Aura Carver Frame Review: Beautiful Digital Picture Frame

Aura Carver Review - Digital Picture Frame
This is what you need to know about the Aura Carver digital picture frame. Josh Smith

The Aura Carver digital picture frame is a beautiful frame that intelligently pairs up photos, simplifies sharing photos and even brings Live Photos from iPhones to life.

If Apple made a digital picture frame, this is what it would look like. Simple design, easy sharing and even automatically uploading your favorite photos.

With a 10.1-inch HD display, unlimited cloud photo storage, Wi-Fi connectivity and a beautiful design, we are loving the Carver digital picture frame.

This $200 digital picture frame offers a lot of value, and there are no monthly fees for online photo storage and sharing features.

We enjoy the ability for friends to upload photos to our frame to see what they are up to even when we can't visit how we would like. After using a competing product to send pictures to an older relative, we love the simplicity of the Aura app and the Carver Frame's reliability.

You can buy the Aura Carver for $199 at Amazon and Aura.

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The Aura Carver design is fantastic because, unlike many digital photo frames, this one looks just as good from the back as the front. The Angled design and elegant color options blend into the room, making it easy to find a place to display the frame, even in the center of a room.

Aura Carver Review - Digital Picture Frame
The touch strip makes switching photos as easy as swiping across the top of the frame. Josh Smith

A touch-sensitive strip on the top of the frame makes it easy to swipe to change photos, send a heart reaction to a shared photo, or to see more information about the picture that is on the screen.

One catch is that this is a landscape only digital frame, so you cannot stand it up in portrait mode. The frame uses automatic pairing to put similar portrait orientation photos next to each other for fun matches. Aura offers two different frames that you can use in portrait or landscape mode if that is something you need.

Aura Carver Review - Digital Picture Frame
The back of the frame and the fabric cord look nice enough that you can display this frame in the center of a room. Josh Smith

This frame is designed to sit on a shelf or a flat surface, not to be wall-mounted. The base is heavy, and the fabric cord is a nice upscale touch.

Available in chalk, charcoal and a limited edition mat, there are options for everyone.


Aura Carver Review - Digital Picture Frame
The Carver display quality is excellent and viewing angles are great. Josh Smith

The 10.1-inch digital picture frame display looks excellent, delivering excellent photo quality with vivid colors and the right amount of backlighting. The viewing angles are impressive, allowing us to enjoy the frame from across the room even at a reasonably wide-angle.

An ambient light sensor in the frame adjusts the brightness through the day, so the frame is bright in the afternoon, a little dimmer when you turn the lights down in the evening. It even turns off when all the lights are off, which means you can keep it in a bedroom without it keeping you up all night.

The screen features a 1,920 x 1,200 resolution with 224 pixels per inch. These display specs mean that you can look at the digital frame from arm's length and not see pixelation any graininess.

There is a marked difference between looking at a photo on the Aura Carver compared to many competing frames in this price range.

Features and Sharing

The biggest reasons to buy a digital picture frame like the Aura Carver are the connectivity and sharing features.

The Carver digital photo frame includes unlimited photo storage in the cloud with no monthly fees. The frame cycles through these, and you can choose how often the frame changes photos. Using the touch bar on top, it is possible to change the picture, or you can use the app to instantly display a specific photo.

Aura Carver Review - Digital Picture Frame
The automatic pairing leads to amazing combinations like this one. Josh Smith

Aura's software uses AI to automatically pair up portrait photos and display them side by side. We were impressed with how well this worked. The frame paired up family photos, photos of friends' kids, and many of our outdoor photos nicely. It can match pictures from different people and different locations since the matching is based on the photo.

Live Photos shot on the iPhone can show as a short animated photo on the Carver frame, which adds a bit of fun and movement to the photo. This is especially great for photos of pets or kids.

It's possible to turn off the automatic pairing or the live photo features, but they add a lot to the frame.

There is no local storage, so the frame needs a Wi-Fi connection, and photos must be stored in the cloud. This isn't an issue for most users, but if you prefer to keep everything local, you will want to look for another option.

It is possible to use the Aura Carver with Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa, but ultimately we prefer to use the app to change photos or simply swipe on the touch bar.

Aura Carver Review - Digital Picture Frame
Use the Aura app to manage the Carver frame and to invite others to upload photos. Josh Smith

Using the Aura app is simple, and it handles uploads very quickly. We enjoy how simple it is to upload a collection of photos from the app, invite friends and family to it and to remove photos that you no longer want to see.

People you invite to the frame can see all photos uploaded to the frame, change settings and invite others to join. We would like to see more control over this so that there is an option to let people upload to the frame without seeing all the other photos on the frame or adding new users.

Using the app, it is possible to add albums to the frame and set link an album so that future photos added there automatically upload to the Aura frame. A web uploader allows you to drag and drop photos from a computer to the frame.


Setting up the frame is simple. It does require a smartphone or tablet, but you can gift the frame with photos preloaded. If you are giving this to a relative without a smartphone, someone will need a smartphone to connect it to Wi-Fi, but other people can upload the photos once that is done.

After powering on the frame, a four-digit code appears, which allows you to link the frame to a phone and then you can connect it to Wi-Fi. The frame supports 2.4Ghz Wi-Fi networks, which are very common.

Once the frame is connected, pick a few photos to add and then you can invite friends or family to join the frame. After they create an account and download the app, they can upload pictures to the digital picture frame from anywhere.

Is the Aura Frames Carver Worth Buying?

Aura Carver Review - Digital Picture Frame
Is the Aura Carver worth it? Josh Smith

The Aura Frames Carver digital picture frame is impressive. The app is incredibly easy to use, we enjoy seeing new photos every time we enter a room and the intelligent pairing just works.

Smart features that add to the experience like the touch control, Live Photo support and easy sharing elevate the user experience.

With a design that looks good even when the back is exposed, a vivid screen you can see from many angles and an ambient light sensor that keeps the display from blinding you at night, the Carver frame is a solid choice.

The downsides to consider are the need for Wi-Fi, knowing that other invited users can see all the photos on the frame and the lack of local storage.

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