Aura Walden review: probably the best digital frame available

Aura's biggest, priciest and best digital photo frame yet

Aura Walden digital photo frame on a wooden sideboard
(Image: © Future | Tim Coleman)

TechRadar Verdict

Bigger and better, the Aura Walden might just be the best digital photo frame available – unless your budget can stretch to the 27-inch Vieunite Textura Digital Canvas, which is an altogether different proposition. The Walden is half the size and price of the Vieunite Textura, but it's also Aura's priciest frame yet. If it's the right size for you, we think the Walden is worth the outlay. Its crisp display looks great by day and by night, the quality of the frame itself is exquisite, while the collaborative app makes photo sharing extremely easy.


  • +

    Classic design

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    Large display with wide viewing angle

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    Aura's collaborative and easy-to-use app

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    Sideboard or wall mounted in portrait and landscape format


  • -

    Aura's priciest frame

  • -

    Relatively low pixel density

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    Could be seen as too big or too little

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Aura Walden: Two-minute review

The Walden is Aura's biggest and best digital photo frame yet, but it's also the priciest; it's only available directly for shoppers in the US. Those outside the US can find the Aura Walden from other retailers, and their efforts will be rewarded – the Aura Walden is exquisite, and one of the best digital photo frames available today. 

With a similar frontage to the Aura Carver Mat, the Walden boasts a larger 15-inch display that makes it Aura's largest digital photo frame display, encased in a classic textured white border and black frame.

It comes with a slick metal stand for resting on a sideboard in both horizontal and vertical positions, plus simple wall fittings, too, for horizontal and vertical mounting. Truly, the overall look and feel of the frame is top drawer.

The Walden may feel too big to rest on a sideboard, shelf or any surface, while it can also feel a little small when mounted on a wall – 15 inches is an awkward middle ground.

That said, I do prefer the size of display over the smaller 10.1-inch Aura Carver Mat, since it allows you to shows off your photos and videos on a larger scale – and having the option to wall mount or have it freestanding can only be a good thing.

For a digital photo frame, Aura's app is as good as they come: simple to use and to share with friends and family, who can also upload images to the frame from anywhere there's an internet connection, and with unlimited photo and video storage included.

Aura Walden: design

  • Slick frame with neat touch bar panel
  • 4:3 aspect ratio display
  • Aura's largest frame yet, and it can be wall mounted

Most digital photo frames – like Aura's own Carver series – are around 10 inches, and designed to stand on any surface; but the Walden is a different proposition, dwarfing those frames with its 15-inch display. 

You probably won't quite be able to squeeze it onto bookshelf, and your sideboard will need to be generously sized to accommodate the frame comfortably. But if you have the space then the Walden will be the preferred choice; plus it's also easy enough to mount it to a wall instead. 

The frame's power cable is covered in a cream-colored fabric, which is more likely to blend into the background than a black cable. Trailing cables can spoil the effect of a digital wall-mounted display, but this shouldn't be a problem here. 

That said, while 15-inches feels big on a sideboard, it comes up small on a wall. For around twice the outlay, the 27-inch Vieunite Textura Digital Canvas is much more at home on a wall, plus that frame offers free and paid-for digital downloads of famous artworks and those from upcoming artists.

Design-wise, the Walden is eye-catching. It's slicker than the similarly sized Netgear Meural Wi-Fi art frame, sporting a matt-black frame and classic white border, for a total diagonal dimension of 15.7 inches.

At the rear, there's a recess to attach the metal triangular stand, or in which to rest the supplied wall mount hook. You can position the Walden in both landscape and portrait formats.

There are two touch bar panels, one on the top and the other on the side of the frame. You barely notice they're there, and they're super responsive for functions such as swipe to next image, plus press and hold to reveal image information such as who uploaded the picture – handy, if you have a lot of "members" with access to the frame.

Aura's free app is available for both iOS and Android devices, and is needed to set up the frame and upload images. It's also through the app that you can invite other "members" – such as family and friends – to upload their own images. 

You can add multiple Aura frames to the app and take control of all of them, plus Aura wants to tempt you to buy several frames through multi-purchase deals. For example, at the time of writing, if you buy two Walden frames then there's a $15 discount. 

Aura Walden: performance

  • Relatively low pixel density
  • Wide viewing angle in daylight and at night-time
  • 4:3 aspect ratio suitable for most smartphone cameras

I have a sideboard at home that's big enough to accommodate the Walden frame, and I've found its size far more preferable to the standard 10-inch displays of most other digital photo frames. 

It has an anti-glare finish that delivers a wide optimum viewing angle before reflections get in the way – or, indeed, before the luminosity of the backlit display is reduced when viewing the frame at night. Compared to the Aura Carver Mat, the viewing angle of the Walden is much wider. 

The display's 4:3 aspect ratio suits most phones that natively shoot in this ratio. However, if you're uploading photos from a proper camera that's more likely to shoot in 3:2 aspect ratio, you'll have to choose between losing part of your shot or having a black border on the top and bottom of the display – as is the case for 16:9 videos.

The resolution of the frame is 1600 x 1200 pixels, making for a modest 133 pixels per inch density. However, I found the display packed enough detail unless I was up close – which you don't need to be given the size of the display.

As mentioned, it's possible to load videos to the Walden frame, too, although remember that the frame's aspect ratio is much narrower than the standard 16:9 format for video. There's a speaker on the back for audio, although don't hold any great expectation on audio quality – it's pretty basic. 

A nice touch with Aura frames is that you can purchase them as a personalized gift and preload images onto the frame ahead of time. 

Aura Walden: price and release date

  • Available in the US for $299 (currently on sale for $259)
  • Not directly available outside the US

The Aura Walden is available now, although do note that it's often sold out. It has a list price on the Aura website of $299; at the time of writing, it's reduced to $259. If you click onto other regions on the Aura website, such as the UK, then the Walden is unavailable. However, if you search the internet there are other retailers, such as Nordstrom, that will ship the Walden internationally. We'll update this review if and when the Aura Walden becomes available globally.

Aura Walden: should I buy?

Aura Walden digital photo frame on a wooden sideboard

(Image credit: Future | Tim Coleman)

Buy it if...

You want a larger than normal digital frame
15 inches positively dwarfs the 10 inches of most other digital photo frames.

You're looking for a thoughtful gift
Aura can personalize the Walden frame when purchasing it as a gift by preloading your selected photos, while the app makes it super easy to invite other members to upload images, too.

You want a classic-looking frame
Sporting a slick black frame and classic white border, the Walden truly looks the part. 

Don't buy it if...

You don't have the space
Most tabletops, shelves and sideboards simply won't be big enough to hold a 15-inch frame. 

You’re outside the US
At the time of writing, the Walden is only available direct from the Aura website in the US. We can't 100% vouch for other retailers that ship the Walden internationally.

Aura Walden: How I tested

  • At least two months of regular use
  • Image uploads through the Aura Android app
  • Viewed in daylight and at night

The Aura Walden has been a fixture in my home for a couple of months, positioned on a window-lit sideboard. The mains-powered display is automatically active during the day, and can power off at night to conserve power. 

I’ve uploaded digital photos and videos through the Android version of Aura's app. I've scrolled through the gallery of images using the frame's touch panel and regularly updated the images in the gallery through the app. 

I’ve checked out the quality of the display in daylight and at night, close-up and far away, plus viewed it straight on and from the side to check the viewing angle of the anti-glare display. 

  • First reviewed May 2024
Timothy Coleman
Cameras editor

Tim is the Cameras editor at TechRadar. He has enjoyed more than 15 years in the photo video industry with most of those in the world of tech journalism. During his time as Deputy Technical Editor with Amateur Photographer, as a freelancer and consequently editor at Tech Radar, Tim has developed a deeply technical knowledge and practical experience with cameras, educating others through news, reviews and features. He’s also worked in video production for Studio 44 with clients including Canon, and volunteers his spare time to consult a non-profit, diverse stories team based in Nairobi. Tim is curious, a keen creative, avid footballer and runner, and moderate flat white drinker who has lived in Kenya and believes we have much to enjoy and learn from each other.