For fans of instant printed photography who don’t want to go back to the days of Polaroid cameras, Fujifilm has created yet another neat little device that might help.
The Instax Square Link smartphone printer has just been unveiled and it does exactly what its name implies. The Instax Square Link lets people instantly print out square format editions of the photos they’ve just taken with their phones.
This isn’t the first such device on the market or even by Fujifilm itself. Previously, the company had released the Instax Mini Link 2 and Instax Link Wide devices that both do the same but with different photo sizes and formats.
Photo prints from this latest edition of the device are 1.5x larger than the ones that the Instax Mini produced.
While the print quality and size of the Instax Square Link’s photos aren’t exactly gallery-level, it’s a great tool for phone users and smartphone photographers who just want a quick, nice–looking 1:1-cropped photo of a memorable moment.
The aspect ratio of the photos is also deliberate since it evokes the look and format of typical social media images such as those you’d post on Instagram.
The particularly cool thing about the Instax Square Link isn’t simply its ability to instantly let users print out a photo from their phone. It also comes with other features.
The most noteworthy of the Instax Square Link’s other benefits is a feature called Augmented Reality (AR). With this, users can add special effects, animations, other images and doodles to their printed photos.
As those photos print, a QR code is added to them and can be scanned by another smartphone in order to unlock the pre-added augmented reality content in the photo print. Recipients only need to look at the print through their camera and screen.
Among the included AR preset modes is one called “Special FX” for doodle-like objects such as birthday cakes, bubbles and rainbows.
Another mode is called “Add Text” and lets photo creators write in some digital text that will be shown to a recipient when they scan the QR code for a photo.
Other modes include “Add Photo” for placing a digital photo into the physical photo, and “Add Background”, which is pretty self-explanatory.
Another feature of the Instax Square Link is a thing called Instax Connect, which lets users share phone photos digitally through the Square Link app.
The app lets people add many of the effects described above and others to these digitally shared images before directly sharing them with others.
Through its app, the little printing device also lets users make image corrections for crop, contrast and minor color changes. Once these are done on the phone, you can connect to the printer itself and print your photo of choice with a simple upwards swipe.
Other features of the Instax Square Link include Video Print; for printing still shots from phone videos; Frame Print, for printing photos with decorative borders, and Collage Print for printing out a sequence of favorite photos that can be joined together for a print collage.
The Instax Square Link is one very simple-looking device despite its surprising roster of features and is designed to be extremely easy to use physically and through its accompanying app. This should make it fairly popular among a broad base of users of different ages.
Fujifilm is releasing the Instax Square Link in mid-November for a UK price of £129.99, an Australian price of AU$219 and a U.S retail price that hasn’t been confirmed quite yet.