Hands on with Polaroid PoGo Instant Mobile Printer
There seemed to be somewhat of a demand for more information on this 4 years old printer since my Tech Top 10 post this past weekend. The Polaroid PoGo printer has been around since 2008, and has dropped significantly from its original price of $180 to a much more reasonable $50. The printer itself uses Zink, on the proprietary film, to achieve a printing process that doesn’t require ink. It’s advertised as a “mobile” printer, since it has a fairly small size and receives its data via Bluetooth or USB. Read on to find out what our experience has been with the PoGo printer.
Polaroid as a company has become synonymous with instant photo prints, thanks to its original line up of instant cameras that launched a cult like following. Beginning its foray into the digital age, Polaroid developed the PoGo printer as a response to the development of camera phones and their growing popularity as many people’s primary camera. The printer connects via Bluetooth providing a wide range of compatibility from feature phones to modern day smartphones. But iPhone users should note, this printer is NOT compatible with the iPhone.
I was able to connect to the printer with my HTC EVO 4G, and I don’t see why it wouldn’t work with other Android devices. Since I recently switched to the iPhone 4S, I have been using this printer a lot less than before. One workaround I found is to connect through my Mac, and with the introduction of Photo Stream, it’s a lot easier to get my photos from my iPhone to my Mac. One thing to note here is that the printer is designed for low resolution camera phone pictures, so large file size picture from our Nikon D60 did not turn out well. We actually downsize our pictures from our iPhone 4S to make printing faster.
The pictures printed on the small borderless 2×3 films are by no means high quality. The pictures are very Polaroid-esque, meaning that the colors are highly saturated and lacks sharpness. But that is to be expected from this tiny printer. The fixed dimension of the film also means pictures not matching the dimensions are cropped. This is done automatically by the printer, and often crop out elements that are on the edges of the picture.
The films have adhesive on the back, turning the pictures you printed into stickers, making them easy and fun to share with friends. I also like to stick them into my notebooks, instantly turning any notebooks into a photo album. However, for some reason, the developed films tend to curl as you leave them sitting around. The films are relatively inexpensive, especially when purchased in bulk. The films cost about $0.40 each, using this deal we found on Amazon. As far as we can tell from the packaging and instructions, the films don’t seem to have an expiration date.
Although the printer’s design is fairly mobile, the battery life makes this unsuitable for long day trips. With a single charge, you can only print about 10-15 photos before the battery is drained. We found ourselves constantly charging the printer throughout the day to keep up with printing. And with the charger being half the size of the printer, it isn’t exactly friendly to lug around in our bags either.
Overall we love the Polaroid PoGo printer, it is fun and easy to use. Especially at its current retail price at about $50, we gladly recommend it to all our readers and friends. It won’t make too much of a dent to your wallet, but it will definitely provide some great memories. We’d love to try out, the recently introduced, Polaroid Grey Label Instant Printer using the larger 3×4 film, boasting higher quality as well as classic Polaroid borders. Sadly, it doesn’t seem to be compatible with iOS either.