A Polaroid instant printer for your smartphone

By Larry Magid

Kids and adults too are taking lots of pictures with their phones and now there’s a way to instantly print them out.

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Polaroid Zip printer

I paired it via NFC with my Android phone (it also pairs via Bluetooth) and used the phone to snap some pictures from the regular camera app and from the Polaroid app. Once the picture is on the screen you then can route it to the little printer and, about 30 seconds later, out pops a 2 x 3 inch print. It’s not the greatest quality print in the world, compared to a high-end ink jet printer or a professional lab, but it’s pretty good.

The paper, which costs $25 for a 50 pack, is embedded with dye crystals that are clear until the printer applies heat to them. The printer itself weighs about 6 ½ ounces and is small enough to fit into a shirt pocket. It charges with a Micro-USB cable so there’s no need to replace batteries though a charge is only good for about 25 prints, so if you’re doing a lot of printing, you’ll need to keep a charger nearby.

The printer holds ten sheets of paper at a time.

Those 2×3 prints are, admittedly, pretty small. The Polaroid rep who pitched me the camera called them “fun sized.” But they do fit easily into a wallet and, as an added bonus, you can peel off the back of the paper and stick them to a wall, notebook or anything else.

This is a fun camera to have at a party or other gathering where people might want to go home with prints or pass them around. Sure, you can always post images from digital cameras or phones to Facebook or email them to friends, but there is still something kind of cool about a hard copy of a picture.