The Best Cheap Mini Photo Printers of 2019

A mini photo printer is an alternative to an instant camera (like Polaroid or Instax).

These battery-powered printers are portable and connect wirelessly to a phone or tablet (using Bluetooth, Wi-Fi or NFC). Mobile photo printers don't use traditional ink. Instead, the printers use heat to activate crystallized-dyes within the “zero ink” photo paper. The crystals change color depending on the temperature and duration of the heating.

Many of these pocket-sized printers make prints around 2 inches by 3 inches.

Don't expect the best print quality (or long-lasting prints) from a mini photo printer. These photos are susceptible to color-shifting and fading because the paper is always heat sensitive.

Battery-life and paper cost are two other things to consider: The best printers can make more than 10 prints on a charge at a cost of less than $0.50 per print.

Here are the best-reviewed mini photo printers that have sold on Amazon for $100 or less:

Good Price: $90 | Great Deal: $79

Fuji's SP-2 is a good alternative to an Instax camera, according to several Amazon customers. Many reviewers praise the print quality and speed, but criticize Fuji's app and Wi-Fi connectivity. Additionally, some customers say the reprint button is too easy to press by accident.

Good Price: $100 | Great Deal: $75

Polaroid's Mint is tiny, fun and easy to use, according to several Amazon customers. Many say the Mint is lightweight and truly pocket-sized. Others praise the Polaroid app, battery life and Bluetooth connectivity. A few reviewers were disappointed by the print quality.

Good Price: $100 | Great Deal: $90

HP's Sprocket produces fun, small prints that double as stickers, according to several Amazon customers. Many reviewers (even happy ones) say the print quality is so-so at best. Common criticisms about the print quality include fading, color shifting and orange lines through the image.

John DeFeo