A photo printer for mobile phones prints your favorite memories from your smartphone in an uncomplicated way. The comparison reveals how this works and which models are worthwhile.
Ever since photographs went digital, they have experienced unprecedented devaluation. Instead of thinking about the design of a picture beforehand, we all snap like mad. Of course, we always have our smartphone with us and capturing beautiful memories is a great pleasure. As beautiful as the memories may be, unfortunately we rarely have the pleasure of lingering in them.
This is also due to the fact that the images in digital nirvana are becoming stale and sometimes difficult to find, alongside all the memes, videos and oh so funny or profound sayings that pollute our smartphones with their presence – thanks to endless WhatsApp group chats. No more, get out of the groups, into the pleasure of printed photo art: that’s exactly what small photo printers for mobile phones promise. They stand for the resurrection of analogue photos and combine them with the advantages of digital photography.
This is how photo printers for mobile phones work
As a rule, the photo printers for mobile phones communicate with the smartphone via Bluetooth and an associated app that must be installed on your device. Load your photos from the media library into the software. In some of the manufacturer’s applications, the images can still be edited, for example beautified with a filter or cropped. In some cases, you can also print QR codes on the back of the photos. If you scan them with your smartphone, they reveal the metadata of the image or refer to a specific song that is associated with the photo.
Of course, most photo printers for mobile phones work with a battery that is charged via micro USB. Exceptions are the Kodak Dock Plus and the Agfaphoto photo printer. Why, why, why, explains what is probably the most decisive selling argument for most photographers: namely the image size of the printed photos. Both printers mentioned use the dimensions 100 x 150 millimeters (mm), which is quite large in comparison. The photos are certainly more suitable for the private photo book. Don’t worry: most cell phone photo printers cater to smaller sizes that also fit in your wallet.
instax Link Wide
Photographers who love the charm of Polaroids should take a closer look at Fujifilm’s insta Link Wide. It holds the manufacturer’s Wide Polaroids, which print photos that are 62 mm high and 99 mm wide. Its operation is very simple: the battery draws its power via micro-USB. Once charged, photographers turn it on with the power button. It is located in the middle on top of the printer. Download the associated app from the App Store.
Once connected to the printer via Bluetooth, select the photos from your smartphone to then print them out. However, the fun is not cheap. For 20 Polaroids you shell out almost 19 euros at Amazon. At the price, however, the printer makes sense, because nothing is more annoying than wasting an expensive Polaroid with an analogue Polaroid camera due to technical errors or incorrect exposure. Incidentally, photo printing is just as quick as with a Polaroid camera. After printing, however, the instant photo still needs a minute or two to be developed.
Mobile Photo Printer: Polaroid Hi-Print
The Polaroid Hi-Print is similar to the instax Link Wide. It also has a rechargeable battery and is therefore ideal for traveling with. The printed images are slightly smaller than those of the instax link wide. But they offer two special features: First, you can print your smartphone photos borderless. And secondly, the pictures are self-adhesive. Perfect if you plan to keep the prints in a photo album. In terms of price, Polaroid also beats the Fujifilm competition: 20 prints cost around 17 euros.
Important: The Polaroid printer also works with an app that you have to install on your smartphone. Compared to the software from Fujifilm, however, it offers a few more design options for the photos. So you can still label the images in the app or apply filters to them. However, the Polaroid Hi-Print takes a little longer to print. This is because the printer prints the colors onto the image one at a time, so it’s always pulling the photo in and out. The ink for this is included in the film cartridges.
Kodak Mini 3 Retro 4Pass
Of course, the US photo giant from Rochester should not be missing when it comes to photo printers for mobile phones. On the contrary, Kodak is the manufacturer with the most photo printers in its range. The Kodak Mini 3 Retro works in a similar way to the Polaroid Hi-Print, so it prints the colors one after the other and accordingly takes its time. And otherwise its operation is in line with the preceding photo printer from Polaroid.
Your smartphone communicates with the photo printer for mobile phones via a free app. In the app you can choose whether the photo should be printed with or without a border. The Mini 3 Retro is the first printer in the comparison to use a square format of 76 x 76 mm. The battery draws its power from a micro-USB socket. Nice: The photos are comparatively cheap. Buyers shell out just 21.99 euros for 60 prints, which is 36 cents per print. It doesn’t get any cheaper. And here, too, the ink for printing is in the cartridges of the photos.
Kodak Step Instant Photo Printer
At just under 80 euros, the Kodak Step Instant is priced at the same level as the Polaroid Hi-Print. That was it already. Its photos are slightly smaller than those of its Polaroid competitor. And they are cheaper: 100 pieces are available for 55 euros, i.e. almost 55 cents per print. That’s around 30 cents cheaper than the Polaroid prints. This could sometimes be due to a slightly different printing technology. The Kodak Step Instant is a so-called zinc printer. Zinc stands for “Zero Ink”. This simply means that the Step Instant does not require any ink for its printing.
Instead, he uses thermal paper, the layers of which react differently to temperature and thus create an image. When it comes to operation, there is little that is new for attentive readers: the battery of the Kodak Step Instant is charged via micro-USB, you can use the associated app to select and edit photos and, of course, the pictures are self-adhesive when you remove the protective film on the back .
The first photo printer for mobile phones without a battery is the Agfaphoto Realpix. However, photographers should not expect any major innovations here. It is priced eight euros below the Kodak Dock Plus, which prints photos in the same size. The photos for the Agfaphoto printer cost 58 cents each, those for the Kodak printer only 40 cents. The operation succeeds again via app. The photo printer is a bit too big for travelling. When printing, Agfaphoto relies on ink that is in the paper cartridges.
Kodak Dock Plus 4Pass
And there is not much to report about the Kodak Dock Plus 4Pass either. Align the images on your smartphone for the format using the app. The printer does not have a battery. The cost per picture is 40 cents. Kodak also uses ink for its printer and of course, that too is already in the cartridges of the photo paper. Both Agfaphoto and Kodak models take just over a minute to print per image.
instax Mini EVO with hybrid function
A special feature should not be missing in this comparison and Fujifilm offers this special feature with the instax Mini EVO. This is a Polaroid camera where you can preview the images and then decide if you want to print them. This is how photographers make sure they don’t waste expensive Polaroids. Nice: If you have taken a snapshot with your smartphone that you would like to have printed out, that is of course also possible. All that is needed for this is, of course, the associated smartphone app. However, the costs per picture are very high at around one euro.
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