What is it?
The millennial’s Polaroid: a pocket-sized printer and app that allows you to print miniature pics from your smartphone.
What does it look like?
A portable hard drive: sleek, black, unassuming.
So, how does it work?
While I respect the stalwarts who still cart around Polaroid cameras or their closest modern equivalents, most of us don’t have the pocket space. The HP Sprocket wants to be the answer to this dilemma: it’s a little black box that you could, in theory, slip into your handbag or your pocket for easily accessible printing directly from your smartphone.
The printer can be charged via USB, and once it’s got some juice in it, you can get printing by accessing the free Sprocket app on your smartphone.
How easy is it to use?
There are no in-depth instruction booklets – just one piece of paper that tells you to plug it in and download the smartphone app, which will do the rest of the work. Once you link the printer to your phone via bluetooth, you can go into the app and pick photos from Facebook, Instagram, or your camera roll to print.
The paper – which comes in packets of 10 sticky-backed, wallet-sized sheets – is easily inserted into the top of the Sprocket, the case for which is popped off like the back of an old Nokia.
The best part? There is no ink involved – meaning no faffing about with miniature cartridges.
Is it any good?
It’s a nifty little thing. It may not have the nostalgic might of Polaroid snaps behind it, and it’s not likely to be the kind of thing that you carry around at all times, but it does its job very effectively.
It couldn’t be easier to use, and the photos print out very quickly. Photo quality is not incredible, but for the purpose intended – wallet pics, stickers, collages – they will certainly do the job.