The world of instant cameras and films has seen a spike in recent years, with products like Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 and Canon IVY Cliq. And it doesn’t look like it’s going to stop anytime soon. Fujifilm has just recently unveiled a new wireless photo printer by the name of Fujifilm Instax Mini Link. It’s a battery-powered portable printer with Bluetooth connectivity and a horde of fun options, making it perfect for both home use and social events.
Another popular wireless mobile printer is the Polaroid Zip. It uses ZINK printing technology to churn out small photo prints and has Bluetooth connectivity. Plus, it’s small enough to fit into the pockets of trousers. And unlike the one above, it has been there in the market for quite some time.
So, that got us thinking — can the new printers replace the old? Or, will the old printer reclaim its place on the throne?
That’s what we are going to find out in this article, where we compare the Fujifilm Instax Mini Link with the Polaroid Zip wireless printer so that you can make an informed decision.
Let’s get started.
Design and Setup
Do you want your mobile photo printer to look flashy or simple? Because, if it’s the former, you are going to be slightly disappointed with both the Fujifilm Instax Mini Link and the Polaroid Zip. While both of them are super pocketable, they do not look outstanding.
Both pack quite a simple design. Let’s start with the Polaroid Zip first.
This photo printer measures 2.9 x 4.7 x 0.9-inches, which makes it pocket-friendly and easy to carry it around when you are traveling or camping. And talking about the prints, it ekes out 2 x 3-inches photos, perfect to put on the fridge door or on scrapbooks.
You can lift the top of this printer, just like a scanner, to put in the ZINK photo paper. This cavity also doubles as a holder for photo paper when the printer is not in active use. There are a couple of light indicators at the side to lets you know of the charging status.
Last but not least, it sports a strip of Polaroid brand colors at the side, which adds to its looks.
Similar to the one above, Fujifilm has a simplistic approach to the design of the Instax Mini Link. There are a few textured lines on the body that not only amps up the looks of the printer but also helps in a better grip.
There’s a neat logo at the front that also doubles as the power button and an indicator for the printing mode. An orange glow indicates Fun Mode, while a Blue glow means the normal Print Mode.
At 7.3 ounces and 4.9 x 3.5 x 1.3-inches, it’s lightweight and can easily become your travel buddy.
When it comes to connectivity, the Instax Mini Link is one of the first Instax printers to come with Bluetooth (version 4.2). If you recollect most of the Instax printers usually connects via Wi-Fi. The advantage of Wi-Fi means you do not have to type in complicated Wi-Fi passwords. Plus, you’ll be able to access the internet while the printing job is underway.
Another advantage is the multi-connection option, where a couple of your friends can connect to the printer to print photos.
A single print on the Instax Mini Link takes about 12 seconds, which is sort of okay when compared to its peers.
When it comes to user experience, many users seem to agree on the fact that the connection is pretty much seamless, at least till now.
Similar to the one above, the Polaroid Zip strictly runs on Bluetooth. Each print job takes around 50 seconds (slightly longer than the Instax printer), and there’s no option to pair multiple devices at a time.
Apart from that, the Polaroid Zip also boasts of NFC (see cool ways to use NFC tags). With it, you can tap your phone to the top of the printer to connect and launch the app. Neat, right?
When it comes to user experience, it has been a mixed bag for many. While it has worked fine for many users, the experience has not been the same for many.
Let’s establish one fact — the print quality won’t be the same as those of conventional photo printers. When you buy an instant printer, you have to compromise on the photo quality, especially when it comes to color accuracy. At times, photos tend to be a bit darker than usual, while at other times, you may end up with overblown images, if you are not careful with the exposure of the actual photo.
When it comes to the Polaroid Zip, the pictures are a tad on the darker spectrum. And if you are used to seeing high-res photos, these photos may appear a bit faded. The Zip uses ZINK printing technology. It’s a no-ink tech, thereby removing the hassle of buying ink cartridges and toners. The only consumable, in this case, is the photo papers.
When it comes to user experiences, the reviews have been mixed. But thankfully, many think that the quality suffices the purpose.
On the other hand, the Instax Mini Link uses Instant Film, and it manages to develop pretty good photos. They have a certain vintage appeal in them and resemble the color-profile of good old Polaroids from yesteryears.
User reviews for this product have been pretty good, with users liking its picture quality and accuracy. The folks at Digital Trends echo the same.
The print measures around 2.4 x 1.8-inch and are good enough to be passed around family and friends.
When it comes to fun photo printers, it would be a shame if they let you print. Luckily, the companion app for the Polaroid Zip comes bundled with several great features.
For one, you can add stickers, filters, and funky borders to your photos before you print them. And yeah, you can also combine a few of your favorite pictures to form a collage, but I doubt much detail would be visible in the tiny 2×3 print. But then again, fun, remember?
Apart from that, you can play with the photo’s brightness, color, and more. The app is easy to use, and it isn’t much difficult to figure out the steps.
The crux of the Fujifilm Instax Mini Link photo printer is its app. Remember that Fun Mode we talked about?
The Fun Mode lets you play around with collages and also lets you add frames & graphics to your images such as horns and angel wings. And there’s more to this story.
There’s a cool feature named Party Print which lets you connect with up to five friends to create a unique mix print. The best part is that you can’t preview the final image before it prints.
Up next is Video Print, which lets you grab a video frame and print it as a photo. Apart from these, several more interesting features. And it doesn’t end there. To reprint a photo, you simply need to turn the printer upside down, press the power button. After that, the last photo will be printed in a matter of seconds.
Sadly, when it comes to battery life, there’s a massive difference between the two.
The ZIP’s battery can outlast only 25 prints, whereas the Instax Mini Link’s battery can churn about 100 photos before it calls it a day. And as per many, this claim is almost true.
Thankfully, both the printers can be recharged via a power cord (micro-USB cord). The charge time for both the Polaroid Zip and the Instax Mini Link is around 1.5 hours.
Which One Should You Buy
To start off, both the printers do their job as advertised, and they do make perfect accessories for social events. But if you ask me to choose between the two, I would like to side with the new and funky Instax Mini Link.
The battery life is great, the app is quite intuitive, and it uses photo paper. Also, it has quite a few ‘fun’ features which push it to the top with features like Surprise Mode, Party Mode, etc.
Plus, the difference in price isn’t too much. If you’re not within a tight budget and can spend 20 bucks more, you can invest in this photo printer.
But if you are looking for a conventional photo printer, minus the fun, you can always go back to the older and trusted Polaroid Zip.
Last updated on 02 February, 2022
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