With more and more people using mobile devices as their main entertainment and work tools, printers are less common in the home. Surely you have uploaded your favorite photos on Facebook or Instagram, but there is still space to frame and take physical photos. In this comparison you will find the best mobile printer according to your needs. After testing the most relevant of the market we have finished with the following.
Which ones are selling the most?
- Xiaomi TEJ4018GL — Portable 300 DPI Pocket Mini AR Photo Printer with DIY Share 500 mAh, …
Scan AR photos: just record or upload any video while printing photos, and you can experience the real and dynamic AR photos at any time …
Portable Printer Mini Mobile Printer Photographic Printer Mini Mobile Thermal Printer …
【Immortalize your best moments, mini gift printers】 The mini printer is small and light, with a design the size of the palm of your hand, …
Canon Zoemini Pv-123 — Mini printer (Bluetooth, USB, 314 x 600 dpi, Canon Mini Print) color white
- Print from your mobile device
mobile printer by function
Below we have made a section in which we have put them to compete with each other, but first we will look one by one at their aspects and what has stood out when we have tested them.
Best value for money
Somewhat cheaper than the other mobile printers, we find the CP1200. A less compact but more complete model. It continues to allow us great mobility, with an attached battery and a button dedicated to Wi-Fi. On a single charge you can print up to 54 photos, compared to far less quantities of previous or past Selphy models.
- Canon SELPHY CP1200 — Photo Printer (Dye-sublimation, WiFi, USB 2.0, PictBridge)
Best value for money . The cheapest both to buy and in long-term maintenance. In addition, the quality is also the best although it has to be plugged in.
Again, we come across a mobile photo printer made more for fun than professional use, unless your business is all about taking snapshots as samples and such. It has characteristics that make it useful and enjoyable . From printing passes, messages or photos for albums, also making up to 8 collages per page. In this case we find an Air Print printer, which means that you can connect it from your iPhone or iPad without having to download any type of driver that you would need on a PC or Mac.
This Canon SELPHY CP1200 is a model that we have already seen in our comparison of printers in the photographic category (you can use the menu or web browser to find it if you are interested), so we discussed it a bit in passing. What you have to know in terms of quality is that it does have bright and quite vibrant colors . Again, a tool to have fun and easily make memories with your mobile.
This Polaroid was another mobile printer that we wanted to try because of the nice words. Without a doubt it is very compact and light , not even reaching 200 grams of weights. In fact, it is not much thicker than the smartphone with which you intend to use it. You can easily hold it in your hand and it fits perfectly in your jacket pocket. In this aspect, the only thing that could be improved would be that the cap to put photo paper easily pulled out a hair with the pressure of the thumb.
2. Polaroid Zip — Mobile Printer, Bluetooth, Nfc, Micro USB, Zink Zero Ink Technology, 5 x 7.6 cm, …
More portable . It is the one that weighs less, with a smaller size than the rest, the photos are clear, without spots and although the quality is not perfect, it is the one that is in the middle of the three.
Like the previous HP, Polaroid made the Zip easy to set up . Ironically, the brand has made it so simple that we have made it complicated for ourselves, taking more steps than necessary. To configure, we only have to download and install the associated Zip app on the smartphone and print from a mobile by linking it with Bluetooth or NFC . You will only have to put the paper correctly and you will have it ready.
It has a lithium battery, and you can charge the Polaroid with a micro USB-USB cable. The only physical control is the power button placed inside. It is the easiest thing you can find in a printer. Another reason for being so is because the Zero Ink Printing (ZINK) system, instead of using ink and toner, the paper uses heat-sensitive glass sealed with protective polymer, and heats them up in less than a minute .
It is true that getting a result is not the cheapest, since a batch of 30-sheet paper costs about € 10–20 depending on where you buy it, but the photos are clear and without stains , although at low resolutions they results are a bit darker than you would expect. You are not going to buy it to have the best quality (for this you already buy a photographic printer ), they are to have a process, decent in quality but fun and easy to remove . Something we liked is that the paper can be glued from the back , so you can use the photos as stickers .
The app that controls this mobile printer has an intuitive interface , although we have found that perhaps too many help boxes appear that already bother a bit the second time you see them. We do not complain much, since it lets you print photos captured with the smartphone camera or whatever you have in memory. In addition you can also do basic editing, for example if you want to compensate the blacks, rotate them, reduce them or apply filters to the colors.
We liked that it can produce collages of up to 9 images , although it thinks that the result will be quite small. You can add paintings, borders, icons and more, something that users over 12 will undoubtedly use to have a good time. In fact, you can even add secret messages with QR codes that can lead to websites, links, audio messages or others. If you want to use it a bit more professionally, you can also create professional cards, although in this aspect it does not allow much control over the text.
Best speed and portable ratio
First of all we have this HP, which for less than € 150 you take the photos of your mobile in small prints. It is very easy to operate and use. The app for both iOS and Android offers fun editing and printing options . We have taken a little more than ten photos and we liked the exhibition of all of them. While it is true that the trend of snapshots seems to have a slightly clearer trend, but not to the point that we would touch options before.
HP Sprocket Portable Photo Printer (Inkless Printing, Bluetooth, 5 x 7.6 cm …
Best speed-portable ratio . The result is looser than the rest, but very easy to operate, with good exposure and with features in social networks that make it very user-friendly.
The color is impressive, the white balance is great as is the saturation . Also, as we have already mentioned, the printing process is very user-friendly. The application keeps track of what you have already printed . The Instax also incorporates a reprint button in case you want to make a copy without having to touch all the options again. Of course, it is also very good for me to show you how many pages are left in the mobile printer, so you don’t have to open it to check.
If you have a SLR / DSLR and you can send jpegs to your device, then you can print them with the HP. For those who have a camera with Wi-Fi or certain connectivity, it is especially easy to transmit photos of it to your mobile. Also while editing with your app you can save the changes and print it after touching everything with your smartphone.
As if that weren’t enough, this camera also lets you print from Facebook or Instagram . Regarding the connection, we did not have any kind of problem connecting a multitude of devices to the same printer. But something to keep in mind is that unless you’ve had a mobile photo printer before, you don’t know exactly what the end result of the printing will be until you’ve gotten a few out and you know it from the street.
The only thing that we can say as a negative aspect or that could be improved on this thing, is that well, you will not have the same element of surprise as with an instant camera. That is, with those you make the photo and it is printed directly, but with this you can review it and decide whether to take it or not, but yes, it is a very fun gadget . But you already know that it is not a substitute for printed products, such as albums and others. It’s great for capturing moments like holidays or special occasions .
As this model is very portable , you can take it wherever you want, be it to take wedding photos and make instant memories. In fact you can give a souvenir to your friends or clients so that they will have even more desire to receive the entire photography set. You see that the uses can be as many as you can think of. Plus kids love instant reveals like these, so if you have little ones around you you can expect to have a lot of fun.
Comparison between our favorites
Do they all look the same? Due to the results and characteristics, they may seem similar. However, to get rid of doubts if you do not know which printer for mobile to buy, we have put these “to fight”. These have been the results.
More portable: Polaroid Zip
If you are thinking of buying an instant printer like this, chances are you want it portable, or at least you don’t have to worry about where you constantly take it. In this category we have eliminated the Canon Selphy quite quickly, as it weighs about a kilogram and has to be plugged in to work.
Between the Instax and the Zip, they both fit easily in a backpack and weigh grams. But side by side the Zip stands out as it is more modern and has a much more attractive monitor panel to operate.
All three printers will take your snapshot in a matter of minutes, but only the Instax will do it in seconds . The speed we are talking about here refers to the time the photo is taken to print since we press the button that orders it.
Surprisingly, we felt that the Polaroid took its time despite being newer. The Canon by its side also took more than a minute. In fact, it prints color in color, up to a total of four.
So the HP wins, but the thing is tricky, because unlike the other two, the photo is not ready once it has come out . You’ll have to shake it old school . Well, you don’t have to, but you will have to wait. For us it is a feature that wears out and that makes this mobile printer even more appealing.
Best quality: Canon Selphy
It is not easy to make Air Print printers that you can put in your hand that on top of the photos you take are of quality. This is surely why Canon refused to sacrifice quality for size. Although it is not going to dig in your bag, if it would in a backpack, but also print with similar quality to your copy shop .
If we compare it with the others, the Instax is the one that disappoints a little more even though it is faster. Sometimes you will see that the result is somewhat fuzzy, but some are looking for that nostalgic feeling and will like this, but for most consumers, the quality is not worth the purchase of paper.
So we have that the Polaroid Zip is in the middle, producing shiny results but if you look closely they have some grain. Let’s say that’s what you expect from an instant mobile printer.
Cheapest: Canon Selphy
Not only to buy, but also to maintain . The price difference between them is not very large, but before you make a decision based on this, consider the paper factor . Depending on how often you decide to print, one that you demand a lot of can get expensive very quickly. Of the three printers, the Canon Selphy ends up being somewhat cheaper at around 33 cents per print.
What if I don’t want a small, instant printer?
Believe it or not, some people have come this far not looking for a printer that they can use with their mobile but that is NOT instant . We have you covered too.
All those that you will find on our page compared and analyzed are compatible to print from mobile . To this day and as we have said in the first paragraph, brands know that users use their devices constantly as main tools, so it will not be difficult for you to find an Air Print or Android-compatible printer, because they will all have some kind of connectivity type wifi , Bluetooth or NPC.
So the only thing we have left to recommend is that you look for the ideal type of printer for you. If you already have it clear, you will only have to write a couple of words to our search engine or use the menu and you will find the best in your category that you can print from your mobile.
How to print from mobile
Ok, you have your mobile photo printer or if you are not thinking about buying it, but first you want to know how to do it to print from mobile. Here we show it to you so you can see that it is very simple and it is not more complicated than it sounds. The truth is that knowing that you are printing something from anywhere with the internet is a good feeling, let’s see it.
Google Cloud Print
It is the official Google solution for printing from more limited devices. Whether you have an Android phone, Android tablet, or a Chromebook. Before this, it was necessary to have a third-party app, but now Goolge gives it to us.
First, you have to make your printer available via Google Cloud Print. You can do this by connecting it to a computer and activating Cloud Print in Google Chrome (the browser). In this way, your machine will be associated with your Google account and you will be able to print from anywhere.
Then install the Android application. Open a new tab on the web or the document you want to print, click on the Share button and share the document with the Cloud Print application. This way you will be able to remove leaves from there. Remember that here you will have to be using the same Google account in Chrome and Cloud Print.
As this application works with the internet, you can use this feature to print from anywhere with your mobile printer. In case you are using a desktop computer or a laptop. The Chrome browser has built-in support for using Cloud Print, and it has cool features, like sharing the printer with other Google accounts and giving people the ability to pull out sheets as well.
Print to PDF
A skill that is not only useful for printing on your computer. On your Android phone or Tablet, you may want to get a PDF document that you want to access and archive with longer, even if you don’t have an internet connection. Still there is no option to “print” in Android applications, so the option to do this is not so obvious.
To know how to print from your mobile as before, you will need to use the Share option. You click on whatever application you are using, and select the app with which you would like to share the content. You will only need an application that converts the web into a PDF file.
Cloud Print also lets you save your documents in PDF format, you just have to click Share again, click Cloud Print and use the Save to Google Drive option. This will save the copy in PDF. Then you can go to Drive to access it if you don’t have internet.
Print with specific brands
Some other modern mobile printer is wifi and allows you to connect with the computer wirelessly. This means that technically your Smartphone or Tablet could connect using Wi-Fi to the printer and print, without a physical connection.
To do this you need a Wi-Fi printer and an Android application that supports printing. For example, HP offers ePrint , Epson offers Epson iPrint, Canon Easy-PhotoPrint, or Samsung offers Mobile Print to take documents, scan and even send faxes. We have already commented on it a bit but each printer brand has its own way of doing it. In this aspect, you will only have to make sure that the manufacturer is the model you buy, and which application you will need as well as the features it incorporates.
Print directly from USB, Bluetooth, or the network
Let’s say you have a printer plugged into your Windows network. Alternatively you may have a printer that you want to physically connect to your device with USB. Or that you have it wireless with Bluetooth.
All these types of printer are supported by Android. Google recommends touching the Cloud Print or PC options to connect it, since Android does not support all these types of printers.
If you want to print directly with one of these, you need a third-party application. Unfortunately they don’t have much quality that they do it for free. One of the ones I like the most is, for example, PrinterShare with which you can print on a Windows network, Bluetooth or even USB. In the case but you want to use advanced features, you will have to pay about 10 euros for the Premium version of this app. Although good, you can print test documents.
Either way, what we recommend for convenience is Google Cloud Print, or if you have an Air Print printer because you have an Apple device, it will also make it easy for you. In an idea world, with Google Cloud Print you don’t have to keep your mobile printer connected directly to a computer. Because you can remove sheets in others, but it does not give such good support, it is better in this case to use the specific applications of each manufacturer, since third-party applications cannot work in some cases.