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- Social media is great, but there’s something special about being able to immediately print photos taken on your phone.
- We’ve researched the best mobile printers available, and the HP Sprocket 2nd Edition is our top pick because it has good print quality, it’s easy to use, and it’s portable.
While it’s arguable that smartphones and social media have eliminated the need for printed photos, there is still something special about physical copies of photographs. As such, small mobile printers have become popular.
These tiny, portable printers sync up to your smartphone or other devices so you can instantly print physical copies of your digital photos. There are many different mobile printers available, and some are better than others when it comes to specific features or use cases.
Whether you need a portable solution for printing your photos on the go, a flexible-but-small printer that supports multiple paper sizes, or even device-specific choices, our list of the best mobile printers for smartphones will help you find the best fit.
Here are the best mobile printers for smartphones:
- Best mobile printer overall: HP Sprocket 2nd Edition
- Best mobile printer for portability: Polaroid Mint
- Best mobile printer for iPhone: iPhone Prynt Case
- Best high-quality mobile printer: Fujifilm Instax Share SP-3
- Best for printing in multiple sizes: CanonSelphy CP1300
Read on in the slides below to check out our top picks.
The best mobile printer overall
Why you’ll love it: The HP Sprocket balances portability and print quality with design simplicity, and it includes a few novel extras that set it apart.
Late in 2018, HP launched an updated version of its mobile printer called the HP Sprocket 2nd Edition. While this new version brought several welcome changes and new features, the biggest upgrade was to the image quality of the prints. We’ve previously reviewed the original Sprocket, and we loved it.
The previous Sprocket produced middling prints, but HP teamed up with ZINK, the manufacturer behind the "Zero-Ink" (ZINK) paper format to ensure the brightness and color accuracy were better in the new printer than the original.
While all ZINK paper will work, the HP-specific version includes a specialized barcode that, when scanned by the printer, applies device-specific settings that make a marked difference in print quality, according to reviewers. And best of all, the Sprocket isn’t that expensive.
Printing quality is the most important feature here, but design and portability are close seconds. The Sprocket’s simple design includes convenient touches like an LED to show you the battery level and you can recharge it with a Micro-USB cable. It also has a leather loop for attaching to keychains or lanyards so you can carry it around with you easily.
Then there’s a handful of unique features that you won’t find on any other mini printers, such as an AR-based "sharing" feature, where you can print pictures with codes embedded on them. When another user scans these pictures, they’ll be able to download videos or other media you’ve associated with that code.
Some reviewers have noted it’s an inelegant feature, but it’s a novel bit of extra usability on top of its already impressive design.
Instead of solid colors, HP opted for a more glittery look on the HP Sprocket 2nd Edition. Furthermore, some colors are only available at certain retailers, so if you’re shopping around, you may notice certain options available from one seller that are absent from another.
Pros: Great print quality, tons of unique features, low price point, supports both iOS and Android
Cons: Some customers may be turned off by color options, requires brand-specific paper for best quality
The best mobile printer for portability
Why you’ll love it: You can relive Polaroid’s glory days with its highly portable mini printer, the Mint.
The classic instant-print cameras of decades past gave birth to the mini portable printers listed here, and no brand was more iconic than Polaroid. It should come as no surprise, then, that the company makes one of the best mini printers available: the Polaroid Mint.
The Mint takes our pick for portability, thanks to its sleek dimensions and long battery life, which is double that of Polaroid’s previous mini printer, the Zip.
When shopping, you may notice that there are two versions of the Mint, but we’re recommending the printer-only version of the Mint, rather than the 2-in-1 camera and printer hybrid. The 2-in-1 version is a neat throwback to the Polaroid instant-print cameras of the past, but its camera specs are far less capable than most flagship smartphones.
The printer-only version of the Mint includes Wi-Fi connectivity, and you can send photos to it from just about any photography or social media apps on Android or iOS, though there is a specific Polaroid app that lets you add custom frames and filters to your photos.
Like a few other picks on the list, the Polaroid Mint doesn’t require ink or toner, and instead uses specialized ZINK photo paper. ZINK paper is convenient, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly since it cuts down on ink cartridge waste, but is lower quality than other instant-print formats. That said, these factors are much less of an issue at the size and speed that the Mint prints at.
Pros: Photo editing app included, ZINK paper/doesn’t need in, Bluetooth, rechargeable battery
Cons: Can only use Polaroid-branded ZINK paper
The best mobile printer for iPhone
Why you’ll love it: Prynt’s Pocket is a simple add-on that turns your iPhone into an instant-print camera.
Just about every mini printer supports iPhone, so if that’s your phone of choice, you’ve got many options. However, we’ve chosen to highlight the iPhone-only Prynt Pocket due to its novel and highly-portable design that sets it apart from most other smartphone printers out there.
The Prynt Pocket doesn’t require ink, but it does require you purchase "Prynt Sheets" paper to print on. Prynt Sheets are ZINK paper like the ones the HP Sprocket and Polaroid Mint use, but they’re much tinier to conform to the Prynt Pocket’s 1.88-by-3-inch print size.
Some reviewers say that loading in new paper can be a bit confusing, but otherwise, the Pocket works like any other instant-printer: You can snap photos with your phone’s camera or download them from your social media apps, then use the included app to print immediately.
Reviewers note that the Prynt Pocket requires about three hours to charge, and can about 20 prints per charge. The included app also has surprisingly robust editing options, and even lets you order a postcard-size print that can be mailed for free — something you likely won’t find in the printing apps of other mini printers.
The Prynt Pocket is a one-size-fits-all device that supports an exhaustive list of iPhone and iPhone Plus models, including all handsets in the iPhone X, 8, 7, SE, 6S, 6, 5S, and 5 lines. Interestingly, if you happen to have a Samsung Galaxy S5 laying around, the Prynt Pocket also works there, but that’s the sole exception for Android users.
Pros: Attaches directly to iPhone, supports a wide number of iPhone models, impressive app features
Cons: Requires proprietary paper, iOS only
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