For all we know, portable instant photo printers were boomed from and seems like these tools have made clicking photos to a whole new level. With portable photo printer, you can get the images right in front of you in just a matter of seconds. As mentioned in our title, the portable instant photo printers we will discuss are compatible with iPhone and Android phones.

Now, it’s a fact that there are many portable photo printers in the market nowadays, and the problem is that it’s quite confusing which one to pick. Most of the time, it becomes a daunting task when there are a lot of good choices.

So, in order to solve that, we thoroughly researched the market today and came up with the best portable instant photo printer for iPhone & Android in 2020. Without further ado, let’s elaborate this topic more in the following sections.

Let’s dive in!

Quick Summary

If you are not about professionalism, then the Polaroid Zip Wireless Mobile Photo Mini Printer is a smart choice. This one is a reminiscent of certain polaroid-type revival cameras that are in the market in the past years. Except that this unit attaches to your Android or iPhone to take the shot instead of its own lens, enabling you to do some adjustments and get the right shot before having the physical photo instantly.

Now, you better get the HP Sprocket Portable Photo Printer (2nd Edition) if instant photo printing is your main goal. You see, this one features sleek and efficient capabilities which fits effortlessly inside your pocket and can link wirelessly with your smartphone. Take note that the physical photos will be roughly 2 inch by 3 inch with sticky backings.

Lastly, if you prefer printing images at your home instead of outdoors, then the Canon SELPHY CP1300 Wireless Compact Photo Printer is your perfect bet. Aside from working perfectly on a desktop, this one features Mopria and AirPrint. Furthermore, it can print different sizes of images which include the classic borderless 4 inch by 4 inch wireless over its AirPrint feature. Also, the outputs take about forty-five seconds to complete.

Who Should Get This?

Well, there are actually a myriad of reasons why portable photo printers are beneficial. And take note that what we will discuss here is only the tip of the iceberg. In short, there’s just a lot to mention! So, who should get these tools? You would want to acquire one of these tools if at least you can relate in the following enquiries:

  • Do you want to make a portfolio of your work as a professional, amateur, or hobbyist?
  • Do you want to instantly capture every awesome moment and share it immediately with your family and friends in a physical form?
  • Is your smartphone currently packed of photos that you would prefer pinning them up around your room?

These are just some of the few questions why you would need a portable instant photo printer. On the flip side, if you don’t really want to take photos on your smartphone and would rather have them professionally printed, then acquiring a portable instant photo printer is not really smart.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for services that offer similar features, then you can resort to Fromex, Costco, or Snapfish. These companies can develop images if you need them occasionally instead of acquiring a printer solely for you.

What to Consider?

Portability

First of all, ask yourself on where you plan on using a portable instant photo printer. The thing is, if you are trying to revive what Polaroid photo has to offer, then what you want to get is something that is very portable, thin, and lightweight. Now, if you are only going to use it solely on desktop, then there are a number of wired printers that features better effectiveness and capacity. On the flips side, you be able to bring them outdoors.

Print Type

The good thing about portable instant photo printers for smartphones is that they are applicable in various methods. Similar to a regular printer, some portable photo printer take ink cartridges as well as special photo paper in order to craft incredibly high-quality POD, also known as Print on Demand. There are also some portable printers that utilize heat activated instant film that help develop the output in just a matter of minutes after it’s been printed onto. In both instances, one must purchase replacement printing papers on a regular basis.

Battery Capacity

Nowadays, there are a lot of portable instant photo printers in the market that are small enough to be literally categorized as portable. However, regardless of the portability, what you want to get along with this factor is one that comes with an excellent battery power in order to completely print your photos wherever you want. Also, there are portable instant photo printers that feature compatible battery pack.

Connectivity

Various portable instant photo printers are engineered in order to operate with everything from PC to smartphones. That’s why if you want to print from a certain smartphone, it should be noted that the photo printer you will acquire supports these devices. Furthermore, there are also some models that are engineered particularly to operate with smartphones through NFC as well as Bluetooth. On the flip side, there are also some models that can operate with vast selections of devices over a wired USB connection.

Print Size

Most of the time, truly portable instant photo printers can’t rival the size of big studio prints. However, it doesn’t imply that you need to be stuck with wallet-sized images. Now, if you’re looking to have larger images, then what you want to do is simply pick a printer that’s up to the task.

Best Portable Instant Photo Printers (Printing Anything from Anywhere): Our Picks

1.) Polaroid ZIP Wireless Mobile Photo Mini Printer

This particular photo printer is a small box which is a little bit larger compared to a deck of playing cards. It has a thickness of just around 2.5cm and it weighs around 186 grams. This particular printer utilizes Polaroid’s Zink zero-ink printing technology – on which it utilizes special Zink paper embedded with magenta, yellow, as well as cyan dye crystals. These crystals start off colorless, but as the print is being processed, the heat factor activates the dye crystals, which ultimately change them to their respective hues.

This photo printer is simply impressive for what it is. It is compatible for tablet and smartphone. It is fun and easy to use. It comes with excellent small accessories for freeing your images from your phone. It is not completely a printer that anyone can have a use for. However, if you are already plastering your things with small prints of your pets, families, or friends, then try this one.

Lastly, this one is a cheap wireless photo printer that easily makes your smartphone images into full-colored 2 inch by 3 inch prints. It doesn’t need any kind of consumables aside from the Polaroid’s Zink paper.

What We Like:

  • It features rechargeable battery and extremely portable
  • You don’t need to buy ink for this
  • Stunning and high-quality vibrant prints
  • Comes with free Polaroid mobile app
  • It is travel and ready design for many indoor or outdoor tasks

What We Don’t Like: 

  • Its prints are pretty small and doesn’t really come with a reasonable price
  • Its app seems a little bit clunky

2. HP Sprocket Portable Photo Printer (2nd Edition)

With this HP Sprocket Portable Photo Printer, for sure printing on the fly will be so much easier and convenient. Aside from being incredibly portable, this model’s strength lies behind its full-featured app. We want to mention that this unit is the 2nd edition version. Now, if you have the older HP Sprocket, then it’s a smart decision to check the 2nd edition first because it features a better connectivity and as we said an upgraded app.

The brand also claims that this new version has better photo quality. Moreover, HP sports great simplicity with the basic construction of this 2nd model. This one comes with a dimension of 4.63 inch by 3.15 inch by 0.98 inch. It has a weight of only 0.38 pounds. With its stats, for sure it will easily fit in your jeans pocket.

In terms of external controls, they are minimal. It features front status LED, a rear charge light indicator, a mini-USB port for charging, and of course a power button. Its charge light glows amber; but turns red when its battery is low, though if you charge it, the light will blink red. If the battery is full, then the indicator will turn green. The hue of the front status LED can be modified through the HP Sprocket application and it can indicate when it is printing, idle, sleeping, powering off, or powering on.

What We Like:

  • Easy to use especially because it comes with a full-featured app
  • Aside from being small and portable, it comes with an attractive design
  • Users can connect multiple devices so you as well as your friends can photo print at the same time
  • You can personalize your prints with the HP Sprocket app
  • Includes an HP Zink photo paper

What We Don’t Like: 

  • It is only limited to 2 inches by 3 inches prints
  • The printing process can be quite slow

3. Canon SELPHY CP1300 Wireless Compact Photo Printer with AirPrint and Mopria Device Printing

This one is a latest portable instant photo printer made by Canon. Just a fact, Canon SELPHY CP1300 is actually the successor to the SELPHY CP1200. Canon SELPHY CP1300 can produce post card sized prints which is about 6 inch b 4 inch. Similar to the CP1200, this model is also wireless, which means you can print from any devices linked either to your printer directly or to your home network.

It already includes a power supply cable. However, you might want to buy a battery separately so that you can use it wherever you are. It is easy to set up and use because it is a simple and straightforward photo printer. Users can load the ink cassette in the side of the photo printer. One particular upgrade that CP1300 got from its previous version is the LCD screen size on the top of the printer. Compared to the 2.7 inches before, it is now 3.2 inches.

Now, in terms of printing from this model, there are some certain different options. It features an SD card slot in front of it, or a USB port on side of it, and from there you can print directly. Overall, this one is very easy to use while still providing you with additional options to explore as necessary.

What We Like:

  • Compared to the original Sprocket, this one has lower running costs and has impressive print quality
  • Upon printing, your photos will be instantly dry and can last long
  • Easy to use because of its simplicity of connecting
  • It has a sleek and portable design
  • Comes now with an enhanced screen size

What We Don’t Like:

  • The prints’ skin tones seems washed out and the colors are not that bright
  • Its ink cartridge only prints five pictures which might get a little bit expensive

Useful Tips or Tricks

Aside from Android, iPhones has what is known as the single best smartphone camera quality currently offered in the global market. In particular, iPhones dual lenses and updated tech enables users to take stunning images without even trying. But the thing is, you can level up those outputs with some simple tips.

First of all, you can try taking your shots from more than one angle. Then you can decide which is best later if you are flipping through the outputs. However, you won’t be able to really go back, and recapture the shots you missed. That’s why, most of the time it is better to overshoot rather than undershoot.

Utilize the photo printer’s modes. Even though it is tempting to simply leave things on what they are and expects them to adjust on their own, you can still acquire plenty from your photos if you just try playing with the modes just like what a portrait mode is.

Flash is a cool advantage.  Even though this feature comes with a reputation for being harsh and sometimes even produce glare on the phones, most of Android and iPhone units utilizes a new technology known as Slow Sync to lowered this effect and give better lighting.

For sure, these three tips are not enough for some of you. So, if you’re looking for some more tips to enhance your photo shots, then you can find more here.

Closing Words:

In this day and age, it’s never been more convenient to print photos while you’re on the go. You see, portable instant photo printers provide the ability to take shots and instantly transform them into a physical form. However, keep in mind that the best portable instant photo printer for your needs will be the one that is the most inexpensive to operate.

Now, based on our extensive research, the HP and Canon provide some of the most inexpensive portable instant photo printers when it comes to operating costs. Now, if you want the best value, it is smart to always acquire refills in bulk. Nonetheless, you must be aware that similar to films, many of these particular refills come with use-by dates.

Overall, portable photo printers are excellent for printing images especially if you’re the type of a person who’s always on the go. On the flips side, if you’re looking for a more professional quality output, then you might resort to some professional printers out there.

If you have any feedback or thoughts about our topic today, kindly leave them in the comment box section below. Hope to see you in another review.