Home » Print & Scan » The Best Portable Photo Printers in 2020

The Best Portable Photo Printers in 2020

As technology advances, everything gets smaller. New features are released every day, and very soon it will be necessary to pack a printer with you when you are travelling—or maybe in the future, printers will be integrated into cars.

Today, we will be testing some of the best-selling portable printers available on the market, so that you can determine which one is best for you.

Our testing will be based on a rating system from 1 to 10. We will be testing things like design, print quality, ease of use, app features, printing speed, accessories, and (most important) average cost per print.

So, let’s jump into it. Our contenders are:

Polaroid ZIP Wireless Mobile Photo Mini Printer
Polaroid ZIP Wireless Mobile Photo Mini Printer Our Pick
Sleek, portable design; compact, pocket-sized, standalone printer makes it easy and convenient to instantly print pics to share, with no ink, toners, film, or cartridges.
HP Sprocket Portable Photo Printer 2nd Edition
HP Sprocket Portable Photo Printer 2nd Edition Also Good
The overall print quality was extremely good, with reasonably true colors. The Sprocket Portable Printer did well in preserving detail in very bright and dark areas.
Canon Ivy Wireless Color Photo Printer
Canon Ivy Wireless Color Photo Printer
Overall, the print quality was very good. The prints look faded compared to how you see them on your mobile device, so you can edit the photo within the app before printing.
Canon SELPHY CP1300 Photo Printer
Canon SELPHY CP1300 Photo Printer
However, we also have to mention that this is the only printer on the list that doesn’t use Zink technology, so you will have to buy the ribbon.
Polaroid Mint Pocket Printer
Polaroid Mint Pocket Printer
The Mint is one of the smallest and lightest mobile printers around. With a quick charge time and a battery capable of printing 50 pics at full charge, this pocket printer packs a powerful punch.
Fujifilm Instax Mini Link Smartphone Printer
Fujifilm Instax Mini Link Smartphone Printer
The Instax Mini Link Smartphone Printer is a fun, compact, interactive wireless printer that lets users print photos instantly on Instax mini film, from any smartphone or tablet.

Best Portable Photo Printers in 2020

  1. Polaroid ZIP Wireless Mobile Photo Mini Printer
  2. HP Sprocket Portable Photo Printer 2nd Edition
  3. Canon Ivy Wireless Color Photo Printer
  4. Canon SELPHY CP1300 Photo Printer
  5. Polaroid Mint Pocket Printer
  6. Fujifilm Instax Mini Link Smartphone Printer

1. Polaroid ZIP Wireless Mobile Photo Mini Printer

Design & Details

Sleek, portable design; compact, pocket-sized, standalone printer makes it easy and convenient to instantly print pics to share, with no ink, toners, film, or cartridges. It’s very handy and easily fits in your pocket. It also comes in different colors to fit your taste (Black, Navy Blue, Orange, White).

However, if you’re looking for accessories for this printer specifically, you won’t find a lot—maybe a couple of sleeves and that’s it.

  • Dimensions: 7.4 x 11.9 x 2.1
  • Weight: 168g
  • Battery: Rechargeable 500 mAh lithium 
  • Charge time: 1.5 hours
  • Prints per charge: 25

Print Quality

The print quality of this small beast was excellent; the colors were crisp and clean, and the contrast was so good that I got the feeling that I could print a high-quality photo, though in a small size. By far, this had the best quality of any printer in the bunch, except the Canon (and soon you will understand why).

Printing Speed

It takes just 16 seconds to complete a print using this small printer.

App Features

The app is very easy to use and has some decent features, like a pre-set filter, frames, and stickers. You can also create and print collages, but that’s it—nothing more than basic features. 

What I don’t understand is why Polaroid created different apps for the different types of printers that it produces.

Cost Per Photo

This small, sleek printer will cost you around $130, and using Zink technology, you won’t spend a lot of money on ink. You can buy the Polaroid ZIP 2”x3” photo paper in many options, from 20-sheet packs up to 50-sheet packs, with a price range from $11 to $37. Therefore, the average cost per photo will be almost $0.88.

Check Polaroid ZIP Price

2. HP Sprocket Portable Photo Printer 2nd Edition

Design & Details

This Sprocket portable printer comes in four colors: Noir, Luna Pearl, Blush, and Lilac. I have to say, I love this design. It’s almost the same size as most of the other portable printers on the market, but this one doesn’t feel so bulky in the hand.

It has a marble-like finish, which makes it look like a luxury product, with only one button at the back, a USB charger port, and only one light at the front. It feels awesome in the hand.

The good thing about this printer is that HP offers a huge selection of accessories for it, such as a carrying sleeve, wallet case, and studio bag.

  • Dimensions: 11.76 x 8 x 2.49
  • Weight: 172g
  • Battery: Rechargeable 550 mAh internal battery
  • Charge time: 1 hour
  • Prints per charge: 30

Print Quality

The printer quality is very good, and it doesn’t look cheap. However, it is built entirely from plastic. As a matter of fact, it feels like a luxury product with its marble-like design. Still, I’m not feeling confident about dropping it.

The overall print quality was extremely good, with reasonably true colors. The Sprocket Portable Printer did well in preserving detail in very bright and dark areas. The print quality was slightly better than that of other portable printers; however, you still can’t compare the prints to professional prints.

Printing Speed

It takes only 12 seconds to fully print a photo.

App Features

When I first installed the HP Sprocket app, I thought it was pretty basic. It can pull photos from your camera roll, Instagram, Google, or Facebook account. Because it also has access to your camera, you can take a photo of anything you want to print. 

However, my thoughts changed when I clicked on the Edit button. That’s where all the fun starts. There are lots of features, such as tapping on the pencil icon to edit your image; applying filters, stickers, text, and other extras; using two fingers to zoom, rotate, or resize your photo; and tapping on the print icon to print the photo. You can also save, share, or print multiple copies.

One awesome feature is Tiles Printing, which allows you to print your photo on a pattern of either 2×2 or 3×3.

Cost Per Print

The printer will cost you around $99, and using Zink technology, you won’t spend a lot of money on ink. You can buy the HP white photo paper in many options, from 20-sheet packs up to 100-sheet packs, with a price range from $13 to $65. Therefore, the average cost per photo will be almost $0.95.

Check HP Sprocket II Price

3. Canon Ivy Wireless Color Photo Printer

Design & Details

The Canon Ivy Mini Photo Printer is small enough to fit in your pocket, so you can take it just about anywhere. It has rounded edges and features only one function button. The back lid comes out, making it easy to access the photo paper. This small printer comes in Mint Green, Rose Gold, and Slate Grey, which instantly creates a fun and playful feel. The number of accessories for this printer is limited.

  • Dimensions: 11.9 x 8.1 x 1.8 cm
  • Weight: 169g
  • Battery:  500 mAh lithium polymer batteries 
  • Charge time: 1.5 hours
  • Prints per charge: 20

Print Quality

Overall, the print quality was very good. The prints look faded compared to how you see them on your mobile device, so you can edit the photo within the app before printing. I feel like the prints tend to be a bit on the cooler side, or maybe there’s not enough contrast. However, in general, they compared well to other prints.

Printing Speed

It takes about 19 seconds to complete a print. I have to mention that a little bit of sound came from the printer while it was in operation (though maybe it was just my unit).

App Features 

The app has all the same features as the other apps. You can print from your camera roll or connect a bunch of social media accounts and print directly from there. You can also do all your basic editing and select a pre-defined filter from within the app. Also, you can print different photos as collages.

If you enable the notification for this app, you will start getting notifications to print your photos.

Cost Per Print

The Canon printer will cost you around $130. As almost all the printers use Zink technology, you won’t spend extra money on ink. You can buy the photo papers for this printer in a 50-sheet pack, which will run you from $25. Therefore, the average cost per photo will be almost $0.63.

Check Canon IVY Price

4. Canon SELPHY CP1300 Photo Printer

Design & Details

The SELPHY from Canon is a big printer with a paper tray and an LCD to show you the available options. It’s not as small as the other printers on this list, but it’s a wireless compact photo printer, giving you the option of connecting a battery and using it on the go. However, it will be bulkier and heavier. Or, using the power adaptor, you can simply connect it directly to the outlet. With the tilting 3.2″ LCD screen, it’s easy to choose, edit, and print your favourite photos from an SD card or any social media.

You will be able to find some accessories for this printer, like cases and bags. You will definitely need one because it’s very hard to carry the printer around. In terms of color, you have a choice between black and white.

  • Dimensions: 13.72 x 18.03 x 6.35
  • Weight: 862g without the battery and 977g with the battery
  • Battery: 2000 mAh lithium (you must buy it as an extra; the cost will be around $36 for a third-party product and around $160 for the Canon OEM)
  • Charge time: 4 hours
  • Prints per charge: 54

Print Quality

I have to say that the print quality of this printer doesn’t compare to that of any other printer on our list, maybe because it uses thermal dye-sublimation printing, which allows the ink to dry instantly. Its prints are long-lasting (rated for 100 years). Basically, the paper is fed through the printer feeder and then goes in and out (or passes) four times—one for each color (Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow) and another pass at the end for a clear coat. On each pass, a different color dye from the ribbon is sublimated and deposited on the photo paper.

However, we also have to mention that this is the only printer on the list that doesn’t use Zink technology, so you will have to buy the ribbon. It also uses 4×6 paper, which may be a factor accounting for the excellent quality that you will get out of this printer.

Printing Speed

Because the printer prints in four passes, it took around 42 seconds to fully print a photo.

App Features

The good thing about this printer is that it uses wireless AirPrint to print from anywhere on your mobile device. You can print using technically any software — for example, Photoshop or the photo app on your phone.

Cost Per Print

The printer itself will cost around $150, though you should keep in mind that this doesn’t include the portable battery pack, which will cost you around another $150. Moreover, you need to use ribbons or a cartridge, so you will have to buy both the ribbons and the paper in a full pack together—anywhere from a one-pack (which includes 100 sheets and one ribbon), which will cost you around $40, all the way up to a nin pack, which will cost you a little over $200.

Therefore, the average cost per photo (portable) will come to almost $0.77.

Check Canon SELPHY Price

5. Polaroid Mint Pocket Printer

Design & Details

The Mint is one of the smallest and lightest mobile printers around. With a quick charge time and a battery capable of printing 50 pics at full charge, this pocket printer packs a powerful punch. However, when it comes to the design, I don’t like the printer’s sharp edges. It would have been better if the printer had been designed like the ZIP.

It comes in Black, Yellow, Blue, White, and Red, so you can choose the color you like.

The only accessories available for this printer specifically are cases.

  • Dimensions: 7.6 x 1.3 x 2.5 cm
  • Weight: 204g
  • Battery:  1000 mAh lithium polymer batteries 
  • Charge time: 2 hours
  • Prints per charge: 50

Print Quality

The colors are sharp and the lines are clear. I’m not a big fan of the shadows, as they’re a bit on the dark side. The printer does a great job on the mid-tones, but unfortunately, compared it to its little sister the ZIP, it loses.

Printing Speed

It takes only about 15 seconds to completely print a photo.

App Features

Again, like with the Polaroid ZIP, the app is very easy to use and has some decent features, like a pre-set filter, frames, and stickers. You can also create and print collages, as well as connect to your social network accounts to print directly from there. 

What I don’t understand is why Polaroid created different apps for the different types of printers that it produces.

Cost Per Print

The printer will cost you around $95, and using Zink technology, you won’t spend a lot of money on ink. You can buy the Polaroid ZIP 2”x3” photo paper in many options, from 20-sheet packs up to 50-sheet packs, with a price range from $11 to $37. Therefore, the average cost per photo will be almost $0.85.

Check Polaroid MINT Price

6. Fujifilm Instax Mini Link Smartphone Printer

Design & Details

The Instax Mini Link Smartphone Printer is a fun, compact, interactive wireless printer that lets users print photos instantly on Instax mini film, from any smartphone or tablet. With a motion sensor, the printer is intuitive and seamlessly connects with the app through Bluetooth.

The Mini Link is available in 3 trendy colours: Ash White, Dark Denim, and Dusky Pink.

The printer has a decent number of accessories, from cases to sleeves.

  • Dimensions: 12.7 x 7.62 x 3.03
  • Weight: 209g
  • Battery: Rechargeable 1000 mAh lithium 
  • Charge time: 2 hours
  • Prints per charge: 30

Print Quality  

Instant prints can’t compare to professional prints, but overall, the photos were exceptionally rich in color. Brown hair or dark blue skies may look black but, generally, the color balance is consistent. Because the Mini Link process is all digital, the film develops pretty true to the original image

When we talk about quality, we need to mention one very important thing: colors. The colors will be a bit off if you didn’t adjust them in the app knowing the result that you would get in the actual print. They definitely remind me of photos from the early ‘80s.

Printing Speed

It was very easy to print photos using this printer. It takes only 12 seconds to fully print a photo; however, it takes up to 2 minutes to fully develop the photo.

App Features

The Mini Link app includes a variety of fun features. With Sketch and Edit mode, one can use any handwriting, artwork, or photography to create unique transparent overlays for their prints. For more fun, upload a photo of you along with a photo of a friend—or even a celebrity—to test your compatibility! Several filters and frames are also available for customizing each photo before printing.

The printer feels a bit bulky in the hand—and I’m saying this as someone with big hands. Because of its smooth design, it feels comfortable, but I can’t imagine someone carrying this for a couple of hours while moving around, taking pictures, and printing them. That’s why a case or bag comes in handy.

Cost Per Print

The printer will cost you around $130, and using Zink technology, you won’t spend a lot of money on ink. You can buy Fujifilm White Exposures film in many options, from 20-sheet packs up to 120-sheet packs, with a price range from $19 to $110. Therefore, the average cost per photo will be almost $1.22.

Check Fuji INSTAX Price

Overall Conclusion

In this overall conclusion, we will list the printers in order of preference for each category that we tested: design, print quality, app features, and cost per print.

PrinterHPZIPMINTIVYSELPHYInstax
Size11.76 x 8 x 2.49 cm7.4 x 11.9 x 2.1 cm7.6 x 1.3 x 2.5 cm11.9 x 8.1 x 1.8 cm13.72 x 18.03 x 6.35 cm12.7 x 7.62 x 3.03 cm
Weight172 g168 g204 g169 g977 g209 g
Battery550mAh Lithium Polymer 500mAh Lithium Polymer 1000mAh Lithium Polymer 500mAh Lithium Polymer2000mAh Lithium Polymer1000mAh Lithium Polymer
Charge time1 Hour1.5 Hours2 Hours1.5 Hours4 Hours2 Hours
Prints per charge252550205430
Print time12 Sec16 Sec15 Sec19 Sec42 Sec19 Sec + 2 mins to develop
Print paperZink Photo, stick paper Zink Photo, stick paper Zink Photo, stick paper Zink Photo, stick paper Canon SheetsInstax Mini, color paper
Cost per print$0.95$0.88$0.85$0.63$0.77$1.22
Print format2X32×32X32X34X61.8×2.4
WirelessBluetoothBluetoothBluetoothBluetoothWi-FiBluetooth
PriceCHECKCHECKCHECKCHECKCHECKCHECK

Design Ranking

  1. HP Sprocket Portable Photo Printer 2nd Edition 
  2. Polaroid ZIP Wireless Mobile Photo Mini Printer
  3. Canon Ivy Wireless Color Photo Printer
  4. Polaroid Mint Pocket Printer
  5. Fujifilm Instax Mini Link Smartphone Printer 
  6. Canon SELPHY CP1300 Photo Printer

The winner in this category is the HP Sprocket Portable Photo Printer.

Weight Ranking

  1. Polaroid ZIP Wireless Mobile Photo Mini Printer (168g)
  2. Canon Ivy Wireless Color Photo Printer (169g)
  3. HP Sprocket Portable Photo Printer 2nd Edition (172g)
  4. Polaroid Mint Pocket Printer (204g)
  5. Fujifilm Instax Mini Link Smartphone Printer (209g)
  6. Canon SELPHY CP1300 Photo Printer (977g)

Print Quality Ranking

  1. Canon SELPHY CP1300 Photo Printer
  2. Polaroid ZIP Wireless Mobile Photo Mini Printer
  3. Canon Ivy Wireless Color Photo Printer
  4. HP Sprocket Portable Photo Printer 2nd Edition 
  5. Polaroid Mint Pocket Printer
  6. Fujifilm Instax Mini Link Smartphone Printer 

Without a doubt, the Canon SELPHY CP1300 Photo Printer has the best print quality of all the printers on this list.

Cost Per Print Ranking

  1. Canon Ivy Wireless Color Photo Printer, with a cost of $0.63 per print
  2. Canon SELPHY CP1300 Photo Printer. with a cost of $0.77 per print
  3. Polaroid Mint Pocket Printer, with a cost of $0.85 per print
  4. Polaroid ZIP Wireless Mobile Photo Mini Printer, with a cost of $0.88 per print
  5. HP Sprocket Portable Photo Printer 2nd Edition, with a cost of $0.95 per print 
  6. Fujifilm Instax Mini Link Smartphone Printer, with a cost of $1.22 per print

The Winner Is…

We have to say, if you are looking for a small portable printer to carry anywhere, the winner is the Polaroid ZIP Wireless Mobile Photo Mini Printer, as it performed well in every category. Its portability makes it the winner over the Canon SELPHY CP1300 Photo Printer.

Don’t get me wrong; the whole idea behind this comparison is to determine the best portable printer. The Canon SELPHY CP1300 Photo Printer performed excellently, but I can’t get over the size and the fact that I have to connect it to a power adaptor. If I needed a printer to stay on my desk, I would rather get a bigger photo printer that would give me more options and better quality.

Other good option and our runner-ups are the HP Sprocket II (best in terms of design) and the Canon Ivy (best in terms of cost per print).


As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Certain content that appears on PhotoWorkout.com comes from Amazon. This content is provided ‘as is’ and is subject to change or removal at any time.

3 thoughts on “The Best Portable Photo Printers in 2020”

  1. If you begin to notice split ends and frizz developing after two months, then produce a schedule that enables one to get a trim every eight
    weeks. This critique hopes to create up for
    that by giving you which has a useful reserve of information for this matter.
    Once you accomplish your desired results you will need to protect
    your skin layer using a good quality make-up containing sunblock.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top