Compact photo printer turns your iPhone into a Polaroid

Cal Jeffrey

TS Evangelist
Staff member

Polaroid cameras were big in the 1970s and early 80s. Younger generations know the lyric from OutKast’s “HeyYa,” but few have actually had to “shake it like a Polaroid picture.” In a digital age where photos that you take appear instantly on your phone screen and where your entire photo collection can sit in your pocket, the instant camera seems unnecessary.

However, upstart Prynt thinks instant pictures are still a thing, and they might be right. The company has introduced the Prynt Pocket, which is a portable instant printer for the iPhone. The company calls it “the first-ever smartphone printer/phone case,” but it looks a bit too bulky to fit in your pocket, so "case" might not be the right word. However, it would stash just fine in a briefcase or purse.

The device is ink-free, so there is no need to buy ink cartridges or worry about a spillage mishap. You only need to keep it supplied with Zink paper. Zink is specially treated photo paper that reacts to heat. The pictures will not smudge if you touch them and the paper has an adhesive backing so you can paste the pictures in a scrapbook or album with ease.

The Prynt app has basic editing software that can be used to edit photos before printing them. However, the app serves another function as well. Using the software, you can embed a video (up to 10 seconds) within the printed picture. Anyone else with the Prynt app installed can watch the video right on the printed photograph using augmented reality. It is a rather cool looking effect (see above video at 0:20).

The Prynt Pocket is compatible with iPhone 5 and above. It is adjustable, so it works with Plus models. It also has a camera-like grip with a shutter button, so you can snap photos without worrying about whether your finger is in the way.

The size of the print is the only real limitation of the device. Prynt Pocket photos can only be 2x3 inch. Good for an album, but not suitable for framing. Refills of the Zink paper come in packages of 40 sheets for $20, which also seems somewhat expensive. The device comes in three colors and is available for $150 on the Prynt website.

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Uncle Al

TS Evangelist
Well, a bit of a novelty but for practical purposes I would rather upload them to my computer and edit them before printing; but for the younger generation the "have it now" might be enough to carry them. Kind of doubt that it will last very long though ........
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Or you could just pick up an old Polaroid camera from a flea market or charity shop for pennies and buy some new film for it from Impossible Project.

Just sayin'.


TS Evangelist
Newegg sent me an HP Sprocket printer to review and it's amazing. It's the size of a deck of cards, has a rechargeable battery, and the quality of prints is better than that of a "photo center". 400dpi on a 3x2" photo. It's quite the conversation piece watching this tiny thing spit out amazing photos. BUT the Zink paper for the HP Sprocket costs $16.41 for 20 sheets and has a sort of DRM card the printer has to read before it will print. So unless you have deep pockets it's fun for a very short time.

Anyway, the Zink prints not only have 400dpi, but the color range is the best of any printer I've used. Colors pop. Blacks are jet black. No smudging.

Prints are rigid like a business card until you peel the back off and then it's like a stretchy vinyl sticker.

I expect these things to come down in price and become more common. They're already tiny and just going to get smaller.