In today’s review, I’ll describe 2 services, which can help you turn your digital photos into square-shaped photo tiles.
Currently, there are a large number of similar companies on the market, but I’ll focus exactly on Mixtiles and Photosquared, as I’ve had an experience of using both services from choosing a framework to getting the printed photos delivered.
I will guide you through strong and weak sides of the services and tell you everything you need to know about what Mixtiles and Photosquared offer, including:
- customization of photo tiles;
- terms of delivery;
- customer support, and many more.
I hope my review can help you make a choice you’ll be satisfied with.
Ease of use
When you visit Mixtile’s website for the first time, you need to take a survey to let the system know more about you and your purposes. First of all, you’re offered to answer if you’re going to create a photo project for yourself or someone else. If you choose the first option, the second and third steps will be filling in your name and email address.
If you want to make a gift for someone, the third step is choosing between 2 options:
- to upload photos on your own;
- to leave a choice for people you’re preparing gifts to.
Then, you also need to enter your name and email address.
Currently, you may get gift cards for 3, 6, 8, 12, 16, 20 photo tiles. After you buy a gift card, it’ll be delivered to the addressee by email.
If you choose to create photo tiles for yourself, you’ll be transferred to the working area after filling in the personal info. The process of tile creation is pretty straightforward. You may upload photos from your device or use the pictures from Instagram or Facebook.
When photos are uploaded, you may choose among the offered types of frames for your photos.
Let’s take a look at these templates:
- “Ever” (white border around the photo and a white frame);
- “Clean” (white frame without a border around the photo);
- “Classic” (white border and a black frame);
- “Bold” (black frame without a border around the photo);
- “Edge” (photo without a frame or border).
Also, there are 2 other editing options:
- foreshortening by dragging photos vertically or using an auto-centering option;
- zooming photos.
If you upload a low-quality picture, the system can improve its colors or resolution by using neural networks.
At the same time, you can’t upload photos smaller than 800 x 800 pixels.
After you click on the “Checkout” button, you’ll be transferred to the order page. There, you need to fill in the following data:
- your address (country, city, zip code, etc.);
- payment method.
Mixtiles is a multilanguage website: you may choose among English, Spanish, French, German, and Italian languages. The service supports all types of devices and works on all operating systems.
Another advantage of the service is the unlimited number of photos you may add at once. At the same time, you can choose only 1 frame style per 1 order.
Another feature of the Mixtiles website I want to point out isn’t related to choosing a frame or making an order.
If you scroll down to the bottom of the website, you’ll find a button called “Accessibility”. This option allows you to customize the website’s appearance according to your needs. For example, you can adjust the following:
- content by changing fonts and spacings, highlighting links, etc.;
- text and titles colors;
- orientation and animation by hiding images, turning off animation, changing cursor colors, and many more.
Also, you can select from ready-made accessibility profiles: seizure safe, cognitive disability, ADHD friendly profiles, etc.
Compared to its competitor, PhotoSquared doesn’t allow you to make an order using the web version. To start working, you need to download and install the application on your mobile device.
Like in the case of Mixtiles, you need to let the system know your email and name. Then, the application will request access to your photos.
Compared to Mixtiles, you can’t add photos from your Facebook account. However, you may select pictures from the current device, your Instagram account, or GooglePhoto.
When the photos are selected, you may edit them like in Mixtiles (zooming and cropping). Additionally, the system allows you to apply filters. Then, you’ll proceed to a one-step checkout and fill in the information about the delivery location and choose payment methods.
Like Mixtiles, Photosquared offers their users to get gift cards.
Variety of photo tiles and print quality
The most popular photo tiles’ size that is set up by default is 8 x 8 inches. However, you may also order other variants:
- 8 x 11 inches;
- 12 x 12 inches;
- 12 x 16 inches;
- 20 x 20 inches;
- 20 x 27 inches.
Bear in mind that the last 2 options are available only for frameless photos.
The photo tiles are lightweight and thin: the thickness of all tiles is 3/4 inches. Photo tiles consist of 2 constructive elements: foam baсking and plastic frame. The photos are printed on high-quality photo paper and mounted in frames.
The service doesn’t offer a rich set of colors: you may choose either black or white frames, which are mounted on a black foam backing.
Also, on the official website, you can find a link to another platform called “Mixtiles Art”. It’s a platform, where you can choose among dozens of ready-made projects.
All projects are grouped into 30 categories (pop art, food and drinks, people, bathroom art, minimalist, and many more) with handy filters by orientation and color.
The same option you can find on Photosquared, but with a significantly smaller number of categories.
This service supports the same frame dimensions as its competitor. And 8 x 8 inches is also the most widely used size. Along with that, the service doesn’t allow you to customize borders, so you can order only frameless photo tiles.
Compared to Mixtiles, Photosquared uses special ultraviolet-cured ink, so your photos won’t fade under UV radiation.
Each photo tile has the same structural components. But compared to Mixtiles, Photosquared’s tiles have a different thickness of a foam backing (1/2 inches). Besides, Photosquared’s minimum allowed size for a photo is 900 x 900 pixels.
Although you can’t use the Photosquared website to create your own photo tile, you may visit it to check the sets of ready-made photo compositions for wall decor. All of them are grouped into 14 categories for handy navigation: “Holidays”, “Flags”, “Animals”, “Quotes”, etc.
You can find photo compositions, which consist of a different number of pieces, but all of them have a fixed tile size of 8 x 8 inches.
Ease of installation
The process of photo tile installation is easy. First of all, you need to mark a place for each of the photo tiles. Then, remove the protective strip from the sticky elements, which are located around the perimeter of the photo tiles, and attach them to the wall. Also, before mounting, it’s recommended to clean the wall to remove dust.
If you need to change your photo composition, you can easily remove photo tiles and mount them elsewhere.
Here, the process is quite the same: you need to prepare the surface of the wall, mark places for photo tiles, and mount them. Unlike Mixtiles, sticky elements aren’t located around the perimeter of the tile but in the corners.
As in the case of Mixtiles, Photosquared offers tiles, which you can reattach and mount on any surface without any damage to walls. It may be brick, wood, glass; textured or painted walls, etc.
Costs and delivery
Currently, the service offers you to pay $58 for the first 3 photo tiles. All subsequent orders will cost you $12 per photo tile.
At the same time, Mixtiles has different prices depending on the customers’ location. Also, the service supports local currencies (you can find detailed information on the checkout page).
After your order is approved, you’ll get an email with a tracking link and the expected date of delivery (as a rule, shipping takes less than 10 business days). Mixtiles provides you with free shipping almost everywhere. A list of available locations you can also find on the checkout page.
The service allows you to choose among 2 payment options: using a credit card or through PayPal.
Compared to Mixtiles, this service is significantly cheaper. You need to pay a fixed price of $9 per photo tile. Shipping is also out of charge and carried out all around the world.
Like in the case of Mixtiles, you’ll get an email after your order is approved and shipped. Usually, it takes from 3 to 5 days to get your order delivered.
Photosquared payment options are the same as Mixtiles has: you may use a credit card or PayPal.
The service has a Help Center, where you can find answers to all common questions.
If you need personalized help, you can use a chat option that is available 24/7. Usually, you need to wait a few minutes till you can get an answer.
Unlike Mixtiles, Photosquared has a blog section with many articles devoted to different topics from guides on creating a mosaic mural to nature photography tips.
If you have questions about your order, you may contact Photosquared experts by email. Another option is to follow the service on Facebook or Instagram and find experts there. Also, Photosquared has its communities on Pinterest and Twitter, but they aren’t as active as on Facebook or Instagram.
Does Mixtiles have a money-back guarantee?
Yes, it does. If you received damaged or bad quality photo tiles, the service will provide a full refund.
Is the Photosquared application supported on iOS and Android OS?
Yes, but Android users may face issues (problems with loading a checkout page or system lagging).
Do I need to register on Mixtiles to make an order?
Yes, registration is required.
Does Photosquared support promo codes?
Yes, it does.
Is it possible to choose another address after the order on Mixtiles is made?
Yes, this option is available. You can do it within 3 hours of receiving a confirmation email.
Are Photosquared photo tiles water-resistant?
Yes, they are. So, feel free to wet clean.
Is it possible to contact Mixtiles experts by phone?
No, this option is currently unavailable.
Is there a limit to the number of photo tiles I can include in the Photosquared gift card?
Yes, it’s possible to include from 4 to 50 photo tiles in the gift cart.
As you can see, both services have strong and weak sides. However, my personal winner of todays’ review is Mixtiles. Even though the service is pricier than its competitor, it gives you more freedom of customization.
Also, Mixtiles allows you to make an order easily from any type of device. In turn, Photosquared’s users can work only through a mobile application.
If you face troubles, Mixtiles offers a comprehensive knowledge base or expert help via live chat. In the case of Photosquared, you’ll wait longer to get a response by email even if experts quickly react to your question.
As for photo quality, both services are equally good in delivering quality photos. Plus, Photosquared provides its customers with additional UV and water protection.