Table of Contents
- 1 Best Home Photo Printer
- 2 Why are portable printers good?
- 3 Pocket v compact – which is the best portable photo printer?
- 4 Top 5 Pocket Printers – 2021
- 4.1 1. HP Sprocket Portable Photo Printer
- 4.2 2. Polaroid ZIP Mobile Printer
- 4.3 3. LG Portable Mobile Pocket Photo PD261
- 4.4 4. SereneLife PicKit20 Instant Wireless Mobile Printer
- 4.5 5. Fujifilm Instax Share SP-2 Smartphone Portable Printer
- 4.6 Compact photo printer explained
- 4.7 Top 5 Compact Photo Printers – 2021
- 4.7.1 1. Canon SELPHY CP1200 Portable Wireless Compact Color Photo Printer
- 4.7.2 2. HP Photosmart A536 Compact Photo Printer
- 4.7.3 3. Kodak Dock & Wi-Fi 4x6” Photo Printer
- 4.7.4 4. Epson PictureMate Charm Photo Printer
- 4.7.5 5. Brother WorkSmart MFC-J880DW Compact All-in-One Inkjet Printer
- 4.7.6 More from Funphotocreator.com:
Are you looking to buy the best portable photo printer in 2021? Our buying guide has seven amazing printers that can connect to your wireless home or office network. With so many choices, it can be difficult to locate the right printer at the best price. We’ve done all the hard work and found great deals for the top printers of 2021.
Don’t like reading too much review text?
If you are looking to purchase a printer that can connect to your mobile device via Bluetooth connection for a true “print on the go” experience, then read on for more information. Choose the very best portable photo printer from top brands like Canon, LG, and Dell feature “inkless” printing - new technology explained in this buyer guide from funphotocreator.com.
We review the latest products that have been just released, including the pros and cons and a review rating for each product. With this list, you can learn everything about mobile printing before deciding which product to buy online. The 4x6 compact printers to some excellent Best Buy pocket printers feature Bluetooth connection, fun emoji support, and easy sharing to social networks such as Facebook and Instagram.
Best Home Photo Printer
Most of the printers reviewed on this page focus on portable photos devices - but what about if you are looking for the best home photo printer? There are hundreds of models from top brands like Canon, Kodak, HP, and Epson. If you need to print a favorite photo from vacation, or another special event such as a birthday party or wedding, then check out our top portable photo printers.
If you would like bigger home prints (check out our 11x17 color laser printer reviews), then the HP Envy is a superb choice (and also made from recycled products). It is built to last, offers brilliant photo printing, and the replacement ink cartridges are not expensive compared to other models. We give this HP Envy 7155 the award for “Most Dedicated Photo Printer of 2021,” and you can check out the details of the product below:
- Razor Sharp Print Quality
- Best Home Photo Printer 2021
- Wireless Connectivity
- Made from Recycled Products
Updated on 2021-01-24 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Why are portable printers good?
Question: With new tech come the age-old questions - does it work, is it good, how easy is it to set up, and what sort of quality can we expect from printing photos from it?
Answer: It may surprise you that portable printing devices only take a few minutes to set up. With apps for both Apple (iOS) and Android (Google Play Store), you can instantly print out your favorite photos. As opposed to a larger 11x17 printer, these machines print photos on the go with amazing quality.
The photos’ quality is generally very high, so let’s start by dividing the product into two categories: pocket and compact printers. Each type of mini photo printer has its own advantages so let’s see the difference between the two mobile printers.
- Types of printers: Pocket v Compact
When searching for the best portable photo printer, consider that a pocket printer is specifically designed to be carried around with you and usually connects via Bluetooth as opposed to a compact printer that is best suited for home or small office that may have additional features such as copy and scan.
It’s your choice on what type to look for - consider your needs and choose accordingly. This review will look at each type in more depth, but here’s a quick summary. Pocket printers are best for on the go portable printing. Compact printers have more features but generally bigger and heavier than pocket models. In short, the decision comes down to how much you want your mobile photo printer to do.
Different models connect in different ways, and if you want to connect your printer to your smartphone (or cell phone), then you should look to purchase a Bluetooth photo printer as they take just a few seconds to pair up with your phone.
Printers that work via Wi-Fi need a network connection to print; you can use a cloud service such as Google Cloud Print to take a photograph on your phone when you are out and about and then select your wireless printer and hit print. When you get back to your home or office, your printed photo will be waiting for you in the device's paper tray.
- Battery life and charge times
Portable photo printers generally charge via micro USB cable (amazingly, some models do not ship with a cable, so check before you buy) and have different charging times. On average, it takes about an hour to charge a fully flat printer.
If, for example, you are a keen wildlife photographer and like to print your pictures when you are out hiking, then consider that mobile printers have a limited battery life of a few hours so check manufacturers spec before you buy.
- Size and weight
Inkjet printers use to be big, bulky, and heavy. And although pocket photo printers are very light (200g on average), compacts can still be quite awkward to carry around and are much heavier because they must hold inkjet ink cartridges compared to Zink, ink-free pocket printers.
If you need your new printer to print out documents for work such as PDF and Word docs, then a strong backpack or carry case is advised - you can often get a great deal if you bundle this in with printer purchase on checkout. Look for a backpack with an internal compartment that can be secured via connecting strap - these will hold your printer tight inside the backpack and reduce the risk of damage.
- Are they expensive?
An important consideration is price. Luckily for us, the competition is fierce when top brands like Canon, Polaroid, HP, Epson, LG, Sony, and Dell all try to compete for your purchase. All of these brands have good models at a low price.
It'll be $100 or less for a pocket portable printer and a bit more for a compact printer with extra options (under $200).
Pocket v compact – which is the best portable photo printer?
We have briefly explained the difference between the two types, but which is best? Both have pros and cons depending on what the primary use is for your printer.
Our next section concentrates on each type, looking into important buying considerations (important when you need to find the best portable photo printer) such as price, spec, printing speed, quality of printing, and mobility. We also factor in value for money - after all, if it were cheaper to take your camera to a photo booth and have them printed out, it wouldn't make much sense to buy a brand new portable printer!
Pocket photo printer explained
These are the ultimate fun portable printers designed for you to carry everywhere you go. They look like small boxes and connect via Bluetooth to your phone or tablet.
Simply take your photo and print it out on the spot! These devices use Zink's new technology to create an inkless printer. You might be asking, "How can you print without ink?" Well, the trick is in the paper: special crystals are embedded in the paper and covered with a heat-activated polymer coating.
Pocket printers can print high-quality photo prints, but they tend to be slightly smaller than postcard size (4x3 inches). The latest models also work very well with smartphones such as iPhones or Androids. Download a printing app and connect your portable printer via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.
- Extremely portable, ideal for use with smartphones (checkout our iPhone printer reviews).
- Ergonomic in design with a nice selection of colors to choose from.
- High print quality.
- No messy inks, thanks to Zink paper technology.
- Low cost (good ones can be purchased for under $150).
- Print area tends to be smaller than postcard print size.
- Zink photo paper is more expensive to buy.
Top 5 Pocket Printers – 2021
1. HP Sprocket Portable Photo Printer
Connect your social media accounts and print on the go with the HP Sprocket. Download the free app for iPhone or Android devices and enjoy amazing portable printing on the go. Currently, this is our top-rated and best portable photo printer for 2021.
If you are interested in buying the HP Sprocket, then be sure to check out our HP Sprocket vs. Polaroid ZIP face battle comparison review article. We compare both models and decide which is best for print speed, cost, photo print quality, and bonus features.
- Quick mobile printing via Bluetooth smartphone connectivity.
- Connect Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram social profiles.
- Add emojis, text, and fun effects to photos.
- Fits perfectly into a bag or purse.
- Comes with 20 sheets of Zink HP paper.
- Market leader, excellent reputation.
- Excellent print quality.
- Value for money, low cost.
- Charge does not last as long as other printers.
2. Polaroid ZIP Mobile Printer
Love Polaroid instant photos but not the camera itself? With the Polaroid ZIP, you simply use the camera on your phone and connect via Bluetooth to instantly print out stunning portable photos.
- Add text and voice recordings to your images.
- Extremely small and lightweight, perfect for carrying with you.
- Add a secret QR code in order for others to access.
- Free download of the Polaroid ZIP app for iOS or Android.
- Perfect for printing Instagram and Facebook photos.
- Small and lightweight, excellent portability.
- Good photo print output.
- Non intuitive app - needs getting use to.
3. LG Portable Mobile Pocket Photo PD261
For high quality and one of the best portable photo printer, take a look at the NEW LG PG261 pocket printer, which has many positive reviews. You can also use your Windows phone with this printer and an iOS device such as an iPad or iPhone (be sure to check our portable printer for iPhone reviews) and Android.
- Extra sync support for Windows OS.
- Photo size of 2” x 3”.
- Charges via Micro USB cable.
- Super lightweight at just 6.4 ounces.
- Robust design, perfect for teenagers.
- Excellent all-round mini printer.
- Tough, durable, and good for kids to use.
- Excellent app, easy to use on both iPhone and Android.
- Not everyone will like the pink color!
4. SereneLife PicKit20 Instant Wireless Mobile Printer
Enjoy 291dpi photos direct from smartphone to this PicKit super slim photo printer. The easy-to-use application and super-fast connection via NFC makes this an easy choice for great pictures at a low price. No need to buy plain paper separately, as this device uses a combination of paper and ink cartridges together.
- Special combined ink cartridge and paper refill kit.
- A single charge will print out 25 full-color images.
- Free image editing software/app.
- Compatible with all major devices and brands, including Apple iPhone, Samsung, LG, HTC, etc.
- Optional Wi-Fi connection for home use.
- Good quality photos.
- Easy to edit photos and add text.
- Not a popular brand.
This international version portable printer from Fujifilm is aimed at smartphone and wireless quick printing. The INSTAX software app is compatible with iPhone/Android, and with 60 sheets of photo paper and free cleaning cloth included, this is a good deal and worth considering.
- Uses two lithium batteries (non-rechargeable batteries).
- Customize photos with the free templates on the app.
- Quick upload to Instagram, Twitter & Facebook.
- Reputable brand, high-quality print output.
- Ideal for kids, no messy inks to contend with
- Buy the bundle with accessories for extra value.
- Excellent brand, one of the best for photo technology.
- High-quality printing with low noise.
- More expensive than other printers reviewed.
Compact photo printer explained
After our top 5 pockets, we now focus on compact printers. Compact printers are heavier and bigger than their pocket cousins but often come with more features. You would almost certainly need a separate rucksack or backpack to carry a compact around with you.
Some compacts also have a handy LCD viewer at the top so you can preview your images before you print. This avoids wasting ink and paper on print outs that don’t look so great.
What to look for when buying a compact printer? - Price is a consideration, but you should ask yourself which is the best portable photo printer to buy?
Top brands like Canon, Lexmark, HP, Polaroid, and Kodak all have good models, so it’s a case of looking at features like copy and scan, connectivity (Bluetooth or Wi-Fi), portability (some compacts come with carry handles), print quality and storage.
Pros: - Some models can copy and scan, they’re lightweight and portable compared to a desktop printer, sturdier than pockets, larger print area, and images can be previewed before printing.
Cons: Less portable than pockets (need a bag on their own), more expensive than pocket printers, less visually appealing, and ink cartridges are not ideal for smaller children.
Top 5 Compact Photo Printers – 2021
1. Canon SELPHY CP1200 Portable Wireless Compact Color Photo Printer
Shipping in either black or white is the brilliant Canon SELPHY. Sensational borderless printing, automatic red-eye correction, and outputs stunning quality to postcard-sized photo paper is one of the best compact photo printers this year. You can also print stickers, labels, and you can connect via Bluetooth or wireless network connections.
- Edge to edge & borderless postcard size printing.
- Free software to connect to smartphones.
- Lightweight with space for memory card.
- Automatic image optimization for best print results.
- Good printer for kids to use, sturdy and robust.
- Canon is a trusted brand with many positive reviews.
- Good photo quality.
- Price, cheap printer to buy and run
- Slight "edging" across some photos.
2. HP Photosmart A536 Compact Photo Printer
Although this product does not print wireless (you can use a memory card or connect via USB cable), the HP 335 makes it number two because of the print quality and features. Incredible resolutions of 4800 x 1200 DPI for color prints and a handy 1.5-inch LCD previewer that ensures your images are top-notch before you decide to print.
- Super-fast 6 x 4 color printing.
- Includes CD ROM, USB cable, tri-color ink cartridge and user guide.
- Optional Bluetooth wireless adapter.
- Panoramic printing of 4 x 12 photos.
- Weighs less than 3 pounds, ideal for family vacations.
- The A536 utilizes the latest technology.
- Low-cost printing, including paper.
- Unrivaled print quality, up to 4800 x 1200 DPI.
- Slight issues with Windows 10, needed a software update.
3. Kodak Dock & Wi-Fi 4x6” Photo Printer
The Kodak Dock and Wi-Fi model features an elegant look and high-quality photo prints sent directly from your phone or tablet. Android users can dock directly with the printer and iOS devices require an adapter (included), but this is a great way of printing out your favorite camera phone images fast. Kodak is a great brand, so you can be sure that your images look clear, sharp, and full of detail.
- Kodak one-touch printing.
- Avoid bleed or fade thanks to D2T2 thermal transfer technology.
- Connects to mobile phones, digital cameras, and USB sticks.
- Fast charge for your phone when docked.
- Kodak app is free for photo templates, stickers, and scrapbooks
- Perfect for home use.
- Rich vibrant colors, thanks to the advanced sublimation technology.
- Easy to use and set up in a couple of minutes.
- Higher printing costs (paper and ink).
4. Epson PictureMate Charm Photo Printer
Perhaps not the most visually pleasing printer, but the Epson PictureMate ranks among one the best portable photo printer for functionality and print quality. If you like to print directly from a digital camera, you will love how this printer works. In under 40 seconds, you can have a full-color 6x4 print that is scratch-proof, smudge-resistant, and more durable than kiosk produced prints.
- Ergonomic design with practical carry handle for “print on the go."
- Print in full color, black and white, or sepia.
- Clear on-screen instructions on a 2.5-inch preview screen.
- Big selection of print layouts including wallet, classic border, border-less and proof sheet.
- Optional Bluetooth adapter for wireless printing.
- Strong and sturdy, this printer will last for years.
- Lots of features and super bright LCD.
- Fast print speeds.
- Initial cost of the printer is higher than the competition.
5. Brother WorkSmart MFC-J880DW Compact All-in-One Inkjet Printer
More suited for the home or home office is the Brother WorkSmart MFC-J880DW compact printer. Although smaller than a regular desktop printer, this is not a 6x4 only printer but a solid all-around and is one of the best portable photo printers you can buy. It can print off stunning office documents in just a few seconds. There is cloud and mobile printing connectivity, so you are not stuck with an Ethernet-only connection.
- Up to 10 printed pages per minute.
- Print wireless via 802. 11b/g/n network.
- Big 2.7 intuitive touch screen.
- Can print cards and envelopes and has 2-sided printing capabilities.
- Print or scan directly through NFC connection to smartphone or tablet device.
- Easy to set up remote printing (print from cell phone).
- Excellent quality and cheap running costs.
- Ergonomic design and easy-to-use interface.
- New model coming soon will replace this.
With 10 printers listed on our 2021 review guide, we hope you have some idea on what the best portable photo printer might look like for you. Everyone has different requirements, but if you want a lightweight and best portable photo printer, opt for a pocket printer.
If you can put up with a heavier device that can print bigger photos, opt for a compact, best portable photo printer. With top-rated brands like Canon, LG, Kodak, HP, and Brother, your new printer will have all the latest features, including Bluetooth connection, Wi-Fi, smartphone compatibility, high print quality, and competitive pricing.