Polaroid ZIP Instant Photo Printer Review

Polaroid ZIP Printer review
The Polaroid ZIP printer is a fun little mobile model that'll work with a digital camera or smartphone. Polaroid

Before purchasing the Polaroid ZIP Instant photo printer, you have to understand the model's limitations. Don't purchase this model thinking that you're going to be able to make good prints of varying sizes with a mobile printing option.

Instead, the Polaroid ZIP is limited to prints of 2x3 inches that will feature below average print quality most of the time. 

But for those who rely on a smartphone for their photography, the mobile Polaroid ZIP is an interesting option. It runs from a rechargeable battery and fits in a pocket, making it easy to carry this model along with your smartphone and make small prints on the go. 

It's a fun little printer to use on occasion, but it doesn't have the print quality, versatility, or speeds that will allow you to rely on the ZIP for all of your photo printing needs.

Specifications

  • Print Size: 2x3 inches
  • Ink System: ZINK Zero Ink
  • Print Speed: About 55 seconds
  • Paper Sizes: 2x3 inches, ZINK Zero Ink paper only
  • LCD: None
  • Dimensions: 2.9 x 4.7 x 0.9 inches
  • Weight: 6.6 oz.
  • Paper Tray Capacity: 10 sheets
  • Interfaces: Compatible with Android or Apple iOS devices, micro USB port, Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Memory Card Slots: None

Pros

  • Printer is fun to use and easy to set up
  • Works with both Apple and Android mobile devices
  • Small printer can fit in a large pocket, providing on-the-go printing
  • Print paper has adhesive backing available
  • Printer uses rechargeable battery

Cons

  • Print quality is well below average with limited contrast
  • Limited to prints of 2x3 inches
  • Individual prints cost about 50 cents each 
  • Can only make about 20 prints per battery charge

Print Quality

It was difficult for us to fully get a handle on how small the Polaroid ZIP's 2x3-inch prints were until actually seeing them in our hands. These prints are very, very small. And because the print quality is below average, with poor contrast and hit and miss color quality, this isn't a mobile printer aimed at serious photographers.

The tiny prints are of a good enough quality for kids to make quick prints of the photos they've shot with their smartphones. And with the adhesive that's available when you peel the backing from the print, kids will appreciate being able to stick the prints onto a locker or notebook. However, because these prints cost about 50 cents each to make, you may want to hesitate before handing the printer to your child for the day with 50 sheets of ZINK Zero Ink paper.

Performance

The Polaroid ZIP's print speeds will require a bit of patience -- think of using it like the anticipation you used when waiting for the old Polaroid camera instant prints to develop from a couple of decades ago. You usually can make a print with the ZIP within about 1 minute, but almost half of that time is spent sending the photo from the smartphone to the printer, as its wireless connectivity speeds seem a little slow.

The Polaroid print app and the printer itself are easy to set up and use.

Design

For the segment of the market at which Polaroid is aiming the ZIP mobile instant printer, it's a perfect size, fitting easily inside a purse or a large pocket. You'll control the printer completely through the Polaroid ZIP app, so there are no buttons on the printer. 

The rechargeable battery inside the printer is good for about 20 prints per charge, and it requires about an hour and a half to recharge, so keep this in mind if you're planning to use the ZIP for an extended period of time. It's easy to charge through a USB port and an adapter.

Loading the ZIP Zero Ink paper is easy, and you can load 10 sheets at a time.