The 6 Best Instant Photo Printers

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Looking for the best instant photo printers? We’ve got you sorted.

Smartphone cameras are so good these days that most of us no longer use a regular camera, but as much as we enjoy digital picture taking, it’s just not the same as having old-fashioned, hard copy photos to cherish.

Instead of letting all those images linger in your phone why not print those photos as soon as you take a picture, in real time?

Printing instantly directly from your smartphone is now a reality, thanks to instant photo printers.

Let’s find out more…

What is an Instant Photo Printer?

Convenient and portable, many instant photo printers use inkless self developing technology, allowing them to be small enough to pop into a bag or pocket.

Others use ink cartridges that work using dye diffusion transfer, or all in one paper and ink cartridges.

They can be connected directly to your smartphone or tablet via WiFi or Bluetooth, from where you can send your favorite photos to them to be printed, and they contain a rechargeable battery so that you can continue to use them when on the go.

Being small, instant photo printers also print pint sized images similar to a Polaroid photo — usually around 2 x 3 inches in size — although some models can print photos up to 4 x 6 inches in size.

instant photo printers

What to Look for when Buying an Instant Photo Printer

Battery

If you’re going to be printing photos on the fly, you should look for an instant photo printer with a decent battery life that doesn’t need to be plugged into a socket in order to function.

The better the battery, the longer it will last between charges.

Connectivity

A good instant photo printer will have good connectivity — Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, cable or a combination of the three.

It should also have a smartphone app that is simple to install and easy to use, that offers reliable pairing between phone and printer.

Quality

Particularly important if your instant photo printer will be travelling around with you, quality manufacture using high end components and a robust design will mean your printer will be last a long time and survive some knocks and bumps.

Equally important to consider is picture quality — the better quality the printer, the higher resolution, better quality image it will produce, however this is almost certain to increase the price.

smartphone photo printers

Print Size

The majority of instant photo printers create images of around 2 x 3 inches in size, although there are a few which can print to a larger size format of 4 x 6 inches.

2 x 3 inches isn’t that big, so it can be worth your while to choose a printer which prints borderless images to make the most of the small canvas.

Print Speed

Waiting forever for your photos to appear can take some of the fun out of instant printing from your phone.

The best instant photo printers will have a fast print speed to create your prints quickly without the hanging around.

Running Costs

Aside from the purchase price of an instant photo printer, there are also the associated costs of accessories, printing paper, and refill cartridges to take into account. Use your budget wisely and invest in a portable printer that won’t cost you a fortune to use long term.

Instant Photo Printer Cost Guide

Instant photo printers vary widely in price, from low end models with basic printing functionality for as little as $50, to full featured, high quality printers from big name brands for over $200, with plenty of mid range models in between.

Read on to discover our 6 best instant photo printers available right now…

Best Instant Photo Printers

Kodak Mini Shot Wireless Instant Digital Camera & Social Media Portable Photo Printer

best portable photo printer

Compatible with iOS & Android, the Mini Shot from Kodak is camera and portable printed rolled into one clever little device.

Take photos with the 10 megapixel camera and print them directly, or connect to your smart device via Bluetooth and print existing photos from there, or upload the Kodak Mini Shot photos to your phone to share via text or social media.

The cameras 1.7 inch LCD screen makes composing and viewing your photos a breeze, and the Kodak app has plenty of fun filters, stickers, emojis, frames, and more to customize your pics.

Convenient all in one ink and paper cartridges combined with 4Pass printing technology gives high quality, high color prints.

Pros

  • Produces high quality prints
  • Added convenience of camera and printer in one device
  • Point and click
  • Small and portable
  • Simple to operate
  • Prints quickly
  • App has a lot of great filters
  • Available in a choice of 6 different colors

Cons

  • Replacement cartridges aren’t available everywhere

best instant photo printer

Kodak Mini 2 HD Wireless Portable Mobile Instant Photo Printer

best instant photo printer

The Mini 2 instant photo printer from Kodak prints using clever all in one cartridges that combine both quality paper and ink to produce high quality photos of 2.1 x 3.4 inches in size in less than a minute using Dye Diffusion Thermal Transfer technology for long lasting, vibrant color.

Available for Android and iOS phones, the Kodak App features an editing suite which allows you to crop your images, create collages or add fun effects and more before sending to print.

Measuring just 5.1” x 3.1” the Mini 2 is small enough to carry around easily, and is available in a range of 6 eye popping colors.

It also features Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and NFC connectivity, and can be charged via USB cable in around 1.5 hours.

Pros

  • Intuitive to use with a good smartphone app
  • Super simple to set up
  • Light, small, and very portable
  • Great print quality
  • Good connectivity
  • Excellent build quality
  • Easy to maintain
  • Comes in a choice of colors

Cons

  • Running costs can be high due to cartridge refills
  • Can sometimes be a little slow to print

best instant photo printer

Fujifilm INSTAX SHARE SP-2 Smart Phone Printer

smartphone printer

Measuring 7.12 x 5 x 3 inches, the Fujifilm Instax Share SP-2 remains small enough to be portable, and prints images of 2.4 x 1.8 inches in size with a resolution of 320 dpi in a speedy 10 seconds.

Available in either silver or gold finish, the SP-2 uses self developing film, and the Fujifilm Instax SHARE smartphone app lets you crop and edit photos, apply filters and templates, and more.

This instant photo printer charges via micro USB, connects to Android and iOS smartphones or tablets via Wi-Fi, and the handy reprint button allows you to duplicate the same print in seconds to share with your friends.

Pros

  • Long lasting battery
  • Very portable
  • Doesn’t require ink cartridges
  • App is easy to use
  • Very quick to print
  • Multiple editing options

Cons

  • Photo quality could be better — it’s a little too low-resolution for our tastes

best instant photo printer

HP Sprocket Portable Photo Printer

portable photo printer

Ideal for printing social media photos, the HP Sprocket portable photo printer measures a super dinky 2.95 x 4.57 x 0.91 and is the perfect size for your pocket.

Connect this instant printer to any Android or iOS smartphone or tablet using the Bluetooth connection, and sync it quickly and easily to your social media accounts to print 2 x 3 inch sticker type photos in around 40 seconds.

The ‘Zink’ (zero ink) printing technology on heat activated papers ensures colorful, hassle free prints.

The rechargeable battery holds enough power for printing 35 images at a time, and with the fun Sprocket app you can edit your photos with effects such as borders, graphics, filters, text and more, as well as sharing your photos via sms or social media.

This portable photo printer is incredibly popular, particularly with scrapbookers and other crafty types. Check out this video review:

Pros

  • Incredibly easy to use
  • Borderless printing
  • Uses inkless technology
  • Extremely small and lightweight
  • Great app for editing and sharing photos
  • Prints photos fast
  • Easy social media integration

Cons

  • Paper refills can be a little expensive

best instant photo printer

HP Sprocket Plus Instant Photo Printer

best instant photo printer

The big brother of the original HP Sprocket, the HP Sprocket Plus has all the same great features as its sibling (including the Zink no ink technology and the Sprocket app for Android and iOS tablets and smartphones), but with the added benefit of printing 313 x 400 dpi resolution images at 30% larger to a size of 2.3 x 3.4 inches.

As a result, the device itself is also a little larger, measuring 3.50 x 5.59 x 0.71, but is still extremely portable.

Connectivity is also given a boost on the Sprocket Plus, as it uses Bluetooth 4.0, and each battery charge is enough to print 30 photos.

Pros

  • App is easy to set up and versatile
  • Intuitive to use
  • Larger photo size
  • Hassle free no ink technology
  • Very portable
  • Photos can be used as stickers
  • Charges via USB

Cons

  • Paper refills are a little expensive
  • Slower to print than the original

best instant photo printer

Lifeprint 3×4.5 Portable Photo AND Video Printer

best portable photo printer

The Lifeprint instant photo printer is packed with features and is capable of printing larger format 3 x 4.5 sticky backed prints.

Connect via WiFi or Bluetooth to the Lifeprint app on your Android or iOS device to customize and print images, videos and GIFs from social media accounts or photos stored on your phone.

What’s more you can connect directly to friends or family who also have a Lifeprint account and share photos to their printers, giving them an instant, real time snapshot.

Zink technology means that this printer for smartphone doesn’t need any ink to print, and you can even create ‘hyperphotos’ that animate when you view them with the Lifeprint app.

The rechargeable battery charges via USB cable.

Pros

  • Lots of features
  • Larger print format than most portable photo printers
  • Convenient inkless Zink technology
  • Simple social media integration
  • Creates ‘living’ hyperphotos
  • Print photos on Lifeprint printers of family and friends anywhere in the world

Cons

  • Print refills can be expensive
  • Print quality a little inconsistent for our liking

best instant photo printer


Which do you think is the best instant photo printer?

Editor

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