Gone are the good old days when we used to click a photograph and wait for its print to arrive just so we can reminisce memories. In this digital era, we not only take a lot of photos, but it's easier to store them on smartphones or on the cloud. But that doesn't mean printed photographs are completely out of fashion as it still strikes a nostalgic nerve.
Modern problems require modern solutions. That said, HP is not letting prints die so easily. The company had been releasing pocket printers for users and the Sprocket Plus is their latest offering to help people take instant prints of photographs in a fun and modern way.
Before we get the actual review of the tiny printer, let's get some of the basic features of HP Sprocket Plus out of the way. It is an upgrade over the first-gen smartphone printer from HP and uses larger 2.3x3.4-inch paper. HP Sprocket Plus comes with Bluetooth 4.0 for easy and quick transfers and a 900mAh battery to maintain lasting power. The rest of the features remain unchanged from the original HP Sprocket printer, including Zink (zero ink) technology and heating the special paper to produce the photograph on print.
Now let's talk about the gadget in for review. HP Sprocket Plus is a handy device and can easily be carried in small bags, but not so easily in pockets. Setting up the printer is as easy as turning it on and pairing with your phone via Bluetooth. Then launch the app and choose the photo you want to print and voila, you have a physical copy for yourself within two minutes.
I printed out a few copies and found the quality to be decent. It's not as high quality as your traditional studio prints, and the colours seem washed out. The matte finish on the paper gives it a retro look, which I found appealing given it struck a major nostalgia nerve.
I was surprised to see the multiple use cases for the printed photographs from the Sprocket Plus. It is smudge and waterproof along with an adhesive back so you can easily stick on any surface. But that's just the tip of an iceberg. HP added a touch of AR in its prints, which shows information like location and date attached to the image. All you need to do is find the viewfinder in the app and you'll get relevant images, videos and information from that time and place. Pretty cool, right!
HP is surely going great lengths to prove Sprocket Plus' worth. The app, especially, holds all the magic elements. From adding instant filters to stickers and frames has never been easier right before you print them. You can also link your Facebook and Instagram accounts to pick photos from your social media accounts directly without having to download them on your phone first.
Once you hit the print icon at the bottom of the app, the printer will receive the input and starts to make a whirring sound as it prints the photo within 10 seconds. The printer comes with 10 papers in the machine, but you can always add more when you run out of the copies. Doing some simple math revealed that each print will cost you around Rs 40 and a pack of 20 papers cost you Rs 799.
Given the use case of Sprocket Plus and each photograph it prints, it surely feels worth its value. The printer itself costs you Rs 8,999, which in some cases is costlier than a traditional printer. I loved the AR integration, ease of use and the compact design of the printer, but I felt there is room for improvement in the quality of the photos. HP Sprocket Plus isn't for everyone, but serves as a great gifting choice and lets you be creative to impress someone. If you don't see yourself printing photographs and are content with the digital copies saved on the phone, you can skip this one.