Review HP Sprocket 2nd Edition Portable Photo Printer


hey everybody its Lance I’ve been and we’re taking a look today at the HP sprocket – this is a little portable photo printer that prints out these little 2×3 photographs that are sticky on the back so you can stick them to stuff and we’ll be taking a closer look at how this printer works and what it’s all about in just a second but I do want to let you know in the interest of full disclosure that this came in on loan from HP it’s more done with this it goes back to them all the opinions you’re about to hear are my own nobody is paying for this review nor has anyone reviewed or approved what you’re about to see before it was uploaded so let’s get into it now and see what this printer is all about so let’s take a closer look now at the hardware this costs one hundred and twenty nine dollars as you see it it’s very small and compact it’s made out of plastic and this of course is a revision of the original sprocket that came out a couple of years ago they’ve changed the industrial design a bit on these the HP logo is now in a tag kind of like what you see on Roku’s and some other products the lid here is now easier to get at they have a magnetic thing here so it easily snaps back into place the top of the lid also has an AR functionality that we’ll explore a little bit later in the review they do say that the print quality has been improved on this a bit over the prior edition but as you’ll see the print quality is not great this is certainly not a photo printer for serious photographers it’s more of a fun thing so we’ll take a look and see what those photos look like when they pop out and they also added multi-user support to this so if you have a couple of friends that are with you you can all print to the printer at the same time and they have a queuing functionality built into it so the photos will queue up and print in order but just know there is a consumable cost of course to this so these little packs of paper are what you need to get to run the printer and these will cost about 50 cents per sheet and they have

different quantities you can get these at so you can check it out on Amazon or an HP’s website or some other place where you buy your printing supplies but there is a essentially a 50 cent per print cost to getting these things printed out now there is a battery built in so you can use this when you’re on the go I think you’ll probably get about 30 to 50 prints give or take out of a charge and very based on how often the printer goes to sleep so if you’re constantly connecting to the printer even if you’re not printing to it that might eat into the battery life a little bit more so it’ll vary but generally I think you could probably easily kill a pack of paper which is 10 sheets per pack here while you’re out on the road without any problems there and again I’ll show you the AR functionality so you can monitor battery life with the augmented reality features that they have there’s a USB port here on the back for charging and you can just plug it in with the included cable there and you also have the power button there on the back as well so it is a relatively simple product it is controlled completely through the mobile app that you’ll be able to get on iOS or Android there is no other way to connect to the printer other than to use the app so this is strictly a mobile phone kind of device here pretty simple to get it up and running when you unpack the paper you want to have this zinc smart sheet get run through the printer first you just drop it all in facedown like so and put the

lid back on in the right direction of course let me try this again there we go and what will happen here is it’ll run that blue sheet through because the printer has to calibrate itself for every pack of paper that goes into it so this blue sheet here will come out a little bit slower than the photos you’ll see in a minute or two but that is a necessary thing to get the best possible print quality out of it when you are using it and the Zink print engine in here actually began its life with Polaroid of all companies we used to make the instant photos and this company spun off and they licensed the technology to HP and other companies as well so now that that sheet has been run through here let’s take a look at how the app works and run some photos off on this thing so here we are inside of the sprocket app and what it’ll do is first give you a bunch of photos that you have in your camera roll from your phone so you can print them out and make some edits to them if you want you can also activate the camera which I’ll show you in a minute but we’re going to take this photo that I’ve already shot on my phone and you’ll see that it says lawns sprocket at the top because this phone is connected up to my sprocket printer here and then if other people want to connect to my sprocket they have to be in Bluetooth range of it but they’ll also see the printer identifying itself as that but there’s no real security here so anybody who’s near your printer can connect to the printer if they have the sprocket app installed so we’ve got this photo I can click on edit here and make

some adjustments to it if I want so you can go in and adjust some of the basics here you could also do that of course on your native phone app and then reload the sprocket app to print the photo out we have some things that we can stick on here too they’ve got some seasonal things like we can do hello autumn here that’ll work in that picture there we had some room at the bottom and then they have some special frames that you can apply to it as well I’m gonna pick this one because there’s some AR functionality to that and you can take a preview of what will happen when you do run it there so you can see that and you’ll get a feel for how this is going to work in a minute here so we’ll click the checkmark there you can also apply some stickers to it as well so they’ve got this little sticker here I think you can actually make your own as well you can draw something out on paper and have that be get imported into it if you want and you can make this smaller or larger by dragging it around so we’ll just stick that over there I’m making a mess of this photo but it gives you an idea as to all the things you can do on here there’s even some limited painting functionality too so we can draw a happy face with my finger here if we want and get it really messed up and then when I’m totally happy with this disaster of a photo I can click on print here and that will now embed the experiences in the photo what’s happening here is that it’s uploading some things to HP so that when this photo prints and I point the AR feature at it we can actually see some additional stuff on that picture and while this is printing I’m gonna go back and print out a few more photos on here too so let’s not save that and I’ll just go ahead and just print a few of these just in their native format here this was a p-51 I saw at an airport recently that was pretty cool seeing that

so we’ll let that one print out there we’ll grab this one here of my daughter and print this one out as well so we’ll just go ahead and click on print and you can see the queue here is telling us everything that is currently coming out of the printer and while that is going you can see how fast it prints and what these photos look like here as it comes out so not the fastest thing in the world but I think adequate enough if you’re out with some friends or something just looking to print out a few photos on the fly and we’ll let that photo get out here the print quality isn’t bad on it I’ve seen better of course but it’s not bad what I’ll do in a few minutes to show you a few examples of what the print quality looks like compared to what we had in digital format so you can get a better feel for it but that’s what it looks like it’s now printing the next photo that we can cued up I’m just going to queue up a couple more here because I want to show you what the AR features look like on the lid of it so we’ll go ahead and just print out this photo here and let that go there we go so once it starts printing I’m gonna switch back to the camera mode now and you can see with that AR feature activated is projecting the print queue onto the top of the printer lid I did find it gets confused though by the photos as they come out because there is an AR functionality to the photos as well but you can see I’ve got one photo here printing and then we’ve got the shot of my daughter here that is still on its way out the door you can also monitor the battery life here too so it’ll give you an idea as to what your battery life is looking like and I think I’ve got

three notches on the battery here so we should be okay on that front when it’s plugged in it will also indicate that it’s charging up so kind of a neat feature I don’t know if it’s all that practical all the time to use it but you can at least get a visual representation of what’s in queue but it’s probably easier to just go back over to your print queue on the app and see what is printing in list format now you can also print out videos sorta which I thought was kind of a neat feature so we’re gonna go back into the app here and at the bottom i’ve got a video from a merry-go-round we were on recently and unfortunately the orientation here is off but i can go ahead here and pick the frame that i want to print so there’s my daughter on the little carousel thing maybe i’ll use that as my print i will select that and i’m going to print this out now so what it’s going to do is print out a single frame from that video but when i point the camera at it i’ll get a little bit more so let’s let this print out and then i’ll show you what happens when we do the AR feature on a photo print alright so we have our still frame printed out from the video and now i’m going to go back to the app here and we’re going to select the camera again and we’re going to have it look for this AR and what’ll happen now is it will pause for a second because it did detect something there and now it’s going to go back and play the video on this photo that we printed out that’s kind of cool isn’t it now this is something right now that’s playing from my phone internally because this video was stored on my phone but there is a way that you can actually get people to see the video on another device by connecting up your social media

platforms so if I go back to the app here and select that hamburger icon in the upper left hand corner you’ll see that I’ve connected my Instagram account and what I did earlier was I printed out this photo or video actually of my old iPhone when I dropped it on the ground it was a horrible outcome for that device and what I was able to do is switch over to an Android phone that I have here and as you can see the video now is playing back here on the photo because this is an Instagram video that’s publicly accessible so if you link up a publicly accessible Facebook video or an Instagram video you can then toss these little photos to your friends and have them be able to look at these videos on their devices too now you’ll remember this photo that we printed out a few minutes ago we had that magic border attached to it so if I were to pass this off to a friend of mine who has the HP app installed they can scan the photo here and see the animation play on the bottom of the photograph there you go and this will work on any phone that has the sprocket app installed it will pull down that data and know what to do with that border so that’s one thing that’s not phone or social media specific here and you can see that playing now they have some other information that you can pull from these photographs so if I hold the photo up here you can see it’s pulling up a list of all the pictures I took that day it also gives me a another view where I can look at all the pictures taken at that location or close to it on any day so that’s kind of a neat thing this is only available on your phone so it won’t be sending this out to the world but the world can see a couple of other pieces of information if you want them to one is that you can have it pull up a

Wikipedia article on the location that you were visiting I think it’ll detect some lay marks as well based on GPS coordinates and the really cool thing here is they’ve got a Google Streetview function here so what I can do is actually look around at the physical location I was at when that picture was taken so we were coming out of that door I believe they’re in the photograph but I can take my phone out here and just kind of move it around and see what the rest of the street looks like from a Google Street View there so that’s kind of a neat thing so I’m guessing the way this works is that they’re taking a thumbnail of the image for it to recognize and then pull the information down from hp’s server you can disable these embedded experiences though so if you don’t want this photo going to HP’s server you can just turn off that feature and not have any of this other functionality work but I thought it was kind of a cool thing to be able to take out a photo and get a video for example or get some additional metadata of the locations you visited now the print quality on this printer is not great they did say they improved it over the original but this is still not going to be a photo enthusiasts device this is more something that you’ll do for fun here you can see a photo I shot with my digital SLR on the right and what the printer outputted here on the left you’ll also notice a lot of banding on some of the lighter areas of the photo as well I’m seeing that on many of the photos that I am printing out so here’s another one we just printed out a few minutes ago you can see the original has a lot more contrast than we’re getting out of the printer here I’m also noticing a bunch of noise here in the darker areas of the print as well that are not on the original photograph but altogether again not bad for a fun little thermal printer but just don’t expect

anything spectacular from it so altogether I think this is a pretty fun product for people that are looking to get back into instant photography and it’s also pretty easy here to peel off the back of these little prints and stick the photos to the wall or something like that so you can have some fun with it I just don’t expect spectacular quality out of the prints but I don’t think that’s what people who buy this product are really looking for they just want that instant gratification of the ability to print out a photo that they’re taking with a friend wherever they are and as long as the battery’s charged on here you should be able to do that throughout a good portion of the day as you’re running around what’s also cool is that they can print these photos as tiles so you could for example split this photo up over four different prints and have a neat border around them for scrapbooking and that sort of thing so I think if you are kind of enjoying this instant photography resurgence and are looking for a way to I get something portable that works with your phone this is certainly a fun way to do that again just don’t expect spectacular print quality but I think it’s adequate enough to have some fun with until next time this is lawn Simon thanks for watching this channel is brought to you by the lawn TV supporters including gold-level supporters Chris Allegretto the four guys with quarters podcast Tom Albrecht too much sauce gerard Newberg in Cali an Kumar if you want to help the channel you can by contributing as little as a dollar a month head over to LAN TV slash support to learn more and don’t forget to subscribe

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