka “The Friendly Reviewer” has a nice overview and demo of the skylight over on his YouTube channel:

Pros:

  • Very competitively priced.
  • Wall-mountable.
  • 10-inch screen with a sharp display.
  • Multiple connectivity options- USB-A, 3.5mm audio, SD card reader, USB Mini-B.

Cons:

  • No portrait mode.
  • No motion sensor.
  • No audio video support.


Aura Carver vs Nixplay vs Skylight: The Verdict

So which digital photo frame should you buy? Well, that depends on what you’re looking for. There are three frames in the same price bracket- the Aura Carver, Nixplay, and Skylight.

🏆 Best Overall: Nixplay

The Nixplay Smart Digital Photo Frame is the overall winner with a plethora of connectivity options, ease of use, Alexa compatibility, ability to play music and videos, touchscreen functionality, and a brilliant design supported by a splendid display. The Nixplay is also a customer favorite and a tried and tested frame that has been around for a while.

Nixplay 10.1 inch Smart Digital Photo Frame with WiFi (W10F) - Black - Share Photos and Videos Instantly via Email or App

🥈Runner Up: Aura Carver

The Aura Carver is Oprah’s favorite smart photo brand and my 2nd favorite. I just bought one of these as a birthday gift for my low-tech sister who doesn’t require the extra bells and whistles of the Nixplay. This is a solid- runner-up IMHO as it boasts of a sturdy build and great display but lacks the connectivity options and audio-video compatibility of the Nixplay.

Aura Carver Smart Digital Picture Frame 10.1 Inch HD WiFi Cloud Digital Frame Free Unlimited Storage Easy Setup to Send Photos Remotely Via App More Secure Than Email

🥉Budget Buy: Skylight

The Skylight Frame gets all the basics right with good connectivity, display, and memory- it also has a great design that will suit any room setting. The price point is just right for budget buyers. The Skylight frame also makes an excellent gift for family and friends.

Skylight Frame: 10 inch WiFi Digital Picture Frame, Email Photos from Anywhere, Touch Screen Display, Effortless One Minute Setup - Gift for Friends and Family

Digital Photo Frame Buyer’s Guide

There are a few things you should look for in a digital photo frame. I took all of these factors into consideration in writing this comparison. They include:

Screen Resolution

The screen resolution is how many pixels are available on the frame’s display, measured horizontally and vertically in pixels. A higher pixel count means greater detail will be visible to you when viewing your photos. Your digital photo frames should have a high enough resolution for you to see all of the details in your photos.

aura vs nixplay vs skylight resolution

Most photo frames offer a resolution of 1280 x 800, which is a good balance between high quality and affordability. In this showdown, we compared the highest resolution offered by each frame- The Aura Craver emerged the clear winner with a resolution of 1920 x 1200.

Screen Size

For a digital photo frame, the screen size refers to its diagonal length. This is how long the frame’s display will be from a top-left corner down to a bottom-right corner. Keep in mind that bigger isn’t always better when it comes to screens, as you won’t want your photos looking distorted on an oversized device.

Skylight Frame: 10 inch WiFi Digital Picture Frame, Email Photos from Anywhere, Touch Screen Display, Effortless One Minute Setup - Gift for Friends and Family

In this showdown, I compared three screen sizes- the Skylight, the Aura, and the Nixplay all have approximately 10-inch displays. Slight differences do not affect the viewing experience, so all three frames stand at par.

It is important to note that these frames are all relatively small. If you want something larger with even more smarts check out this post I wrote comparing Meural Canvas vs Canvia or this one comparing Meural vs Samsung Frame.

Connectivity and Memory Capacity

Different digital photo frames offer different connectivity options that allow you to play media on them such as Wi-Fi, USB Flash Drive or MicroSD Card Reader.

digital frame connectivitySome also have built-in memory for you to store media on them. Frames with memory built-in can save time by not having to transfer your photos every single time you want to view them, while frames without this option will need a way of adding an external storage device such as the USB Flash Drive, Cloud storage, or MicroSD Card Reader.

The Skylight has the most versatile connectivity options, as it has built-in Wi-Fi and USB Flash Drive as well as a MicroSD Card Reader, while the other two depend on Wi-Fi and Cloud for connectivity (which is not bad either).

The Aura has no internal memory or connectivity options, while the Nixplay and Skylight have an internal memory of up to 8GB. This means you do not need an external device in order to view your photos on these two frames.

Cloud Storage and Use

The Aura and Nixplay are compatible with cloud services such as Google Play, iCloud, and Dropbox. The Skylight, however, depends on its own cloud.

digital frame buyers guide cloud storageCustomers will have to buy storage space after a specific predefined limit to be able to store more photos.

This could matter if you’re looking for a frame that you can use indefinitely, rather than needing to keep buying storage space.

That said, the Skylight is compatible with wireless SD cards and does not require cloud storage at all. So, it’s really up to you whether cloud services are worth the additional cost.

Video and Music Compatibility

The Nixplay is the only digital frame amongst the three with video compatibility. If you wish to play videos on your digital photo frame, look for one that supports the most popular formats such as MPEG-PS, AVI, and MPEG-MPG. You can play about 15-second-long videos on the Nixplay.

carver vs nixplay vs skylight

Similarly, the Nixplay is the only frame that can play music. It offers a built-in music player that lets you play all the popular music formats.

Ease of Use

Digital photo frames should be easy to set up, as well as simple for you to view your photos on them without any hassle. If the digital frame is difficult to manage or navigate through, the chances are that you will not use it very often.

The Skylight depends on an email address where you send all your pictures. These pictures are then displayed on the frame. The Aura goes a step ahead and allows the use of email, a website as well as an App for uploading images.

digital photo frame buyers guide usability

The Nixplay App for iOS and Android gives you control over your frame. You can make sure your frame is always up to date by connecting it to Google Photos. You can also connect it to Dropbox, Facebook, or Instagram on the website and upload pictures. The Nixplay wins in this segment as it also boasts of a motion sensor, which automatically turns the frame on to display photos if it senses movement. Amazon Alexa compatibility is another feature that lets you control the Nixplay with your voice.

Wall-Mounting

The Skylight and Nixplay are wall-mountable, which makes them more convenient to be placed anywhere you like. The Aura is not designed for this purpose and comes with a stand only (which can also be used as a base).

Portrait Mode

The Nixplay is the only frame with a portrait mode for your pictures that lets you turn your photo on its side to view it in full screen. The Aura and Skylight are not able to do this, so if viewing only landscape images isn’t an option for you, then consider getting one of these two.

Nixplay 10.1 inch Smart Digital Photo Frame with WiFi (W10F) - Black - Share Photos and Videos Instantly via Email or App

Customer Support

The Nixplay and Aura have excellent customer service, whereas some buyers faced issues with the Skylight Customer Support. After-sales service is something that varies from company to company, so it’s best you do some research before buying.


Final Thoughts

The Nixplay Smart Digital Photo Frame is the best digital frame for those who want a wide variety of connectivity options, ease of use, and Amazon Alexa compatibility. The Aura Carver is great if you don’t need any kind of video or music playback capabilities but do want an excellent display for your photos and sturdy build. Finally, the Skylight Frame provides an all-around good value with its features and customer service at a budget price point.

All three of these frames provide a great way for you to showcase your memories, and they also make excellent gifts.

Depending on your needs as well as what you’re looking to spend, any one of these three frames might be just right for you.

aura carver vs nixplay vs skylight

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