HP - HP Sprocket


HP Sprocket: the portable printer that uses the self-adhesive snapshot

Aprox. 89€

See specifications

Small stand-alone pocket printer, the HP Sprocket relies on simplicity of use, instantaneity and user-friendliness to convince image lovers who never let go of their smartphone to take it with them for a birthday, a meal family or a festive evening. Does it have the necessary arguments to impose itself against a reference like the Instax Share SP-2?

Positive points

Small and easily transportable.

Easy to handle.

Sympathetic print format.

Good autonomy.

Rather fast.

Bad points

Perfectible application.

Some small youth bugs.

Prints that sometimes lack a bit of naturalness and detail.

Our review


Available in white or black, with gold or silver edging, the HP Sprocket is a small instant printer that could almost be described as "pocket". Extremely simple in its approach, it benefits from a successful finish and from childish use.

Its left edge houses the only button on the printer, which is used to turn it on and off - although an automatic shutdown system takes care of itself after a few minutes of inactivity to save battery. On the back, in addition to the ZINK logo in reference to the printing technology used, there is a micro-USB port which allows the battery to be recharged (the cable is supplied), surrounded by two small LEDs which inform us of the printer status (on, printing, running out of paper, low battery, etc.). There is also enough to pass here a wrist strap.

The printed sheets come out in about 40 seconds - a figure that we were able to check with the stopwatch in hand - from the front, and the cover opens in a very simple way by sliding it slightly back so that we can fill the ZINK paper tray with a capacity of 10 sheets.

After 30 prints the autonomy indicator displayed a half-filled battery. It is therefore perfectly possible to have fun printing many shots over a day, even a weekend, without risking a battery failure.

To use it, you must go through the HP Sprocket mobile application which is available on Android or iOS. But before launching it, you must not forget to make the pairing between the printer and the smartphone, which is done according to the Bluetooth protocol in two "clicks". Once registered, the printer automatically connects to the smartphone when it is turned on, nevertheless asking for each manual validation by the user, which can be a bit annoying in the long run.

As we said, the Sprocket is a small printer very easy to take in hand, which does not mean that its use via the application does not suffer from any defect. If the organization is easily understandable, with a single menu and four main buttons allowing you to load photos to print via its Instagram, Facebook, Google libraries or the film roll of your smartphone, we would have liked more advanced options to be offered. We are thinking of the possibility of easily printing images from other services, for example, but also the provision of more tools during the personalization stage of photos before printing.

If we can easily crop an image, give a boost to its colors with a blow of "magic wand", add a frame, a sticker or text, the proposals are ultimately quite limited in each category offered. A few updates could complete this, but as it stands, it seems a bit short.

We also deplore some slowness in the use of the application, at the launch of a print, for example. This is placed in the print queue and a message in English informs us without being very explicit, while freezing the application for a few seconds. As a result, we sometimes thought that the impression had not been properly taken into account, unfortunately triggering an additional impression. Considering the price of paper, it's always a bit annoying.

It is also not possible to chain the prints frantically. Indeed, a message informed us after 3 or 4 prints that the printer was overheated and needed to rest for a few moments before resuming. Each time it took a good five minutes, if not more, before being able to relaunch a new impression.

Finally, we sometimes have had to wait long moments - without explanation - before seeing certain photos saved in our camera roll appear in the photo library available for printing in the application. Without doubt there again a small bug which, we hope, will be corrected in the light of possible next updates.


Image quality

Unlike products from the Instax ecosystem that print on instant films (such as the excellent Instax Share SP-2), the HP Sprocket is based on Zero INK (ZINK) technology already used by Polaroid products, among others other. This technology, which does not use ink cartridges or ribbons, is particularly suitable for small instant printers.

The color pigments are directly integrated into the paper. This technology has improved in recent years to improve the rendering of photographs. Resistant to water splashes, traces and tears, the ZINK sheets of paper have a self-adhesive back, which allows the prints to be used as many small stickers if desired. ZINK paper offers borderless prints in 2x3 "format, 5 x 7.6 cm.

We had fun printing on these sheets the reference colors that we usually use to measure the colorimetric drift of prints on traditional photo printers. All told, we expected worse results, even if the average Delta E is not glorious and stands at 11.4. Cyan (23.7) or green (17.3) are the most poorly rendered colors, while yellow (7.9), red (7.2) and blue (4.8) are already more faithful. The result is not ideal, of course, but honest given the technology used.

The maximum print resolution is 313 x 400 dpi, which is sufficient considering the small format targeted. As for the overall print quality, it is pretty good, even if the rendering is quite different from what you can get on Instax instant films. On the Sprocket, the prints seem to us to be a little less natural and warm, more flashy and flattering. You can easily see the slightly exaggerated color saturation. Conversely, it sometimes happens that some photos appear too dull. There is not really a rule at this level. It is therefore not perfect and we lose a little detail most of the time compared to the original shot, but overall the printed photos are quite usable.

Image quality


Fun to use during parties and family reunions, the HP Sprocket does not play the vintage card but undoubtedly tickles the creativity of lovers of instant photos. A product well thought out overall and which can be improved if HP corrects some faults in the application associated with it.