Smart display vs tablet vs digital photo frame: what’s the difference?

There’s nothing like having too many devices at home. After all, our daily life would not be as effective without them.

If you’re trying to upgrade your already modern home, you might be looking for which medium-screen device you should add to your living space next. How about a smart screen? Or maybe a tablet or digital photo frame?

We’ll go over the differences between these three gadgets and which one is best for your lifestyle.

What is a Smart Display?

Smart displays are closely related to smart speakers and can be described as their visual sibling. They are also driven by digital assistants like Amazon’s Alexa or Google Assistant. That said, just about anything a smart speaker can do, smart displays can do better with the touch component added to their functionality.

Want to watch YouTube videos? Just tell your digital assistant that and it will play the video without you even touching the screen. Need to check the calorie count of french fries? Ask your digital assistant, and it will display this information right away (by the way, it’s 312 calories per 100 grams).

You can also ask your smart display for a recipe, have it play Disney songs, view your photos, and search for weather information. Overall, think of the smart display as an upgraded smart speaker.

If you’re looking to add them to your home, Amazon Echo Show and Google Nest Hub are two of the leading smart displays on the market. For now, Apple has not released any smart displays.

What is a tablet?

In the game of portability, the tablets are certainly winners. They are generally considered portable laptops with a multitude of uses. You can use them to browse the web, stream movies, work on documents, and play games. You can even use an Android tablet as a second screen for Windows 11.

However, what distinguishes tablets from personal computers is that they can operate as is without the need for a keyboard or mouse. Another major difference between the two is that most tablets run on iOS or Android.

Almost everything you can do on a smartphone can also be done on a tablet, from downloading apps to charging the device itself. In fact, most phone chargers also work with tablets.

If you’re looking for a handy gadget to work on while you’re sitting on the bus to work, a tablet can be a budget-friendly and feature-rich substitute. However, if you’re used to working with screens as large as your laptop, this probably isn’t the best choice.

What is a digital photo frame?

A digital photo frame is exactly what its name suggests: a photo frame that displays images digitally. Instead of traditional printed images, it features an LED display that showcases your most treasured memories.

That said, its most obvious benefit is that you won’t need to print photos and buy a mountain of frames to put them on. All you have to do is transfer the photos to the digital photo frame from your computer or smartphone. via app, USB key or memory card.

Once you get the shots you want on the device, you can easily lay them out one at a time, play them in a certain order, or shuffle them throughout the day. You can also ask your loved ones to upload photos to the remote device.

Most digital photo frames come with 9-10 inch screens, although some brands offer screens as large as 15 inches (larger than your average laptop screen). If you want to add them to your home to give it more warmth, it is important that you check the resolution of the digital photo frame to get the most out of the device. Look for 720p or higher because the lower the resolution, the grainier your images will look because there aren’t as many pixels.

Which should I choose for my home?

Whether you’re just starting to build your smart home or are already thinking about adding smart devices to your next renovation, these three devices are worth looking into. But which one best suits your home?

At first glance, it’s easy to confuse smart displays with tablets and digital photo frames. After all, they look the same and have many similarities in terms of functionality. Smart displays and tablets are equipped with a touch screen and digital assistants. Meanwhile, smart displays and digital photo frames can showcase your photos.

However, between the three, there is actually a world of difference. For one thing, smart displays and most digital photo frames don’t run on battery power. They are designed to be plugged into a wall outlet. This means that you can only use them in a specific part of your house.

Smart displays and digital photo frames also work best when connected to the internet. They don’t support the SIM card, so you only have a Wi-Fi connection to rely on. Between smart displays and digital photo frames, the latter are far superior as they only focus on displaying images. They also have a much higher resolution.


On the other hand, the tablets offer more features than the other two devices. They usually have SIM card slots and rechargeable batteries, and the best part is that they’re just as functional without internet access! You can carry them everywhere without any problem.

In general:

  • Go for the smart display if you want a handy assistant in your home that can control your other smart home devices and you can go hands-free.
  • Go for the tablet if you like working on a portable device with a screen bigger than your phone.
  • Go for the digital photo frame if all you want is to display your favorite photos at home.

The perfect smart device for your smart home

With the technology in the palm of our hands, there is almost no doubt that many more devices will be developed in the years to come. If a smart display, tablet or digital photo frame is not for you, you will surely find another awesome gadget with a distinct and more useful function in your household.

About Debra D. Johnson

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