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1 October 2020

HP Sprocket vs other portable photo printers

Portable or compact photo printers, such as the HP Sprocket, enable fast and fun photo printing. But are there better options available?
Andrew Laughlin

Many of us take photos with our smartphones and share them on social networks such as Facebook and Instagram. Portable photo printers are designed to make it just as quick and easy to print your snaps as it is to post them online.

As the name suggests, they’re usually compact and sometimes small enough to carry in your pocket. They print tiny images, too, often around 3x2-inch sizes.

They sometimes have inkjet printing technology, but more frequently they use specialist paper with the ink incorporated into it.

See the table below to find out what we thought of four popular portable photo printers when we tried them, including the HP Sprocket and Canon Zoemini. You can also read about the printers we tried under the table.

Portable photo printers

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Printer Printer model Price Print cost
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This cute little photo printer appears to look the part, but does it turn out good quality prints? Before you part with your cash, see our impressions of this compact photo printer.

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It's compact enough to fit in your pocket, but this tiny portable photo printer from a big brand has impressively mighty print quality. It's the best model we've tried out so far.  

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If you want larger prints, this model from a big brand uses proper 6x4-inch photo paper for your prints. It is also has the cheapest prints of the models featured here. 

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Made by a well-known brand, this portable photo printer looks futuristic, but is its print quality stuck in the dark ages? Get all you need to know in our first look review.

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This famous brand is still going and now lends itself to a range of portable photo printers. Has this original innovator of instant photo printing still got the old magic? 

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Not found the product for you? Browse all of our printer reviews.

HP Sprocket

Typical price: £119.99

The HP Sprocket is one of the most popular portable photo printers. It sells extremely well thanks to its mix of an attractive-looking design and fast, fun photo printing. 

Canon Zoemini review

Typical price: £119.99

Canon's Zoemini is is the key competitor to HP's popular Sprocket. Just like its rival, you can print photos from your smartphone on 2x3-inch paper, as well as add filters, stickers or graphics.

Canon Selphy

Typical price: £99.99

The Canon Selphy is large for a portable photo printer and can print larger photos than other portable printers that will look similar to your traditional holiday snaps. 

Fujifilm Instax Share

Typical price: £175

Well known for its camera film, Fujifilm brings us the Instax Share - a portable photo printer range able to print square photos. Just like the HP Sprocket, the Instax is all about fast and fun photos that you can put in your wallet or stick on a fridge. 

Polaroid Zip

Typical price: £100

Polaroid effectively invented the phenomena of instant photo printing with its early, self-developing Polaroid cameras. The company has seen its fortunes decline ever since, but the Polaroid brand still flies the flag for instant, portable photo printing with the Polaroid Zip. 

Are these printers the cheapest way to print photos?

Portable photo printers are fun and accessible to use, but they’re most definitely not the cheapest way to print photos – far from it, in fact.

Using the printers featured above, it would cost between 29p and 90p to print a photo, and that’s even more alarming considering the small size.

Instead, you could get a bigger 6x4-inch photo printed at a Which? Recommended online photo printing service for around 10p. An even larger 10x8-inch image printed by a Best Buy photo printer would cost 35p.

If you're looking for good-value photo printing, compact photo printers like the HP Sprocket are probably not going to suit your needs.

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