Aura Carver review: Add images from afar with this elegant digital photo frame

Aura Carver Digital Photo Frame Flowers
(Image: © Rebecca Spear / iMore)

Android Central Verdict

Bottom line: In addition to looking amazing, the display supports 1920x1200p on a large 10.1-inch screen — allowing it to show off images to their advantage. Since you can upload images from anywhere using the app, this makes for a great frame in any home.


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    Crisp image quality

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    Massive photo storage

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    Upload images via app

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    Classy design

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    Interactive touch bar

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    Two color options


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    Landscape orientation only

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    Doesn't support music or videos

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Ever since I adopted my cat and my dog, my photo taking tendencies have skyrocketed. It's fun printing some images out to hang on my walls, but there are so many good ones that it's hard to only stick to a few. I mean, look at my corgi's cute face! That's where a digital photo frame really comes in handy.

The Aura Carver is a sleek little unit that allows me to upload images via an app, so I can quickly send images taken on my phone to the frame without having to worry about microSD cards or fiddling with my computer. The digital photo frame looks beautiful and enhances the look of my images to show them off to perfection.

Whether you're interested in getting a photo frame for yourself or are thinking about purchasing one as a gift for someone else, the Aura Carver should definitely be one you consider.

Aura Carver What I like

Aura Carver Digital Photo Frame Cat

Source: Rebecca Spear / iMore (Image credit: Source: Rebecca Spear / iMore)

The Aura Carver is incredibly easy to install. All I had to do was pull it out of the packaging, plug the frame into an outlet, download the Aura app on my phone, and then follow the instructions that showed up on the Carver's screen. I had a slideshow set up in no time.

High-quality display Classy look and crisp lines

Source: Rebecca Spear / iMore (Image credit: Source: Rebecca Spear / iMore)

The geometric backing not only provides the frame with a sturdy base, but also gives the unit a distinguished look. It can fit anywhere, whether it's being used as a decoration at a wedding or displaying family pictures in a living room. The removable, braided cable is five-feet long, which also makes it easy to reach an outlet from your preferred display location. And the last thing I'll mention with the frame's design is that it comes in either black or white so you can choose the look you like best.

In addition to looking nice, this unit really shows off the fine details in your high-resolution images as it offers a 1920x1200 resolution on a large 10.1-inch screen. My phone has a really good camera, so it's nice being able to make out every strand of fur when looking at my corgi's face or being able to appreciate the rich, crisp colors of my kitty's green eyes. The frame also has a sensor, which tells the unit when to automatically brighten or darken the screen, so I don't have to worry about it wasting energy.

Advanced features Add images from anywhere

You can instantly upload new photos to the display using an app without having to fiddle with a computer or a microSD card.

As I mentioned before, I take a bajillion pictures of my cat and dog each day (and so does my husband). Something that makes the Carver so remarkable is that I was quickly able to make it so my husband could also upload images to the frame from his phone. That way, I never miss out on the adorable shots he takes. If you have multiple people in your household who can contribute to the pictures queue, then this feature can help show off everyone's favorite photos.

Since several people can contribute to the picture frame, this truly is a great gift for parents or grandparents. You can instantly upload new photos to the display without having to fiddle with a computer or a microSD card. Grandma can just enjoy the new images without having to do anything complicated. If that wasn't good enough, there's also space for over 10,000 photos without requiring you to pay for a subscription or any add-ons like you do with some other digital picture frames out there. That's plenty of space and should last you a long time.

Interactive options App controls

Aura Carver Digital Photo App

Source: Rebecca Spear / iMore (Image credit: Source: Rebecca Spear / iMore)

From a birds-eye-view looking down at the Aura Carver, there's a slightly different colored section; this is the touch bar. By swiping one way or the other, I can move to another image in the queue. By double-tapping the touch bar, I can like an image that someone has uploaded.

From the app, I can easily add several new images at once, remove images from the current rotation, or adjust the settings. By interacting with the schedule, I can make it so that the device automatically turns on at a certain time in the morning and turns off at my bedtime, so I don't have to worry about it wasting energy when no one will see it. I also have the option of controlling how long images stay on screen and the phone doubles as a remote control for if I want to flip through the displayed images without having to stand up.

Aura Carver What I don't like

Aura Carver Digital Photo Frame Backside Cable

Source: Rebecca Spear / iMore (Image credit: Source: Rebecca Spear / iMore)

Expensive Much cheaper options out there

Considering the price, I thought the Aura Carver would support videos, music, a clock, a calendar, and other online features, but it does not.

There are definitely less expensive digital picture frames of the same size on the market today like this Pix-Star, which sells for roughly $50 less. What makes the Carver unique and thus more expensive is that it doesn't have a photo limit, whereas many other digital photo frames do or require you to purchase a photo storing service.

There are several other smart frames out there that can handle more than just slideshows. For example, some allow you to send movies or music to the frame, and others even double as a clock, alarm, or calendar. Considering how expensive the Aura Carver is, I fully expected these features to be included, but they aren't.

So, if you don't think you need those extra features, but you are looking for a device that offers amazing resolution and lets multiple people upload thousands of images, then this frame should still be considered.

Landscape mode and cropping Display limitations

Source: Rebecca Spear / iMore (Image credit: Source: Rebecca Spear / iMore)

Unlike many other digital photo frames out there, this one is only designed to be set up in landscape mode, so you cannot have it stand upright in portrait mode. With that being the case, if any portrait images do get uploaded to the screen, black lines will appear on either side to allow the photo to fit properly.

While on this subject, the frame automatically adjusts the color, brightness, and cropping of your images with the intention to show them off to their best advantage. The thing is, the cropping doesn't always work correctly. For example, I have a picture of my corgi sitting on my nephew's lap. When I uploaded it to the Aura Carver, the frame automatically zoomed in and cropped out the top of my nephew's head.

Now, many of the images I uploaded looked just fine when displayed on the 10-inch frame, but every now and then, I noticed that another image was cropped in a wonky way. It's not a deal-breaker by any stretch, but something to be aware of.

Aura Carver Competition

Aura Carver Digital Photo Frame Front

Source: Rebecca Spear / iMore (Image credit: Source: Rebecca Spear / iMore)

As mentioned previously, there are several other digital picture frames that compete with the Aura Carver. Here are the best devices that compete with this device.

The Nixplay Smart Digital Picture Frame is cheaper and also comes with a 10-inch frame. However, unlike the Aura Carver, it can be positioned in either landscape or portrait mode. Additionally, it comes with a remote and is designed to be mounted to a wall. However, while it does allow you to add pictures using an app or email, it only comes with 10 GB of storage.

PhotoShare Friends and Family Smart Frame is another 10.1-inch frame that allows you to send images via phone. It's much cheaper than the Aura Carver, but it only has about 8GB of storage and only comes in one color. One big difference between the Aura Carver and this device is that it can handle movies and music. Plus, it doubles as a clock and a calendar.

Finally, the Pix-Star Cloud Digital Picture Frame also allows you to add images via an app, email, or memory stick. The catch is that it only offers 8GB of storage and doesn't look quite as slick as some other options. However, it does come with a remote control, and when it's connected to the internet, you can use it to listen to music, play games, or check the weather.

Aura Carver Should you buy it?

Aura Carver Digital Photo Frame Cat Rug

Source: Rebecca Spear / iMore (Image credit: Source: Rebecca Spear / iMore)

Who it's for

  • Folks who want an elegant frame
  • Those who take a lot of photos
  • Anyone who doesn't like messing with microSD cards
  • People who plan on sharing a photo frame

Who it isn't for

  • If you want the cheapest options available
  • Anyone looking for a portrait-mode frame

If having a colorful, crisp display and plenty of storage space is important to you, then you should consider this frame. The Aura Carver is a bit more expensive than many comparable digital photo frames out there, but it is very classy and looks great in any room. Of course, if you're looking for the cheapest option that gets the job done, this is not the device for you.

4.5 out of 5

However, it makes for a great gift to parents and grandparents since you're able to upload new pictures to the device from anywhere simply by using the app. Once everything is in place, you can change the settings or remove images from the rotation as need be. Add additional users to the frame, and you'll all be contributing to a beautiful slideshow in no time.

Rebecca Spear
Staff Writer

Rebecca Spear is a staff writer for Android Central who loves following the latest tech, drawing with her Wacom, and playing video games. You can find her posting about her pets, art, and video game preferences on Twitter @rrspear.