Prynt review:

The Polaroid for the Snapchat generation is cool, but not very useful

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Prynt (Samsung Galaxy S5)

(Part #: PZ100005/BL)
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2.5 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good The Prynt case has the allure of a modern day Polaroid instant camera. It's easy to set up and use.

The Bad It's too big to use as an everyday case. The photo quality is washed out. It's expensive for a toy-like device.

The Bottom Line Despite its unique abilities, the Prynt offers too little to justify its price.

5.0 Overall
  • Design 5.0
  • Features 5.0
  • Performance 5.0
  • Image quality 5.0

If you think instant photos are a thing of the past, think again.

Prynt lets you record a video and then attach that video to an actual physical photograph. When you look at the photo through your phone in the Prynt app, you'll see the video play over the picture. It's like "QR code-meets-Harry Potter newspaper" and is the closest you can get to actually printing a Snapchat or Vine.

Prynt is a girthy phone case (it's more of a portable dock, if you ask me) and charges via USB. It comes with 10 sheets of paper, which are refillable through the free Prynt app, available in the Apple App Store and Google Play store. Once the case and app are easily installed, you can use it to take a video or print a photo already stored on your phone and then record a five-second video. You have to record a video in order to print the photo.

Photos print quickly and develop instantly -- no need to wait or shake it like a Polaroid picture. Unfortunately, the image quality is as underwhelming as a Polaroid, so the real charm of the Prynt lies within its ability to "print" video. I admit, I think the result is pretty cool. Looking at the static paper transform into a moving image is like witnessing a futuristic magic trick. It's also really fun to show your friends and watch their own GIF-worthy (or should I say, Prynt-worthy) reactions.

prynt-5012-004.jpg
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Every Prynt photo requires a video.

Josh Miller/CNET

Prynt-worthy moments are my exact dilemma with the device. Aside from clever Save The Date announcements or documenting a baby shower, I couldn't really think of a good, useful way to use it. If you want to share a photo or video, there's no shortage of ways to do so (text message, email, Facebook, etc.) and they're all faster and easier than Prynt. To be sure, it's a fun gadget for creative uses, but I don't see Prynt becoming synonymous with photography, like Polaroid, anytime soon. And $150 is a lot to pay for an admittedly cool device with very few practical uses.

Plus, if you want old-school instant photos, you can pick up the Fuji Instax Mini or the Polaroid Snap (which houses a printer similar to the Prynt).

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