Which picture printers are best for the iPhone?

Have you ever been in a situation where you wish you had a small printer ready? Well, a portable printer is exactly the answer.

But don’t think of these gadgets as a way to print out spreadsheets or reports on the way to work. Instead, these are printers that can put your adventures onto photo paper in a matter of seconds. The iPhone’s camera is fantastic, but even when you share your snaps on social media, some compression reduces the quality. With a portable printer, you can capture, print and share your valuable moments on the spot.

Desktop vs. portable

Picture printers for Apple’s iPhone generally come in two sizes, while both are still a fraction of a traditional printer’s dimension.

  • Desktop: Not to be confused with the size of a traditional printer, a desktop photo printer is much smaller, but not small enough to carry around in a pocket or a bag easily. You would still need to place it on a sturdy surface to print photos.
  • Portable (or mobile): A portable printer is about the size of a power bank or about two iPhones stacked up, and can easily fit in your bag. Depending on the manufacturer, they often use Zink Technology to produce the images. This means that the printer doesn’t have ink cartridges or ribbons, but uses heat to activate the pigments in the photo paper.

Printing quality

Of course, the most important aspect of any printer (whether for iPhone photos or traditional paper), is the quality of the end product. Here it can vary widely, but two key aspects to look for are the dots per inch and the size of the paper. Generally, more dots per inch produce a clearer image.

Connection method

Most portable printers connect to the iPhone through a Bluetooth connection. It’s a relatively simple process and follows the same steps as you would to connect a wireless speaker. However, some printers let you dock the iPhone in a tray, which charges the phone and reads the information simultaneously. 

Best picture printers for iPhone

Top desktop printer

HP Sprocket Studio Photo Printer

HP Sprocket Studio Photo Printer 

What you need to know: HP’s mobile printer produces 4-by-6-inch photos on smudge-proof paper that HP says will last for 100 years.

What you’ll love: You can print unedited photos directly from your iPhone, or you can use the Sprocket app to add borders, effects and filters. It also can print augmented-reality photos that transform into videos when viewed through an iPhone.

What you should consider: Some users say the printing cost per photo is higher than expected.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top desktop printer for the money

Kodak Dock Premium Portable Instant Photo Printer

Kodak Dock Premium Portable Instant Photo Printer

What you need to know: This printer is an excellent choice if you need high-quality photos with a lamination finish.

What you’ll love: Through a USB and Bluetooth connection, you can print 4-by-6-inch photos in less than a minute. The printer uses Kodak’s 4Pass system, so photos dry as they come out and are waterproof.

What you should consider: Some reviewers mentioned that it can be challenging to replace the printer cartridge and ribbon.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top mobile printer for iPhone

Canon IVY Wireless Mobile Photo Mini Printer

Canon IVY Wireless Mobile Photo Mini Printer 

What you need to know: Perfect for printing photos on the go, this is about the size of a power bank. 

What you’ll love: It connects through Bluetooth and produces 2-by-3-inch photos with a peel-and-stick backing. The photos have a resolution of 314 by 400 dots per inch.

What you should consider: The cost to print one photo is around 50 cents, and you have to use Canon’s special paper.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top mobile printer for the money

Step Wireless Mobile Photo Mini Printer

Step Wireless Mobile Photo Mini Printer

What you need to know: This affordable power-bank-sized printer is perfect for a night out.

What you’ll love: It gives you 2-by-3-inch photos on sticky-back paper. It connects to iPhone and Android devices through Bluetooth and uses a heat process to develop the images.

What you should consider: It can print 25 photos on a full battery charge, and it takes about a minute to print a photo.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Mobile printer worth considering

Lifeprint 3-by-4.5 Portable Photo And Video Printer for iPhone

Lifeprint 3-by-4.5 Portable Photo And Video Printer for iPhone

What you need to know: This printer not only gives you paper copies, but it also uses augmented reality to bring your photos to life.

What you’ll love: Compatible with iPhone and Android devices through Bluetooth, it creates 3-by-4.5-inch photos. When connected to the internet, you can choose who can send you prints from anywhere in the world. 

What you should consider: The rechargeable battery is only good for about 25 prints per charge.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Charlie Fripp writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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