Digital pictures are fantastic, but sometimes you want a physical photo print from your iPhone, Android or other mobile devices. You can even use these portable pocket photo printers with DSLR cameras that have a Bluetooth connection. In under 60 seconds, you can be holding an actual photo. We review the top selling pocket printers including HP Sprocket Plus, Fujifilm Instax Share SP-2, Kodak Mini-2, Polaroid Zip and SereneLife.
Top Pick – HP Sprocket Plus
You get fast, high quality printing with the HP Sprocket PlusPortable Photo Printer , about $99 . Available in white, black or red. The “Plus” means the photos are about 30% larger than the standard portable photo sizes: 2.3 x 3.4 inches versus 2 x 3.
We like the features in the app, and that it works for both iOS and Android devices. The HP Sprocket series are also “Amazon Choice” designated products, since they are well like by most purchasers.
The printer holds a pack of 20 HP “ZINK” photo sheets (about $6 for 20) with sticky backs (just peel off the back layer). These are inkless printing, so all you need is the photo paper to get started. Note that like ink cartridges in regular printers, you’ll need to use the manufacturers photo paper or you’ll get an error code.
You can print about 30 photos on a single battery charge, and then recharge with the included USB cable.
The Sprocket Plus measures 3.50 x 5.59 x 0.71 inches and weighs 7.2 ounces.
You can also get the regular sized 2 x 3 inch HP Sprocket Portable Photo Printer for the same $99. It’s nearly identical except for the smaller size 2.95 x 4.57 x 0.91, and you can print about 5 more photos (35) on a battery charge. A 100-sheet pack of photo pages will cost about $37.
Best Film Quality – Kodak Mini 2
The Kodak Mini 2 HD Wireless Portable Mobile Instant Photo Printer, about $90, comes in black, white, blue, pink and purple.
There is also a laminated protection layer on the print, so it won’t image doesn’t bleed, smudge or fade. Waterproof and long-lasting, this is the highest quality film you’ll find in a portable printer.
Kodak uses their innovative “4 PASS D2T2” dye transfer method to produce beautiful, detailed Black/White or Color Portraits. While not archival quality, you can expect prints to stay bright for up to 10 years.
Image quality comes from 256 levels of RGB for a total of 16.7 million colors in the print palette.
Quality does come at a cost though. It can take about 50 seconds for each print, and you’ll only get about 20 prints per battery charge. The 620 mAh lithium polymer battery takes about 90 minutes to fully recharge via micro-USB. Unfortunately, the battery isn’t removable so you can’t just swap in a charged one.
The all-in-one ink and paper cartridge produces stunningly detailed credit card- / wallet-sized 2.1 x 3.4 inch photos. These are a great size for sharing or carrying around. The Kodak MC Cartridges combine paper and ink for easy insert, remove, replace. You can purchase refills in increments of 20, 30 or 50.
The free Kodak app has a complete set of editing features including cropping, collage, special ID print, and more. It also lets you easily print from your social media feeds like Facebook and Instagram.
With Android devices, you have two options for printing. With NFC (Near Field Communications), you simply touch your device to the printer to launch the app and print. Or you can use the standard Bluetooth connection. With iOS, it’s currently Bluetooth only.
At 3.0 x 5.2 x 1.0 inches, and 8.4 ounces, it’s quite compact and portable.
Best Alternative – Polaroid Zip
The Polaroid ZIP Wireless Mobile Photo Mini Printer, about $97, comes in white, black, blue and red. If the Kodak printer isn’t available, this is a great alternative. The Polaroid Zip is nearly identical to the Kodak, and photo quality is also very good.
A 50-pack of film paper costs about $2, making it more economical than the Mini-2.
And like the Kodak, it’ll take about 60 seconds for each print to come out. You’ll get about 25 photos printed before needing to recharge the battery. Polaroids 500 mAh Lithium Polymer will take a similar 90 minutes to recharge with a micro-USB connection.
Similar to the Kodak, you can print using Bluetooth for both iOS and Android devices, and there is a NFC option for Android.
At 2.9 x 4.7 x 0.9, and 6.6 ounces, the Zip is a little smaller and lighter than the Mini-2. But you’d only notice if you put them side by side.
Fastest Printing – Fujifilm Instax Share SP-2
The Fujifilm Instax Share SP-2 , about $89 , prints in about 10 seconds making it the fastest portable printer so far. It still takes about 5 minutes for the print to “fix” or “cure”, but you don’t have to wait around to print out the next one. The drawback is that the image size is a little small, 2.4 x 1.8 inches.
It has a feature we like – the “Reprint Button”. This allows you to make multiple prints without having to go to the app each time. Just put the button on the printer, and you’ll get an identical copy of the last image printed. Great for sharing a picture with friends.
The SP-2 is available in a Silver or Gold texture-finish, making it both attractive and easy to handle.
It also has the “Amazon Choice” designation, meaning it’s been well like by other buyers.
You can expect up to 50 prints on a battery charge, and can recharge with a standard micro-USB cable in about 90 minutes.
The SP-2 works with iOS and Android devices, including smartphones and tablets. All printing is done through the “Share” app over a Wi-Fi connection. You don’t need internet, just a device that has Wi-Fi capabilities.
We like that it’s easy to print images from Instagram, Facebook and other social media accounts
What really sets the SP-2 apart from other portable printers are the built in “Templates” for special printing.
- Split – The left half of the image is printed on the first sheet, and the right half on the second sheet.
- Collage – Make a photo collage from 2, 3 or 4 images all printed on a single sheet.
- Real Time – The date, place, weather, temperature, and humidity are printed at the top of the frame. Since you cannot make a copy with this template, the photo will be the one and only in the world.
- Limited Edition Templates – Each print is numbered so it looks like a limited item.
- Social Networking Services (SNS) for Facebook and Instagram – Includes the persons profile photo and the number of likes indicated at the top of the frame.
- Square – Fits the photo cropped into a square. This leaves room to write a personal message onto the print.
- Seasonal – Different designs to fit the occasion, whether Mother’s Day, a birthday, a greeting to mark the season, “Best wishes!”
- Black & White Filter – prints the image as black and white
- Sepia Filter – prints the image as sepia
- Fujifilm Intelligence Filter – This uses an optimum processing technology, Image Intelligence, to brighten up a photo that turned out too dark.
The Fujifilm Instax Share SP-2 is compact at 7.12 x 5 x 3 inches, and 8.6 ounces.
There are also many ways to customize your prints with frames, stickers, etc. For about $40, you can get a fun kit of Fujifilm Instax Mini Instant Film (3 Twin Packs, 60 Total Pictures) with 60 Sticker Frames, 5 Plastic Desk Frames, 10 Paper Frames and a Micro-Fiber Cleaning Cloth.
Film is package in a 10-sheet self-contained cartridge. Open the printer, put in the film pack and you are ready to go. After you’ve printed 10 images, just remove the empty and replace with another10-pack.
Get more details, or order, using Fujifilm Instax Share SP-2 .
There are a lot of choices for portable mini printers and we hope you’ll find one of these to your liking. Here again are the links and prices through Amazon:
HP Sprocket PlusPortable Photo Printer , about $99
Kodak Mini 2 HD Wireless Photo Printer, about $90
Fujifilm Instax Share SP-2 , about $89