Polaroid PoGo Mobile Printer Review - Digital Photography School

Polaroid PoGo Mobile Printer Review

A Guest Post review of the Polaroid PoGo Printer by Chris Folsom.

I really shouldn’t like the Polaroid PoGo printer. I can easily list off a number of problems with the device… small image size, average print quality and relatively expensive print media.

pogo.jpg

In spite of all of the valid complaints I have with the device, I find myself enjoying this little printer quite a bit actually. While all of these negative details remain true, they miss the point of this printer: instant gratification. There are certainly a multitude of very practical printing options available, but none of them feel as quick and fun as using the PoGo.

Part of that fun comes from its extreme mobility… the device itself is about the size of a 3×5 card and maybe an inch thick. Small enough that it could easily be carried in a jacket pocket or camera bag. The printer also includes a rechargeable battery, so no power cable is required for making a print on the go. The 2×3” photo paper is internal to the device as well, making the entire package a self-contained printing environment.

The paper used in the Polaroid PoGo is not your average glossy sheet. The PoGo uses a special zero ink paper that requires no ink cartridges. Much like the Polaroid cameras of old, all of the chemicals necessary to produce an image are inherent to the paper itself. This helps minimize the moving components in the printer (and likely helps keep the unit size so small) but also adds to the costs of the prints as you will have to continually buy the special ZINK paper refills. A 30-pack of paper can be had for about $9… a cost of about 30 cents per printed image. As an added bonus, you can peel off a thin sheet of paper from the back of the photo to reveal an adhesive surface, turning every image you print into a photographic sticker of sorts.

The printing process itself is fairly straightforward. For most cameras, you’ll only need your USB cable to use the PoGo. If your camera supports PictBridge, it will instantly detect the printer upon connection. Pick the photo you want printed and the PoGo will spit out a tiny rendition of the image moments later. With a Bluetooth device, this process is even easier. Simply pair your notebook computer or cellphone with the printer and send an image to it wirelessly. A list of supported cellphones can be found here on Polaroid’s website.

So how’s the quality of the images? Average to good, depending on the subject. Brightly lit scenes do well, while darker images tend to look a little muddy. Colors are nice and bright though and the images have a fair amount of contrast to them. There is a bit of graininess in the prints, but not enough to distract from the image itself. I actually find the effect somewhat pleasing… the photos have a vintage feel that is lacking from most other printers. Your mileage may vary though and I could see it being a source of frustration for some.

One more detail to note… the 2×3” paper shares the same aspect ratio as an APS-C image, thus no resizing or cropping is required when printing from crop sensor cameras.

Ultimately I have concluded that the Polaroid PoGo is more of a toy than a “serious printer”, but that’s ok. I have plenty of alternatives for printing high-quality images, but none of those options are as fun or as immediate as the PoGo. So, while this printer may be a toy, it is an exceptionally fun toy that is well worth the relatively low price of admission.

Get your own Polaroid PoGo Printer for $39.99 at Amazon (20% off).

-1.jpgChris Folsom is a hobbyist photographer who spends much of his time photographing abandoned buildings. You can view his site at www.studiotempura.com or see more of his photos at Flickr.

His photos have been published in newspapers and on numerous websites.

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  • http://fotografzahl.wordpress.com Timo

    I have a PoGo printer and I like it.
    You should not expect top-notch results, but the device is not intended for this purpose anyway.
    I use it a meetings, parties, etc. in order to share photos with family and friends.
    Moreover, as it has the sticky back, it is ideal for my notebook (Moleskine). So when I wrote my travel journal I printed out some pictures at the end of the day and added them to my written material.

    Cheers,

    Timo

    http://fotografzahl.wordpress.com

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/merrimartin/favorites/ Merri

    This sounds like so fun fun, I may have to pick one up!

  • Jan

    I was on the fence for a long time before I bought my PoGo printer and I have to say that it’s far from perfect. Many pictures suffer from terrible yellow tint and banding is a big problem with large single-colored surfaces like the sky.

    I had high hopes for the device but at least so far I’ve been reluctant to bring the device to any events where I’m shooting as there is no guarantee that I can give any reasonable quality images to any of the participants.. :-/

  • http://mthanded.blogspot.com Rachel

    My sister in law bought had one of these and a big dry mount album with black pages at her wedding. The guests could take pictures of themselves, print them out, stick them in the album and write a note – was so much fun and no-one minded the quality at all.

    I like that you said it’s for fun – because it sure is fun and that’s what matters with this product. good review!

  • http://www.claromentis.com Kyle @ project management software

    I too have an issue with the print quality. For something this small and expensive I was hoping for near perfect photos but that is not the case, pretty disappointing, great as an expensive gift for a teen though.

  • pixelmixture

    it ‘s a wonderfull way to brake the ice with you subject when doing travel photography …
    rather than giving money to the subject you give him a picture …. really cool

  • Elixabeth

    I’ve had one for a few years now. I hardly use it because it streaks when printed :( I might buy a new one and see if that helps since they are MUCH cheaper now….and since the dog chewed my recharged cord.

  • Rev. Joe

    I bought one for a friend for x-mas , turned out to be a blast for everyone , can’t beat the price $30 to $60 depending on where you shop , also the sticky back paper actually sticks quite well to those frige. magnets , just trim the excess magnet off and the kids have fun with it , as well as we guys and maybe girls who have roll away tool boxes, it’s great to see loved ones at work and around the shop at home, lockers etc…

  • Dianne

    You must approach this as a toy rather than a serious printer and, as toys should be, it can be great fun. I bought my POGO a year ago when they were $90. Took it on a vacation to Mexico where my greatest joy was photographing children then giving them the pictures. Their delight was priceless.

    Our group of nine all had the same kind of insulated mugs to keep our margaritas cool on the beach so I took photos of each person then stuck their pic on their mug for easy identification. There are other fun applications for this device – just use your imagination and some of the great suggestions by others on this post.

  • http://logos.co.uk AJ Finch

    Really helpful post. Thank you Chris.
    I have been wondering about one of these for ages.
    I am shooting my first wedding in May, and I am wondering about using the PoGo to print out a few of the more fun pics to stick in a small album to present to the bride and groom before they leave. I’ll get the guests to sign / write a comment by their photos.

    Thanks again,

    – AJ :)

  • amyjo

    we bought our pogo to make quick prints for a little game at my daughter’s birthday party, saw right away that the quality was similar to those less than stellar old style polaroids and thought that was COOL, paper from amazon.com can be purchased 80 sheets for $20 and if you buy two it’s free shipping – and we use it for our first grader’s homeschool *scrapbook* which is her reading/writing/story telling all in one book. We love our POGO! :D

  • Mary Anne

    I got this for the “fun factor” now that the price has come down so much. Quality isn’t stellar, but I never really expected it to be. I wouldn’t have paid $90 for it, but was able to get it for just over $30 from Adorama via Amazon.
    We’re looking forward to putting together an instant scrapbook for a party that my sister is having for my niece where we can get pictures of everyone there and have them write a comment to her.

  • Andrea

    I got my Pogo just before Christmas $29., I love it! Despite it’s problems it is a nifty little printer. I also bought one for my niece, who is 12, she has so much fun with it. Taking pictures of her siblings, friends and dogs printing them and making scrapbooks. I recently took some photos of my grandson, printed a few and stuck inside his diaper bag as a suprise for my daughter. They are cute little wallet sized photos.
    People should not expect “professional” results from this little gem, I too consider it a toy, it’s just for fun. I have a “real” printer for more important things.

    (thanks to rev.joe, I’ll have to try making my own fridge magnets)

  • Joseph W

    I got one of those for Christmas, with the idea that I could print pictures off of my phone, but my parents didn’t know that my phone didn’t support bluetooth file sharing. Last week I got the Canon T2i, and am now able to use it. Everyone is always surprised when they tell me they like a picture I took of them then, and 60 seconds later you here a whirrrrrrrrr, and out pops their picture. Its pretty cool for something that fits in my camera bag, although like most everyone else here, I don’t see it as a professional printing solution. It sure is quick, fun, and easy though :)

  • http://polaroid600film.com Kevin C. Harris

    It’s like the old retro effect is coming back. But it doesn’t give me the feeling of the old polaroid. Not my kind of thing.

  • http://polaroid600film.com Henri Spoon

    The printer does have a decent print quality. The speed at which the printer works is pretty good, and when used with my mobile phone the over all effect is impressive. But the battery isn’t very good as it only last for a very short time. If I was to use it outside away from a charger, then I wouldn’t get many photos printed. Even when the printer is switched of the battery depletes very quickly (about a day!).

  • http://circa-ve.tumblr.com Scott

    I think that this needs to print faster to live up to the Polaroid name. Mind you, it is the first iteration of a no-ink printer so I’m hoping something faster, smaller and maybe even cheaper will be in the pipeline; that’s what I’ll be waiting for.

  • http://www.officeability.com/ intranet software

    Awesome! I’ll bookmark your website. Keep doing the good job :)

  • Mike

    Why even bother? We are only looking at this device since it has a Polaroid name on it. Fun I’m sure, but pick-up the Instax line from Fuji instead. What a good time that is. No cords, no fuss. Goofy looking camera, gets everyones attention (good or bad). I know it doesn’t record digitally, or at least my model doesn’t, but good times anyways. All my friends have at least one of my images up on their fridge.

  • http://ejocurionline.zxq.net/ Lauralee Smathers

    Very good post, I am going to bookmark Polaroid PoGo Mobile Printer Review.

  • hanifareed

    with zink portable printer can i re-size the printout from 4*6 to 2*2 for example if i need passport type size photo can make it 2*2?

  • http://lovetatar.ru/blogs/127/123/the-possibilities-for-important Arnold

    If you or maybe your partner experience any signs or symptoms
    of the STD, cease all sexual practice immediately and seek medical help.

    Researchers aren’t sure with the correlation, but happen to be watching this for years.

  • Johnwolstenholme

    I have an iPhone but the pogo does not support it. Does any one now of a similar printer that does????

Some older comments

  • Johnwolstenholme

    July 10, 2013 09:04 pm

    I have an iPhone but the pogo does not support it. Does any one now of a similar printer that does????

  • Arnold

    June 5, 2013 06:56 am

    If you or maybe your partner experience any signs or symptoms
    of the STD, cease all sexual practice immediately and seek medical help.

    Researchers aren't sure with the correlation, but happen to be watching this for years.

  • hanifareed

    January 7, 2013 05:07 pm

    with zink portable printer can i re-size the printout from 4*6 to 2*2 for example if i need passport type size photo can make it 2*2?

  • Lauralee Smathers

    November 3, 2012 08:00 pm

    Very good post, I am going to bookmark Polaroid PoGo Mobile Printer Review.

  • Mike

    November 25, 2010 03:08 pm

    Why even bother? We are only looking at this device since it has a Polaroid name on it. Fun I'm sure, but pick-up the Instax line from Fuji instead. What a good time that is. No cords, no fuss. Goofy looking camera, gets everyones attention (good or bad). I know it doesn't record digitally, or at least my model doesn't, but good times anyways. All my friends have at least one of my images up on their fridge.

  • intranet software

    August 21, 2010 05:08 pm

    Awesome! I'll bookmark your website. Keep doing the good job :)

  • Scott

    July 14, 2010 01:25 pm

    I think that this needs to print faster to live up to the Polaroid name. Mind you, it is the first iteration of a no-ink printer so I'm hoping something faster, smaller and maybe even cheaper will be in the pipeline; that's what I'll be waiting for.

  • Henri Spoon

    July 5, 2010 08:08 pm

    The printer does have a decent print quality. The speed at which the printer works is pretty good, and when used with my mobile phone the over all effect is impressive. But the battery isn't very good as it only last for a very short time. If I was to use it outside away from a charger, then I wouldn't get many photos printed. Even when the printer is switched of the battery depletes very quickly (about a day!).

  • Kevin C. Harris

    June 14, 2010 07:17 pm

    It's like the old retro effect is coming back. But it doesn't give me the feeling of the old polaroid. Not my kind of thing.

  • Joseph W

    March 18, 2010 07:55 am

    I got one of those for Christmas, with the idea that I could print pictures off of my phone, but my parents didn't know that my phone didn't support bluetooth file sharing. Last week I got the Canon T2i, and am now able to use it. Everyone is always surprised when they tell me they like a picture I took of them then, and 60 seconds later you here a whirrrrrrrrr, and out pops their picture. Its pretty cool for something that fits in my camera bag, although like most everyone else here, I don't see it as a professional printing solution. It sure is quick, fun, and easy though :)

  • Andrea

    March 6, 2010 07:20 am

    I got my Pogo just before Christmas $29., I love it! Despite it's problems it is a nifty little printer. I also bought one for my niece, who is 12, she has so much fun with it. Taking pictures of her siblings, friends and dogs printing them and making scrapbooks. I recently took some photos of my grandson, printed a few and stuck inside his diaper bag as a suprise for my daughter. They are cute little wallet sized photos.
    People should not expect "professional" results from this little gem, I too consider it a toy, it's just for fun. I have a "real" printer for more important things.

    (thanks to rev.joe, I'll have to try making my own fridge magnets)

  • Mary Anne

    March 2, 2010 02:59 am

    I got this for the "fun factor" now that the price has come down so much. Quality isn't stellar, but I never really expected it to be. I wouldn't have paid $90 for it, but was able to get it for just over $30 from Adorama via Amazon.
    We're looking forward to putting together an instant scrapbook for a party that my sister is having for my niece where we can get pictures of everyone there and have them write a comment to her.

  • amyjo

    February 27, 2010 04:55 am

    we bought our pogo to make quick prints for a little game at my daughter's birthday party, saw right away that the quality was similar to those less than stellar old style polaroids and thought that was COOL, paper from amazon.com can be purchased 80 sheets for $20 and if you buy two it's free shipping - and we use it for our first grader's homeschool *scrapbook* which is her reading/writing/story telling all in one book. We love our POGO! :D

  • AJ Finch

    February 23, 2010 12:15 am

    Really helpful post. Thank you Chris.
    I have been wondering about one of these for ages.
    I am shooting my first wedding in May, and I am wondering about using the PoGo to print out a few of the more fun pics to stick in a small album to present to the bride and groom before they leave. I'll get the guests to sign / write a comment by their photos.

    Thanks again,

    - AJ :)

  • Dianne

    February 21, 2010 02:04 pm

    You must approach this as a toy rather than a serious printer and, as toys should be, it can be great fun. I bought my POGO a year ago when they were $90. Took it on a vacation to Mexico where my greatest joy was photographing children then giving them the pictures. Their delight was priceless.

    Our group of nine all had the same kind of insulated mugs to keep our margaritas cool on the beach so I took photos of each person then stuck their pic on their mug for easy identification. There are other fun applications for this device – just use your imagination and some of the great suggestions by others on this post.

  • Rev. Joe

    February 21, 2010 08:27 am

    I bought one for a friend for x-mas , turned out to be a blast for everyone , can't beat the price $30 to $60 depending on where you shop , also the sticky back paper actually sticks quite well to those frige. magnets , just trim the excess magnet off and the kids have fun with it , as well as we guys and maybe girls who have roll away tool boxes, it's great to see loved ones at work and around the shop at home, lockers etc...

  • Elixabeth

    February 21, 2010 04:01 am

    I've had one for a few years now. I hardly use it because it streaks when printed :( I might buy a new one and see if that helps since they are MUCH cheaper now....and since the dog chewed my recharged cord.

  • pixelmixture

    February 20, 2010 08:52 pm

    it 's a wonderfull way to brake the ice with you subject when doing travel photography ...
    rather than giving money to the subject you give him a picture .... really cool

  • Kyle @ project management software

    February 20, 2010 02:01 pm

    I too have an issue with the print quality. For something this small and expensive I was hoping for near perfect photos but that is not the case, pretty disappointing, great as an expensive gift for a teen though.

  • Rachel

    February 20, 2010 09:47 am

    My sister in law bought had one of these and a big dry mount album with black pages at her wedding. The guests could take pictures of themselves, print them out, stick them in the album and write a note - was so much fun and no-one minded the quality at all.

    I like that you said it's for fun - because it sure is fun and that's what matters with this product. good review!

  • Jan

    February 20, 2010 04:05 am

    I was on the fence for a long time before I bought my PoGo printer and I have to say that it's far from perfect. Many pictures suffer from terrible yellow tint and banding is a big problem with large single-colored surfaces like the sky.

    I had high hopes for the device but at least so far I've been reluctant to bring the device to any events where I'm shooting as there is no guarantee that I can give any reasonable quality images to any of the participants.. :-/

  • Merri

    February 20, 2010 02:12 am

    This sounds like so fun fun, I may have to pick one up!

  • Timo

    February 20, 2010 01:06 am

    I have a PoGo printer and I like it.
    You should not expect top-notch results, but the device is not intended for this purpose anyway.
    I use it a meetings, parties, etc. in order to share photos with family and friends.
    Moreover, as it has the sticky back, it is ideal for my notebook (Moleskine). So when I wrote my travel journal I printed out some pictures at the end of the day and added them to my written material.

    Cheers,

    Timo

    http://fotografzahl.wordpress.com

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