Table of Contents
- 1 Fujifilm INSTAX Share SP-3
- 2 Polaroid Zip Wireless Mobile Printer
- 3 Canon Selphy CP1300 Wireless Compact Photo Printer
- 4 Kodak Photo Printer Dock
- 5 Lifeprint 3 x 4.5 Photo And Video Printer
- 6 How To Pick A Good Photo Printer For iPhone?
Having your best pictures stored on your phone or posted on social media is handy, especially if you have a portable photo printer. Sometimes, it's nice to wake up to a nicely-framed picture of your holiday to Rome on your bedroom wall. It's amazing to flip through a photo book full of photos of your daughter's high school graduation.
If you want to relive the best moments of your life every day, the best solution is to print the photos out. But nowadays, you don't need to go to Walgreens or a print shop to get your masterpieces. You can simply buy a portable printer that works with your iPhone! After all, who carries heavy and expensive cameras around anymore?
These cutting-edge photo printers are the best way to preserve your memories without breaking the bank. But with tons of options out there, how can you know if you're getting the best value?
The good news is, we've done the legwork for you. Here are the 4 top picks for iPhone photo printers in 2021.
Fujifilm INSTAX photo printers are the OG ways of printing pictures, given that they pioneered the whole photo printing trend.
Instead of using ZINK paper or inkjet technology, Fujifilm INSTAX Share SP-3 transfers your print onto film. As expected of INSTAX products, it gives you a fair amount of saturation and contrast. More importantly, it creates the classic, aesthetically-pleasing polaroid look without effort. On the standard 2.4" Instax Square film, you can easily store these great looking polaroids in your wallet or simply decorate your room with them. It doesn't handle bright contrasts very well, so make sure to select your pictures carefully.
Thanks to a new laser exposure technology, it prints in 13 seconds - incredible for portable photo printers. You have to wait for the colors to develop after printing, which is typical of INSTAX products. It has a pretty decent battery life of approximately 160 photos on a full charge. You can also charge the printer via USB and only use the battery when you're on the go.
As an improved version of SP-1, it's jam-packed with features that make life a lot easier for you, like blinking LED lights that indicate the number of films left in the printer and a stiff catch to prevent you from accidentally exposing the films. Pairing is extremely easy since you can download the SHARE app onto your mobile device and start using it immediately. The app also allows you to create artsy pictures by adding texts and filters to your pictures before printing. You can even print over existing films to create unique printed photo effects!
It is a bit pricey since the printer retails for about $200. You would also need to buy films, which costs about $10 per pack. Keep in mind that INSTAX Share films have expiry dates - you would need to use them quickly.
- Gorgeous vintage film effect on photo prints
- Easy to use
- Ability to print through social media links
- Integrated photo editor
- Fast printing speed
- Expiry dates on films
- Doesn't handle bright lights very well.
Polaroid Zip Wireless Mobile Printer
Weighing in at just 6.6oz, Polaroid Zip is the perfect mini photo printer for your iPhone. It has a stylish, glossy finish that makes it look more like a hard drive than a bulky printer.
It is based on zero-ink technology, otherwise known as ZINK, which uses multi-layered photo paper with embedded color crystals. The inkless printer heats these crystals, and they form colors from your photo. Because of this, you don't need consumables asides from ZINK paper.
That being said, it costs about 24 cents for a single photo, which adds up quickly if you use the printer for long family events. The photo quality is decent, although not comparable to more heavy-duty photo printers and inkjet printers. The upside is that ZINK prints are smudge-proof and, unlike Polaroid prints, require no time to develop a quality photo.
Polaroid Zip connects to your iPhone via Bluetooth and the Polaroid app. You can use the integrated photo editor to edit your photos before printing them out for the best effects. It only prints in 2" x 3" photo print size, which might be limiting since small details get lost when scaled down. Polaroid Zip Wireless Mobile Printer provides great value for its sub-100 price tag.
- Light and portable
- Stylish case
- No need to buy ink
- Only prints in 2" x 3"
- Expensive in the long term
- Short battery life
Canon Selphy CP1300 Wireless Compact Photo Printer
If photo quality is of utmost importance to you, Canon Selphy CP1300 Wireless Compact Photo Printer is the thing for you.
For starters, it uses dye-sublimation thermal transfer printing, which gives you far better print quality than ZINK or film prints. The colors are applied in layers, going through the printer until it achieves a beautiful, saturated picture. The prints are waterproof and can be made into stickers easily.
You have to buy paper and ink cartridges, which surprisingly doesn't add up to much. Even with the cost of consumables, it is still relatively cheap to print photos with the Selphy CP1300, costing only 33 cents per print. It gives you incredible range in terms of print format as well since it can be used to print polaroid size up to a postcard-sized (6" x 4") photo. This is especially useful for its new 'Shuffle Print' function, where multiple devices can be connected to the printer and be printed on the same sheet of paper at once.
With a 2.7-inch color display and clearly-marked buttons, Canon Selphy CP1300 requires very little setup and is extremely easy to use. It also offers many connectivity options -- SD card, WiFi, and USB port. Depending on the print format, it can take 30 seconds to a minute to print a single photo. We've found that you get faster print speed from the SD card than wirelessly, so that might be the route you want to take if you're in a hurry.
At 2.2lbs, it's heavier and larger than most compact printers, which unfortunately also makes it less portable to carry around. But since it creates such beautiful prints, it might be worth getting this inexpensive photo printer for at-home photo printing.
- Connects via WiFi, USB, or SD card
- Good print quality
- Relatively cheap cost
- Easy to use
- Shuffle Print feature
- Larger and heavier than other compact photo printers
Kodak Photo Printer Dock
A refreshing departure from the usual 2" x 3" prints, Kodak Photo Printer Dock exclusively prints the bigger 4" x 6" format.
Like Canon Selphy 1300, this mobile photo printer uses dye-sublimation thermal transfer technology. Although it takes about 90 seconds to produce a print, the long-lasting prints with beautifully saturated colors and minimal detail loss are well-worth the wait.
The printer is relatively straightforward, as well. There's an indentation at the top of the printer that acts like a charging dock. It features a USB port that can be used to charge or connect your Apple or Android devices, thumb drive, and camera to the printer. You can also connect your devices to the printer via WiFi. It doesn't support USB-C, so you would have to get a micro-USB to USB-C adaptor. The Kodak Photo Printer App is also fairly useful as you can edit your pictures and add cute stickers to your photos before printing.
However, it was obvious that the Kodak Photo Printer Dock is not made to be portable. It uses an input and output tray that takes up a lot of space. The cheapest consumable kit - 120 glossy paper and an ink cartridge - costs $46.99, which gives you a modest price of 39 cents per print.
- One-touch printing
- 4" x 6" photos
- Simultaneous charging
- Good connectivity options
- Great print quality
- Not compatible with USB-C cables
- Not very portable
Lifeprint 3 x 4.5 Photo And Video Printer
Now, this is truly a photo printer of the future. The Lifeprint 3 x 4.5 Photo And Video Printer is an Apple exclusive photo printer that allows you to turn still photos into augmented reality animations.
Using this printer to print videos or life photos requires the Lifeprint app. If you want to give your dog a video to your friend, it prints out a snapshot of the beginning of the video and embeds video data to it. Your friend would then have to scan the photo through the app to watch the video. It plays the video in a frame to keep it real. It's not quite Harry Potteresque, but it's pretty darn close.
Like many of the smaller photo printers, Lifeprint uses ZINK technology. Because of this, you won't get crisp and clear photo quality as you'd get from Canon Selphy CP1300. That being said, it does have a certain charm to it and is decent enough to give as a present to your friends. It is pretty expensive to use and costs about $1.25 to print a photo.
You have to create an account before connecting the printer to your phone, but otherwise, it's pretty easy to set up and use. It connects via Bluetooth, but you have to use the Lifeprint app to print pictures. You can also import photos from social media and edit the pictures on the app before printing. That being said, the selection of tools isn't the greatest, but it'll work in a pinch.
Lifeprint 3 x 4.5 Photo and Video Printer is a futuristic photo printer that focuses mainly on video printing. It still needs a lot of work to live up to Hogwarts' moving portraits, but it is a pretty decent modern photo printer.
- Hyperphoto - video printing
- Decent photo quality
- Small and compact
- Easy to set up and use
- Expensive to use
- 'Share to friends' as default
How To Pick A Good Photo Printer For iPhone?
When picking out a photo printer, the first thing you should consider is portability since it often comes hand in hand with photo quality - the bigger the printer is, the better your favorite photo will come out.
Because of this, if you do most of your printing in one location, you don't need a mediocre, lightweight photo printer. This allows you to expand your options and invest in a photo printer that creates better colors. However, if you want to bring your photo printers with you, prioritizing weight and dimension would be the way to go.
You can get very good iPhone photo printers for less than $150 these days. But the cost of the printer is just the beginning - you have to consider the cost of printing as well.
Certain printing technology, like ZINK technology, embeds the coloring in the paper, sparing you the need to buy ink. They can be more expensive since they allow the printers to be smaller. Inkjet printers or dye-sublimation printers, on the other hand, require you to load up on ink and paper before printing. Printers that use ink are bigger and less convenient, but they could save you money in the long run.
There's no point buying a printer that gives you potato-quality prints, so make sure to get a printer that performs well. Dye-sublimation printers perform the best since your paper goes through the printing process a couple of times to give them more depth and richness. ZINK printers can't yield terrific results, but since the need for ink is eliminated, the printers tend to be smaller and cheaper. Film printers give out nicely-contrasted pictures with a vintage twist and are one of the most sought after aesthetics for pocket photo printers, but they can also be expensive to maintain.