Instax Link Wide: Personal Review from a Photographer

In a very short time the Instax Link Wide It has become my favorite smartphone printer. In this article I am going to tell you about the characteristics of this amazing invention, its main advantages, its price and I am going to show you some creative ways to use it.

Link Wide is the next generation of Instax photo printers (which belongs to Fujifilm). It is an instant printer that allows us to connect it to our mobile phone via Bluetooth, access our reel or photo gallery on the mobile itself, choose the photo we like, and launch the print from our smartphone.

In the past, Fujifilm had released the Instant Mini Link, with decent but modest features. The new Link Wide carries the concept of “instant printer” to another level, thanks to much more advanced features and… (drum roll) a much, much larger paper size.

Hence the “Wide” (in English, broad).

Here are the characteristics of the Link Wide:

Dimensions: 139 x 127.5 x 33.7 mm Weight: 340 g Resolution: 12.5 dots/mm (318 dpi, 80 𝝁 m ) Print level: 256 levels per color (RGB) Supported image formats: JPEG, PNG, HEIF , DNGPrinting time:approximately 12 secondsBattery:Internal Lithium IonBattery life:Approx. 100 photosCharging time:120 minutesConnection to mobile by:BluetoothPrinting paper:Fujifilm Instax Wide (size 62 x 99 mm)

Fuji are not the inventors of this concept. There are many brands of instant printers on the market. However, the Link Wide combines a set of advantages Hard to find gaskets on a printer like this.

For starters, most instant printers these days compromise on photo size, giving us small photos, practically the size of a child’s sticker 😤. The Link Wide directly multiplies by 2 the size of the printed photo, with a photo size similar to that of a traditional instant camera.

On a personal level, it annoys me to have to collect stamp-sized photos, which, to enjoy them, require the use of a magnifying glass (I’m exaggerating, but you understand me 😏).

So, the size of the paper that this printer uses is amazing to me. Yes, the paper can be a bit expensive, so if necessary I will print fewer photos. But the few that I print will fill me with happiness.

The second advantage, from my point of view, is the portability of the Link Wide. It is not the smallest photo printer, there are smaller ones on the market, but for that you have to be content with small photos as we have just mentioned.

If you want a printer that prints big, you already have to upgrade to bulkier printers.

The Link Wide strikes a nice balance between the size of the printer itself (content), and the size of the final photo (big enough).

More advantages: To use this printer, we need to install the Link Wide app on our mobile phone (available for iOS and android).

This app itself is packed with features: in addition to the typical basic adjustments to improve the photo before printing it (brightness, saturation, contrast, etc.); sepia, black and white and automatic filters; cropping and formatting aspects; the app allows us to add elements to the photo such as text, stickers (emojis and other illustrations) or even draw whatever we want on paper, scan it, and the app converts it as if by magic into an element that we can superimpose on top of our photo before releasing the print.

Finally, another important advantage of the new Link Wide is that allows us to add a unique QR code to the photo before printing it. In that QR code we can “encrypt” geographic coordinates, a link to a web page, a written message, or even an audio recording. A very creative way to send someone a message in a different medium, simply by giving them a photo in their hand with a QR code.

The app takes care of creating the QR code and all the logistics/IT mess. You only decide what content you want behind the QR code, and the app takes care of everything.

The Link Wide has a retail price of 149 EUR. Within the range of instant mobile printers, I think it is in the medium-high range. It is not the cheapest printer on the market, but there are even more expensive ones.

In addition, I think that its benefits and advantages justify the almost 150 euros that it is worth.

Is this just another “little toy”?

For someone like me, a techie, it’s easy to end up with “gadgets” that actually provide little or no utility on a day-to-day basis.

The Instax Link Wide printer is an exception.

There are many situations and contexts, in daily life, in which the Link Wide is extremely useful to me.

Here some examples:

Pictures of meat and bone. Oops, I mean ink and paper!

On my iPhone alone, right now I have a whopping 9,308 photos. This is not counting the photos I have on my computer, on my hard drives, etc.

The concept of “digital album” has led us to a situation in which we accumulate photos here and there, but everything remains in a digital, hypothetical and virtual world (Metaverse roll of Mr. Zuckerberg 😂).

Having an instant printer like the Link Wide on hand allows me to regularly take a selection of photos from my iPhone’s camera roll and print them out to keep in my office, living room, or car.

Finally, my photos accompany me in the real world. If there is a blackout and we are left without power, I will have to learn to live without a cell phone, but no one is going to take the photos away from me.

Easy to immortalize and share moments

When guests come to our house, friends of ours, etc., at the end of the evening we always do a group selfie with the mobile, and I launch the print with x number of copies so that everyone goes home with a copy of the photo , memory of the evening.

It is a tradition that we have been doing at home for years, with the Instax 300 instant photo camera, but now we do it with the smartphone, which is much more comfortable and practical, being able to print the photos at the moment with the Link Wide.

Learning for the smallest of the house

I have two kids aged 4 and 7 who are part of this new generation that they now call “digital natives”. I love seeing how they learn to take photos, and from the mobile they participate with me in the process of “sending to print” that digital file giving it shape and physical body. Then they grab the photo, already printed, and rush to their room, happy with that piece of paper.

Indirectly, they are sticking in their little heads with the message that the photos are not complete until they come to light. That a digital file is a handful of pixels that only acquires value when it is captured on the paper of a photograph that we can touch.

personal assessment

I had always liked instant photo cameras (Polaroid type, the Instax Wide 300 that we have had at home for a few years, etc.). But with a mobile printer like the Link Wide, honestly, who wants to walk around with a bulky instant camera on them?

The grace of having an instant camera was that you could shoot a photo and take it at the moment, but have the facility to go through our photo album on our mobile phone, choose the photo we want, apply adjustments if we see it necessary, and print it on the spot, I think it is unparalleled.

The Link Wide allows you to enjoy the instant pleasure of having a photo printed on the spot, combined with the flexibility and freedom of shooting photos with your smartphone camera.

If you are planning to purchase one of these printers, the Link Wide can be a good option whether it is for you or to give to a loved one.

Tell me in the comments below about your experience with instant cameras. Do you usually print/develop your photos, either at home or in a lab? Or do you prefer to have them exclusively on mobile?