Many people use the image and video hosting site Flickr to upload and store photos taken by their cameras and smartphones. The site also gathers user equipment statistics and makes the data public. For example, of the top 10 cameras used by the Flickr community, Apple’s iPhones are ranked third, while three of the 10 spots are occupied by other smartphones.
Photos on Flickr taken with various iPhone models alone total over 250 million, proof positive that the smartphone is the default camera of people around the globe.
But there seems to be a downside to this phenomenon. As taking snapshots on the fly and sharing them on social networks become instantaneous, most digital photos end up as Internet flotsam, with smartphones serving as de facto albums. We may be taking more photos, but we rarely take the effort to have them printed and archived in photo albums.
Perhaps it’s because photo printers have not become as convenient as a smartphone.
Mobile photo printer
Recently, LG launched a smart mobile photo printer that offers the same instant gratification as smartphone cameras.
The LG Pocket Photo printer looks like a portable hard drive or two smartphones stacked on top of each other. It is able to print business-card sized photos and connects easily to your device via Bluetooth or NFC (near field communication).
A downloadable app—available for Android or iOS—complements the Pocket Photo by letting you edit photos, create collages (one of the suggestions for the 4 tiled photos in one was to use it for ID requirements), add frames, filters, text and QR (Quick Response) code info. The QR code lets you add data like URLs, video and photo links, photo info, messages and contact details which are then stored in a square QR code that can be scanned by smartphones for easy access—you’ll be able to use the Pocket Photo as an instant business card maker as well.
The printer is so compact, you can bring it on your travels and send out mini-postcards or create a mini photo diary of your trip.
The photo paper used employs Zink or “Zero Ink” technology where the dyes are embedded in the paper and released when exposed to heat, so no need to buy ink, just the compatible photo paper. The Zink paper is P600 for 60 sheets; at P10 a print, it’s an economical alternative compared to other instant photo systems.
Connecting your device to the printer is easy, and the app is just as effortless to use. Several devices can connect to the printer at once, so friends can take turns printing photos from their phones. This is a fun companion to have at parties, weddings and family reunions.
Printing time per photo is really quick, too—just 45 seconds and your photo is ready.
The printer comes with a rechargeable built-in battery which can let you print around 15 photos for one full charge.
The print quality will ultimately depend on the photo source. For example, when we tried printing photos from our iPhone 5, the shots taken with the rear camera printed better than photos taken with the lower-resolution front camera. So, make sure to choose great photos for quality results.
Though the LG companion app already contains fun frames and filters, you can have more creative choices by printing photos decorated with Line Camera, Labelbox, Snapeee, and other cutesy photo apps. You can even print out mini-sketches done using the many drawing apps available on your smartphone. Though the LG Pocket Photo prints photos in just one size, the creative possibilities are limitless.
The printer costs P7,990, in silver or pink.
LG’s website: www.lg.com/ph; Facebook: www.facebook.com/LGPhilippines; Twitter and Instagram: LGPhilippines