Stylish and easy to use: Print phone pics in a snap (hands-on)

The compact and colorful LG Pocket Photo uses Zink technology and NFC communication to print out wallet-sized pictures from your LG smartphone.

Lynn La

Lynn La

Senior Editor / Reviews - Phones

Lynn La covers mobile reviews and news. She previously wrote for The Sacramento Bee, Macworld and The Global Post.

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LG Pocket Photo
Using NFC technology, the LG Pocket Photo quickly prints photos from your smartphone. Lynn La/CNET

LAS VEGAS--Is that a printer in your pants or are you just happy to remember this moment? With the Pocket Photo, which LG featured in its massive CES 2013 booth, you'll be relieved to know that it really is just a printer.

And a pretty cute printer at that -- coming in three different colors (pink, silver, and orange) with a metallic finish on its edges, the compact Pocket Photo launched last September in South Korea.

Unfortunately, an LG rep told me that there hasn't been any official plans for it to come to the U.S. yet.

Measuring 4.76-inches tall, 2.83-inches wide, and 0.94-inches thick, the printer is reminiscent of Polaroid's PoGo Instant Mobile Printer, except in order to transfer photos from a smartphone, it's also capable of NFC communication in addition to Bluetooth.

Aside from owning an LG handset with NFC, users will also have to download the LG Pocket Photo app. The app can take photos using the phone's camera, edit pictures, and if you want, it can also generate QR codes to print out.

Print memories in an instant with the LG Pocket Photo (pictures)

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To print photos, the device uses Zink, or Zero ink, paper technology. The printer heats up the dye crystals embedded inside the paper, triggering it to change colors accordingly to the photo.

Pictures measure 2x3-inches, and while photos don't look as clear and defined when professionally developed or printed on a high-quality photo printer, objects are generally in focus and easy to make out.

What impressed me most was the ease and speed it took to print out a photo. After an adequate charge, the Pocket Photo is completely portable, and though it took a few seconds to transfer my picture from the smartphone, I saw how intuitive it was to use the app.

If you want to high-quality photo to hang up as your family portrait, this is obviously not the device to use. But I can see how the LG Pocket Photo can be a real fun crowd pleaser at social functions where somebody inevitably says, "Man, I wish I had that photo!"

For more of CNET's CES 2013 coverage, click here.