Like many pocket-sized photo printers, the Mint uses Zink technology—that’s short for “zero ink.” Instead of printing with ink from a cartridge, each 2 x 3-inch sheet of Zink paper ($10 for a 20-pack) has layers of dye crystals that are activated by heat. The Mint produces great results on Zink paper, though sometimes the blacks are a bit more like charcoal. Polaroid’s phone app offers plenty of choices for filters, frames, and stickers, but it lacks the tiling feature of HP’s printer.
Fujifilm Instax Mini Link
The Mini Link doesn’t use paper; it prints smartphone photos directly onto Polaroid-style 2.4 x 1.8-inch instant film, and the results look great. The Instax app is easy to use, and in addition to still photos, it can print a single frame from your favorite home movie. When friends come over, up to five of them can connect their smartphones to the Mini Link and upload an image; the printer will arrange them all on a single sheet of film.
The Sprocket produces images with the deepest blacks we’ve seen from a Zink printer. Of course, that higher quality comes at a steeper price. Connect your phone to the Sprocket using HP’s mobile app, where you can edit your pics and add text and emoji before printing. You can even tile your photos onto multiple sheets of Zink paper—in a 2 x 2 or 3 x 3 arrangement—that you can tape together to create a larger, framable mosaic image.
Stylist: Rosanna Van Straten
When you buy something using the retail links in our stories, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Read more about how this works.
This article appears in the May issue. Subscribe now.
More Great WIRED Stories