These days, bulky printers are out, and wireless instant printers are in. The age of selfies has collided with nostalgia for print images to produce devices that can put smartphone pictures in your hand in less than a minute.
Want in on this trend? We compared two popular recent releases: the affordable Polaroid Zip and the speedy Fujifilm Instax Share SP-2.
The printers: at a glance
|Polaroid Zip||Fujifilm Instax Share SP-2|
|Price||Regularly $159.99||Regularly $199.95|
|Weight||0.41 pound||0.55 pound|
|Colors||Black, blue, red, white||Silver, gold|
|Photo paper||Zink Zero Ink paper||Fujifilm Instax Mini Instant Film|
|Buy on Amazon|
NerdWallet takes you shopping: The Polaroid Zip can spit out your favorite images in less than 60 seconds. It retails for $159.99 regularly, but we’ve seen it for less on sites like Amazon.
The pocket-sized printer connects wirelessly to any smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth 4.0 or NFC technology. Download the compatible app to edit your images and add emojis. Prints are full color and measure about 2 inches by 3 inches. The printer’s compatible Zink Zero Ink paper is smudgeproof, and each sheet has a sticky back.
The printer itself is 2.91 inches by 4.72 inches and weighs just 0.41 pound — so you really can fit it in your pocket. It comes in black, blue, red and white. There’s no need to buy ink cartridges, but you will have to stock up on paper. A 50-pack costs $24.99 from Amazon.
Good fit for: Budget-conscious photographers. If you’re a casual user, the Polaroid Zip will give you what you need in an instant printer: a lightweight design with full-color images.
Fujifilm Instax Share SP-2
NerdWallet takes you shopping: At $199.95, the Fujifilm Instax Share SP-2 is similar to, but slightly more expensive than, the Polaroid Zip. It measures approximately 3.5 inches by 5.1 inches by 1.5 inches, and it comes in silver or gold.
The Fujifilm Instax Share SP-2 prints images that also measure about 2 inches by 3 inches, but it spits them out in around 10 seconds.
This model has a “reprint” button that allows you to duplicate photos. There are other handy functions, too. For instance, you can recharge its battery through your computer’s USB port. The printer’s LED lights show how much battery power it has remaining.
The printer works with Fujifilm Instax Mini Instant Film, which has frames that come in a variety of colors and designs, including plain white and rainbow. A value pack of 60 sheets will run you $34.99 at Amazon.
Before printing, apply filters and templates on the Instax app. The “real time template,” for instance, labels your image with the current date, location, weather, temperature and humidity.
Good fit for: Prolific printers. It’ll cost you $40 more than the Polaroid Zip, but you’ll enjoy a faster print time and a greater range of options for customization, including colored paper and design templates.
Complete your purchase
Once you pick a smartphone printer, get your smartphone up to speed. Polaroid Zip users will want to get the Polaroid Print App, which is free for iOS and Android. For the Fujifilm model, don’t forget to download the Instax Share app, which is also free for iOS and Android.