We take lots of photos with our iPhones every day. But sometimes we actually want to turn these images into real, tangible memories rather than leaving them mostly unseen on the gallery or iCloud. Luckily, there are plenty of polaroid printers for iPhone that allows us to print photos on the go– just like the old days.
The best thing is that portable polaroid printers don’t cost a fortune and they effectively turn your iPhone into an instant camera. Nowadays, they tend to be quite affordable compared to previous generations of polaroid printers.
They also are small and compact enough to fit in backpacks and don’t weigh that much since there are fewer mechanical parts inside than desktop printers. Most polaroid printers connect wirelessly with iPhones via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, allowing you to print your digital photos out pretty much instantly after you capture them.
There are various types of polaroid printers that use different forms of printing methods. Cheaper models generally use Zink (zero-ink) photographic papers for quicker prints. Others use dye-sublimation that requires heat to transfer dye to the printing material, but they offer better quality prints than Zink. A few printers even use instant films just like the instant cameras of the past.
Now you might wonder which polaroid printer is ideal for printing the photos from your iPhone. Luckily, you are in the right place as we have included some of the best polaroid printers for iPhone in this buying guide and given a detailed overview of each option.
Best Polaroid Printers for iPhone
Below is a list of the best polaroid printers you can buy for your iPhone, iPad, and even Android devices. We have handpicked all different types of portable polaroid printers so you get more options to choose from. Now without further ado let’s get started!
1. Fujifilm Instax Mini Link
- Paper Type: Instax Mini Film
- Print Size: 54 x 86 mm (2.1 × 3.4 in)
- Image Size: 62 x 46 mm (1.8 × 2.4 in)
- Connectivity: Bluetooth
- Weight: 210g
- Battery: Lithium-ion
The Instax Mini Link from Japanese giant Fujifilm is our favorite on this list due to the versatility it offers. Firstly, it uses the same printing films as the Instax Mini cameras, which are widely available in shops and e-commerce websites. Secondly, it seamlessly connected to your iPhone and outputs credit card-sized polaroid photos.
This one-handed printer is very sleek and lightweight, and it has a stylish design that grabs a lot of attention. According to Fujifilm, it is 23% smaller and 20% lighter than its predecessor, the Instax SP2. The image size on the prints is relatively minuscule at 62 x 46 mm, but the vibrant colors make photos from your iPhone look awesome.
The Instax Mini Link comes with a free, user-friendly companion iOS/Android app that allows users to add frames and overlays to their photos, as well as create photo collages. The printing is also super-fast at just 12 seconds after the image is transferred from your iPhone.
The Fujifilm Instax Mini Link works with not only iOS and Android smartphones but also with all Fujifilm X Series camera models that support the Camera Remote app. It can even print out screenshots taken on a Nintendo Switch handheld, though it does require users to install a special companion mobile app.
Overall, the Instax Mini Link is the one we would highly recommend to those who are in search of an easy-to-use, portable polaroid printer for iPhone. It comes in four colors: Ash White, Beige Gold, Dark Denim, and Dusty Pink. There’s also a Special Edition variant that comes with a Pikachu shell.
|Prints out high-quality photos in just 12 seconds||The cost per print is slightly expensive|
|Works with iPhone, iPad, Android, and Nintendo Switch||Minuscule photo sizes|
|Portable and lightweight|
2. Canon SELPHY Square QX10
- Paper Type: Canon Sticker Paper XS-20L (dye-sub)
- Print Size: 72 x 85 mm (2.8 × 3.3 in)
- Image Size: 68 x 68 mm (2.7 x 2.7 in)
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi
- Weight: 445g
- Battery: Built-in Canon Li-ion battery pack
In 2020, Canon launched its SELPHY Square QX10 polaroid printer targeted to appeal to Instagrammers with its square-format image prints and ultra-portable form factor. It is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and even Android devices, which is why it’s on this list.
The SELPHY Square QX10 uses dye-sub printing, which produces higher-quality print results compared to Instax or Zink-based polaroid printers. Unlike the Instax Mini Link, it prints slightly larger 6.8 x 6.8 cm square photos on a 7.2 x 8.5 cm sticker paper.
However, each print takes 43 seconds to produce, which is a bit lengthy but reasonable considering how crisp and colorful the photos come out. According to Canon, the prints come with a water-resistant coating and can survive for more than a century if stored in proper conditions. They also feature a peel-off adhesive backing, just like the classic prints found on Polaroid instant cameras.
The unit itself is compact enough to carry in a handbag or a coat pocket, making it ideal for night-outs and travel, though it’s slightly on the heavier side at 445 grams (without paper).
Like the Instax Mini Link, the QX10 supports Canon’s free SELPHY Photo Layout companion mobile app. It pairs to your iPhone or iPad over Wi-Fi just by scanning a simple QR code. You can use the app to add frames, stamps, filters, and graphic overlays to your photos, and create photo collages.
The Canon SELPHY Square QX10 is available in three colors: Black, White, and Green. If you are looking for a portable polaroid printer that offers high-quality dye-sub prints, this is the one to choose.
|Excellent dye-sub print quality (287 DPI)||Relatively high cost per print|
|Long-lasting prints||Charges over micro-USB|
3. Kodak Step
- Paper Type: Kodak Zink
- Print Size: 50.8 x 76.2 mm (2 x 3 in)
- Image Size: 50.8 x 76.2 mm (2 x 3 in)
- Connectivity: Bluetooth, NFC
- Weight: 453g
- Battery: Built-in rechargeable battery
Those who are searching for a budget-friendly option should check out the Kodak Step, a simple and miniaturized Zink-based printer that fits right in your pocket. Available in black and white colors, the Kodak Step fully supports iPhone, iPad, and Android devices.
This particular polaroid printer uses Zink or zero-ink printing that eliminates the need for costly ink refills, ribbons, or toners. The photo prints aren’t of the highest standards, and the colors come out on the warmer side in typical Kodak fashion. However, the quality is fairly modest considering how affordable the portable printer is. Kodak’s affordable, sticky-backed Zink photo paper cartridges also dictate lower running costs.
The instant printer talks to your iPhone over the official Kodak Step Prints app, which is available for free on the App Store. It relies on Bluetooth to move the images from the iPhone to the printer in a matter of a few seconds. The app is basically a complete photo-editing suite that lets you print photos from your social media, make quick adjustments, add stickers, borders, and create collages in just a couple of steps.
The Kodak Step is currently one of the most affordable polaroid printers you can buy to use with your iPhone or iPad. It is surprisingly capable for the money, and the nifty app features make it a perfect choice for anyone looking to print on a budget.
|Fairly low cost per print||Average Zink-based prints|
|Feature-packed companion app||It uses micro-USB for charging|
4. Polaroid Mint Pocket Printer
- Paper Type: Zink
- Print Size: 50.8 x 76.2 mm (2 x 3 in)
- Connectivity: Bluetooth
- Weight: 162g
- Battery: Built-in 900mAh Li-poly rechargeable battery
Polaroid is the American company that pioneered “polaroid” instant film and cameras, so you would expect a portable printer from them to be good. Unsurprisingly, the Polaroid Mint is a fantastic pocket printer that you can carry everywhere. It comes with five attractive color variants: Black, White, Red, Blue, and Yellow.
Coming only at 162 grams, the Polaroid Mint is the lightest handheld printer in the bunch. Its sleek and thin dimensions allow you to easily slide it into your pocket and carry it wherever you go.
The Polaroid Mint uses Zink for its photo printing process just like the Kodak Step. However, the prints come out significantly detailed and color-rich, which can’t be said for most Zink-cartridge-based instant printers. It manages to create 2” x 3” color prints in just under a minute, which is very impressive given its slim form factor.
The Polaroid Mint relies on the official app of the same name to connect to your iPhone and send photos over Bluetooth. Despite having a few bugs, it delivers by far the most polished user experience starting from the intuitive pairing screen to the pre-print photo customizer. You get the option to add some creative flair to your pictures, including stylized texts, scribbles, filters, frames, stickers, and more.
The only caveats of this printer are its relatively short battery life and lengthy charging time over the micro-USB port. You must charge it at least two hours before planning to use it. Other than that, the Polaroid Mint is a doozy of a polaroid printer for the price.
|Cheap running costs||Poor standby time, needs recharging often|
|User-friendly app experience|
|Polaroid’s signature print quality|
5. HP Sprocket Plus
- Paper Type: HP Zink S2 Sticky-Backed Photo Paper
- Print Size: 58 x 86 mm (2.3 x 3.4 in)
- Image Size: 50 x 76 mm (~ 2 x 3 in)
- Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.0
- Weight: 204g
- Battery: Rechargeable Li-ion
The HP Sprocket Plus strikes a spectacular balance between quality and portability. The printer is easy to set up with an iPhone or iPad, thanks to a seamless pairing experience over a Bluetooth connection. After that, all you have to do is load up paper in the back, choose a photo, and start the printing process.
Although it’s a Zink-based polaroid printer, the print-outs are exceptionally sharp, with popping colors and no visible banding. The smudge-proof Zink S2 photo papers are sticker-backed, so you can decorate your prints on photo albums and walls without using extra adhesive.
The HP Sprocket companion app is available on the App Store for both iPhone and iPad models. Like other apps, it provides loads of editing options and social features to make your prints more personal.
What makes the app stand out is its “Embedded Experiences” feature, which allows users to print a still from a video and tag the place it was captured or the people in it. After that, you can scan the physical print with your iPhone camera and see an AR view of the video, which looks pretty neat.
The HP Sprocket Plus has a 1-year limited warranty and it comes in three colors: White, Black, and Red. The battery life on this polaroid printer is subpar and needs you to recharge quite frequently. If that doesn’t bother you, The HP Sprocket Plus is something worth looking into.
|High-quality Zink prints||Mediocre battery life|
|The companion app allows prints from videos||A bit on the expensive side|
|Lightweight and pocketable|
Choosing the Best Polaroid Printers for iPhone
There is a multitude of premium polaroid printers on the market, so making a solid purchase decision can be confusing for iPhone users. The reality is that polaroid printers are a very niche category of products, and they aren’t as well-documented as traditional home and office printers.
Hence, people tend to be overwhelmed with so many choices when choosing a polaroid printer for iPhone. Chances are you are one of them and are eager to know what makes our recommendations the best options in this product category. Here are things we’ve considered:
The first thing that comes to mind when choosing polaroid printers for iPhone is portability. Obviously, you wouldn’t take a big, bulky printer with you outdoors; it has to be convenient enough to carry with you anywhere you might need it.
This is why we decided to pick up only the most portable options when working on this buying guide. All of them work over wireless peer-to-peer connections like Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, so you won’t even need to carry a cord with you to produce prints from your iPhone.
If you don’t care about portability and want larger and higher-resolution photo prints, we highly recommend checking out the following options:
- Canon SELPHY CP1300: Dye-sublimation cartridge printer, high-quality 4” x 6” prints, supports Apple AirPrint, optional battery pack (Check here)
- Kodak Dock Plus (2021 Edition): Dye-sub printer, 4” x 6” laminated prints, USB-C docking pin with separate lightning adapter for iPhone, Wi-Fi connectivity, smart companion mobile app (Check here)
All the polaroid printers we have mentioned in the list use different kinds of printing paper. Some use simpler and cheaper Zink or zero-ink technology, while others use the complex and more expensive dye-sublimation printing process.
If you are after crisp and vibrant prints, choose a polaroid printer that uses dye sublimation. But in case you are on a limited budget, Zink-based printers might be your only choice.
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Lastly, you must make sure that the polaroid printer you are choosing works with your iPhone or iPad. Fortunately, all the models in the above list are officially compatible with the Apple devices, so you won’t really need to worry about it.
Every polaroid printer in the above list comes with either Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connectivity. The pairing process is usually initiated over an official companion app, but some models don’t necessarily prompt users to install them the first time.
We strongly advise you to read and follow the instruction manual carefully if you are unable to send photos to the printer from your Apple device.
There’s an overwhelming amount of options when it comes to polaroid printers for iPhone. However, in this buying guide, we have narrowed down the list to only the five best options for you so that you can decide which one suits your requirements.
With all the hard work and extensive amount of research we have put into this guide, you will certainly find the perfect polaroid printer for your iPhone, no matter the use case. In case you lock on one of our handpicked recommendations, it’s as simple as clicking the included buy link and adding it to your cart!
What is your favorite polaroid printer for iPhone? Do you have any other suggestions? Please do let us know in the comments section below.