Fujifilm’s latest Instax Square Link smartphone printer has just been unveiled, which will please instant photography fans. This is the missing link in Fujifilm's lineup, and as the name suggests, the Square Link creates square format instant prints, 1.5 times the size of its Instax Mini siblings.
The Square Link should be perfect for photographers and creators who like the 1:1 crop, or who have gotten used to the square format of Instagram. It goes beyond just being a click-and-print device, though, and introduces a whole host of exciting creative and collaborative features.
We'd already reported on Instax Square Link rumors recently, but only had a few leaked images to share with you. Now, after the official announcement, we can see what the Instax Square Link – which will sit alongside the Instax Link Wide and the Instax Mini Link 2 in its range of portable printers – has to offer over the best portable printers. Let's look at the headline features...
Instax Square Link features
AR (Augmented Reality) printing
Augmented Reality features have been added to the Instax Link Square. This means that you can add special effects, images, animations, and even doodles to your image. When the photo is then printed, it comes with a QR code that can be scanned to unlock the chosen augmented reality content and see the effects in action.
The AR print modes include 'Special FX' (to add birthday cakes, rainbows, or even bubbles to shots), 'Add Text' to add a secret message, 'Add Photo', and 'Add Background,' among others. Instax link printers are famous for their novelty features, so I can see AR being a popular and welcome feature.
Instax Link printers are also popular because of their sharing abilities. The Square Link gets its own Square Link App (like the Link Wide and Link Mini), and from there, the Connect feature makes it pretty easy to share images digitally. You can select a smartphone image, add whatever jazzed-up effects you want to, and then send the image straight to another connected device (such as a smartphone or tablet).
Simple printing options
Despite being packed with fun extras, the Instax Square Link also looks simple to use, which is key if it's to appeal to a wide range of users. To keep things quick, you can make basic image corrections like cropping and contrast, then connect wirelessly via Bluetooth to the Square Link and swipe up to print. Sounds pretty simple to me. There are plenty more printing options:
Video print: Using the free Square Link app, you can select a video frame and print a still from it.
Frame Print: You can print images with a choice of decorative borders.
Collage Print: It's possible to pull all of your favorite prints into one for a collage.
It's even possible to choose from two different looks when you make prints; Instax-Rich mode is said to produce brighter and more colorful results, while Instax-Natural will give a desaturated vibe.
Instax Square Link Color & design
Design-wise, the Square Link is similar to the Mini Link 2 and Link Wide. It comes in Ash White and Midnight Green colors. Both models have an LED strip to highlight the app's status, plus a new function button.
Instax Square Link Price and availability
The estimated arrival date for the instax Square Link Printer is mid-November.
In terms of pricing, the RRP is £129.99 in the UK and AU$219 in Australia (US pricing to be confirmed).
The Fujifilm instax Square Link is available to pre-order now:
Pre-order at Jessops (UK)
(Pre-orders in Australia are yet to begin)
To my mind, the popularity of Instax printers means that more photos from our mobile devices are getting saved and shared. It's easy to snap a smartphone shot and never look at it again, but thanks to Instax, they open up a whole new way to decorate your house with memories.
The new Instax Square Link clearly combines everything that smartphone printing fans love about the existing Link formats, in a square format. But what I find exiting is the with the Augmented Reality Printing and Instax Connect capabilities, which should create literally thousands of ways to customize and share images in a fun way.