READ ALSO: Which portable printer to buy
Best portable printers
The immediate printing of photos is not an absolute novelty: this type of printing has been possible since the 80s by buying a Polaroid, the camera model with self-developing films. Obviously, technology has made great strides and now it is possible to quickly print photos taken with the smartphone using special printing techniques.
One is used on portable photo printers with zero ink technology. Basically, the camera has no ink cartridges inside, because printing takes place on special paper by means of heat pulses. While zero-ink printing has the advantage that it can be integrated into a small device and does not require you to change cartridges like normal printers, the downside is that photo cartridge – the film where they are printed – cost a lot compared to traditional printing with any color printer. Furthermore, the size of the photo can never be too large and ranges from 2X3 inches to a maximum of 4X6, which is the typical one of frame photos.
All print cameras work through Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or NFC connection via a proprietary app to download on your Android phone or iPhone. To be used even when we are away from home, make sure that they have a lithium-ion battery so that we can print quickly even when we are away from any electrical outlet.
The other features to keep in mind are similar to those already seen in the guide Photo printer to print color photos: which one to buy.
There are several for sale on Amazon models of portable and pocket photo printers, small that can be connected via Bluetooth or via Wi-Fi, via an app, to the mobile phone.
The cheapest portable printer model we can see is the DCUKPST Mini thermal printer, available on Amazon for less than 50 €.
With this printer, we will be able to print QR codes, barcodes, miniature photos, labels, tags in black and white in black and white thanks to thermal technology. On it, we find a Bluetooth connection compatible with Android and iOS, and 800 mAh battery, and the convenient support app Edraw, downloadable for Android and for iPhone and iPad.
Another affordable portable printer that is easy to use with any smartphone is the Xiaomi Photo Printer, available on Amazon for less than 70 €.
With this printer, we will be able to print multiple photos at the same time by several people (using Bluetooth) and use a special AR technology, which will allow you to add voices or videos within the photo and, by scanning with the dedicated app, we can acquire sounds and videos to play them at any time. The support app for this printer is Mi Home, available for download for Android and for iPhone / iPad.
If we have been through the fantastic period of the Polaroids, you will surely be pleased to know the Polaroid ZIP, available on Amazon for less than 110 €.
With this portable printer, we will be able to print high-quality photos of 5 x 7.6 cm size thanks to the use of Premium ZINK photo paper, optimized for use on this device and able to print without the use of ink. To use it at its best, it is advisable to download the app on your smartphone or tablet Polaroid SnapTouch, available for download on Android and iPhone / iPad.
Another portable printer that we can consider is the HP Sprocket, available on Amazon for less than 110 €.
With this mini printer we can get photos on 5.8×8.7 cm thermal paper on ZINK adhesive paper and we can also use it outside the home thanks to the Wi-Fi connection, Bluetooth, and the internal battery. To print and access all functions, simply download the app HP Sprocket, available free for Android and for iPhone / iPad.
Always on the subject of big famous brands for cameras, we also recommend the portable printer Kodak Mini 2, available on Amazon for less than 150 €.
This printer also includes various ready-to-use printing sheets, in addition to those included in the package: we can thus print up to 68 sheets, for an average cost of 17 cents per photo. To use it, simply establish the Bluetooth connection with the printer and rely on the dedicated app KODAK Printer Mini, available for free download for Android and for iPhone / iPad.
With these mini portable printers we can print unforgettable memories on instant paper as they did in the 80s, with a notable technological leap: instead of sharing them on Facebook or Instagram, we print them on paper and give a wonderful and retro moment to the people we care about.
If instead of a portable printer we are looking for a good fast classic printer, we can read our guide What are the fastest printers.
Are we undecided between laser or inkjet printers? We can clear up all doubts by reading our article Guide to buying a printer: laser or ink?