Lifeprint instantly brings Christmas memories to life
3.5Overall Score
Name: Lifeprint Hyperphoto 3x4.5" instant photo printer Price (RRP): $279 Manufacturer: Lifeprint

Lifeprint instantly brings Android or iOS photos, video stills or GIFs to life making 4.5 x3” instant prints. No more forgotten memories.

Let’s look first at Zink paper used in Lifeprint

ZINK stands for Zero Ink. Currently, Canon IVY, HP Sprocket, Prynt, Polaroid and Lifeprint use it. It evolved from Polaroid and has been in use since 2007, so it’s not new and untested.

The paper has a backing layer (usually a sticker), and three layers of heat sensitive cyan, magenta, yellow (C, M, Y) amorphochromic dyes and a clear top coat. These dyes form coloured microcrystals when under point heat and retain that after re-solidification.

Each layer reacts to different heat intensities, so in that respect, it is additive colour. There is no mention of DPI (dots per inch) but make sure your original shots use a high megapixel and be careful with light backgrounds and dark foregrounds – shoot in daylight. In other words, garbage in, garbage out.

Zink doesn’t claim archival quality, but photos are water and tear resistant, and the combined colours are stable under typical temperatures.

Quality wise it generally produces fit for purpose prints – an instant snap or sticker.

GadgetGuy’s call. As it uses three colours (CMK), it lacks the depth of photo prints (CMYK). Zink was to be the next big thing in digital photography, but cost got in the way. A pack of 40 sheets is $49.99.The Lifeprint printer is $279 at JB Hi-Fi.

We are talking about fun here rather than a professional photography tool. Prints have a slightly retro look that somehow seems fitting on prints of this size.

Lifeprint print speed

Test prints took an average of 1.5 minutes each. That excludes time taken to send the image to the printer via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi N 2.4Ghz. Wi-Fi uses Lifeprint’s cloud for remote printing.

But Lifeprint is a little more than a personal, rechargeable, no-ink Zink printer.

Lifeprint app

You must create a Lifeprint account before you can start using it. The app is more than a little intrusive wanting way too much information. What is Lifeprint’s aim here?

It collects photos from your camera, Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, so they are in one place and easy to access.

It has a very basic photo editing suite with more than 15 editing tools, filters and memes. I found applying a brightness filter was a necessity.

Augmented Reality (Hyperphoto) software app

Ordinary prints when viewed through the Lifeprint app on a smartphone camera, appear to come to life. Hyperphoto playback includes up to a 15 seconds clip with sound.

Lifeprint is the first (and only) instant photo printer in the world that not only allows you to print live videos. Share these via Lifeprint’s cloud (must have Wi-Fi access) with your friends, family, and fans all over the world.

In the box

  • 3×4.5 Hyperphoto Printer (website here)
  • 5 Pack of ZINK Paper (a bit lousy even for a starter kit!)
  • 12” USB-A to micro-USB Charging Cord
  • User Manual
  • Size: 160 x 115 x 25mm x 341g
  • Requires the latest version of iOS or Android 4.4 or later

First impression

Made from white plastic with silver trim. It is not MIL-SPEC so take care not to drop it. Pop in a pack of paper (up to 10 sheets, Zink side down) and clip on the back plate.

Charging

It has a 1000mAh battery rated for micro-USB charging of 5V/1A. Charging takes about two hours, and it will charge on a 5V/.5A in under four hours. It makes little time difference with a 5V/2A charger. You are ill-advised to print on a low battery (red LED indicator).

We did not exhaust the battery as we only did five prints (that was all in the startup kit). The app will advise battery levels.

GadgetGuy’s take: Lifeprint is interesting technology.

GadgetGuy’s review of the ZINKpowered HP Sprocket said, “it is fun, much fun, and it’s only for fun. Do you want professional photo prints? Go to a print shop or buy a photo printer. The Sprocket produces small, fun prints, on adhesive paper with a removable backing so you can stick them on to things.”

It focuses too heavily on social media and sharing – you need to turn ‘share with friends’ off. I don’t want to join a social network for my printer. I don’t want all my printed photos uploaded to a profile. And them onto don’t want to see other people’s printed photos in the”Inbox” and “Explore” feeds that are in the app. Where is the opt-out feature for those who eschew social media?

Lifeprint is not my demographic so let that be a gentle warning about giving it to your parents or grandparents who love paper prints. It’s heavily focused on social media sharing, and they/we will be expecting store quality digital prints.

In fact, for me, I would go for a dedicated photo printer like the Epson XP-8500 (six-ink).

No this is for those who live and breath social media and love to print some photo/stickers when they want to. And perhaps have a thick wallet for ongoing print paper costs.

Lifeprint instantly brings Christmas memories to life
Name: Lifeprint Hyperphoto 3x4.5" instant photo printer Price (RRP): $279 Manufacturer: Lifeprint
Love 15-second hyperphotosGood social media integration – perhaps its main purposePrint quality is fit for the purposeUseful where the ability to physically hand someone a photo on the spot
Instant gratification - paper is costlyPrints lack colour depth – as all CMY prints do
Features
Value for money
Performance
Ease of Use
Design
3.5Overall Score
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