Best online services to print holiday photos

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Consumer Reports reviews popular picture printing services and rates which one is the best for your buck. (KTRK)

Many of us use our phones as a photo album these days. The holidays are a perfect time to print those pictures as cards or frame them as gifts. But not all photo printing services are picture perfect.

Consumer Reports checked out 10 online photo printing services, looking at everything from the ordering experience to editing options to costs. And of course, CR's trained photo experts also rated each print for quality.

The big takeaway is price doesn't determine quality.

Walgreens and Adorama Pix had the best quality for around 30 cents per 4x6 print. But Walmart and Amazon had excellent quality for only 9 cents each.

At the bottom of CR's ratings were photos from Mpix - pictures were less saturated, they were less clear and a little bit blurry. But all photos examined were still better and cheaper than using most home printers.

CR also looked at online editing options like auto-cropping, a feature that should enhance a photo. Some photos, though, were actually cropped so severely that they cut off people's heads.

CR's advice: make sure you review your order closely before you click "buy."

Consumer Reports also says you shouldn't make decisions based solely on how much each print would cost. Be sure to review shipping costs too, because they can have a big impact on the final bill. CR suggests checking for free shipping offers or free in-store pickup.

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