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Home » Printers » Best Portable Photo Printers in 2020 – Buyer’s Guide

Best Portable Photo Printers in 2020 – Buyer’s Guide

For many, pictures are just pictures until they’re printed in a hard copy. More often than not, the true value and meaning of photos are associated with their feel and touch in your hands, especially for those who cherish memories. The best time to print your photos is actually right on the spot before you forget! Is that possible, though? Does a portable printer exist?

In fact, yes! A portable photo printer is no longer rocket science, mainly thanks to Wi-Fi, inkless print technology, and smartphones’ existence. Now, you can print your photos right after you snap them on your smartphone!

Now that you’re probably thinking it through, we’re here to help by providing you our reviews on the 7 best portable photo printers.

List of the Best Portable Photo Printers:

  1. HP Sprocket – Best Overall Portable Photo Printer
  2. Prynt Pocket – Best Portable Photo Printer for iPhone
  3. Polaroid ZIP Pocket Printer
  4. Kodak Mini 2 Wireless Mobile Mini Printer
  5. Fujifilm Instax Share SP-2 Instant Photo Printer
  6. Kodak Photo Printer Dock – Quality Photo Printer
  7. Canon Selphy CP 1300 – Versatile Photo Printer

Comparison Table:

Printer DimensionsWeightMaximum Print Size
HP Sprocket4.53 x 2.94x 0.87-in.0.172 kg2 x 3-in.
Prynt Pocket3.3 x 2.8x 2-in.0.15 kg2 x 3-in.
Polaroid ZIP Mobile Photo Printer4.7 x 2.9 x 0.9-in.0.186 kg2 x 3-in.
Kodak Mini 23.0 x 5.2 x 1.0-in.0.238 kg2.1 x 3.4-in.
Fujifilm Instax Share SP-2 Photo Printer5.19 x 3.52 x 1.57-in.0.45 kg2.44 x 1.81-in.
Kodak Photo Printer Dock6.6 x 3.9 x 2.7-in.0.76 kg4 x 6-in.
Canon Selphy CP 13007.11 x 2.49 x 5.34-in.0.86 kg4 x 6-in.

The 7 Best Portable Photo Printers in 2020

1. HP Sprocket – Best Overall Portable Photo Printer 

HP Sprocket

The HP Sprocket Photo Printer is the best overall portable photo printer to accompany you everywhere you go, just like your smartphone. It can easily fit in your pocket, hence the name, or anywhere else for that matter. All you need to print is a Bluetooth connection, and you’re ready to print your favorite social media photos!

The HP Sprocket Photo Printer is accompanied by a mobile app that bears the same name “HP Sprocket app,” which allows you to print 2 x 3-inch photos directly from your mobile device or tablet, whether it’s an Android or iOS. 

In addition, the HP Sprocket app enables you to customize and edit your photos before they’re printed, to ensure that you won’t waste HP’s 10-sheet packs of paper on unsatisfying photo prints. 

What’s more, the HP Sprocket app can connect to your social media accounts too to access your favorite photos that you’ve always wanted to print but lacked time to transfer them to your laptop and then print them. 

Just by connecting your smartphone via Bluetooth and using the HP Sprocket app, you’ll be able to edit and customize your photos, add text, borders, and emojis to them, and finally print them, with a print speed up to 40 seconds!

The HP Sprocket Photo Printer comes with a bundle that includes a setup card, a micro USB cable, a one-year warranty, and HP ZINK Sticky-Backed photo-paper. For memory making, the HP ZINK Sticky-Backed photo-paper allows for instant 2 x 3-inch stickers for your favorite party and event shots with your friends.

In terms of size, the HP Sprocket Photo Printer resembles a smartphone, measuring 4.53 x 2.95 x 0.87-inches, and weighs only 0.172 kg, so you’ll basically be able to carry it around with you with no limitations.

Lastly, the HP Sprocket Photo Printer includes a built-in rechargeable battery that can print up to 35 photos per a single charge.

Pros:

  • Fast photo printing
  • Extremely portable
  • Easy mobile printing
  • Supports social media account printing

Cons:

  • Produces only 2×3-inch prints
  • Average print quality
  • Limited connectivity options 

Bottom Line

The HP Sprocket Photo Printer is the overall best portable photo printer for mobile, tablet, and social media printing of wallet-size snapshot photos. It reaches the highest ceiling of convenience since it can easily fit in your pocket, allowing for memory creation everywhere you go!

2. Prynt Pocket – Best Portable Photo Printer for iPhone

Prynt Pocket

Who doesn’t love a device that can do more than its essential function? That’s why we fell in love with smartphones and smartwatches in the first place, no? The Prynt Pocket photo printer does the same; it’s both an iPhone case and a high-quality portable photo printer that resembles the modern-day polaroid camera.

Once you insert your iPhone into the Prynt Pocket, you automatically preserve your iPhone, and you can immediately start producing high-quality photo prints on ZINK sticker paper in as little as 30 seconds! There’s no better time to print your Instagram photos and turn them into vividly colored images, or even take pictures right on the spot.

That’s not it! The Prynt Pocket has its own Prynt app that includes some tech-oriented features that are up to date and beyond! For instance, you can embed a video inside your photo print. How will it be accessed? The person you’re sharing the photo with has to scan it on the Prynt app to receive the surprise, just like a QR code.

The printer charges via USB, and out of the box, it comes with 10 sheets of paper that are refillable through the Prynt app.

If you’re thinking of ink consumption, you’ll be happy to hear that the Prynt Pocket doesn’t use ink, so you’re eliminating ink running costs.

The only downside of the Prynt Pocket is that it’s only compatible with iOS at the moment, but don’t worry, an Android version is in the works!

Pros:

  • Fast photo printing
  • Very small in size
  • Straightforward usage
  • Zero-ink
  • Experience-enhancing app
  • Serves as a protective case for iPhones
  • Supports social media printing

Cons:

  • Only iOS compatible
  • Inferior photo quality
  • Relatively high priced

Bottom Line

The Prynt Pocket is a portable photo printer for iPhone users with absolutely no running costs ink-wise. If you’re looking for a printer that prints instantly, similar to a polaroid minus the waiting and shaking, and can be transported from place to place without a hassle, this is the one!

3. Polaroid ZIP Pocket Printer

Polaroid ZIP Pocket Printer

The Polaroid ZIP is a mobile photo printer that gives you waterproof, tear-proof, and sticky peel-back photos just by connecting your smartphone via Bluetooth or by NFC. It’s a pocket-sized photo printer that is suitable for traveling, and you can place it in your pocket or bag without feeling its presence.

With the Polaroid ZIP mobile printer, the times of waiting for your photo prints are over, and you can print your fun snapshots right from your smartphone or tablet. All you have to do is download the Polaroid ZIP mobile app for both iOS and Android to get started on printing 2 x 3-inch photos at a print speed of one minute.

If you’re a fan of creating personalized gifts and cards or even sticking your favorite photos on your wall, you’ll love the peel off and stick type of paper that the Polaroid ZIP utilizes, ZINK paper, which will give you the opportunity to make stickers, birthday cards, gift cards, decorations, and more.

Also, the Polaroid ZIP mobile app is an intuitive one that has multiple enhancing features for your photos, such as adding borders, stickers, and other designs and edits before printing.

As for the ZINK paper, you don’t have to use it with caution since the company sells the paper in packs of 20,30, or 50 sheets. Furthermore, it’s a heat-activated printer, which means that it doesn’t require ink cartridges to print your photos, so your running costs are basically zero!

On the other hand, the Polaroid ZIP’s only downfall is the battery, which often requires recharging and takes around 1.5 hours to recharge fully.

Pros:

  • Very lightweight
  • iOS and Android compatible
  • ZINK paper utilization
  • Inkless printing
  • Waterproof and tear-proof photo prints
  • Bluetooth and NFC support

Cons:

  • Short battery life
  • Lacks wireless printing
  • Limited to 2×3-inch photos
  • Relatively expensive

Bottom Line

If you were always a fan of polaroid cameras but were on the look for a more modern version that can be used with smartphones, the Polaroid ZIP mobile photo printer is here for precisely that. It’s a compact and portable photo printer that delivers photo prints with a special layer of protection to ensure they last for eternity and preserve your favorite moments. 

4. Kodak Mini 2 Wireless Mobile Mini Printer

Kodak Mini 2 Wireless Mobile Mini Printer

For the longest time, when cameras were mentioned, Kodak had to be mentioned too. That’s still the case, and Kodak stands its ground as one of the top in the industry. For that reason, adding to its production of photo prints of first-rate quality, the Kodak Mini 2 is among the best portable photo printers.

The Kodak Mini 2 adopts Kodak’s all-in-one ink and paper cartridges for convenience and easy replacement. Adding to the convenience, its connectivity options include excellent NFC capabilities (near field communication), and it’s compatible with both iOS and Android via Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Wi-Fi Direct.

In addition, it uses the 4Pass printing technology, commonly referred to as dye sublimation, to produce its photos, which results in impeccable photo quality for prints of 2.1 x 3.4-inch size. The photo prints are also smudge-proof and are printed with quick-drying ink, and Kodak promises that the photos are to last for at least ten years.

Moreover, upon purchasing the Kodak Mini 2, you download a handy Kodak app that makes the printing process a much easier one since it offers you access to a wide range of editing functionalities ranging from the basic edits to the filters, ensuring your satisfaction towards every photo before it’s printed.

However, the photo quality, unfortunately, comes at the expense of speed, with the Kodak Mini 2 being relatively slow, but still not going past a minute.

Pros:

  • Rapid connectivity with NFC
  • High-quality photo prints
  • Compact
  • Photo-enhancing features
  • Smudge-free photos

Cons:

  • Small photo size
  • Relatively slow print speed
  • High running costs

Bottom Line

The Kodak Mini 2 is an instant portable photo printer that produces high-quality prints, with its main competitive edge lying in its wireless capabilities that make connectivity a piece of cake and accordingly providing a printing experience that’s like a breeze of air. However, it’s not the most speedy.

5. Fujifilm Instax Share SP-2 Instant Photo Printer

Fujifilm Instax Share SP 2 Instant Photo Printer

Fujifilm has been long known for its Instax prints that give off a vintage, film-like appearance to photo prints, but they’re not the most affordable. Now, to make them more accessible, the Fujifilm Instax Share SP-2 photo printer was developed to produce Instax photo prints right from your smartphone.

The Fujifilm Instax Share SP-2 is a mini-photo printer that develops high-quality photo prints of a size of 2.44 x 1.81-inches at a very rapid print speed, a combination that’s nowhere near easy to find. By a fast print speed, we mean as little as 10 seconds, thanks to a new laser exposure system that only takes that short time from print data transfer to print output! 

As for print quality, that’s an impressive 320 DPI, which guarantees vibrant colors and details in your photos since the printer also produces 256 levels per color, so that’s a vast color gamut that doesn’t miss a single detail and produces every inch in full sharpness.

In terms of connectivity, the Fujifilm Instax Share SP-2 connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth, giving you the freedom of printing from your favorite platforms, including social media apps. In addition, it supports Wi-Fi and cloud printing. 

Simply, you just download the Fujifilm Share app and send your images directly to it, whether from your smartphone or tablet from multiple sources, including the camera roll and social media accounts. 

What’s more, the app features options for collage templates and photo-enhancing tools like filters, intelligent filters, and basic photo edits like rotation, brightness, contrast, and saturation.

When it comes to battery, the Fujifilm Instax Share SP-2’s battery has a generous lifespan that’s rechargeable and portable, bearing minimal weight.

Pros:

  • Exceedingly fast print speed
  • Superb print quality
  • 256 levels per color
  • Social media printing
  • Long battery life
  • Diverse connectivity options
  • Intuitive app
  • Wi-Fi support

Cons:

  • Small photo size
  • High cost per photo print

Bottom Line

The Fujifilm Instax Share SP-2 is for the vintage admirers who would pay a premium to get their photos printed on film. This portable photo printer raises the bar high by giving you admirable and long-lasting photos at the fastest print speeds of 10 seconds and at a 320 DPI print quality, which is hard to beat!

6. Kodak Photo Printer Dock – Quality Photo Printer

Kodak Photo Printer Dock

The Kodak Photo Printer Dock is best equipped for those who are likely to move around and need a portable photo printer with them, but not very frequently. While it is compact and portable, it’s best suited for placement on a desk or a table instead of a backpack since it doesn’t come with a rechargeable battery.

The Kodak Photo Printer Dock produces photos of 4 x 6-inch size, and it uses the dye sublimation process, accordingly resulting in photos that are of higher quality in resolution, clarity, and detail.

In addition, it’s one of the few photo printers that support wireless printing so that you can print either from your computer, laptop, or smartphone through Wi-Fi. It’s worth mentioning that you can also dock your smartphone through this photo printer, and hence, the name! Unfortunately, however, it does require power.

Like the Kodak Mini 2, the Kodak app is also available for the Kodak Photo Printer, enabling you to make the necessary edits to your photos and add whichever filters, stickers, or borders you desire.

On the downside, the Kodak Photo Printer Dock is among the slowest when it comes to print speed, slightly exceeding one minute. 

 Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Easy to use
  • High-quality photo prints
  • Photo-enhancing features
  • Dock for smartphone charging
  • Diverse connectivity options

Cons:

  • Slow print speed
  • Lacks rechargeable battery

Bottom Line

The Kodak Photo Printer Dock is one of the few photo printers that can produce 4 x 6-inch sized photo prints and manage to be a portable printer! It’s a handy device that can also charge your smartphone on the go and while printing, making it a convenient snapshot printer for printing on the go.

7. Canon Selphy CP 1300 – Versatile Photo Printer

Canon Selphy CP 1300

The Canon Selphy CP 1300 would be best described as a reliable and versatile portable photo printer with minimal running costs and exceptional connectivity options.

From the name “Selphy,” you already get an idea of the target market of this photo printer produced by one of the best in the camera industry, Canon. It’s for those who are looking for high photo quality prints yet in a device that’s more or less compact.

Accordingly, this is one of the most compact photo printers to be offered by a gigantic company like Canon, weighing around half of the weight of an average laptop. While it’s not the most compact, it’s a compromise worth making for those seeking vivid color photo prints. 

The Canon Selphy CP 1300 uses dye-sublimation technology, which empowers it to produce top-notch prints seamlessly, at a print resolution of 300 x 300 DPI.

Back to its size, we want to pinpoint that both the Canon Selphy CP 1300 and its tray can fit into your backpack comfortably.

The Canon Selphy CP 1300 is a versatile one when it comes to handling paper; it can deal with 2.1 x 2.1-inch stickers all the way up to 4×6-inch postcards.

As for connectivity options, they’re quite impressive and one of the most diverse compared to other photo printers! The Canon Selphy CP 1300 is WiFi-enabled and supports mobile printing and cloud printing through Apple AirPrint, Canon Print Mobile app, Mopria, and PictBridge.

This means you can print from your smartphone or laptop alike, in addition, to directly from a camera’s memory card if you prefer. Alternatively, for wired connections, you can use the traditional USB 2.0 port as well.

The Canon Selphy CP 1300 also features a 3.2-inch tilting LCD screen, providing you with options to check your printing settings, apply photo effects, edit photos, and view image previews before printing. Lastly, you don’t have to worry about power consumption since the Canon Selphy CP 1300 is Energy Star certified.

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Amazing print quality
  • Versatile
  • Low running costs
  • Various connectivity options

Cons:

  • Dark colors appear in lower quality
  • Lacks touchscreen
  • Relatively slow printing

Bottom Line

The Canon Selphy CP 1300 is a compact photo printer with a high-quality print resolution for those who want to print their photos in superb resolution but don’t want to rely on massive photo printers. It’s for the adventurers and photographers who love having hard copies of their photos as they tour the world! 

What to Look for When Buying a Portable Photo Printer

1. Print Size

Understandably, portable photo printers can’t match the output of photo-dedicated printers in terms of print sizes. However, there’s no standard size that you must adapt to when it comes to portable photo printers. 

While the most common is the wallet-size (2 x 3-inches), other printers can print larger photos. If you want to be able to print different sizes, make sure you choose a printer that handles different paper sizes.

2. Connectivity Options

Portable photo printers don’t necessarily mean mobile printers. Some of them are designed to print from different sources. Accordingly, if you have a particular preference for how you’d like to print your photos, such as a mobile device, you need to make sure that the printer supports that. You can also consider whether you prefer to connect via Bluetooth, NFC, USB, or Wi-Fi connections.

3. Battery Power

Since portable photo printers are going to be with you on the move, you need to ensure a few aspects. 

For one, you need to know the exact battery life of the printer. If that’s not possible, then you must be familiar with its charging method. Does the photo printer come with a built-in battery? Do you purchase a battery pack separately? Is it rechargeable? These are the questions to be asked.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Is It Worth Buying a Photo Printer?

If you’re going to be regularly printing photos, it will be worth it and will save you on costs. For mobile or portable photo printers, in specific, being able to print photos directly from your smartphone is always fun! However, don’t buy a photo-dedicated printer unless you frequently print photos.

What Kind of Paper Is Used for Photos?

Photo paper refers to any type of paper that can handle massive amounts of ink without ‘bleeding’ or having dots all over it, as is the case with traditional paper. Generally, matte photo paper and glossy photo paper in different sizes are used along with A4 paper size sheets.

Can You Print From Your Phone?

Yes. If your printer supports Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct, or can connect via Bluetooth, you can print directly from your phone.

Is It Cheaper to Print Your Own Photos?

Definitely, if you will be using the printer, cartridges, and paper frequently. Otherwise, if you leave the ink to dry out and the printer unused, that’s just tied money, and you’d rather head to a print service. 

Which Is Better Ivy or Sprocket?

While both are among the popular photo printers, the Sprocket has more to offer in terms of print quality, connectivity features, appealing design, and augmented reality feature to check your battery percentage.

Final Thoughts

Now that we’ve painted an overview of the best portable photo printers, it’s time for the big decision. While all of them are portable, your underlying needs will be the primary determinant of the one you opt for. 

However, for a safe purchase, we would recommend the HP Sprocket; you can’t go wrong with it, especially with its convenient features that all aim to provide a seamless printing experience while you’re on the move.

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