Polaroid’s iconic rainbow design is coming to instant printers after a merger kept the brand from fizzling out. On Monday, August 24, Polaroid launched the Hi-Print, a mobile printer that sports a classic color scheme, but spits out modern prints from a smartphone. The Polaroid Hi-Print is the company’s first digital product to launch after the company rebranded in March, marking the completion of the move from Polaroid, to Impossible Project’s buy out dubbed Polaroid Originals, to Polaroid again.
The Polaroid Hi-Print uses 2×3 paper-ink cartridges. Similar to Zink, the printer doesn’t use separate ink cartridges. However, the Hi-Print is Polaroid’s first printer that uses combo ink-paper cartridges instead of specialized paper with heat-activated dye. The Hi-Print cartridges print onto a water-resistant, sticky-back photo that’s roughly credit card sized.
The accompanying iOS and Android apps allow users to edit before printing. The suite of editing tools includes filters, overlays, frames, stickers, text, and other options before wirelessly sending the photo to the Hi-Print.
Unlike earlier options like the Polaroid Zip, the Hi-Print uses Bluetooth rather than Wi-Fi, which can consume less energy and can potentially be easier to connect to a mobile device. The internal battery is rated to last for 20 prints, or two cartridges.
The Polaroid Hi-Print uses a white body with the iconic Polaroid logo and a rainbow-wrapped end. Quality from mobile printers tends to vary little between printers because each one uses a similar technology, and the list of features — the editing app and water-resistant prints with a sticky back — are similar to competing options. The Hi-Print, however, could potentially offer different image quality because the printer isn’t Zink-based.
Along with the Bluetooth update, however, the Hi-Print refreshes the mobile printer under Polaroid’s rebrand. In 2017, the Impossible Project, a company refurbishing old cameras and producing saving Polaroid’s instant film from extinction, became Polaroid Originals after purchasing the brand name. Earlier this year, Polaroid and Polaroid Originals (formerly the Impossible Project) became one company. At the time, the company launched the instant camera, Polaroid Now, but the Hi-Print is the company’s first digital product since those changes.
The Polaroid Hi-Print is available directly from polaroid.com beginning today and hits major retailers including Best Buy, Target, and UrbanOutfitters.com on September 10. The printer is expected to retail for about $ 100, with 20 prints costing about $ 17.
Correction: An earlier version of this article stated that the printer was a Zink model. We apologize for the error.