The best phone photo printers help bring the digital world into the physical realm. 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 2021. 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. Finally, you’ll want to factor in the cost of the printer paper, as the price varies widely between brands.
- Bluetooth connection: Different printers use different methods of connectivity. Some require physical contact or docking with your phone, while 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 requiring 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, which lets you connect multiple smartphones to your printer at once. The latter is great for when you’re hanging out with friends or colleagues.
2. Polaroid Hi-Print Portable Photo Printer
We love the new Bluetooth photo printer from Polaroid, the company that popularized instant-print photos in the first place. Polaroid actually has a few mini printers, but we love the color vibrancy, portability and easy connectivity that you get with the Polaroid Hi-Print. This printer uses dye-sublimation technology to help the colors of your photo leap off the print, and the device itself comes with an eye-catching design. Each 2×3″ 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.
The Polaroid Hi-Print easily connects to your phone or laptop via Bluetoooth, and the included app makes it easy to edit your images and make sure they look just right before printing. Despite all these great features, the Hi-Print is cheaper than the Fujifilm option featured above (the paper packs are cheaper, too). For all these reasons, if you’re looking for the best phone photo printer to give as a gift, the Polaroid Hi-Print is the perfect choice.
3. HP Sprocket Portable Photo Printer
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 and Bluetooth connectivity make the printing process simple. You can also take your photos to the next level by adding filters, borders and emojis to the image.
With a recent price drop, we believe the HP Sprocket is the best phone photo printer for most people. It offers great picture quality on 2×3″ photo paper and is really user-friendly. (The photo paper is also cheaper than most other brands.) 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.
4. Kodak Smile Instant Digital Printer
COLLEGE STUDENT PICK
The Kodak Smile Instant Digital Printer is the perfect tool for creating photo wall collages for your dorm room (or any room, really). 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 colorful and highly portable printer could be the answer you’re searching for. This palm-sized printer comes in five color options and uses Bluetooth to instantly 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 photo 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. Fujifilm INSTAX Share SP-3 Mobile Printer
The Fujifilm INSTAX Share SP-2 Mobile Printer was a fantastic pocket printer, but it’s now been replaced by the newer SP-3 model. There’s a lot to love with the Share SP-3, but unfortunately, it still lacks Bluetooth connectivity. However, it’s easy enough to connect to this printer via Wi-Fi, and it still creates clear and vibrant prints in seconds. An improved laser exposure system lets you create prints in just 13 seconds. Finally, the SP-3 prints 2.4×2.4″ square prints, so if you prefer this type of picture, you’ll want to go with this model over the Mini Link 2 featured above. Its modern design and user-friendly features mean this little gadget remains one of the best portable phone photo printers for sale in 2021.
6. Kodak Mini 3 Retro Instant Photo Printer
The Kodak Mini line of photo printers got a serious upgrade thanks to the Kodak Mini 3 Retro instant photo printer. If you prefer larger, Polaroid-style photos, then this printer is your best bet. Unlike most photo printers, which print 2×3″ or 2.4×2.4″ photos, Kodak’s new printer creates borderless images on 3×3” glossy photo paper. Because this photo size is closer to the dimensions of Instagram images, you can print your favorite Instagram posts without any awkward cropping. The Kodak Mini 3 Retro can connect to your devices via Bluetooth or USB and the Kodak app works well on Android and Apple devices. With all these features, the Kodak Mini 3 Retro is a versatile and convenient option, although it does cost a little more than the alternatives.
7. Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 Instant Camera
BEST INSTANT CAMERA
If you love the classic Polaroid picture, why not just cut out the portable printing middleman and get yourself an instant camera? In this Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 Instant Camera, you’ll get everything you need to create retro-looking 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.
8. Canon Selphy Square QX10 Portable Photo Printer
VIBRANT COLOR PHOTOS
The Canon Selphy Square is another Bluetooth-enabled printer that’s ideal for creating high-quality, sticky-backed photos of your favorite moments. While it is more expensive than most options, the picture quality and size is unmatched by any other portable photo printer for sale in 2021. That’s because the Canon Selphy Square uses advanced dye-sublimation technology, which delivers impressive, full-quality prints more vibrant than what you usually see from a printer using ZINK technology. Canon has been a leader in the imaging space for years, and the Selphy Square QX10 is another great product from this trusted brand. It’s a great choice if you need to replace an older pocket printer so you can keep printing your favorite Instagram pictures.
9. Kodak Dock & WiFi Instant Photo Printer
The Kodak Dock & WiFi Instant Photo Printer is capable of producing full-size, 4 x 6-inch 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.
10. 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-inch 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.
11. 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.
12. 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, 2×3″ prints which also have peelable, sticky backs. In addition, it’s possible to embed videos in your photos with the Lifeprint app.
13. 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.
14. 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.
15. 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.
16. 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.
17. Aibecy Mini Portable 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.