Fujifilm’s Instax printers have been a popular way to turn your phone into analogue prints – and the new Instax Mini Link 2 aims to increase the fun with a few new tricks.
Like the original Instax Mini Link, the new printer connects to your phone via Bluetooth and, after choosing a snap from the companion app, will print a small physical version in about 15 seconds. From there, just wait about 90 seconds for the credit card-sized snap to develop,
But with Link 2, Fujifilm has tried to bring some innovation to the table with some new features, which look intriguing, if a little gimmicky. Chief among them is instaxAir, which is a bit like painting with light – you point the printer’s LED at your phone and shake it to draw shapes in the air. These shapes will be overlaid on your digital snap, which you can print.
Perhaps more useful are the app’s customization features, which allow you to create picture frames and stickers, as well as choose filters to amplify the look of your photos. There’s a ‘Rich Mode’ for deep, contrasting colors and a ‘Natural Mode’ for a more standard look.
On the downside, the Instax Mini Link 2 – which is available in pink, white or dark blue – hasn’t been as innovative in other areas. The printer is still powered by a microUSB port, and if you want to print directly from a Fujifilm camera, that’s also only possible on the Fujifilm X-S10. Hopefully Fujifilm will bring this useful feature to more Bluetooth equipped cameras in the future.
You can pre-order the Fujifilm Instax Mini Link 2 now for $99 / £115 / $179 ahead of availability starting June 22, though that doesn’t include any Instax Mini film. And the small size of this film (which measures 54mm x 86mm) is arguably the main weakness of the Mini Link 2, considering the recent arrival of the Instax Link Wide – which prints photos twice as large.
Analysis: Bigger is now better for Instax
As you can see above, Instax Wide prints are twice the size of the Instax Minis created by the Instax Mini Link 2 – and that’s undoubtedly a good reason to opt for Fujifilm’s new Instax Wide printer over this new one.
We’re still big fans of cameras like the Instax Mini 11, which tops our guide to the best instant cameras. But the long-awaited arrival of a printer that supports Fuji’s larger Instax format makes it harder to go back to the Mini format, especially considering the quality of the snaps you’ll be printing from your phone or a camera.
The Mini format is clearly designed for a younger audience, as some of the new photo customization features in the Mini Link 2 show. But an Instax Wide film pack isn’t much more expensive than the Instax Mini either – for example, a 20 -the Instax Mini bundle costs $14 / £14.99 / AU$34, compared to the $22 / £16.99 / AU$39 you’ll pay for the Instax Wide.
Granted, the ‘Wide’ format doesn’t offer the variety of film styles you get with the Mini, but if that’s not important to you, we think the Instax Wide printer is becoming a better choice than your charming new one. Brother Mini Link 2.