Hands-On Review: Introducing the FUJIFILM INSTAX Link WIDE

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Back with a new addition to its hugely popular line of portable instant cameras and printers, FUJIFILM brings you the INSTAX Link WIDE printer, which allows you to print any image from your smartphone in seconds, using INSTAX Wide Film.

INSTAX Link WIDE Printer in Ash White
INSTAX Link WIDE Printer in Ash White

Like the entire FUJIFILM INSTAX line, the new Link WIDE printer is, most essentially, about one thing—fun. In a world where Instagram and Snapchat reign supreme, most images that we capture with our smartphones end up as fleeting, distant memories, lost in an infinite sea of digital. FUJIFILM has always bucked this trend with the INSTAX line, and this time, the company has managed to combine the power and convenience of your smartphones with the tactile and social experience of printing your own instant photos to share with your friends and family (an activity that most people younger than 30 today haven’t yet had the opportunity to enjoy).

FUJIFILM INSTAX instant photo prints make great ice breakers, which in turn makes them perfect for all sorts of social situations. They’re great for traveling, for kids on their way to college, and for get-togethers and reunions. Since you’re not limited to printing photos shot on your smartphone with the INSTAX Link WIDE (these days, many newer camera models make it easy enough to beam photos wirelessly from your camera to your phone), it’s also an excellent gift for professional and enthusiast photographers, such as wedding or travel shooters.   

A big brother to the popular INSTAX Mini Link Smartphone Printer, the INSTAX Link WIDE uses the larger 3.9 x 2.4" INSTAX Wide film, rather than the 2.4 x 1.8" INSTAX Mini film, both of which come in color and monochrome varieties.

The Link WIDE printer itself is available in mocha gray and ash white, and comes with a USB charging cable, a stand, and a wrist strap. Like the Mini Link, it’s controlled using a free app for Android and iOS. Yet, while the INSTAX Link WIDE does bear some similarities to the Mini Link, it adds a ton of new features that allow for a kind of creativity that’s truly unique unto itself.

The INSTAX Link WIDE is extremely easy to set up. Just install the app on your smartphone, connect to the printer via Bluetooth, load up a film cartridge, and you’re ready to go. Then, simply select an image from your photo library, crop and make any adjustments to contrast, brightness, and saturation if needed, and print.

INSTAX Link WIDE Printer in Mocha Gray
INSTAX Link WIDE Printer in Mocha Gray

But, as you may have guessed, the fun doesn’t stop there. The INSTAX Link WIDE features two print quality modes to choose from—the classic “INSTAX-Natural Mode” or the new

“INSTAX -Rich Mode,” featuring extra-vibrant colors. I had fun experimenting with both modes in my tests. While I liked the new choice for deeper color saturation with some photos, I also appreciated the option for a more natural look with others.

One of the most innovative features of the INSTAX Link WIDE is the QR Print mode, which lets you superimpose a custom QR code onto your print that can be scanned using any smartphone. Within the QR code, you can encode either the location where the photo was taken, a web link, a written message, or my personal favorite—a recorded sound up to 10 seconds long. This feature is great for adding a narrative dimension to photo sessions with your friends and family because it allows you to capture the sound of the moment in addition to a visual. I particularly enjoyed taking pictures of my 5-year-old daughter, and then having her record a comment about what was happening the moment the photo was taken, which I’m sure we’ll both get a kick out of when we revisit the print in the months and years to come! Speaking of years to come, I would be remiss not to mention that each sound you record is stored on a server and can be accessed for two years from the date of creation.

Another cool addition to the INSTAX Link WIDE app is a library of editable templates that let you layer cool-looking frames, graphics, and text on top of your images. This is great for adding context to your photos, whether it’s a birthday party, wedding, graduation, or other special moment.

What’s more, you can create an image collage, and combine from two to 16 images in one frame, for either a “photo booth” or “contact sheet” sort of look.

Another creativity-inducing mode is the Sketch, Edit & Print mode, which allows you to photograph a sketch or a note you’ve made on a piece of paper, and superimpose it onto another image. You can then add all kinds of stickers like emojis, greetings, and other graphics, plus you can add a QR code in this mode as well.

We think the FUJIFILM INSTAX Link WIDE will prove itself a welcome addition to the INSTAX line, and we want to know if you agree. I encourage you to leave all your questions and thoughts in the Comments section, below. Thanks for reading!

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