At last count, I’ve amassed more than 35,000 images in my iCloud Photo Library. You name it, I’ve photographed it – holidays, births, babies, parties, Jeeps, dogs, and much more. I can bring up all those memories in just a few clicks on my iPhone, iPad, and Mac.
But I’m actually old enough to remember a time where instead of whipping out an iPhone to capture an photo, you could just use a Polaroid or other instant camera. After taking the photo, it would quickly print out, and after a bit of shaking, you could marvel at the image.
The $129.99 Prynt is looking to bring some of that magical charm to the modern age with an iPhone printer that can also act as a case.
- Printing doesn't require any ink.
- A special video is saved with each photo can can be viewed using the companion app.
- The 2x3 prints can also be used as stickers.
- No need to worry about changing batteries as the printer is powered by a rechargeable, built-in battery.
The case is designed to look like an actual camera.
Anyone with a modern iPhone can take advantage of the case. There are three different versions available for the iPhone 5/5s/SE, iPhone 6/6s/7, and iPhone 6 Plus/6s Plus/7 Plus. Buyers can select from one of four different colors – black, white, blue, and pink.
Helping out that retro charm, Prynt is shaped to look like an actual camera (remember those?) with a textured grip and power button on the right side. The bottom of the case houses the micro-USB plug that can be used to charge the built-in battery that can be used for up to 20 prints before needing to be recharged.
The 2×3-inch prints exit on the left side while the right side features the button needed to extend the phone adapter.
While you can snag a 40-pack or 50-pack of paper from Amazon, each print is still a gulp-inducing $.50 each. So printing out photos for the whole family could quickly turn into a costly affair.
Before inserting the phone, you’ll need to make sure that the printer is loaded with paper. Prynt includes a starter pack of 10 sheets of paper with the case. You’ll need to flip open the paper hatch and insert the paper.
The special Zink paper requires no ink and just needs a single pass on the Prynt case. Ironically, started out of Polaroid itself, the company’s paper is activated by special thermal technology.
Prynt says that the Zink technology provides long lasting prints that won’t tear or smudge after being printed. And the prints do seem like they will hold up with time.
As a cool bonus, each print can also be turned into a sticker by simply peeling off the adhesive back from each photo. That feature was easily a big hit at my house. My 9-year-old daughter was quickly asking for me to print particular photos so she could use the stickers on her folders and other school accessories.
But there are two significant downsides – print cost and quality. While you can snag a 40-pack or 50-pack of paper from Amazon, each print is still a gulp-inducing $.50 each. So printing out photos for the whole family could quickly turn into a costly affair.
There's at least one way to cut down on print costs.
One interesting option, if you’re looking to lower that cost, is Prynt’s subscription service for paper. Every month, you can receive 20 sheets of paper for $7.99. Shipping is free, and when you subscribe, the first month’s allotment is free. With that option, each print is $.40 each.
And don’t expect the prints themselves to be anywhere near perfect. In my testing, lighter areas of photos were usually blown out own and darker parts were difficult to see in the final product. There were also a number of areas with somewhat noticeable streaks and other artifacts. For me, that added to the old-school charm of the system itself, but some might not feel that way.
Even so, there’s an extra-added augmented reality feature we’ll look at in a bit that more than makes up for that issue.
Interested in Other Photography-Related iPhone Accessories?
The star of the show is easily the ability to embed a short video in each print.
After downloading the companion app, it’s time to insert an iPhone into the adapter and get started. With the built-in Lightning plug, there’s no need to use Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. Just push the silver power button on the top of the case to connect.
Along with being able to import any existing photos from your Library, Prynt can even be used to snap pictures. Just press the silver power button, and the photo will appear in the app ready to edit or print. You can also snap photos with the app even if the case isn’t connected.
The star of the show is easily the ability to embed a short video in each print. When your iPhone is plugged into the case, pressing the silver power button will both snap a picture and record a short video. You can also add up to a 10-second video from any Photo Library.
Thanks to a hidden QR code printed on each photo, just head to the Scan section of the app. It will automatically read the code and then play the video securely stored in the cloud. As long as you’ve downloaded the app, you can play the video, even if you don’t own the case.
The AR feature is definitely fun and adds a great hidden easter egg to each photo.
While with a recent app update, users aren’t required to add a video before printing a photo, but it’s definitely the standout feature and something you’ll want to do to show off Prynt.
Before you actually print, there are a number of different editing options found in the usual photo app. Anyone connected in the Adobe ecosystem should be glad to know that you can sign in or create an account to sync photo editing supplies to Creative Cloud. There are a boatload of different filters along with the ability to draw on the image, add text, and even create your own meme.
You can barely tell that a photo is being printed, and it just takes around 30 seconds.
For those less technologically advanced friends and relatives, you can even send a real 4×6 print of any image for free through the old-fashioned postal service. There doesn’t seem to be any limit, and it’s a fun way to share creations.
The companion app
Using as a case
The case is light enough to keep in your pocket or a bag without any issues.
To allow users to actually snap photos while using the case, the top end of your iPhone will stick out on the left side. There’s a spot for a wrist strap near the power button, but one isn’t included.
Surprisingly, the case itself is lighter than you would think with the complete package – including an iPhone – weighs in at around 1 pound.
I wouldn’t exactly think of using Prynt as a day-to-day case because of its bulk and the fact that it uses the Lightning port on an iPhone. But if I was attending an event where I knew printing photos would come in handy, being able to carry a printer/phone combination would definitely be a practical idea.
If you’re looking for a compact, run-of-the-mill photo printer that can produce inkjet quality photos then Prynt isn’t for you. But if you like the idea quickly printing out fun keepsakes of special moments – with an awesome twist – the case is something to consider.