Your phone has an amazing camera, and you’ve used it to capture some special moments. But let’s be honest, there’s nothing like a printed photo. Thankfully, there’s a ton of cheap and easy ways to print photos directly from your phone—no computer necessary.
Use Your Existing Printer
If you own a wireless inkjet or laser printer, then you’re already set to start printing photos from your phone. Simply pick a photo from your phone’s Gallery, open the overflow menu (the AirDrop button on iOS or the three dots on Android), select “Print,” and choose a printer. (Make sure that you’re connected to the same Wi-Fi network as your printer.)
These prints won’t look amazing, as common inkjet and laser printers aren’t made for pushing out professional photos. But they’ll look good enough for work, school assignments, or your fridge.
If you want to push the print quality to a higher level (like picture-frame quality), then you’ll need to use some photo paper. Sadly, laser printers only work with glossy laser printer photo paper. Still, inkjet printers can work with glossy photo paper, matte photo paper, and even soft gloss or canvas-like photo paper.
(If you’re having trouble connecting your phone to your printer, then you may need to download your printer’s official Android or iOS app. And if your printer only works over wired connections, then you’ll have to transfer your photos to a computer before printing.)
For the Best Results, Use an Actual Photo Printer
Your inkjet or laser printer can push out decent prints, especially if you use it with some photo paper. But if you want to turn photos from your phone into super high-quality prints, then you’ll have to use an actual photo printer.
There are a ton of great photo printers on the market, with new models being released every year. But it isn’t always easy to shop for a photo printer, especially if you don’t know what you’re looking for. So we’re going to quickly look at three great photo printers, all of which are Wi-Fi enabled and perfect for printing photos from your phone.
The HP ENVY 5055 is a fantastic budget photo printer that’s capable of printing most standard photo sizes (letter, legal, 4×6, 5×7, and 8×10). It prints color photos at 4800 x 120 dpi, which is fine for most people, and it has a built-in document scanner, which is a nice touch. (Sadly, iOS users have to use the HP Smart app with this printer.)
But if you want a little more quality and flexibility from your printer, then you should go for the Canon IP8720 or the Epson Expression Photo XP-970. The Canon IP8720 is technically the better of these two printers, with a 9600 x 2400 color dpi and a maximum paper size of 13×19 inches. But the Epson XP-970 is a great all-in-one photo printer, with its 5760 x 1440 color dpi, 11×17-inch max paper size, built-in photo scanner, and integration with Google and Alexa voice assistants.
Print From Anywhere With a Zink Printer
Bulky printers are great for printing high-quality photos, but they’re cheap and time-consuming. If you just want to print quick photos from your phone, then maybe it’s best to go down the Zink route.
Zink printers are an interesting concept. They’re small, wireless, and they print with heat instead of ink. They’re kind of like Polaroids for your phone, and their companion apps allow you to add filters, drawings, and text to your photos before printing.
As of right now, our favorite Zink printers are the HP Sprocket and the Polaroid ZIP. They both have great companion apps, they’re both reasonably affordable, and they’re both sold with all kinds of specialty printing paper, including sticker paper.
Order Prints Through an App
What, you don’t want to drop hundreds of dollars on a new printer? That’s fair. If you’re just trying to print out a few high-quality photos from your phone, then a printing service is by far the cheapest and easiest solution.
There isn’t too much variety in the world of printing services. But we’re particularly fond of the services that have good, easy to use apps. The Shutterfly app (iOS/Android) is probably our favorite, as it’s affordable, easy to use, and great for printing out standard photos, cards, or even large prints.
If you’re looking for something a little different, then Mpix (iOS/Android) or Print Studio (iOS/Android) are your best bets. Mpix is a direct competitor to Shutterfly, while Print Studio is very stripped back and has an incredibly easy-to-use app.
Or Print Them Out In Person
If you want to print out high-quality photos from your phone right now, then you’ll have to do it in person at a kiosk. It sounds like a pain, but kiosks are cheap, fast, and easy to use. Plus, they’re wireless, so you don’t have to plug your phone into any strange machine just to get prints.
You can find photo printing kiosks in most major stores. They’re at Walmart, Target, CVS, Walgreens, Costco, and even Office Depot (or Office Max). Some shopping apps, like the Walgreens (iOS/Android) and CVS (iOS/Android) apps, will even let you order prints for pick-up. This is a great option if you’re too busy to wait at a kiosk, or if you need to print a ton of photos.