Kodak Mini 2 Retro printer what's in the box

If you’re looking for an instant photo printer that’s at least twice as cool as you are, then look no further than the Kodak Mini 2 Retro printer (P210R). With its glossy case, easy-to-use app, and durable print quality, the Mini 2 Retro has all of your bases covered.

What’s in the box of the Kodak Mini 2 Retro printer?

In the box of the Kodak Mini 2 Retro printer, you’ll find the printer itself, a micro-USB charging cord, and warranty/user information. The printer comes pre-loaded with sample printer paper and ink—enough to print 8 sheets, but it’s easy to swap out the cartridge for a refill. (Refills are available in packs of 20, 30, and 50 sheets, each with ten sheets per cartridge).

Kodak Mini 2 Retro printer cartridge

The Kodak Mini 2 Retro printer features

The Mini 2 Retro is a compact, wireless, portable printer that produces 2.1 by 3.4 inch photos using 4PASS (dye sublimation) technology. It’s 3″ by 5.2″ by 1″ large, fitting nicely into a small pocket, pouch, or bag. There aren’t a ton of photo printers or instant cameras that fit comfortably into a fanny pack, but this one does!

Each of these photos comes with a perforated white bottom border that you can choose to leave on or tear off and has a glossy, laminated finish that’s resistant to fingerprinting and water damage. You can print with or without a border for two sizes of prints. Like other dye-sub photos, these prints can last for up to 100 years—which is pretty wild to think about!

The Kodak Mini line connects wirelessly to your Android or iOS device using Bluetooth or NFC One Touch. Its battery takes 1 1/2 hours to charge and lasts for about 20 prints.

The Kodak Mini 2 Retro vs other instant photo printers

The Kodak Mini 2 Retro (P210R) follows in the footsteps of a lot of other instant photo printers. For starters, it’s very similar to the Kodak Mini 2 (KODMP2W), which features a slightly chunkier silhouette and comes in plain black, white, and blue. The Retro version features more rounded-off corners, a sleek side slit, and retro striping. It’s available in white with black accents, black with white accents, and yellow with red accents—the one featured here, which is my favourite of the bunch. (It’s very retro, and even feels solidly-built, like something you’d have expected to purchase before the days of planned obsolescence.) For square prints, opt for the Kodak Mini 3 Retro.

This line of Kodak instant printers also follows in the footsteps of printers like the Canon Selphy, which uses the same type of dye sublimation technology as the Mini 2 and the Mini 2 Retro. However, these printers do something unique: They take dye sublimation technology and make it tiny. The Mini 2 and Mini 2 Retro are tiny, fitting easily into a small purse or roomy pocket.

Kodak Mini 2 Retro printer cartridge refill 10 sheets

What is dye sublimation technology?

There are three main types of instant photo printing technologies that I’ve seen so far. The first is analog printing, used by brands like Polaroid and Fujifilm. I’m a big fan of analog printing, with its punchy contrast and creamy colours—you’ll never see pixelation in an analog print. However, analog photos are pricey compared to the other options available.

The second common type of instant photo printing is ZINK technology, which uses “zero ink.” It heats prints within the printer to bring each pixel up to the right colour, from dyes already contained in each sheet. ZINK prints are cheap compared to analog prints, but I find that their colours bleed easily and tend to shift cyan along the edges. ZINK photos, in my experience, are thin and always come with a sticker backing. (Some Kodak products use premium ZINK photo paper, but not the Mini 2s or Mini 3s.)

The final type of instant photo printing is what this Kodak printer uses: Dye sublimation technology, also known as 4PASS. It’s a little less common, but it’s great. Instead of revealing dyes that are already contained in each sheet of printer paper, dye sublimation printers layer different colours onto the sheet until you have a finished image. (Yellow, red, and cyan, followed by a final lamination.) It’s fun to watch, takes about a minute per sheet to print, and creates durable prints that will last for up to 100 years. The prints it produces are closer in price to an analog print, and they’re significantly higher quality than ZINK prints—expect some pixelation, as with any digital printer, but no feathering or colour bleed.

Kodak Mini 2 Retro printer review

KODAK Photo Printer app with AR

The KODAK app comes with a robust AR function that emphasizes beauty filters—and I have to say, I’m not a fan. I think it’ll be a popular feature (think TikTok and Snapchat filters, both sculpting your jawline and adding puppy dog ears) and Kodak did a great job of integrating it, but sometimes I wish companies would stop giving users the option to edit their features. Some filters are really fun, like adding wobbly noses and silly ears and sparkly glitter, but others can be harmful to users’ self-image, like auto-smoothing your skin, plumping your lips, and slimming your jawline.

Especially in an instant printer, which markets primarily to children and young adults, these features are something that you might choose to discuss with your family before use.

AR app memory

Part of my issue with this is that the KODAK Photo Printer app is “sticky.” That’s not quite the right word for it, but it’s what comes to mind for me. What I mean is that this app has an enormous range of really seamless beauty adjustments built in, but it remembers the adjustments you’ve made before—without displaying them. They get “stuck” in your app settings, even after closing and re-loading the app.

As a result, if you set up your filters to (for instance) slim your nose by 30% and enlarge your eyes by 50% once using AR, those adjustments come back as additional adjustments the next time you add a beauty filter. However, those sticky adjustments don’t appear in your photo settings. To compound the problem, because these sticky filters don’t appear in the photo settings, you can’t modify them or turn them off.

Once you add one beauty filter, you get all of the other ones you’ve used before, too.

It is every user’s choice to use beauty filters. And I get it: They’re really popular, and they can be used responsibly! Just be aware that this app may sneak in filters that you don’t even realize you’re using, and adjust your or your child’s usage to what makes sense for your family.

Kodak Photo Printer app

My experience with the Kodak Mini 2 Retro printer

I’ve tested a lot of photo printers for the Best Buy Blog. This one is one of my favourites.

The Kodak Mini 2 Retro is sleek, functional, and compact. It comes with a great app, and I honestly think it looks very cool. I love watching dye-sub photos being printed, and though the app can be a little slow to send images to the printer, the high-quality prints make it worth the extra time to print.

Where I think a lot of photo printers lose points is in their cool factor, opting instead for lighthearted kitsch. But this printer? It has coolness in spades. It’s bracingly stylish, feels well-made and durable, and would fit right in at a grown-up event, too. I’d consider these printers not only for kids and students, but also as a fun way to create prints at holiday parties, weddings, and other celebrations, too. (Plus, the app makes it easy to print up to 5 copies of a photo at once, which is great for groups.)

Kodak Mini 2 Retro printer

How to get the most out of this printer

There are only three things that I recommend being aware of with this printer. The first is the app’s AR beauty filters, as described above. The second is the photo framing. For some reason, what’s displayed as a preview in the app is not quite what is printed. I recommend zooming out slightly farther than you think you’ll need to in the app, as the printed result is slightly cropped and may move slightly to the side. The third is that you need to be patient. Kodak advertises this printer as taking less than a minute per sheet. In my experience,  however, prints took about a minute and file sending time took up to an additional 2 minutes. It’s still quick, just not as quick as advertised. (And it might be faster with different smartphones!)

As an instant photo and printer enthusiast, I’d like to finish this review with a desperate plea to Kodak: Please give us the option to include the black and orange border that’s displayed in the app. It’s very cool, very retro, and would make our prints look amazing!

Shop the Kodak Mini 2 Retro Printer at Best Buy today. 

Rae Chen covers everything from handbags to speakers here on the Best Buy Plug-in Blog. They can also be found at thenotice.net, where they've been writing about beauty & wellness since 2007.

234 COMMENTS

  1. One great memory I have that I would print out is several years ago, my 5 year old son walking out of his class’s holiday presentation with this big smile and swagger on when he was proud of his part. Love the picture, but never printed it. It would go great in my office on the wall by my computer.

  2. I would print out pictures of friends and give them to them as gifts for surprises i’m sure they would love to get them

  3. I would print our pictures of my pets and I would display them all around the house…you can’t have too many of this fun loving gang!

  4. I would print out a picture of my brand new granddaughter, who is born two days ago. I will put it in my wallet to show everybody I see.

  5. My first photo print would be my older daughter holding the younger daughter for the first time as her expressions are priceless. Review looks so tempting.

  6. I’d love to print out pictures from my trip to Japan. I went about 10 years ago with my family and it was one of the most beautiful and life-changing experiences, from the gorgeous cherry blossoms in Ueno Park to the bustling buildings of Shibuya.

  7. The photo memory that I have in my library is that of our family visiting a beach and I would print it out and place it in the living room.

  8. I have a photo of my mother on our last trip to Germany that I would love to print and hang on the wall in my living room

  9. I would print our pictures of my granddaughter and her pets and I would display them all around the house…you can’t have too many of this fun loving gang!

  10. I would print photos of our cat, my sister’s dog, my parent’s dogs and my bother’s dog for a photo garland to put in my daughter’s room. Would also print some photo’s of my daughter and I on a day trip to the big city to see her first musical/play.

  11. I would print out an awesome photo memory my brother took of me and my other brother hiking a volcano in Hawai. I would then put it on the fridge for all to see!

  12. I would print out my son’s birthday photo and put it on the fridge as he loves to check out the fridge door for new pictures and cards. He has magnets he likes to put on the pictures.

  13. I would love to print out pics of my two dogs that I just lost this year, I would keep one on my desk at work, so I can look at their cute little dog faces and remanence! <3

  14. I would adore having a Kodak Mini 2 Retro , I have pictures from 15 years ago of my car that passed away and I still miss like my second born child. Then I have pictures from 3 phones that I have saved because of all the photos I can’t loose.
    Most of all I will admit that the driving force behind entering is to get the picture of Cuddles printed and put all over the house.
    Thanks for the opportunity to enter, good luck to all.

  15. family photo including all the family members that have within the last 3 years that have passed away and i would put it on my wall

  16. I would print out photos of my late grandmother and give it to members of my family I know my grandmother meant a lot to a lot of my family members so having an actual photo of her that they can see everyday would definitely mean a lot to them and I would also love to print pictures of my cat who passed away in 2014 I had her for 19 years since I was 3 years old I grew up with her so that would mean the world to me and of course a bunch of photos of my daughter to give to my family members because school photos Aren’t Enough

  17. This printer looks so handy and retro! This would be very useful to print out a photo of my living room before renovations. I’d place the photo in a frame and hang it on the wall of the renovated room.

  18. I would print out a picture of my brand new granddaughter, who is born two days ago. I will put it in my wallet to show everybody I see.

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