Small photo printers that wirelessly connect to your phone typically use dye-sublimation process for fast fade-proof prints. It's also remarkably compact for this type of printer., which gives you good quality prints but costs a lot, or , which doesn't use ink and is cheaper but the print quality is meh. The new $99 Polaroid Hi-Print stands out by using a
The Hi-Print uses a self-contained cartridge with a color ribbon and photo paper. Send a picture from your phone over Bluetooth to the printer and it essentially does a heat transfer of the image onto the paper so it's dry and water-resistant when it comes out. A mobile app lets you edit the photo or add text, filters, frames and more before you print.
Like most other mobile photo printers, the Hi-Print shoots out credit card-sized 2.1-by-3.4-inch prints (54 by 86 mm). They have sticker backs so you can slap them on just about anything. Prints take less than 1 minute to process and the Hi-Print's battery life is good for up to 20 prints, Polaroid said in its announcement.
Pricing is still somewhat high at $17 for two 10-print cartridges, which comes to about 85 cents a print. But, if the image quality is as good as the pricier instant film prints offer, this could be the better option for price and performance.
The Polaroid Hi-Print is available today direct from Polaroid and Best Buy, Target, Amazon and UrbanOutfitters.com on Sept. 10.
Correction, Aug. 25: Original story had an incorrect per-print price.