Snap, print, and go: The 8 best portable photo printers
Choosing the perfect photo printer doesn’t have to be difficult, but what if you want to take your printer with you on the go? Since most of us now take pictures with our phones, wouldn’t it be more convenient to print photo right after taking them?
Sometimes, the best photo printer is a portable printer; they’re compact, easy to use, and transform your digital selfie into a physical keepsake. While most portable printers use the same 2 x 3-inch Zink paper and offer similar quality, some offer prints as large as a 4 x 6 inches and some even use actual instant film. Here are the best portable photo printers you can buy.
HP Sprocket Photo Printer
The HP Sprocket Photo Printer will print 2 x 3-inch photos directly from your smartphone or tablet using the app by the same name. The printer works with both Android and iOS, and all you need is a Bluetooth connection. The Sprocket is also roughly the size of a smartphone and weights a mere 6 ounces, allowing it to fit just about anywhere. The accompanying mobile app even allows you to customize your photos before you print, letting you make the most of HP’s 10-sheet packs.
Polaroid Zip Instant Photo printer
With the Polaroid Zip, there’s simply no need to shake your printouts like a Polaroid picture. The apt-titled printer offers up 2 x 3-inch smudge-proof photos from a Bluetooth-connected mobile device. The resulting photos are waterproof, tear-proof, and have a sticky peel-back, allowing you to place your photos anywhere you’d like. Downloading the Polaroid app for either iOS and Android opens up more possibilities, giving you a means for enhancing your photos on the go. The travel-friendly printer is pocket-sized, too, and weighs just 6.6 ounces.
Canon Ivy Mini
The Canon Ivy Mini prints your favorite Instagram and Facebook photos directly from your smartphone. Download the app to customize and print your pictures, then easily sync the Ivy to your phone via Bluetooth. The printer uses the same Zink paper as the above two models, giving it a portable design without the need for ink cartridges. While mini Zink printers have been around for years, the Ivy is Canon’s first foray into the product category.
Lifeprint Photo and Video Printer
Want something more than a static print? Lifeprint’s Augmented Reality Hyperphotos uses standard Zink paper but creates prints that move when you scan them with its mobile app. The printer also has a larger 3 x 4.5-inch option for bigger pints. Thanks to the unique Hyperphoto technology, you can print live photos from Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. You can also easily add filters, text, memes, and stickers through the Lifeprint App. The Lifeprint weighs just 10 ounces and is compact enough to travel with. No ink to print, just put the paper in and it’s ready to go.
Fujifilm INSTAX Share SP-3
Unlike rest of the mobile photo printers on this list, the Fujifilm INSTAX Share SP-3 Printer doesn’t use Zink paper, but transfers your smartphone photos to actual film. Images are transfered to 2.4 x 2.4-inch Instax film, a square format that’s ideal for printing out your Instagrams. Select your best pictures from your smartphone and simply transfer the photos from the app via a Wi-Fi connection. When you download the INSTAX share app you can add text, split the photo, make a collage, and add a filter to your images.
While larger than the other mobile printers, the Canon Selphy arguably has the most features and options, despite sitting at a similar price. The printer will print 4 x 6-inch images, as well as smaller prints including a roughly 2 x 2-inch square format. You can print wirelessly from your phone’s camera roll via Airprint, straight from your camera’s memory card thanks to the built-in card reader, or from Facebook and Instagram. The photos are water resistant and easily transform into stickers. Downloading the Canon Print app, you can edit your favorite pictures to look perfect. The battery pack is additional, however, so expect to spend another $50 or so if you want this printer to be truely portable.
Kodak Smile Instant Digital Printer
Printing on 2 x 3-inch Zink paper, the Kodak Smile Instant Printer is an easy-to-use, compact mobile printer. With a unique slide-open design, the device literally has no buttons, which makes the printer both sleek-looking and simple to use. Images are sent to the printer using Bluetooth and the Kodak Smile app on your phone, which also comes with a handful of editing options, including the option create an augmented reality video that plays over the print when scanned with your phone, just like with the Lifeprint above. It doesn’t offer the optional larger size of the Lifeprint, but it is a bit cheaper.