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12 Best Polaroid Printers in 2022 (For iPhone & Android!)

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For a while, many of us thought the revival of instant cameras was just a fad that would fade away. But despite the ubiquitous presence of camera phones, people still crave printed pictures.

This trend of having a polaroid wireless printing has become so popular. Now portable photo printers let you create analog copies of your smartphone snapshots!

Are you one of those people who loves to print phone photos on the go? We’ve compiled a list of photo printer options out there so you can find the best polaroid printer for you!

Flay lay of Canon Ivy Cliq 2 surrounded by instant photos
Canon Ivy Cliq 2 mini printer

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What Are Polaroid Portable Photo Printers?

After digital photography took over film photography, most of us felt that from then on, we would only get to see images on the screen. But the portable printer filled the need of those who wanted pictures they could hold in their hands.

Sure, there’s always the option to go to the local printer and ask them to produce physical copies of your digital photos. But the beauty of the portable printer is that it prints photos in a matter of seconds. Oh, and did we tell you that most of these devices can fit in your back pocket?

There are two main types of portable printers. The first one uses proprietary printer paper. It produces results like a regular desktop printer.

The second printer works with instant film to print photos. It uses the light from your phone screen to expose an image on a Polaroid or Instax instant film.

Woman using a portable photo printer
Printing pictures with a portable wireless mini printer at home.

12 Best Polaroid Printers

Here’s our list of the best portable polaroid printers out there. Check out our buying guide at the end if you’re wondering what to consider when looking for one.

12. Polaroid Lab

Polaroid Lab polaroid printer
Polaroid printer for iPhone

The Polaroid Lab is arguably one of the strangest photo printers on this list. It’s pretty large compared to other options. And it looks like a futuristic sci-fi prop.

But under the hood of this nifty gadget is a beautiful marriage between modern engineering and analog marvels. I mean, it prints Polaroid photos optically from your iPhone screen! How cool is that?

It turns digital images into analog keepsakes. Plus, it also allows you to embed video within the Polaroid photos.

This printer etches a bar code within the picture. Then your Polaroid Lab app can read to play back a short AR-enabled clip (augmented reality).

11. Fujifilm Instax Mini Link Smartphone Printer

Fujifilm Instax Mini Link Smartphone Printer product photo
Polaroid Bluetooth printer

f you don’t like the bulky design of the Polaroid Lab and other Polaroid printers, then the Fujifilm Instax Mini Link is for you.

Like the Polaroid Lab, this printer uses instant film to turn your phone snapshots into physical photos. But the difference is that the Instax Mini Link does it in a much sleeker body that fits in the palm of your hand.

The Instax Mini Link doesn’t use light from your phone to print images like the Polaroid Lab. Instead, it uses Bluetooth to receive the image data from your phone.

Another advantage of using this photo printer is its significantly shorter development time. The Polaroid Lab needs fifteen minutes for one image to develop fully. In contrast, the Instax only needs 90 seconds!

10. Canon Ivy Mini Photo Printer

Canon Ivy Mini Photo Printer product photo
Canon mini polaroid printer

This instant photo printer is one of the most popular options on this list… and for excellent reasons.

First, it looks incredibly sleek and portable. Second, it comes in attractive colors like rose gold, mint green, and slate gray.

Third, it produces photos in a resolution of 314 x 400 dpi using dye sublimation. That’s quite sharp and detailed, considering Ivy’s size.

Canon Ivy is particularly popular among scrapbookers. That’s because its prints have a sticky back you can attach to notebook pages.

Using the Canon Mini Print app also lets you easily create collages. If you want your image to be bigger than its usual 2 x 3″ size, you can combine several pictures to create one large photo, a la Chuck Close.

9. Canon Ivy Cliq+

Canon Ivy Cliq+ polaroid printer

 

You already know about Canon Ivy and its unique features. But did you know that it has a bigger sister called Ivy Cliq+?

What makes the Canon Ivy Cliq+ different is it’s a full-fledged compact digital camera with a printer. But like the Ivy, it uses Zink paper with an adhesive that you can stick anywhere.

Apart from printing pictures straight from the camera, you can also connect the Ivy Cliq+ to your phone to print images from your gallery.

It uses the same app that lets you edit pictures and add stickers to them. In many ways, it feels much like a Polaroid camera, except it’s all digital!

8. HP Sprocket

HP Sprocket polaroid printer

At first glance, this photo printer looks much like all the other printers on this list. It’s also slim, but it comes in bright colors.

Under the hood of the HP Sprocket is an entirely different machine. It uses Zink technology instead of dye sublimation.

So what is Zink technology? Well, “Zink” is a blending of the words “zero” and “ink.”

In other words, unlike its competitors, the HP Sprocket doesn’t have an active ink cartridge inside it. Instead, it uses paper that already has ink infused in it.

Once you start printing, the heat from the printer will activate the ink in the paper to produce vivid pictures. Now, how cool is that?

7. Polaroid Hi Print

Polaroid Hi Print polaroid printer

Unlike other Polaroid printers, the Polaroid Hi-Print doesn’t use film to print pictures. Instead, this instant photo printer is more like the Canon Ivy or the HP Sprocket.

So how similar is the Polaroid Hi Print to the Ivy and Sprocket? Well, it also uses sticker paper that people can slap onto their things.

It also has an app that lets you add filters and frames. And it also uses dye sublimation to produce high-quality prints.

The only significant difference between the Hi-Print printer and its counterparts? It’s slightly larger. But the upside of its more prominent design is that it can print 3 x 5″ images instead of the measly 2 x 3″.

6. Kodak Mini 3 Retro

Kodak Mini 3 Retro polaroid printer

 

This photo printer has one of the most affordable photo papers on this list. You can buy 60 sheets for this printer for about $20.

That’s a lot, especially compared to the instant film options. They only give you eight to ten images for the same price.

Kodak’s paper uses dye sublimation technology to print photos. The paper has a laminate to protect your pictures from the elements.

Another great feature of the Kodak Mini 3 Retro is its app. It lets you edit your image on your phone and even slap on emojis and stickers to add some spice to your pictures.

The app also includes augmented reality features. It lets you try on dozens of filters and animations to your snapshots.

5. Kodak Step

Kodak Step polaroid printer

Like the HP Sprocket, the Kodak Step is uses Zink technology instead of dye sublimation for printing pictures. Since this printer has no ink cartridges, it’s smaller and lighter than its counterparts.

For the most part, Kodak Step’s features are equivalent to the HP Sprocket. But what makes it different is that it’s a tad cheaper than the Sprocket.

For some people, affordability alone can be enough to buy this device. And if you’re not into the bright colors of the other printers, you can always get the classic black or white option… they can look as elegant as they are functional.

4. Lifeprint Ultraslim Printer

Lifeprint Ultraslim Printer product photo

Lifeprint calls their printer ultraslim for a reason. With a thickness of 19 mm, it’s one of the thinnest printers.

Despite its size, it produces high-quality 2 x 3″ photos that match—if not exceed—that of its counterparts. And of course, like other Zink printers, it also comes with a peel-off paper. It’s also guaranteed to be smudge-proof and water resistant!

Sure, all the Lifeprint features we mentioned are available in other printers. So, what makes this gadget different? Well, it lets you send and print images to other Lifeprint users.

And did we mention it was one of the first brands that integrated augmented reality with pictures? Yes, they were among the pioneers who thought about letting you play video clips embedded in the physical prints.

3. HP Sprocket Studio

HP Sprocket Studio polaroid printer

 

If you need something beefier than the HP Sprocket, get the HP Sprocket Studio. At 10.75 x 6.65 x 2.68″, it’s physically larger than its portable counterpart.

But even though the Sprocket Studio can’t fit in your pocket, it’s still portable enough to carry around in your backpack. It even has an optional battery pack to let you print images anywhere.

The HP Sprocket Studio is one of the best printers on our list because it’s a legitimate laser printer. That means it produces high-quality photos that no Zink or dye sublimation process can replicate.

The Sprocket Studio also prints 4 x 6″ photos instead of the usual 2 x 3″ from its smaller counterparts. That’s equivalent to the regular pictures you get from the traditional photo labs!

2. Kodak Dock Plus

Kodak Dock Plus polaroid printer
Kodak Polaroid Bluetooth printer

This capable printer is Kodak’s answer to the HP Sprocket Studio. Like the Sprocket Studio, it also prints 4 x 6″ photos.

As the name implies, the Dock Plus has a receptacle where you can attach your phone for printing. But it also features Bluetooth connectivity that lets you print images wirelessly.

So what makes the Dock Plus better than HP Sprocket Studio? Well, it’s a few inches smaller than its HP counterpart. While the Sprocket Studio is 10.75″ wide, the Dock Plus is only 7″.

The Kodak Dock Plus is also smaller because it uses sublimation, while the Sprocket Studio is a legitimate laser printer. Regardless, the fact that it can print large photos at a much lower price should be enough to persuade you to get this cool gadget.

1. Phomemo MO2 Pocket Printer

Phomemo MO2 Pocket Printer polaroid printer

Phomemo is perhaps one of the quirkiest portable printers on this list. Why? Well, because it’s mainly a sticker paper printer.

Yes, it’s the type of printer you use to print labels for Christmas gifts and cute stickers for your water bottle. But apart from text and graphics, it can also print images from your phone.

Other portable photo printers can only print on one type of paper. But the Phomemo can print on transparent, semi-transparent, gold, silver, and color paper.

The only downside is that it can only print images in black and white. But if that means you can do it on transparent sticker paper, why not?

What Should You Look for in the Best Polaroid Printer?

There are tons of options out there when it comes to polaroid portable printers. They vary not just in the printing process.

They also differ in quality and affordability. So we created a short guideline to help you choose the best photo printer for you!

Polaroid Lab printing a photo next to a smartphone

Price

You can get a portable printer for less than $50, more than $100, and all sorts of prices in between. Generally, you’ll be paying more for better print quality.

And usually, the more expensive the option, the more features you get. But you’ll be surprised how impressive some of the budget printers are!

Print Quality

This section is where portable printers vary greatly. The fact that some of these printers use instant film to print photos should tell you that their results will be less sharp than others.

Since each brand uses different printing technology, the strengths of each printer differ from the other. Some may produce punchy colors, while others may boast sharp prints.

Size

Most portable printers are so small that they can fit in your pocket. But in our experience, the bigger options tend to have the best quality.

Of course, that’s not to say you should stay away from the slim printers. There are a few gems on our list that you would love for their size and the quality photos they print.

Printing Speed

By default, printers that use instant film take the longest since it takes minutes for an image to develop. On the flip side, they also produce the authentic vintage look that many people love.

Other portable photo printers that use photo paper can print pictures in seconds. But they tend to lack the old-photo texture of Instax or Polaroid printers.

Photo Paper Availability

You must pick a printer with photo paper you can quickly source. Otherwise, what’s the point of having it if you don’t have any paper to print? Thankfully, you can find zero ink (Zink) photo papers and Instax or Polaroid films at most stores these days.

Zink paper product photo
Zink paper

Conclusion

So what’s the best polaroid printer for you? Well, it depends on what you need.

If you like simple prints from your phone, consider the pocket-sized zero ink or heat transfer printers like the Canon Ivy and HP Sprocket. The Kodak Dock Plus and the HP Sprocket Studio will be your best bet if you want large high-quality images.

And if you’re thinking of turning your digital pictures into analog prints, you can buy the Polaroid Lab or the Fujifilm Instax Mini Link. You’ll want to choose the best portable photo printer that matches all of your creative needs.

Check out our Urban Smartphone Minimalism e-book to create perfectly-framed and ey-catching shots on the go!

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