Best 4×6 Photo Printer for High-Quality Prints at Home

Ian Mutuli
Updated on

It seems like just the other day when you had to snap photos on a camera or a Kodak Brownie, if you found those, then take the roll of film to a printing facility to get them printed. Remember waiting for days and probably getting back some grainy images you could not display anywhere? Thanks to advancements, you can now snap images on a smartphone and print them on the best 4x6 photo printer at home.

Why Do You Need a 4x6 Photo Printer?

Image Credits: digitalcameraworld.com

According to this Statista report, smartphones have caused a photography boom, thanks to how easy it is to snap and share a photo. With more people owning smartphones, more than 2 trillion photos are expected to be taken by 2030. But, while statistics show that most people share their photos on digital platforms, you may still want to print yours to store in an album.

As such, owning a 4x6 printer, which prints 4x6 photos that store easily in a photo album, should be something you consider. Not only does the printer work fast, but it also produces pretty good-quality photos and allows you to print as many images as you want.

The printers are easy to use; you only take a photo on your smartphone, connect your smartphone to the printer to print, and you will have a photo ready in a few seconds or minutes. So, no need to worry about the film or wait time. However, you only need to worry about finding the best printer; luckily, we have researched enough to help you.

We tested several photo printers looking for those with the best accessories, easy connectivity, more print options, and high print quality and speed. At the end of the exercise, we found the five best photo printers and graded them as follows.

1. Best Overall: Liene 4x6'' Photo Printer

Sale
Liene 4x6'' Photo Printer, Wi-Fi Picture Printer, 20...
  • Wonderful Photo Quality; Compared with the traditional picture...
  • User-friendly Design; No paper jam anymore! Photo paper can align...
  • Easy and Stable Connection; Please cool down if you start to...
  • Compatible with multiple devices; Liene 4X6” photo printer is...
  • More Customization on App; Download Liene app to add more...

The Liene Printer is compatible with Android, iOS, and laptops. It was one of the easiest to connect to and print with, thus earning our best portable photo printer rank. The package came with the printer, its adapter, a cartridge, and 20 sheets of photo paper so we could get started immediately.

Set up was a breeze; we only needed to install the cartridge, refill photo papers, install the paper tray, and connect to its built-in WiFi hotspot to start printing. We found it easy to connect to a smartphone or laptop and could print through the Liene App in a few seconds. 

Image Credits: liene-life.com

We also found very few instances of artifacting, and the photos were true to color with the best pixelations. Within the easy-to-download Liene app, we could also add our favorite photo elements, including edits like frames, filters, layouts, and more. We recommend this printer if you are after an easy-to-use photo printer that also comes at an affordable price tag.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Easy to connectivity
  • Easy setup
  • It comes with glossy photo paper
  • It prints high-quality photos
  • Very portable and good build quality
  • Fast printing speeds

Cons:

  • No Bluetooth connection

2. Runners Up: Kodak Dock & Wi-Fi Portable 4x6” Instant Photo Printer

Kodak Dock & Wi-Fi Portable 4x6” Instant Photo...
  • ONE TOUCH PRINTING: Convenient printer dock lets you print photos...
  • HIGH QUALITY PHOTOS – Fast, Easy System Prints Standard 4” x...
  • MAXIMUM DEVICE COMPATIBILITY: Dock features 5 pin micro USB for...
  • SIMULTANEOUS CHARGING: Power Up to Two Smart Devices While You...
  • COMPANION APP: Download the Kodak Photo Printer App for Filters,...

We loved the Kodak photo printer for several reasons. To begin with, it is easy to connect to whether using Android devices, iPhones, or even digital cameras. Unlike other photo printers, this Kodak has a dock that lets you connect your Android smartphone seamlessly. If you have an iPhone or Apple device, you can use an iOS lightning connector to connect.

When looking for the best photo printer, we first looked at which package came with the most accessories, and this Kodak met our expectations. The purchase included the 4x6 photo printer, a power adapter, the dock pin and iOS adapter, a cartridge, a paper pack, and a user manual. The only disappointing aspect was the lack of a QR code, which could guide us when downloading the Kodak App. To get the app, we had to test different versions on the Kodak website to find the compatible version.

Image Credits: kodak.com

The printer uses thermal transfer technology, so images come with true-to-life colors and tones. In addition, the app allows easy edits if you want to add borders and filters to digital images and works with an impressive print speed of one minute per photo.

Finally, it also connects through WiFi and is a lightweight, portable photo printer built with the best materials for durability. We recommend getting this printer if you are after something affordable that still produces high-quality prints. 

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Easy to set up
  • Good build quality
  • It comes with all the required accessories
  • From a reputable brand
  • It uses thermal transfer technology for the best color accuracy
  • Connects with Android and iOS devices

Cons:

  • No Bluetooth connectivity
  • No QR code for scanning the compatible app

3. Best Connectivity: HP Sprocket Studio Plus WiFi Printer

HP Sprocket Studio Plus WiFi Printer – Wirelessly...
  • PHOTOS MADE TO LAST – Print quality photos that will last for...
  • CUSTOMIZE YOUR CREATIONS – Add your own style to each photo by...
  • INSTANT PRINTING – Designed for efficiency and convenience,...
  • WI-FI COMPATIBLITY – Download the user-friendly HP Sprocket app...
  • PICTURE-PERFECT PHOTO FEATURES – The HP Sprocket Studio Plus...

If you want the best 4x6 photo printers, it is best to look for models that use the best printing technology to eliminate the risk of artifacting or other shortcomings. When testing this HP Sprocket Studio printer, we were impressed by the accuracy of prints thanks to the dye sublimation technology. In addition, the printing process took only a minute for each paper, which meant we could print more than enough photos for a photo album in a day.

Image Credits: hp.com

Our package came with the printer cartridge, power adapter, manual, and a photo paper pack. We especially loved the glossy, waterproof photo paper that, once coded, maintained the best picture color quality, thus reducing the risk of fading even after many years.

The printer was easy to set up and connect to mobile devices via Bluetooth or WiFi. In addition, the manual came with a QR code that we scanned to download the most compatible HP photo Printing app. The app was also easy to use, and we were impressed by the many print options, including adding edits like filters, borders, stickers, and cropping.

Pros:

  • The printer comes with the necessary accessories
  • It is easy to set up
  • It is one of the best compact photo printers to use on the go
  • Easy to download the compatible app
  • It connects to devices wirelessly
  • Zero risk of bleeding, fading, or artifacting

Cons:

  • The ink cartridge drains pretty fast

4. Best Versatile: Canon SELPHY CP1300

Canon SELPHY CP1300 Desktop or Portable Inkjet Laser...
  • This Bundle Includes: Canon SELPHY CP1300 Wireless Compact Photo...
  • This Bundle Includes: Canon SELPHY CP1300 Wireless Compact Photo...
  • Print straight from your iPhone and iPad with AIRPRINT on your...
  • Various PRINT SIZES for all your crafting needs, from stickers...
  • Canon Color Ink and Paper Set: This special kit is compatible...

The Canon Selphy CP1300 is our best model for versatile printing, and we recommend it to you if you'd like to print photos of different sizes. While the best size to print with it is 4x6, it can also handle smaller prints.

The package came with the photo printer, postcard-size paper cassette, 4x6 photo papers and ink set, a power adapter, a USB printer cable, and a HeroFiber cleaning cloth. All in all, we were set to start using the inkjet printer right out of the box. The compact photo printer was easy to set up, and connecting to devices was also a breeze.

Image Credits: canon-europe.com

It connects easily to smartphones through WiFi, while the USB cable is ideal for connecting laptops, digital cameras, and more photography devices. Unlike other portable photo printers on this list, the Canon Selphy CP1300 is the easiest to use when printing photos, especially because of the tilting LCD screen that displays different print options.

From the screen, we could select which printing method to use; the printer can print directly from a device, such as a laptop or a smartphone, or a memory card or USB stick. We especially loved experimenting with the photo booth mode that prints four photos quickly and on the same 4x6 paper. Overall, the printer managed printing speeds of about 47 seconds per 4x6 paper and did not compromise color accuracy.

Pros:

  • Best compact photo printer for different print sizes
  • It comes with the necessary accessories
  • Superb color accuracy and printing speeds
  • Compatible with smartphones, laptops, and storage devices
  • It can connect through WiFi or a USB cable
  • It comes with a built-in screen for easy printing options
  • Available with an optional battery for printing on the move

Cons:

  • A bit pricey
  • No Bluetooth

5. Best for Speed: Epson PictureMate PM-400

Sale
Epson PictureMate PM-400 Wireless Compact Color Photo...
  • This printer is designed for use with Epson cartridges only, not...
  • Beautiful borderless photos - easily print high-quality 4"x6" &...
  • Ultra compact design - lightweight, portable printer saves space
  • Total Wireless solution - Print from iPad, iPhone, tablets and...
  • Photo Print speed: 4" X 6" Borderless photo in as fast as 36 Sec...

Epson is synonymous with the best printers, and you will surely find some of the best models from them, including printers for edible images. But brand reputation is one of many reasons we recommend this inkjet printer. We also prefer its superb printing speed; it will print beautiful photos in as little as 36 seconds.

Our package came with the printer, a power cord, an AC adapter, five sheets of glossy photo paper, a user manual, and one Epson ink cartridge. Before using the printer, it is worth noting that it is only designed to work with Epson cartridges, guaranteeing the best operation and durability.

Image Credits: epson.com

In addition to being a wireless printer connecting to smartphones through WiFi, this model can print documents larger than 4x6 photos, including 5x7 sizes. One feature we enjoyed about this model is the ability to produce borderless photos, which are beautiful prints that save photo papers.

The Epson is one of the best dye sub-printers to print photo stacks on durable waterproof, fade, and bleed-resistant papers. In addition, it is portable and built with the best materials for durability.

Pros:

  • Best 4x6 photo printer for fast printing
  • It can print different photo sizes
  • It comes with all the necessary accessories
  • From a reputable brand
  • It uses high-quality ink and papers
  • Reliable paper tray
  • Ultra-compact design for portability

Cons:

  • A bit pricey
  • It can be hard to source the Epson ink cartridges

Factors to Consider When Buying the Best 4x6 Photo Printers

Image Credits: pexels.com

A photo printer is a worthy investment if you want to snap the most beautiful photos of beautiful moments. But, choosing one is challenging, thanks to many offers in the market and top-of-the-range printer features to choose from. If you face this conundrum, here are some factors you can consider to narrow your search to one model.

a) Price

Some of the best photo printers can be costly, so you must understand how much you are willing to spend on a model. While some models cost up to $400, you can easily find your best photo printer below $200. However, you might have to compromise on a few premium printing features.

b) Print Quality

The best photo printer will produce prints with the best saturation, sharpness, pixelation, color accuracy, and zero artifacting. So, pay more attention to your printer's ink cartridges, photo paper quality, and print speeds to determine how well it will produce a photo.

When buying, look for glossy papers that guarantee picture longevity. In addition, the printer's technology will determine print quality; for instance, dye sublimation printers eliminate bleed and fade, so you are sure you can display your photos for many years.

c) Size

When looking for a photo printer, consider the size, as it will determine portability if you plan to use it on the move. Since most are compact photo printers, you can easily bring one on your travels to print photos as you take them.

d) Connectivity

Your photo printer needs to connect to a device with digital photos. So, as you buy a printer, ensure it can connect to said device. Your device could be a smartphone, laptop, or storage device like a memory card or USB drive.

If you have a smartphone, understand if the printer can connect through a wired or wireless connection. In addition, keep in mind that Android and iOS devices will not connect through the same wired connection, such as a USB-C connection.

If you store your photos on a laptop, ensure your printer can connect through a wireless or USB cable, while it will need a port for plugging in a storage device.

e) Apps

Most printers need you to download a compatible app on your devices from where you can transfer images to be printed. Normally, you will download and install the app on your smartphone or laptop, open it, and select photos to print from within it.

So, as you buy a photo printer, ensure you can easily download the compatible app. The best printer will have a QR code printed on its manual; you only need to scan the code to get the download link.

f) Print Speed

You can also choose the best printer based on how fast it prints your photos. The faster the speed, the more images you can print, especially if you need to keep taking more photos of your loved ones. However, understand that speed does not always dictate printer quality; some printers will spend more than a minute on one 4x6 paper, printing it in several passes, thus guaranteeing the best color accuracy and minimal artifacting.

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.