The best phone photo printers help bring the digital world into the physical realm, and we love these pocket-sized little devices. They’re the perfect bridge between the Polaroids of the 20th Century and the Portrait Mode of the 21st.
Back in the year 2000, Kodak announced a surprising statistic to the world — an estimated 80 billion photos were taken that year. That seemed like a lot of photos at the time, but now that the average person has traded in DSLRs and pocket cameras for smartphones, consumers now capture more than 1.3 trillion photos annually, per The New York Times. Yet even as the raw number of photos increases thanks to Instagram boyfriends and 4K smartphone cameras, many people no longer use physical pictures at all. And we think that’s a damn shame.
Even though smartphones pack a lot of technology into a tiny package, there are still some elements of the “good old days” that a lot of people miss. One of the biggest is physical pictures. While we love having all of our photos instantly accessible on our phones and in the cloud, we also love things we can hold in our hands, stick to our walls or show relatives. Another benefit to physical photos is that they won’t be lost if you happen to lose your phone or account. And, somewhat impressively, most quality photos can last for up to 100 years before they start disintegrating.
If you love to hold photos in your hands rather than viewing them on a screen, it’s time to start printing your pictures again. With the best phone photo printers, you can print your pictures instantly on the spot. These portable printers are a great way to share special moments with friends and ensure you have a physical reminder for years to come. And, as a bonus, most printed pictures are also stickers, which means you can cover your walls, computer and office with your favorite snapshots — all taken from your phone.
In this post, we’re going to review the best portable photo printers for sale in 2020. Brands like Kodak, Polaroid, HP and Fujifilm all make excellent printers, most of which can fit right in your pocket or purse.
Before You Buy a Phone Photo Printer, Consider This…
When it comes to choosing the right portable photo printer, there are a number of factors you need to take into account as different printers offer various benefits. Each one has features that you may or may not find useful. If you want to print pictures from social media or your phone, here are some of the things you’ll need to decide on before you make a purchase:
- Size: One of the biggest questions you need to answer is what size printer you want to carry around with you. Some devices really are pocket-sized, while others are a little too big to comfortably keep with you at all times. Finally, there are models that are by definition portable but are more like small desk printers.
- Color or Black and White: Not all printers on our list are capable of producing color images. While this may sound like a bad thing, black and white images allow for more personal creativity, whether you choose to color them in yourself or stick with a monochrome theme.
- Picture Paper Style: Another important consideration is the paper you print on. Of course, many options achieve the vintage Polaroid picture look, but some printers create “normal” pictures without a grainy, retro filter. Other options use paper with a sticky back that can be stuck to walls, books or other flat surfaces.
- How the Printer Connects to Your Phone: Different printers use different methods of connectivity. Some require physical contact or docking with your phone, while many of the best portable photo printers use a Bluetooth or WiFi connection.
- Extra Features: Nowadays, pictures aren’t just pictures. Some printers include new technology making it possible to attach augmented video to your printed pictures. This video becomes active when viewed using accompanying apps. Other printers let you easily edit photos, apply filters, and insert emojis or text.
- Price: In general, you can buy most portable photo printers for under $100. But, this initial investment isn’t the only financial consideration. It’s often worth checking out the price of the paper for your printer and working out a price per image cost, especially if you love remembering every moment with a printed picture.
So until Apple invents an iPhone that can print your favorite Instagram pictures, the best phone photo printers are an indispensable tool for the digital age. Keep reading to find our favorite portable photo printers, most of which are priced around or under $100.
1. Fujifilm Instax Mini Link Smartphone Printer
As the successor to the hugely popular INSTAX Share SP-2, it should come as little surprise the Fujifilm Instax Mini Link Smartphone Printer is again setting the standard for portable smartphone printing. This device sports a more rounded design for a more comfortable in-hand feel and comes in three different colors, namely dark denim, ash white and dusky pink. Like its predecessor, it still offers reliable, on-the-go color prints. However, instead of a Wifi connection, this printer now uses Bluetooth connectivity for an easier and more reliable way to transfer your files. It’s also accompanied by the Mini Link app which allows you to choose between the general print mode and the “fun” mode. The latter is great for when you’re hanging out with friends or colleagues.
2. Polaroid Lab Instant Printer
The Polaroid Lab Instant Printer is a great way to turn your favorite smartphone images into physical prints you can give to friends or hang on your walls. While not the smallest option on the list, this printer is portable or works as an at-home way to transfer photos to paper. It uses a three-lens system to create analog, paper-based results using your smartphone and the accompanying smartphone app. The app allows you to choose your image, adjust its exposure and even break it down into multiple images (up to nine) for that one-image-multi-picture look. Once you’re happy with your choices, place your phone on top of the printer, press the print button, grab the printed image and then leave it for five to 15 minutes, depending on your paper choice.
3. Fujifilm INSTAX Share SP-2 Mobile Printer
While it has been replaced by a newer, younger model, the Fujifilm INSTAX Share SP-2 Mobile Printer still ticks all the boxes we look for in a pocket printer. It’s ideal for creating high-quality prints of your favorite pictures on the spot. In fact, its laser exposure system achieves printing in as little as 10 seconds. Once fully charged, the device can stay be used for up to 90 minutes, depending on the intensity of printing. The printer is also available in a choice of silver or gold and has an accompanying Instax Share app for simple usability. Its modern design and user-friendly features mean this little gadget remains one of the best portable phone photo printers for sale in 2020.
4. KODAK Smile Instant Digital Printer
COLLEGE STUDENT PICK
The KODAK Smile Instant Digital Printer is the perfect tool for creating on-wall collages of your most memorable moments. Whether you’re a new student moving into a dorm room or a family looking for a way to capture and print fun-filled moments, this highly portable printer could be the answer you’re searching for. This palm-sized printer comes in five color options and uses Bluetooth to connect to your smartphone for a reliable and local connection. You can use the Kodak Smile app for quick and easy photo editing. The result is sticky-backed photos that are wall or diary ready. Additionally, this smart device offers AR functionality which lets you embed video into your images. These videos are only revealed when the app passes over the photo.
5. Polaroid SNAP Touch 2.0
With the Polaroid SNAP Touch 2.0 in your hands, you really can have your cake and eat it, too. This versatile device lets you capture images and print those images on the spot, much like the popular line of Fujifilm Instax Mini cameras. Alternatively, it can print images from smartphones, too. Basically, this gives you the best of all worlds. From this feature-filled device, you can expect high-quality, full-color prints along with the ability to shoot 13MP images and record 1080p video. On the back, you’ll find an LCD touchscreen display which makes managing any edits, like adding filters, borders and stickers, especially easy. Furthermore, the SNAP is tripod compatible, includes a built-in flash and is available in six different colors.
6. Kodak Mini 2 Wireless Instant Photo Printer
Whether you want to print your favorite pictures at home or when you’re out and about, the Kodak Mini 2 Wireless Instant Photo Printer makes the process easy. The device’s small size means it’s highly portable for whenever you want instant pics on the go. The printer is also available in a range of different colors, including black, blue and purple, and instantly produces high-quality images that stay bright and beautiful for years. In addition, this Kodak device comes with a companion app that lets you easily edit, crop and add filters before you print. Finally, the Kodak Mini 2 costs less than similar printers from Polaroid, Fujifilm and HP.
7. Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 Instant Camera
BEST INSTANT CAMERA
If you love the classic Polaroid picture, why not just cut out the portable printer middleman and get yourself an instant camera? In this Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 Instant Camera, you’ll get everything you need to create hipster-style Polaroid pictures on the spot. The versatile, 60mm lens is ideal for portraits and wider shots, while the built-in selfie mirror ensures you’re framed just right for your close-ups. The camera is also available in 13 different colors, and this pack includes a twin-pack of film, giving you 20 exposures to work through right out of the box. While newer models of this instant camera are now available, there’s nothing wrong with this tried and true classic.
8. Polaroid Mint Pocket Printer
VIBRANT COLOR PHOTOS
The Polaroid Mint Pocket Printer is another Bluetooth-enabled printer that’s ideal for creating high-quality, sticky-backed photos of your favorite moments. It uses advanced Zink Technology, which means the printer is free from toner, cartridges and ribbons yet still delivers impressive, full-quality prints from any iOS or Android phone. This printer is also the most eye-catching option on the list as it’s available in bright red, blue and yellow as well as black or white. Polaroid has been making the best portable photo printers for years, and the Mint Pocket Printer is another great product from this trusted brand. The Mint has stellar reviews on Amazon, and it’s a great choice if you need to replace an older pocket printer so you can keep printing your favorite Instagram pictures.
9. HP Sprocket Portable Photo Printer
BEST FOR STICKY PHOTOS
The HP Sprocket Portable Photo Printer is available in a range of colors, including red, black and gold, and features a fun speckled design. These high quality phone photo printers also sport a built-in loop for attaching a wrist strap to make carrying your device easy. This feature is particularly ideal for parties, days out with friends and any moments when you want a print straight away. Whether the photo is on your smartphone or tablet, the HP Sprocket App makes the printing process simple. And the included app can take your photos to the next level, allowing you to add filters, borders and emojis to the image, although you can only print 2″ x 3″ photos.
The HP Sprocket is a little more expensive than similar printers, but it’s also more user friendly and offers fantastic picture quality. Plus, the new edition of the HP Sprocket allows multiple users and devices to connect easily to the printer, which means everyone can get in on the fun.
10. Kodak Dock & Wi-Fi Instant Photo Printer
The Kodak Dock & Wi-Fi Instant Photo Printer is capable of producing full-size, 4″ x 6″ photographs anytime, anywhere. Simply dock your phone into the top-mounted station and enjoy high-quality, professional-standard prints in a matter of minutes. In addition to your smartphone, this versatile device lets you print from USB drives, too. A single cartridge can produce about 120 images, and finished pictures have a laminated protective layer to give them exceptionally long lives.
11. Canon IVY Mobile Mini Photo Printer
There’s no need for any wired connections with the Canon IVY Mobile Mini Photo Printer in your pocket. This ultra-portable device connects to smartphones via Bluetooth for wireless printing wherever you find yourself. It can also print your favorite Facebook and Instagram pics in moments. The high-quality, 2″ x 3″ prints have a peel-and-stick backing that lets users stick their pictures to books, computers and more. These phone photo printers come in a range of attractive colors, including mint green and slate grey.
12. Prynt Pocket Phone Photo Printer
MOST PORTABLE PICK
If portability is your goal, the Prynt Pocket is one of the best portable photo printers available today. This printing device connects directly to the bottom of an iPhone and instantly turns it into a picture printing device. Whether it’s your photos from Facebook, Snapchat or Instagram, you’ll be able to hold your photos in your hands in just a matter of seconds. Another fun and smart aspect of this clever device is the ability to embed video within your snaps, so that any viewers using the Prynt app can see your pictures come to life. Each photo also has a sticky back, which means they’re ideal for sticking to your computer, smartphone, walls or fridge.
13. Canon SELPHY Wireless Compact Photo Printer
If you like the idea of a printer that looks like any run-of-the-mill printer but in miniature, the Canon SELPHY CP1300 Wireless Compact Photo Printer is for you. The device’s smart design means it incorporates all the aspects you’d expect from any home printer, but it can fit in the palm of your hand. The high-quality prints it produces are water-resistant and can last years. Plus, the smart device lets you choose how to connect, with physical and wireless options built-in. Finally, the 3.2-inch LCD lets you see and choose the right images before you print, so you’re never surprised by what comes out.
14. Lifeprint Instant Phone Photo Printer
If you miss having an instant camera in your pocket and want that ‘take a picture, print the picture’ way of doing things back in your life, the Lifeprint Instant Printer is for you. To turn your smartphone into an instant camera, simply slip it into the arms of the printer and click away. The printer even includes a wrist strap to complete that instant camera feel. This device uses Bluetooth to connect to smartphones and creates high-quality, 2″ x 3″ prints which also have peel-able, sticky backs. In addition, it’s possible to embed videos in your photos with the Lifeprint app.
15. Polaroid ZIP Wireless Mobile Phone Mini Printer
THE ORIGINAL TRENDSETTER
With more than 1,600 five-star reviews from users, there’s plenty of evidence that you’ll love the Polaroid ZIP Wireless Mobile Phone Mini Printer. The made-in-the-USA device comes in four different colors and connects to your smartphone or tablet using Bluetooth. Each printed photo sports a sticky back, which is ideal for applying to your walls, computer or fridge, and the pictures are also treated with a protective layer, which makes them particularly resistant to tears, smudges and water damage. You can also use the Polaroid Zip app to edit your images and make sure they look right before printing. No list of the best portable photo printers would be complete without the Polaroid Zip, the phone photo printer that started this trend in the first place.
16. KiiPix Smartphone Picture Printer
The KiiPix Smartphone Picture Printer provides a simple way to print retro-style pictures from your smartphone screen. The process is completely manual, requiring no batteries or cords. The only thing you need is FUJIFILM Instax Mini Film to produce images, providing the freedom to use your printer anywhere and at any time. The printer itself folds down to a compact size for easy transportation and comes in either blue, pink or black.
17. Phomemo M02 Pocket Printer
BEST BLACK AND WHITE
The Phomemo M02 Portable Printer is a mini Bluetooth printer that offers one-click printing for black-and-white photos. This pocket printer also lets you print fun frames and sticky notes. While some won’t get it, anyone who loves that monochrome look will jump at the chance to use this printer. The device uses Bluetooth to wirelessly connect to your smartphone and an accompanying app to print the images. This app offers a range of handy options, including image printing, scanning and template printing. All of these features provide for creativity and fun. Furthermore, this palm-sized printer comes in several exterior colors as well as a unique, piano-style design.
18. Lifeprint Harry Potter Magic Photo Printer
BEST FOR AUGMENTED REALITY PICS
If magic is your thing or you can’t get enough of Harry Potter, it’s worth checking out the Lifeprint Harry Potter Magic Photo Printer. This compact printer sports a Potter-inspired design with the Hogwarts badge emblazoned in gold on its face. In addition, you’ll be able to choose one of the four included house badges to mount on the face of your device. Functionally, the printer lets you create high-quality, sticky-backed images via Bluetooth connection, and it can also embed video inside those images. The video can be viewed using the Lifeprint app. Plus, this app lets you edit your photos with a range of Potter-inspired stickers to create truly magical images.
19. Aibecy Mini Photo Printer
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly answer to printing your favorite photos at home or on-the-go, the Aibecy Mini Photo Printer could be your answer. It’s ideal for creating physical images of all of your favorite moments and memories. The multi-functional printer can also print labels, lists and QR codes. And, if all that’s not enough to convince you this is the phone printer for you, maybe the fact the printer is designed to look like a bear will be the deciding factor.