Fujifilm has produced a series of adorable, high quality smartphone portable printers that live up to the Fujifilm name. The SP-3 is the latest generation, just becoming available in November 2017.
The Instax Share SP-3 is larger than many of its competitors. It measures 5.1” x 4.5” x 1.7”, so it probably won’t fit in your pocket. But it’s still portable and hand-holdable. It’s beveled design makes it look almost like a long-lost jewel from an adventure film, with the ultimate prize being the 2.4 inch square photo that pops out of the top.
Fans of the old-time instamatic will love that the Instax Share SP-3 spits out as-yet undeveloped photos. They come out fast, just like Polaroids used to do, but they are blank for a little while. You’ll be tempted to shake them, of course, but just waiting patiently will do the trick and you will get pretty good quality photos. You can print from your phone’s gallery, or from various social media apps.
The photos tend to be a little crisper than those from the HP Sprocket, but the cost of both the unit and the refill paper is a lot higher. For ten photos, a refill pack for the Instax Share SP-3 can set you back around $16.99, which is higher even than Fujifilm’s other smartphone pictures.
Aside from its cost, the Fujifilm Instax Share SP-3 is a snazzy little gadget that you will have fun with. If you want good quality photos and a unique design, and you don’t mind paying extra for the unit and the materials, it’s a good buy. There are cheaper options, though, with comparable photo quality
If “adorable” is on your list of criteria for smartphone printers, put the HP Sprocket on your list. It looks like a smartphone itself – a sleek new iPhone, maybe, but a little chunkier. This model is pocket-sized and measures about .9” x 3” x 4.5” and weighs less than half a pound. It also comes in two colors – black with silver trim and white with gold trim – for whatever style suits you best.
Like other handheld smartphone printers, the HP Sprocket allows you to easily print over WiFi from your smartphone or tablet. The app can connected through your Facebook, Instagram, and other social media apps for direct, fast printing. The Sprocket app even can take a picture itself if you are not working from your gallery or social media pages.
Photos print on “Zink” (zero ink) paper. Heat activates crystals inside the paper so they show color. The only size print you can get out of the Sprocket is 2 x 3, which is somewhat limiting, but also not surprising considering the size of the unit. The photos themselves take about 40 seconds to print and the quality is not astounding. Generally, the Zink method is not the best for clarity and crispness.
The HP Sprocket is certainly adorable, and fun for just sharing tiny pictures with your friends. If that’s all you want, it is certainly worth sliding into your pocket. The cost is comparable to other smartphone printers and far less than the Fujifilm Instax Share SP-3, at around $129.95 and around ten dollars for 20 photos’ worth of Zink paper.
You will pay more for the Fujifilm Instax Share SP-3, and you’ll keep paying and paying for film packs. The photo quality is sharper, though, and if quality prints are your priority, the Fujifilm Instax Share SP-3 is a good choice for you. If you are more into the fun of the portable printer, the HP Sprocket Portable Photo Printer may be worth the compromise in quality.