With more people relying on phones and tablets than laptops and PCs as their everyday computers, printers are becoming less common in the average family home. You’ve probably uploaded your favourite digital photos to Facebook and Instagram, but physical photo albums and frames still have their place. We look at five instant photo printers that let you print directly from your phone. The market leader in the printer market was sure to produce a consumer-friendly mobile photo printing device, and HP duly came out with the Sprocket in September 2016. The Sprocket printer is among the cheapest on this list at a penny under £120, with 20 sheets of 2x3in sticky-backed photo paper costing £10 a pack.
You load the ZINK zero-ink sticky-backed printer paper into the back of the device and it takes around 40 seconds to print a picture so it is not the fastest. The printouts are quite small at 2x3in, but the quality is akin to a polaroid, perfect for pinning up around the house or at the office. The Sprocket itself is very small and portable at 23x75x116mm and weighs only 172g. As we’ll discover, there are cheaper instant printers. However, what we particularly like about the Instax Share is the various templates that let you add captions with a seasonal message (such as happy birthday) or the time and date, weather or even an Instagram or Facebook status.
Printing from your smartphone with the Instax Share printer is easy – you simply download the free app from Google Play or the Apple App Store, choose an image from your photo gallery or social media, add a template and edit as required, then hit print! The Instax Share is easily portable at 89.5x40x131.8mm and 249g. It comes with a rechargeable battery that should be good for around 100 shots when fully charged, and you can top it up with the included USB cable. LEDs at the front let you see at a glance when you’re running low on power or paper.