Kodak Smile Classic instant print digital camera review

Kodak stakes a claim in the burgeoning instant print market with a device delivering larger prints reminiscent of classic Polaroids

Kodak Smile Classic
(Image: © Gavin Stoker/Digital Camera World)

Digital Camera World Verdict

Find the credit card sized prints output by most contemporary instant print devices a bit small? Then you’ll relish the fact the Kodak Smile Classic delivers beermat-sized prints closer to what we remember from Polaroid cameras of old, using dry-to-the-touch ‘Zink’ zero ink technology. We also get the ability to send images from our smartphones to the device for print, and to store snaps via optional microSD card. In all, what we’re getting in theory here is something of a ‘best of both worlds’ hybrid analog and digital device, though in practice the actual capture / print quality is disappointing.


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    Bigger sized prints closer to the Polaroid output of old

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    Dry to the touch ‘Zink’ zero ink technology

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    Compatible smartphone app allows for printing of images direct from our handset


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    Output quality is closer to that of a photocopy than a genuine lab print

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    Plastic-y camera construction makes us nervous about accidental drops

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    No preview/review screen

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    Rechargeable battery life good for ‘just’ 35 prints

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It’s easy to see the appeal of instant print cameras – namely instant gratification. Plus, the delivery of hard copy images without the faff of buying ink for the home printer, uploading pictures to an online portal, or even taking the bus into town to visit the local photo shop or mini lab. 

Though they went out of fashion for a while with the introduction of digital photography in the late 90s – thanks to digital letting us review what we’d just shot within seconds, rather than the minute or so an ‘instant’ print took to fully develop – they are now back seemingly with a vengeance. Fujifilm’s Instax range has turned around the fortunes of that particular company, Canon also has its own pocket-sized model, and the Polaroid brand continues to enjoy a resurgence…which brings us to the camera-slash-printer we’re reviewing here.

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Gavin Stoker

Gavin has over 30 years’ experience of writing about photography and television. He is currently the editor of British Photographic Industry News, and previously served as editor of Which Digital Camera and deputy editor of Total Digital Photography

He has also written for a wide range of publications including T3, BBC Focus, Empire, NME, Radio Times, MacWorld, Computer Active, What Digital Camera and the Rough Guide books.

With his wealth of knowledge, Gavin is well placed to recognize great camera deals and recommend the best products in Digital Camera World’s buying guides. He also writes on a number of specialist subjects including binoculars and monoculars, spotting scopes, microscopes, trail cameras, action cameras, body cameras, filters and cameras straps.