Kodak Step Slim Instant Mobile Photo Printer Review In 2023

Kodak has made a greater commitment to portable or pocket-sized photo printers than any other company, with the exception of HP. This year, we’ve previously tested the company’s Mini 2 Retro Portable Picture Printer and Mini 3 Retro Portable Photo Printer (the latter of which received an Editors’ Choice award), and now it’s time to evaluate the $79.99 Step Slim Quick Mobile Photo Printer. While all three machines produce images of the same size (2 by 3 inches in the case of the Step Slim), the two Mini Retros are dye-sublimation (or dye-sub) printers.

The Step Slim, however, utilizes Zero ink, or Zink, imaging technology, like picture printers from Canon, HP, and others. Dye-sub printers typically produce somewhat better prints, although Zink printers are simpler to maintain and operate. This specific Kodak utilizes the company’s adhesive-backed paper, which transforms printed material into stickers. The sleek tiny Slim is an excellent smartphone companion due to its low list price and competitive cost per print.


This Polaroid is a dye-sublimation device, making it slightly larger than the majority of its Zink rivals. Zink devices employ special paper embedded with color crystals that react to heat patterns generated by the printer rather than ink. Dye-sub printers utilize standard paper and a carrier film impregnated with ink, which are commonly packaged in refill cartridges. Zink printers produce an image in a single pass through the device, whereas their dye-sub competitors require four runs over the paper path.

1. Alternatives for acquisition and bundles

Nowadays, it is not uncommon to find multiple possibilities for purchasing small picture printers like these. Throughout the course of this study, I came across three Step Slim bundles at Amazon and other retailers. The first, which costs $79.99, includes the printer, a charging cord, and 20 sheets of Zink picture paper.
Next is a $109 kit that includes everything in the basic kit plus an additional 50 sheets of 2-by-3-inch adhesive Zink paper for a total of 70 pages.
The $129 Starting Bundle offers nearly everything you need to transform your compact photo printer into a scrapbooking or arts and crafts kit. It includes a second 20-pack of paper, a carrying box, a miniature photo album, thousands of stickers for various occasions, pens, and even a clothesline for drying your works. (See the length of twine and assortment of clothespins in the image’s upper right corner.)
The App Kodak Step

The Step Slim, like many of today’s pocket photo printers, relies on a downloadable photo editing, enhancing, and printing application. Kodak Step Prints is a highly developed program that allows you to make repairs such as red-eye removal, image sharpening, and adjustments to contrast and color.
Among the enhancements are snappy frames, attractive typography, and filters for adding a variety of special effects. The application also gives capabilities for producing collages and other customized layouts from your smartphone’s photo library, cloud storage, and social media platforms. In reality, it enables direct interaction with your preferred social media and other websites.

2. Testing

Printing speed is not an issue for these little devices, within reason. The Kodak Step Slim joins its Mini 2 Retro and Mini 3 Retro siblings, HP’s Sprockets (including the original, the Sprocket 2nd Edition, the Sprocket Plus, and the Sprocket Select), and Canon’s Ivy Mini Photo Printer in creating high-quality photographs.

Given the small size of the test prints, the test prints’ colors are vivid and accurate, and the level of detail is exceptional. Furthermore, it is important to remember that while modern Zink printers produce decent-looking images (considerably better than models from only a few years ago), dye-sub printers often produce images with superior resolution and somewhat more vibrant colors. Yet, neither can match the quality of four-, five-, or six-ink desktop inkjet printers or multifunction printers. Suffice it to say that the Step Slim’s photographs are superior to those of its contemporaries, albeit unremarkable and unimpressive.

If you insist on knowing the Step Slim’s pace, Kodak rates it at one print per minute, which is about average for these devices, or slightly slower. (Depending on the content and size of the image, pocket photo printers typically take between 30 and 60 seconds per print.)


If you or your children are in the market for a 2-by-3-inch photo sticker printer for use with a smartphone, the Step Slim has few, if any, drawbacks. Its list price of $79.99 is one of the lowest in its category, and its 50-cent photos are competitive, but not cheap. Like it has with the Mini Retro printers, we wouldn’t be shocked to see Kodak offer a 90- or 100-pack of media in the near future, further reducing operating expenses.

The bundle with 20 sheets of Zink paper is an excellent offer, but the kit with 70 sheets for $109 is an even better deal. The most expensive bundle is not a good deal unless you require the included markers, stickers, and other accessories, but we see no reason not to purchase the Kodak Step Slim if the snapshot size is appropriate.


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