Is this the ultimate mobile printer? A smartphone “case” with built-in printer: co-founders Clément Perrot and David Zhang were inspired to build the product after spending time with a friend’s original Polaroid instant camera one afternoon. They wanted to recreate the magical experience of sharing physical photos with friends, and also knew they could enhance it by incorporating smartphones, which are always with us and help us stay connected. In one year, the company has grown to a team of seven photography enthusiasts with engineering, design, and marketing backgrounds, and are based in San Francisco and Paris. Their first product, the Prynt Case, launched in early 2015 with a Kickstarter campaign that raised over $1.5 million.
The latest iPhone and Galaxy S smartphones have the best cameras on the market today and you’ve no doubt used one at one time or another. Now, think about how you have to print those photos:
- Send photos to the cloud and print them later using your printer, PC, or laptop.
- Email photos to yourself and print them later using your printer, PC, or laptop.
- Remotely print photos from your smartphone using your cloud/wireless printer that is equipped with services such as HP ePrint, Epson Connect or Google Cloud Print. Plus, you must ensure that you use the proper settings and have photo paper installed in your main tray.
- Once you return home, wirelessly print your photos with your wireless printer using various printing apps, or Apple AirPrint, or WiFi Direct printing.
- Connect your smartphone to your PC or laptop via USB cable and offload and/or print the photos using your printer.
None of the options are what you would call especially fast and convenient. Here comes Prynt Case to the rescue, as it lets you print photos on the spot directly from your compatible smartphone.
Prynt Case is a portable camera “case” and is designed to accommodate the iPhone 6s iPhone 6, iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy S4 and Samsung Galaxy S5 smartphones. It features a built-in battery and allows you to print photos anywhere without the need for WiFi or Bluetooth connectivity. It’s also modular, so that when you upgrade your smartphone, you can purchase a new adapter – and Prynt promises to release adapters for additional smartphone models in the future.
About The Printer
The Prynt Case uses ZINK Printing Technology— short for Zero Ink—that produces photo-quality, full-color photos without ink cartridges, ribbons, or toner. ZINK uses thermal printing, which activates the color-forming molecules embedded in the layers of required ZINK Paper. It takes about 30 seconds to print a full-color photo. Prynt ZINK photos measure two by three inches (5 by 7.62 cm) and resolution is 313 x 399 DPI (620 x 1120 px). The photos also are immediately dry-to-the-touch and are protected by a polymer overcoat that provides water resistance, tear resistance, and image durability.
About the App
Prynt Case requires the Prynt app, which is available for Android at the Google Play store (we could not find it however). For the iOS Prynt app, you must email “email@example.com” for assistance. The Print app is compatible with the iOS 8.1, or Android Jelly Bean 4.1 or later smartphone operating systems.
Loading ZINK Paper
Open the paper compartment and insert the paper, blank-side up, with the bar code on the blue sheet bar facing down. The blue Smartsheet in each pack of paper re-calibrates the Prynt Case and cleans the print head. Prynt recommends that you run the Smartsheet through your Prynt Case before every 10-pack of paper in order to ensure the best print quality.
Charging the Prynt Case
The Prynt Case may arrive uncharged. This is indicated by a blank charge indicator next to the shutter button. Use the included micro-USB cable to charge the Prynt Case. An AC to USB charging adapter is not included, but you can use the charging adapter that you use to charge your smartphone. Once the Prynt Case is fully charged, the charging indicator light turns green, and you can use the Prynt Case while it’s charging. A fully charged Prynt Case will last for approximately twenty (20) prints.
Every Prynt photo has hidden AR content inside. To create this content, take a photo, record a short video clip, then print the photo. Once the photo is printed, you or your friends can unlock the hidden video clip, “magically bringing your photo to life.”
The video is recorded and securely uploaded to the cloud and linked to your photo. The Prynt app recognizes the physical photo (much like a QR code) and then streams and displays the video on the smartphone screen. The Prynt app also allows you to designate whether the video is private or public. Here’s a video of how AR works with Prynt:
Specifications and Pricing
Purchase Price: $149.00 (white or black) plus shipping
Apple iPhone 5/5c/5s/6/6s Adapters (white or black): $19 each
Samsung Galaxy S4/S5 Adapters (white or black): $19 each
50-Sheets of Photo Paper (Five Ten Packs): $25
50-Sheets of Sticker Paper (Five Ten Packs): $25
Cost Per Photo or Sticker Print: $0.50 each
Print Speed: ~30 seconds per print
Print Size: 2″ x 3″ (5 x 7.62 cm)
Photo Paper Capacity: 10 sheets
Print Resolution: 313 x 399 DPI (620 x 1120 px)
Battery Life: ˜20 prints
Dimensions (DxWxH) and Weight
Prynt Case: 1.3” (3.3cm) x 5.5” (13.98cm) x 3.4” (8.7cm); Weight, 0.55 lb. (254g)
Prynt Smartphone Adapter: 0.2” (0.5cm) x 5.5” (13.98cm) x 3.4” (8.7cm); Weight, 0.5 lb. (23.5g)
Prynt includes a one-year limited warranty from the date of sale. In the event that the product arrives defective, Prynt will provide free return-shipping costs and a replacement unit free of charge.
Prynt Order Now Page
Order by 12/17/15 and Prynt Cases shipped to the United States will arrive by 12/25/15.
While it’s a stretch to call Prynt Case a smartphone case, it’s an interesting little gadget especially for those who want to print on location and are satisfied with the small 2″ x 3″ (5 x 7.62 cm) print size. Plus, the AR enhances the experience and makes up for the small size of the photos.
However, keep in mind that prints cost $0.50, each which is very expensive for their minuscule size as opposed to printing them on a common color printer. For a comparison, any Hewlett-Packard inkjet printer with an Instant Ink subscription will print photos (without AR however) as large as 8.5″ x 11″ with ink costs of roughly $0.05 to $0.07 each, plus the cost of the photo paper. However, for special occasions – including family reunions with older family members who may not be tech savvy – or you just don’t want to be bothered with “conventional” mobile printing – the Prynt Case seems like a great idea.