An Innovative Printer! Fujifilm Instax Mini Link 2 Review

To say the Fujifilm Instax Mini Link 2 isn’t innovative is a sin. It’s doing some truly awesome things. But at the same time, we’re not sure who would care to use the new features. Still, the Fujifilm Instax Mini Link 2 is the latest iteration of Instax printers that connect to your phone. And, if anything, it’s a whole lot of fun.

The Fujifilm Instax Mini Link 2 uses Instax Mini film and seems to take a deviation away from the folks it was designed for originally. I’ve known these to be used at weddings and parties where multiple folks can connect and print photos. But I’m not sure that will happen anymore. And more importantly, I’m still not 100% certain on who the exact customer is.

The Big Picture

The Fujifilm Instax Mini Link 2 is an update to the previous Mini printer. Make no mistake, these types of printers are very fun. They incorporate technology in them that lets you do fun things with your phone and the printer. These are things I’d never even think of doing. While more folks might want the Instax Mini Evo instead, the Fujifilm Instax Mini Link 2 is only $99.95 and it does a whole lot of fun tricks.

I’m not the biggest fan of printing photos from my phone, but folks love it. And I have to admit that the photos printed looked really cool. This can be a useful tool for photographers who ask people for their portrait and then give them a print. But there are better ways to do this, like bringing a dedicated Instax camera with you instead.

The Fujifilm Instax Mini Link 2 receives three out of five stars. Go grab one at Amazon.

Pro

  • The new uses of gestures are cool.
  • Fun mode is basically just putting everything in landscape mode instead of vertical.
  • Zooming in and out to control the camera on your phone is fun.
  • The look and feel of the prints is just as cool as ever.
  • Bluetooth connection is very easy to do to a phone.

Cons

  • Very plastic build
  • Not as fashionable as previous ones
  • Wish it came with a strap
  • Not sure why it doesn’t use USB-C to charge
  • I couldn’t get it to connect to my X Pro 3 successfully. In fact, Fujifilm says that it can’t.

Gear Used

We tested the Fujifilm Instax Mini Link 2 with the iPhone 12 Pro Max. The printer was given to the Phobographer to keep. The iPhone is my personal purchase.

Innovations

Let’s be honest here, there isn’t much competition in the way of Instax printers. The Fujifilm Instax Mini Link 2 is in a league of its own. However, it outdoes its previous iteration by incorporating gestures through the app on your phone. Still, it does some annoying things too like not using USB-C.

Ergonomics

If you look at the Fujifilm Instax Mini Link 2, you’ll see a pretty standard design. It’s got ridges along it and is overall pretty simple. For what it’s worth, it also lacks the visual appeal of many other Instax products.

Here’s a look at the top of the Fujifilm Instax Mini Link 2. That’s where the film spits out.

On the side is a tiny door. This is for the charger. It uses USB, but not USB-C for charging, which is pretty sad.

On the back you’ll find the door for loading the film.

Build Quality

The Instax line of Fujifilm products aren’t known for their durability or build quality. And the Fujifilm Instax Mini Link 2 shouldn’t be noted for it either. It feels plasticky, and not in the best of ways. Granted, it’s designed to be lightweight so you’ll want to carry it with you everywhere. But with that said, it should also include a strap of some sort so that it doesn’t fall and break.

Something about the build quality of the Fujifilm Instax Mini Link 2 makes me think about the story of Casio G-Shock. The engineer who made the G-Shock created it so that the watch could survive falling from at least one story and keep working. Plus, they were made incredibly affordable. So I always wonder why the Instax cameras couldn’t have the same level of durability. And from what Roger at LensRentals told us on a previous podcast, Instax cameras need airflow. The Fujifilm Instax Mini Link 2 probably needs a bit of airflow as well. However, I don’t think anyone would expect it to be weather-resistant; we’d just want it to be drop-resistant.

Ease of Use

The Fujifilm Instax Mini Link 2 is fairly straightforward to use. If you’re brand new to Instax printers, I think you’ll be a little lost. Even if you’re tech-savvy, there’s a bit of a learning curve. That’s because the Fujifilm Instax Mini Link 2 is doing things that haven’t been done previously.

If you start it up, it’s simple to connect to once you’ve downloaded the app for your phone. In fact, it’s far better and faster than Fujifilm’s X series cameras are. For the past few months, I’ve been searching for the right type of therapist to convey the sad experience of connecting to my X Pro 3’s Wifi.

There are two modes: print mode, and fun mode. Print mode means you’re printing the images vertically the way that Instax was originally designed to do. Fun mode means you’re printing horizontally. The logic is reasonable to a point. If you stand the Fujifilm Instax Mini Link 2 upright, the app will recognize it and go into print mode. Lay it down flat, and it will go into fun mode.

Then there are other cool things. The app can connect to your phone’s camera and control it in some ways. If you hold the Fujifilm Instax Mini Link 2 printer and tilt it away from you, it makes your smartphone camera zoom in. These are nice tricks, but I don’t think anyone will bother to use them.

The way I used the printer is by connecting it to my phone and then printing images straight from there. I go to a lot of meetups. But I also end up transferring a ton of images to my phone for sharing and showing people in-person. Some of those I end up printing, though most I don’t. But I would, however, easily make prints for people on the spot if I wanted to.

What makes me sad though is that it can’t connect to my X Pro 3. Fujifilm has stated to us before that the X Pro 3 is their flagship for rangefinder-style cameras. So why can’t the flagship camera be used with this? That feature alone would’ve made me use it at the recent Queens Pride parade. It also would’ve meant that I wouldn’t have opted for my Leica instead for that event.

Who Should Buy It?

There are a few types of people that should go for the Fujifilm Instax Mini Link 2. First off, there’s Gen Z. These lively folks would have a ton of fun printing images like this. Content creators selling photos as well might be really inclined to get this and continually make print for their fans. There’s also all the folks who go to weddings and print photos like crazy. Granted, I’m not sure how many super large weddings are happening these days with stuff like that happening now. Lastly, photographers who want to give prints away to people they photograph might like the Fujifilm Instax Mini Link 2 too. However, they might also go for the larger wide and square format printers.

Go buy one at Amazon.

Tech Specs

The following snippet was pasted from Fujifilm’s press release:

Key features of Mini Link 2 include:

INSTAXAiR:

The INSTAXAiR App feature1 allows users of the Mini Link 2 to add graphics to their prints, including bubbles, petals, neon, spray paint, or a glitter look by simply holding the Mini Link 2, pressing the feature button on top, and aiming the side LED to draw in the air. What is drawn in the air will then appear on the print preview in-App, and once the user is happy with the look, the graphics will appear on the print itself when printed with the Mini Link 2. Users of the INSTAXAiR feature can even Record a video of the drawing and share the moment as a printable QR code that appears on the print. The QR code can be scanned to view the video, download it, or share it on social media.

Lightweight Portability and Speed

Compact, lightweight, and finished with a tonal, striped texture, Mini Link 2 transfers an image from the user’s Smartphone and commences printing in about 15 seconds2supports continuous printing, and is capable of printing about 100 INSTAX prints per charge seamlessly via Bluetooth.

Ability to customize your INSTAX prints with Image Modes, Design Frames, Stickers, and more

The INSTAX Mini Link 2 App contains a variety of design frames that can be overlaid onto the selected image for a one-of-a-kind INSTAX instant print. Users can choose between two image color modes – INSTAX-Rich Mode for deep, enhanced colors and INSTAX-Natural Mode for a more original look. Smartphone images can also be enhanced with artistic filters or by adjusting brightness, contrast, and saturation of the image. Users of the Mini Link 2 also can combine up to eight pictures into a single INSTAX print collage via the collage feature of the App.

In addition to Smartphone compatibility, Mini Link 2 is also compatible with the FUJIFILM X-S10 mirrorless digital camera, allowing photographers to send their images directly from the camera to the printer.

Mini Link 2 will be offered in Soft Pink, Clay White, and Space Blue, and is expected to be available for purchase on or about June 22, 2022 at a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $99.95 USD and $129.99 CAD.

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