A nice option for printing mobile photos.
Years ago, when I was in high school, the big thing to do was have miniature photo albums to carry all your precious memories in. My friends and I would get prints of our photos and share them. Now, all photos are all digital. But what happens if you want a print out of really good photos that you take with your phone? Typically, you have to send the digital file to a photo lab like at Walgreens or Wal-Mart. It’s not a particularly difficult process, but sometimes you just want to print out photos at home. I’ve used standard printers before, but just haven’t been happy with the quality. One of the simplest solutions is to invest in a personal photo printer like this one from HP.
The HP Sprocket Plus Printer is a compact printer for mobile photos. It’s designed to work directly with your smartphone and is just about the same size, too. The printer comes packaged with 10 sheets of HP Sprocket Plus Zink photo paper and a short (about 12 inches) Micro USB cable for charging/powering the printer. With the printer you can print 2.3 x 3.4 inch photos directly from your phone in just a few seconds. The main features of the Sprocket Plus include:
- 313 x 400 dpi resolution
- No ink cartridges needed
- Connects using Bluetooth 4.0
- Compatible with Micro SD cards up to 256GB
- Supports borderless printing
Setup is easy. You download the Sprocket app for your mobile platform (iOS or Android) and connect to the printer using Bluetooth. When you start up the printer, you will get a notification on your phone (if you already have the app installed) that says that the app wants to connect to the printer. If you allow it, you will be able to see your Camera Roll and other albums in your Photo library. I have an iPhone 7 and didn’t have any issues connecting to it. You can also connect to Instagram, Facebook, and Google to print photos stored in Social Media accounts without having to download them first.
The only thing I noticed that was a little slow was the app’s connection to my phone’s photo library. I would save a photo from a shared library and reload the app photo list and it would take a few seconds for the new photos to appear. Once you select a photo, you can edit it in the Sprocket app. You can do the ‘magic’ fix tool, which automatically adjusts brightness and color. You can also manually adjust brightness, contrast, and exposure. The Sprocket app has some built-in filters, too, and you have the ability to add text and drawings to photos. Once you make your edits, you simply send it to the printer.
I tested this out with a few different photos. I found that the colors were not exactly what I had hoped for. The reds aren’t quite as vibrant as they show on the phone and even black and white photos have a purplish tint to them. Overall though, I’m happy with the prints. It’s a nice way to display memories without having to visit a photo lab. The Sprocket Plus Printer is easy to connect to and communicates well with the mobile app.
The HP Sprocket Plus is a really nice option for mobile printing. Will I still use photo labs? Yes. But it’s nice to have this as an option for quick photos prints on the go.
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