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Polaroid Hi-Print Portable Printer Review

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Polaroid Hi-Print: Is It Worth Your Purchase?

Pros

  • High-quality prints
  • Portable and refined design
  • Good app interface

Cons

  • Printing cost
  • Printing speed
  • Only 20 footprints in one charge

Our verdict

The Polaroid Hi-Print has a good design and produces high-quality instant prints, but running costs are expensive.

Retail price (RRP)

$ 99.99

Polaroid Hi-Print Portable Printer Review

Do you want to print Polaroid-style photos but prefer to take them with your smartphone ? You can get the best of the best worlds with Polaroid Hi-Print, Polaroid’s latest instant printer that connects to your phone via Bluetooth and prints high-resolution photos in less than a minute.

Hi-Print rivals models like the Instax Mini Link, but removes many of the smoother features to produce a simple yet effective instant printer. Read on to see my full review.

Design and build quality

Design-wise, the Polaroid Hi-Print is refined and clean. It is compact in size and light enough to be held in one hand. The top has a rainbow band – a nod to the printing process – with the print slot on the top of the device.

You can place the Hi-Print both vertically and horizontally, although the former is slightly more unstable than the latter.

Cartridges can be loaded on the left side of the package that you can open with your fingernail. The power button is located on the right side, along with two status LEDs. At the bottom of the device, you have a Micro-USB port for charging (a cable is included in the box), another status light, and a reset port.

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To print a photo, pair your phone with Hi-Print using the accompanying app via Bluetooth. There you can select and customize the image you want and print it directly from here.

The printing speed is slower than other instant printers, around 50 seconds, but this is because it is a dye-sublimation device, which means that the print is ejected in and out of the printer when least four times to add each layer of color, plus a protective film.

You’ll get around 20 prints on a single charge, which is lower than rivals, but to be expected considering the more complex printing process.

Characteristics and photographic quality

Despite the slower speeds, the wait is certainly worth it, as the print quality is generally extremely high and much more detailed, vivid, and eye-catching than you’d get from a faster instant digital printer, which is the most important part of this product.

The printer uses a 2×3 Hi-Print paper cartridge, which comes with 20 sheets in a package. The images use almost all of the paper, with a white stripe at the bottom.

Again, rivals sometimes have borders around the photo, which makes the image smaller, so this is a huge advantage for the Polaroid.

The prints are water and smudge resistant and contain a peelable adhesive on the back so you can stick your photos on your desk or the back of your phone.

It’s a nice touch that allows you to use these prints as decoration without the need for additional accessories.

There are also some customizable features in the app. These include frames, filters, aspect ratio changes, text, and stickers; the last two are items that I can see younger generations use.

Nothing in the app seems fluffy or useless, yet another advantage over rival Instax products.

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The app syncs with most of your phone’s photo folders, plus the standard Swamp Camera Roll. You can choose between images previously uploaded to WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and more, which is useful if you have a specific image from your social channels that you want to print. You can also access your phone’s camera directly through the app.

Using the app is easy – the only time I ran into problems was during the initial pairing process, which took a few tries to master. However, after that I didn’t find any problem.

The interface is clean, straightforward and doesn’t lag behind. You can choose to print a photo in the app and then minimize it, using the phone for other tasks while you wait.

Value for money

At a price of 99.99 euros, the Polaroid Hi-Print reduces the price of other instant printers that are on the market right now, including the Instax Mini Link (RRP: € 119.90) and the HP Sprocket Select (RRP: € 121.09), making it a competitive option.

Although the base price is not that high for the product type, the main problem with the Polaroid Hi-Print is its high cost of operation. A pack of Hi-Print paper cartridges, which includes just 20 sheets, costs 16.99 euros for a pack of 20.

This averages around 85 cents per photo, more expensive than Zink paper which costs less than 50 cents per sheet.

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If you plan to print a lot of photos on this device, the costs will add up very quickly, so you’ll have to make sure you make every print count.

You can see how the Polaroid Hi-Print stacks up against its rivals in our list of the best portable printers. The best instant cameras on the market are also worth a look if you want a camera / printer hybrid.

Verdict

The Polaroid Hi-Print undoubtedly produces some of the best instant smartphone prints to be found on the market right now. The accompanying app is easy to use and has a good range of print customization features.

Don’t let the base price make you think it’s a cheap instant printer though – heavy use will cost you good money. However, if you’re willing to pay for perfect image quality, you can’t get better than this.

Technical specifications

  • 26.9×149.8×79.5mm
  • 255g (without cartridge)
  • Dye Diffusion Thermal Transfer Printing, 4PASS
  • 620mAh lithium-ion battery
  • Micro-USB charging
  • Approximately 20 prints in one charge
  • Print speed is about 50 seconds
  • Size of imprint – 54 x 86 mm
  • Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR & 5.0
  • Comes with USB cable
  • Film packs are sold separately

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