The Best Portable Photo Printer (Guide) – 2016 Reviews

best portable photo printer review guidePortable photo printers allow for easy downloading, printing, and sharing of photos. There are photo printers that range from the simplistic to the very complex. These types of printers have been in use for many years and there is a large selection available to choose from on the market.

Let’s take a closer look at the top 10 portable printers available now on Amazon.

Compare: The 10 Top Rated Portable Photo Printers of 2016

PictureNameBrandPriceRating
PictureNameBrandPriceRating
Selphy CP1200Selphy CP1200
Canon$4.9
Instax Share Smartphone Printer SP-2Instax Share Smartphone Printer SP-2
Fujifilm$$$4.9
ZIP Mobile PrinterZIP Mobile Printer
Polaroid$$4.9
Selphy CP910Selphy CP910Canon$4.8
Instax Share Smartphone Printer SP-1Instax Share Smartphone Printer SP-1Fujifilm$$4.8
PANPRINT01PANPRINT01Pandigital$4.7
Photosmart A636Photosmart A636HP$$$$4.6
Selphy CP740Selphy CP740Canon$4.5
Envy 4520Envy 4520HP$4.4
Phone Photo Wireless PrinterPhone Photo Wireless PrinterZINK$$$4.3

What is a portable photo printer?

A portable photo printer, also called a compact photo printer, is a small printing device that allows you to make physical copies of digital images from your computer or smartphone. They typically comprise an ink cartridge tray, batteries, a paper shelf, a touch screen console, memory card inserts, and other features. They are especially useful when you are trying to print smaller images.

Related: The Best Portable DVD Player (Guide)

What are the advantages?

There are a large number of advantages to using a portable photo printer. Gone are the days of having to wait in a long line at your local photo printing store. With a portable photo printer, you get the convenience of printing from your office or from home. A lot of models are battery powered, so you can use them when you are far from a wall outlet or when you go on a vacation. They have a space saving design and are much more lightweight when compared to regular printers.

Also SeeThe Best All-in-One Printer (Guide)

What are the different types of portable photo printers?

Photo printers come in two different types, one for those who only sometimes print photographs and the other for photography enthusiasts and professionals. After you have a firm understanding of these types, you can purchase a photo printer and be confident that it meets your needs.

Small format photo printers
Small format photo printers, sometimes called portable photo printers or dedicated photo printers, can publish prints at a maximum size of four by six inches. Most of the time, these printers are small and battery powered. Most of these printers use inkjet technology while others use the pricier thermal dye technology. Using Bluetooth technology, you can conveniently print images from a few taps on your smart device.

Near-dedicated photo printer
Small format photo printers will not suffice if you are pursuing photography or graphic design full time. Instead, you will want to get a high-end or near-dedicated photo printer. With near-dedicated printers, you are able to print in larger formats and make larger and more professional quality prints. Compared to small-format photo printers, these printers have many more color options with the most printers having upwards of twelve ink tanks.

Choosing Your Portable Photo Printer

There are a ton of photo printers available on the market. You need to find the best photo printer that matches up to your portability needs and does not require purchasing too many additional accessories. If you are looking for a photo printer that is battery powered, figure out the lifespan of each charge and of the battery itself. A number of photo printers have found creative ways to bypass using ink cartridges. Create a checklist of all of the things to find the best portable photo printer that meets the all of your criteria.

The top 3 portable photo printers on the market

Canon Selphy CP1200 Black Wireless Color Photo Printer

The Selphy is compact, simple to use, and lightweight. You can take it on trips due to its small size, portability, and battery operation. It can handle printing everything from index card sized paper to even several small stickers at a time. It has Bluetooth connectivity so you can access these with any smartphone device. This printer is a great choice if you plan on printing out very small photos, such as passport photographs.

Fujifilm Instax Share Smartphone Printer SP-2

This printer uses the popular Instax mini film, which is ISO 800 speed, and prints crisp, sharp images. The two by three-inch prints are ideal for getting natural skin tones when you have to take images where there are a lot of people in the field of vision. Since it has smart device connect ability, you can print your favorite photos from the ease of your tablet or smartphone. Thanks to the Instax Share SP-2 feature, this printer can act as an independent Wi-Fi hotspot. It incorporates a large number of specialized editing templates and functions so that you can creatively craft your favorite images. Not only that, this printer has the ability to publish information on film prints, such as weather conditions, date, time, and location.

The INSTAX Share is one of the more compact and stylish portable printers available on the market.

Polaroid ZIP Mobile Printer w/ZINK Zero Ink Printing Technology

It is finally possible to have all of the convenience and enjoyment of a Polaroid instant camera print camera with a printer. It includes a rechargeable lithium polymer battery pack that only requires an hour and a half charging time to print twenty-five sheets. The only power and connectivity plugin that is required is a USB cable so it does not require a lot of accessories to work. Users report the prints are vibrant, colorful, and that they look realistic. One of the favorites features of this printer is that it uses Zink zero ink photo paper. Gone are the days of worrying about ribbons and ink cartridges.

With its advanced photo paper coloring technology, you can use this printer on trips around the world and not stress about ink spills. When it comes in contact with heat, this photo paper activates specialized color producing molecules located in the paper itself. The resulting prints are smudge-proof, rich, and stunning.

Factors To Consider When Choosing The Best Printer

Price
A factor that should always be accounted for is the price. If you plan on only printing out portrait shots after annual vacations, it makes more sense to get a more cost efficient model.

Included Features
Depending on the printing requirements that are at hand, you may need to adjust the amount of included features. If you need to print out specialized prints at varying sizes, you should get a model that can handle your requirements.

Accessibility
When you are looking for a wireless photo printer, you need to find one that you can quickly and easily connect to. Since you most likely are looking to use your photo printer on the go, you are going to want to avoid hauling wires with you.

Price

Canon Selphy CP1200 Black Wireless Color Photo Printer

Due to the reduced amount of additional features, this is the most economical model.

Fujifilm Instax Share Smartphone Printer SP-2

Since it comes with a greater number of features, this is one of the more moderately priced options.

Polaroid ZIP Mobile Printer w/ZINK Zero Ink Printing Technology

As a result of the added features, this printer is one of the pricier models available.

Included Features

Canon Selphy CP1200 Black Wireless Color Photo Printer

With just an added battery pack and only a few paper size modifications, this model has very few features.

Fujifilm Instax Share Smartphone Printer SP-2

It comes with its own application and Wi-Fi accessibility, so this printer has a moderate amount of added features.

Polaroid ZIP Mobile Printer w/ZINK Zero Ink Printing Technology

Because it has customized paper and inkless printing, this printer is considered to be one of the more feature heavy models.

Accessibility

Canon Selphy CP1200 Black Wireless Color Photo Printer

The Canon Selphy prints via Bluetooth technology and it therefore easy to connect to with most smartphone devices.

Fujifilm Instax Share Smartphone Printer SP-2

The Fujifilm Instax printer connects to smartphones via Wi-Fi, which means less flexibility compared to the Bluetooth.

Polaroid ZIP Mobile Printer w/ZINK Zero Ink Printing Technology

Since it uses Bluetooth technology, you can print photos with the Polaroid mobile printer almost anywhere.

Our Portable Photo Printer Reviews

Best Cheap: Canon Selphy CP1200 Black Wireless Color Photo Printer

Canon Selphy CP1200 Black Wireless Color Photo PrinterThe Selphy wireless compact photo printer is capable of printing over forty designs and sizes even for such a small size. Since it has Bluetooth connectivity, there are a large number of ways to print without cords. It includes a 2.7-inch tilt-up LCD display in addition to portrait image optimization software. This printer includes several memory card slots, a USB drive, Wi-Fi connectivity, and PictBridge. It is one of the most sought after portable photo printers in its category.

Pros:

You can print wirelessly. It has a compact design. It is easy to use. It is lightweight. There are a number of different types of photos you can print. The printer can handle fifty-four prints on a single charge.

Cons:

It has reduced features. It has difficulty connecting with PCs. The ink cartridges are known to jam. It requires specialized photo paper. Online users report that it has compatibility issues with the IPhone 6.

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Best for the Money: Polaroid ZIP Mobile Printer w/ZINK Zero Ink Printing Technology

Polaroid ZIP Mobile PrinterUsing this printer, you are able to print beautiful and exquisite photographs from a large number of sources. With an hour and a half charge of its rechargeable lithium polymer battery, you are able to print up to twenty-five photos. Thanks to the Zink zero ink paper, worrying about messy ink cartridges is a thing of the past. Its unique use of colorized paper makes it possible to be transported easily. The resulting images are rich and vibrant in addition to being smudge-proof. Because of its USB output, it is pretty much universally connectable.

Pros:

You do not need to worry about smearing the ink. It is portable. You can get a sufficient number of prints with one charge. It connects to most devices.

Cons:

Users have complained about the quality and resolution of the prints. It has a narrower color range. The pictures sometimes print out incomplete. The images are small.

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Best Overall: Fujifilm Instax Share Smartphone Printer SP-2

Fujifilm INSTAX SHARE SP-2With the Fujifilm Instax, you are able to print your images from close to every tablet and smartphone device. Thanks to the Instax Share SP-2, this printer is able to function as its own Wi-Fi hotspot. With all of its innovative templates and editing functions, you will have a lot of creative control when it comes to printing your images. You will love the fact that you can mark your prints with real-time details such as location, date, time, and weather conditions. It includes a handy readout that lets you know just how much battery time and the remaining film that you have left. Users report that this printer works especially well with natural skin tones, so it is an ideal choice if you want to take photos of events, parties, or other social gatherings.

Pros:

It includes a number of extra features. It prints out very sharp and clear prints. It can function as its own Wi-Fi hotspot. It has a battery and remaining prints indicator. The Instax has a photo-editing studio built into the console.

Cons:

It does not come with a power cord. The lifespan of the batteries is not too long. Users have complained that the photos get cut off easily.

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When you want to print out your favorite photos to give to your family or just hang up on your wall, you will need the best portable photo printer. Take in the above considerations so that you can make the most informed decision possible. If you need added features such as Wi-Fi integration or LED indicators, there are more deluxe models available for your needs. Trying to find the best portable photo printer should not be a too difficult if you know what you are looking for and research what is out there.