For many people, their primary (and perhaps only) camera is their phone. If you love the physicality of pictures but hate the process of transferring digital images to a computer to print them out, a smartphone-compatible printer is an excellent solution. These devices can directly access your camera roll, often through Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, and you can get prints at the push of a button—with no wires or additional files involved. These printers are generally much smaller than a regular printer, making them convenient to travel with, but they do tend to present decreased photo quality. Explore the best ones in our book below.
1. Kodak Instant Photo Printer
Kodak’s printer is our top pick because it’s easy to use, reliable, and delivers excellent print quality. Although pricier than much of the competition, it will cause much less frustration. Its body is small but can print standard four-inch by six-inch photographs using regular Kodak ink cartridges, which yield vibrant and accurate colors. Simply dock your phone or connect through Wi-Fi for straightforward, one-touch printing. Our one gripe is that the printer tends to heat up after several photos, so it’s best used when you’re not in a quick time crunch to print an album’s worth of memories. It does print with little noise, and changing the paper and ink is a breeze.
2. Fujifilm Instax Mini Link Printer
Ever since FujiFilm introduced its Instax camera line, instant photography has taken the world by storm. But attaining perfect pictures can be difficult, and Fujifilm’s rechargeable printer provides a brilliant solution to bad aim, poor lighting, and other common camera issues. This little machine connects to your phone through Bluetooth, so you can print any photo on Instax paper, giving the illusion of a vintage-y polaroid but with zero flaws. Conveniently make all edits on your phone, add effects and filters using the companion app, and print the final image—a process that takes just over ten seconds.
3. Zink Polaroid Mint Pocket Printer
If you want to print small photos on the go, we like this printer, which is small enough to slip into a back pocket. Like similar printers, it requires you to download an app to control the edit and printing process, which relies on a zero-ink system. The paper holds layers of ink that get mixed during the print process, which results in medium-quality, two-inch by three-inch photos—perfect for scrapbooking or parties. We like that the prints come out relatively quickly, in about a minute, and that the device can run on its own, being rechargeable via a USB port.
4. Canon SELPHY Photo Printer
For an upgrade pick, we recommend Canon’s printer, which is still relatively compact but operates almost as well as a regular photo printer. It’s capable of producing great-looking prints in multiple sizes—from 2.1-inch by 2.1-inch labels to four-inch by six-inch photos—and colors are rich and long-lasting. Set up is fast and easy: Connect your phone via Wi-Fi and directly edit and enhance images using the printer’s interface. Although the printing process isn’t super speedy, you can queue pictures up and leave the machine alone without worrying about it overheating.
5. HP Sprocket Portable Instant Photo Printer
This printer is a good option if you’re interested in quantity over quality. Designed so multiple phones can connect simultaneously, it is capable of receiving and producing a lot of prints in a single session—making it perfect for parties. The prints are just two by three inches small and have adhesive backs so you can immediately stick them on a card or into a scrapbook or guestbook. Like the Mint printer, this one is inkless and produces just adequate photos, but they still make nice physical mementos.