Instant printers are the new craze and Motorola is now a new player in the scene. The new Instant Printer from Motorola comes in the form of a Moto Mod that only works with Moto Z series phones. But how does it stack up to the other instant printers that are already in the market? Here is the comparison of all the currently available instant printers and Motorola’s Moto Mod printer that will come out in January 2018.
Like most other instant printers in its category, the Motorola Insta-share uses Zink paper to print the photo. Zink or Zero Ink paper allows photos to be printed without any ink in the printer. That means no refilling or no buying ink cartridges.
Using the Moto Mod is simple – you just snap it onto the back of your phone and press the physical shutter button to launch the phone’s camera app. From there you can start shooting photos and get instant 2×3 polaroid prints – it’s that easy.
You can also use the printer to print other photos on your phone’s camera roll. However, this just works with Moto Z series phones that supports Moto Mods. Also, the printer will set you back by $199 when it releases, making it a more expensive option than Polaroid’s own OneStep 2.
Inflated price tags and reduced availability has been an issue with other Moto Mods, such as Motorola’s speaker, projector or the battery pack. In case you do not own a Moto Z device, or you do not want to burn a hole in your pocket, here are a few other options.
HP Sprocket is a $129 Bluetooth enabled pocket printer that will print 2×3 polaroid photos on Zink paper, just like Insta-share. Sprocket does not offer the convenience of the Insta-share. It is a completely different device that you will need to keep with you. Form-factor wise, it is quite a pocketable device that will fit in large pockets or in handbags.
To use the device, you will need to download the app, then pair with the device over Bluetooth and you can print photos right from the app. The USP of the Sprocket is the price and availability, something that Motorola’s Insta-share does not offer, even though it is a more convenient setup.
The Instax from Fujifilm is the printer you need if speed is your concern. In less than 20 seconds, you get full-colour 2×3 polaroid prints on Zink papers. This time is the time taken by the printer to complete the print after you have tapped on the print button on the phone.
However, there is a catch to this fast printing speed. You cannot see the photo right after it is printed. You need to wait a little while for the image to appear on the paper – old-school style.
The Instax will set you back by $199. So, if you own a Moto Z phone, it is better to get the Insta-Share and not the Instax since the former is an add-on for your phone and not a separate physical device.
A nice alternative to HP Sprocket with a similar price tag, Polaroid Zip is the choice for those who want portability. At 2.9″ x 0.9″ x 4.7″ and weighing just 6.6 ounces, this printer is small enough to fit in your purse. The Zip looks much more modern compared to other instant printers – thanks to its tiny form factor.
Being such a small printer also has its downsides, the most prominent being the printing time. Each print job takes over a minute to complete. But then again, print time is inversely proportional to the quality, which makes the Zip a higher quality printer than the Instax.
The Canon Selphy is the instant printer you need if quality comes above everything. If you want a printer that prints as well as the local print shop, then you need to use the Selphy.
Canon does not sacrifice in the form factor department to make a printer that outputs low-quality photos. Hence it is not as pocketable as the other printers. It needs to be plugged in to be working and is much larger than the other instant printers.
Selphy does not need a companion app and a smartphone to work although that is an option too. It comes with an LCD screen, navigation buttons, SD card slot and a USB port. You can use it to select and print photos off an SD card, or even to print photos from your PC.
The Selphy also takes in 4×6 papers and prints in four passes, one colour in each pass. It does not need Zink papers, so the cost of each print also comes down drastically.
If you really need an instant printer that you would occasionally carry around and use indoors, Canon Selphy is the value for money product. Otherwise, HP Sprocket or Polaroid Zip are economic options.
However, those who are using the Moto Z devices and plan to continue buying Moto Z phones can obviously invest in the Insta-Share.