Thursday , April 19 2018

Moto Mods – Polaroid Insta-share Printer available for $249

Announced late 2017, the Polaroid Insta-Share printer is one of the newest moto mods available in Australia. It’ll work with any Moto Z-series handset, including the Moto Z2 Play we’ve got knocking around the office. In a nutshell, like any moto mod, it clips on the back of a Moto Z and allows you not only to print photos on 2 x 3-inch ZINK paper, but it has a physical shutter button too, to make taking photos more fun.

The mod itself charges via USB-C, and while it has a built-in battery, it isn’t especially large. It’ll probably last 10 prints (which is about how much paper the ZINK paper tray holds) before you’ll need to recharge it. Fortunately, it charges pretty quickly. It is rather bulky, and though Moto Z phones are slender as, adding the Insta-Share Printer to the rear makes it positively enormous (though if you’ve got reasonable pockets, it’ll still fit).

Simply put, the Insta-Share Printer turns your Moto Z into a Polaroid of yesteryear. Simply point, shoot, and print – and it takes only a few seconds. Far from printing only what you take photos of, you can add stickers, filters, borders and text so you can print pretty much anything you want.

Using the partner Insta-Share app makes everything fairly simple, but it isn’t without its flaws; we were unable to get it to link to our Google Photos account, for example. However, you can work around this, as the app provides a Share Intent that allows you to send media to it from other apps. Find an interesting photo on Twitter? Share it to Insta-Share, and print it out straight away.

How does it work?

Pretty well. Probably my only real criticism is that the ZINK paper really doesn’t lend itself to properly saturated photos, meaning the colours are just a bit washed out. You can dial up the saturation in the app to compensate for this, but frankly, it isn’t enough. Also, as you can see, it’s not especially quick:

 

These are not photos that you’re going to want to print precious memories on; grab a proper photo printer for that, or get them printed on a professional printer at your local office / department store. However, for happy snaps readily printed that you can stick in your wallet, stick on the fridge, or give to your friends, the Polaroid Insta-Share Printer is great.

Where to buy

Like a camera, I guess, the best printer is the one you have with you, and if you need to print a photo, this is one way you can print it wherever you are. The Polaroid Insta-Share Printer mod is available in Australia for $249, and you can buy it from Motorola’s online store.

The ZINK paper can be bought from places like JB HiFi and Officeworks. Polaroid branded paper isn’t cheap – $39 for a 30 pack – but you can use cheaper HP branded ZINK paper as well, which is $12 for a 20-pack or $28 for a 50 pack. Regardless of which paper you use, it’s sticky-backed, so you can stick your photos to whatever you like.

Chris Rowland   Editor and Publisher

Chris has been at the forefront of smartphone reporting in Australia since smartphones were a thing, and has used mobile phones since they came with giant lead-acid batteries that were "transportable" and were carried in a shoulder bag. He saw the transition from AMPS to GSM, loved the Motorola StarTac, and got into Palm technologies in a big way. The arrival some years later of the original iPhone, and then the early Androids, awoke a new interest in mobile technology, and Chris has been writing about it since.

Today, Chris publishes one of Australia's most popular technology websites, Ausdroid. His interests include mobile (of course), as well as connected technology and how it can make all our lives easier.

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