The Best Portable Photo Printers for iOS and Android Devices

In the age of smartphones and social media, many have lost the desire for a printed photo. But, they still have their place, and mobile printers are rising in popularity. Looking at photos on our phones is great. But, there’s something special about a picture we can hold, show friends and family, and stick to the walls. And if you want a more personal experience than just viewing photos on a screen, it’s time to start printing again.

Few people would consider bringing along a printer on their next trip. Thankfully, the typical bulky printers of the past have scrunched in size, now to only the size of a palm. And it’s easier than ever to turn your phone into an instant camera to share your favorite memories, giving your traditional pictures new life.

Sure, portable printers tend to be more expensive than your average accessory for smartphones. But, they’re worth the investment. Yet, several types of printers are available on the market, all offering different capabilities and features. And some

are better than others. So it’s important to have an idea in mind beforehand. With that, we’ve summarized the top ten best printers today. And we’ve also created an in-depth guide so you’ll know how to access the various options as you’re shopping around.

We pick the best portable printers for photographers on the move – now you can make prints wherever you are!

Best Overall

      Mini Pocket Photo Printer For Mobile phone Android and iOS

Mini Pocket Photo Printer For Mobile phone Android and iOS

D11 Mini Portable Label Printer 

OCTOBER 2020 TOP CHOICE

SAVE
50%

9.8

Excellent

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9.5

Great

8.9

Great

9.8

Excellent

How Does a Portable Photo Printer Work?

There are a number of different technologies used to print photos, some of the more common ones being inkjet photo printers and laser printers, although portable photo printers (without ink) are on the rise. They’re like miniature digital cameras.

So, how does it print without an ink cartridge? The secret is the connection between the camera and your WiFi network through a USB adapter wire. This allows the printer and the camera to connect virtually. If your phone is compatible with the printer it will be able to send image data via radio waves, resulting in a color photo with a peel-off back and tons of decorating options.

Portable photo printers are predictably much smaller than an Inkjet or Laser printer and are convenient for creating instant hard copy images. Without ink cartridges, the maintenance on these printers is also half of the upkeep for a traditional photo printer.

How We Tested

We tested each printer with two smartphones—an iOS iPhone 7 and Google Pixel 2 (Android) by printing both color and black-and-white photos. The phones and printers were connected via Bluetooth. For each test, we noted how long each print took, using up as much photo paper as provided (usually the starter packs had about 10 prints). We also checked the print quality and ease of use.

We compared the quality of the prints for each photo printer we tested.

We attempted to print the same photos for each of the printers tested, but in some cases, we needed to print different photos. For example, when printing an image with sticker options or borders, it had to print from that vendor’s app—not all borders and stickers are the same across printers. After all 10 images were printed, we had several judges look at the images and choose their favorites for photo quality.

What to Look for in Portable Photo Printers

Although smartphone photo printers seem deceptively simple, there are actually a ton of factors to consider when buying one. By taking a moment to learn about the myriad options and features, it’ll be easier for you to choose the perfect photo printer for your needs.

  • Paper and Dye Types: Most printers ship with a small amount of photo paper so you can start using it right out of the box, but it’s up to you to keep up with refills. The smaller photo printers use 2 x 3 inch photo paper for the most part, but there are a few that can print other sizes, ranging from 2.1 x 2.1 inches up to 4 x 6 inches. Dye and paper types vary by printer, as well, but most use ZINK—or zero ink—paper, which has dye crystals embedded in the paper that are activated by heat. Others might work like old-fashioned Polaroids, have all-in-one cartridges just like a regular printer (albeit a miniaturized version), or use four-pass dye sublimation to apply colors.
  • Editing Options: The best portable photo printers have companion apps available through which you can import and edit your photos before printing them. Some of these apps focus on basic edits like cropping, brightening, and adjusting the color balance of your photos, while others go all out and let you add filters, emojis, text, and other fun elements for total customization.
  • Connection Options: There are several ways these printers can connect to your phone to print photos. Some require a physical connection, like through a USB port, while others offer digital connectivity options like Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. The majority of printers also work with both iPhone and Android devices, though not all do, so double-check device compatibility with the printer you want before you make a purchase.
  • Power Source: The majority of mini photo printers use rechargeable batteries. While those batteries make them highly portable, they still have relatively short battery life. Expect anywhere from 10-35 photos per charge, so don’t leave the charging cable behind if you’re planning on doing tons of printing.

Why Trust Us?

Even if you don’t know anything about the phone photo printer, you can still make an informed purchase decision with the correct information. Here, we conduct extensive research on each product category. In order to avoid deviations, we always refuse manufacturers’ quotations for “free” samples. We want to be your trusted source of honest and thorough product reviews.