A Photo Printer On Your Phone – Polaroid Lab!

On the 10th of September 2019, Polaroid Originals had announced about their first ever Polaroid printer. These are not the ordinary photos being printed through a camera; this basically includes the print of the photos taken by your camera.

Polaroid Originals – Polaroid Lab

Polaroid Originals, formerly the Impossible Project, announces the Polaroid Lab, a miniature instant film darkroom for your phone’s digital photos. With a design that’ll fit nicely with your vinyl collection, the printer churns out instant prints at the push of a button using Polaroid’s film packs and mobile app for iPhone and Android.

The Lab, an update to Impossible Project’s Instant Lab from seven years ago, has a camera inside with three lenses that, essentially, take a photo of a photo that’s on a user’s phone. It then optimizes the image for film and prints it out. It’s supposed to work with the iPhone 6 and up and “most” Android devices. It charges over Micro USB, with Polaroid saying one charge should last a month. Also, it accepts any film, except the SX-70.

Polaroid included other, more tech-oriented features that are already built into other photo printers, like the ability to assign a video to a photo. That feature lets you hold the Polaroid Originals app over the print to make a video show up. It’s gimmicky and requires whoever has the print to actually download the app.

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How does it work?

The $130 Polaroid Lab, is basically available on the 10th of October, 2019; and to make it work one must just press a button on the side; the unit turns on, and the phone platform on top extends from inside the body. Using the mobile app, you can either take a fresh photo with your phone or pull one from your library. Then you just place the screen down over the opening in the platform and press the print button on front.

The Lab requires users to have the Polaroid Originals app installed on their phone, from which they can tinker with settings, like exposure and color correction. In the beta app, those settings aren’t visually represented, so you’re just playing with a setting without knowing how it’ll affect the actual print. (It’s unclear if this will change when the Lab is released.)

You can also break one image up into a collage spread across up to nine prints, however that collage isn’t seamless and the big white borders around each print take up a lot of image real estate.

Polaroid says you have to leave all prints either in the Lab’s roller or flipped over for at least 15 minutes to properly expose them. When I did this, the prints developed properly, but the results didn’t wow me.


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Navaneetha Suresh

Navaneetha Suresh

Navaneetha, commonly known as "nav", loves to read, play badminton, play the keyboard and sing but when she's not doing any of those, she loves to write. What started as a high school hobby to write is now her ongoing passion.

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