Small mobile printers are nothing new, but HP's Sprocket has had some popularity since its launch in 2016. This palm-sized photo printer is designed with Instagram's generation in mind and everything from the software up to the hardware and even the tiny footprints confirm.
I'm a big fan of making physical photographic prints, and the Sprocket allows you to do that. While my heart was not won like the Fujifilm Instax Share SP-2 did, the HP Sprocket has its own unique strengths that make it perfect for many people. If you only want to share selfies with friends and use the Sprocket and its application to create a fun photobooth anywhere. If it is on your phone, you can print it.
Photos take about one minute to print, and small 2 by 3 inch photos created by Sprocket are backed by stickers. When I realized that, they took me instantly to 1
At $ 130, the HP Sprocket has an appropriate price. It reaches the optimum point of gift delivery, especially if you consider that it includes 10 pieces of paper compatible with Zink. The batteries will not be an additional expense for whoever gives this, since the Sprocket has a micro-USB plug and a built-in rechargeable battery.
All this sounds very attractive, and for teens and pre-teens, it should be. But, one thing that really bothered me about the HP Sprocket is that the quality of the image is occasionally a bit bad. Images with a subtle gradation tend to interpose between the tones in a very compact way, and the dynamic range is poor. The highlights look like large white spots and the details in the shadows are often completely lost.
Since I was more used to the incredible Instax Share impressions, the little HP just could not fight. To get decent-looking photos, you should modify your images before printing. In general, however, I think that even after playing with images in the Sprocket application, the analog nature of the Instax Mini prints makes the SP-2 a superior printer when it comes to the raw image quality. At least consumables are affordable: Zink paper packages make each print cost around 50 cents, compared to 70 cents when using Fujifilm Instax film in SP-2.
Where the HP wins with the Fujifilm is when it reaches the capacity of the application. The Fujifilm printer has a nice barebones application, with some nice filters, stickers and frames that you can put on your prints. Image editing was easy for me and I love adding emojis and stickers to my prints. The application even uses AR technology to allow you to scan printed photos, which then allow you to return to the flash until the day you took the photo, by capturing videos and photos in a digital scrapbook.
Even if I personally prefer the prettiest Fuji Instax Share photos, I think HP Sprocket deserves the fan base it has. His fingerprints look good enough for most people, and as a simple way to share a memory on the fly, he succeeds.