Looking for a new unique way to make fun mementos of your big day? We tried out the Polaroid Zip printer, billed as a solution for printing photos on the go from your phone. The most interesting part about it? Inkless Zink photo paper that required no developing time once printed. We thought this could be a cute addition to a wedding reception, bridal party, or even as an organizational tool, so we put this unique printer to the test.
First things first: the set up. The printer connects through Wi-Fi to your phone and requires an app download. The app guided us easily through set up, but this does mean that if you’re sharing the printer with friends at a bachelorette party, everyone should set up their phones before the drinking begins. The app will access your phone’s gallery and give you small editing options like cropping, stamps, filters, text, and doodling before you press print. We clocked the actual print time at about 45 seconds from actually sending the photo to the printer to get a full photo in our hands.
The printer has a minimalist design and is about the size and thickness of a small hard drive. It fit easily into our back pockets while wearing typical skinny jeans, but we would recommend storing it in a purse or bag so you don’t accidentally sit on it. The exterior is a glossy plastic, so it will scratch easily and isn’t as immune to accidents as your phone might be.
It was easy to slide open the top panel to pop in the Zink paper. The printer will take ten glossy 2×3” sheets at a time, and the charge should last for about 25 prints, but bring the micro-USD charging cord with you if you want to take photos all night.
Snap and Print
Now to the fun part: the photos! The paper appears white, but is embedded with cyan, magenta, and yellow dye crystals that appear colorless until heat is added. The crystals start off clear, but heat pulses from the printer starts a reaction that changes them to the colors needed. This leads to instant prints that don’t need time to develop and are smudge-proof.
The actual quality of the photos isn’t perfect, so don’t expect the HD photos you might get from an inkjet or dye-sub printer. We found them to be clear and crisp, but a little over-saturated. This won’t beat your wedding photographer, but will make quick and fun photos for your bridal party or wedding guests to have fun with.
They’re a good size for making photo montages, placing in a guest book, or even keeping note of décor options in an organizational book while you’re planning your wedding. It’s not made obvious, but there is an adhesive backing. It was tricky to peel off, so if you have super short nails, ask a friend to help out to get that initial corner off. The adhesive worked pretty well: not a death grip but just enough to really stick the photo to an object or wall. We tried them on a variety of surfaces and didn’t see any damage when we removed them. Textured and outdoor surfaces could be tricky depending on the exact item you’re trying to stick it to, but otherwise we had no trouble.
As of writing the Polaroid Zip printer costs around $120 and a single sheet of Zink paper is under 25 cents. This comes out to well below the combined price for similar transportable printer and photo paper options.
We had a lot of fun taking pictures with the Zip printer and experimenting with the Zink photo paper. While not perfect, it took us back to our childhood when everyone at school had a Polaroid i-zone and you could line your room with smiling, goofy pictures of your best friends. This updated throwback is sure to add some entertainment to your wedding plans, especially if a DIY photo booth is on the list!