Kodak Smile On the spot Digital Printer Assessment

Today’s best deals on Kodak Smile Instant Digital Printers

In the smartphone era, where more people are carrying cameras and taking photos than ever before, and sharing those photos online is a huge aspect of social media, mobile photo printing is an analog niche that many are looking to fill. For an older camera and film company like Kodak, this is a natural fit, and the new $ 99 Kodak Smile Photo Printer is said to be the pocket-sized photo printer you toss in your pocket, whether for a day at the beach or one Week. Long holidays.

The Kodak Smile prints 2 x 3-inch photos quickly and also offers a simple and fun app with augmented reality support. The photo printing niche is overcrowded, however, and it’s harder to differentiate yourself when competing products like the Polaroid Zip and HP Sprocket also use ZINK inclusive printing technology. Overall, this compact printer is very suitable for quick prints on the go.

Kodak Smile Price and Printing Costs

The Kodak Smile photo printer itself costs $ 99 and is available from Amazon, Walmart, and other retailers.

Kodak Smile-specific zinc photo paper refills are expensive and are sold in packs of 20 or 50 sheets.

You can purchase the pack of 20 on the Kodak website for $ 9.99, which is 50 cents per photo. Similarly, a pack of 50 costs $ 24.99 and averages 50 cents per photo. However, at another retailer like Amazon or Best Buy, prices can be a little better.

Kodak also offers you the option to sign up for a refill subscription, which will cut the price of these refills by a dollar or two. The 20-pack is just $ 8.99 for subscription and the 50-pack is $ 22.49, so you cost 45 cents per photo. In our research, this was the cheapest option, but you need to use the photo printer regularly for the subscription to be worth it.


Kodak Smile Instant Digital Printer Review

(Photo credit: Kodak Smile Instant Digital Printer Review)

The pocket-sized Kodak Smile is small and battery operated so you can take it with you wherever you go. The printer measures 4.6 “x 3.2” x 0.9 “in total, but has rounded corners to make it easier to slip in and out of a pocket. A rubber foot on the underside of the device gives it support on smooth or inclined surfaces. The printer is available in white, black, blue, green or red.

The design of the Kodak Smile has a distinctive pop-up window that opens showing the printer’s output slot. The pop-up area is spring-loaded and opens by sliding a small grooved latch on the back of the printer. This turns on the printer and can be paired with the smartphone and printed.

MORE: 12 instant cameras, best to worst

While this popup action sets the Kodak printer apart from other similar pocket printer designs, the overall design is otherwise very similar to that of competing devices. Both the Polaroid zipper and HP sprocket share the same elongated shape and external features.

Kodak Smile Instant Digital Printer Review

(Photo credit: Kodak Smile Instant Digital Printer Review)

The smile connects to your phone via bluetooth, much like the zip and sprocket. On the side of the smile printer there is a micro-USB port for charging the battery, as well as a charging indicator and a small reset button that deletes the previous pairing and photo information on the printer.

insert paper

Loading and unloading new paper in the smile printer is a little easier with this model thanks to a removable end cap that slips off easily and can be secured with magnets. The magnets keep everything secure enough that you don’t worry about it falling off in a purse or backpack. However, they slide open easily enough for the best paper loading experience I’ve had with a mobile printer. Given the space constraints on pocket-sized designs, lids often have to be pried off when reloading paper.

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Kodak Smile Instant Digital Printer Review

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Kodak Smile Instant Digital Printer Review

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Kodak Smile Instant Digital Printer Review

(Photo credit: Kodak Smile Instant Digital Printer Review)

Kodak Smile ships with a 5-pack of 2 x 3-inch ZINK photo papers. That’s half as many as we’ve seen, either in the zipper or in the sprocket. The individual papers also have a sticker back so that you can peel and stick the photos anywhere.


In order to use the printer, you will need to download the Kodak Smile Photo app on your phone. In addition to doing the pairing and communication between the phone and the printer, this app also gives you the tools to select, edit, and share photos, and lets you print photos instantly from the phone’s camera.

Kodak Smile Instant Digital Printer Review

(Photo credit: Kodak Smile Instant Digital Printer Review)

You can also use the app (available for Android and iOS) to beautify photos. You can apply tinted color filters, put borders on photos, and even add captions, emojis, and stickers to your pictures. You can also link the app to your social media accounts so that you can share your personalized photos or print pictures from social media.

But the best feature is probably the addition of AR, which allows you to take a short video and then print a single picture from it. When you point a Kodak Smile App-enabled smartphone camera at this photo, you get a neat little moving image that shows the GIF-like video instead of the photo.


The Kodak Smile printer uses ZINC non-ink printing, which involves treating photo paper with thermoreactive crystals instead of applying ink to the paper. This means you don’t have to wait for the photos to dry or develop. The result is smudge-proof, water-resistant and even tear-proof. However, this does mean that you will need to use the special ZINC paper that is sold for the Kodak Smile.

This is a major change from the last Kodak mobile printer we tested, the Photo Printer Mini, which uses a more traditional four-pass printing process.

(Photo credit: Tom’s Guide)

In our tests, the photo quality was reasonable for a portable photo printer. Images printed with good colors and detail, and none of the printing artifacts we saw, show up in competitor prints. The colors were pretty accurate but a little bland, and the photos’ low resolution means your printed photos won’t match the crisp details they may have on your camera phone.

That said, photos printed fairly quickly, with individual photos printing in 30 to 40 seconds. Frames averaged 36.2 seconds, while stacks of two or more images came out a little faster, averaging 34.6 seconds each.

MORE: The 10 best websites to store and share photos from

That’s actually faster than the HP Sprocket and Polaroid Zip, which both averaged 55 seconds per photo, and faster than the older Kodak Photo Printer Mini, which took an average of 83 seconds per print.

Because the Kodak Smile is portable, it uses an internal battery. Kodak claims that the battery can provide up to 40 prints on a single charge, and our tests confirm that claim.

Bottom line

The Kodak Smile instant photo printer is a solid entry into the mobile photo printing category. However, by using zinc printing, it is very similar to other products already on the market.

Our favorite photo printer is still the Kodak Photo Printer Mini, which has a more complicated printing process but produces slightly better prints. None of the smartphone photo printers we’ve seen offer particularly good photos – they all come out on small, low-resolution prints. For this type of printer, however, the Kodak Smile offers faster printing than the Polaroid Zip and better print quality than the HP Sprocket (2nd Edition), making it a great choice for hassle-free, smartphone-friendly printing.