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Review: HP Sprocket Studio Plus WiFi photo printer

Jun 07, 2023Jun 07, 2023

Lab quality prints from the comfort of your home.


The HP Sprocket Studio Plus is a fantastic little photo printer, even if it's a bit pricey. Most photos look fantastic but it can struggle a bit if there are a lot of light images. The HP Sprocket app is well-designed and gives you quite a bit of functionality including making quick edits and building a simple collage.

Being able to print photos at home is a great way to bring the family together or quickly tackle your latest scrapbooking project. While there are many styles of printers that can print photos, they aren’t all created equally.

The HP Sprocket Studio Plus is a dedicated photo printer that brings lab-quality prints to the comfort of your home.

Having a dedicated photo printer means getting quality prints no longer necessitates the need to run to the nearest photo store or have them shipped to you.

The HP Sprocket app is great for anyone that enjoys looking at physical photos but doesn’t want the hassle of having them shipped or driving to pick them up.

It would be particularly useful for printing 4 x 6-inch photos for frames and photo binders. This is also an excellent choice for people who enjoy scrapbooking.

Anyone who wants professional-quality prints will want to look elsewhere. The HP Sprocket Studio Plus isn’t as accurate with colors, especially for photos with a lot of light colors.

The perforated edges don’t leave clean lines on two edges of the printer. If you are looking to save money, this printer isn’t the most cost-effective solution for printing your photos.

At $150, the HP Sprocket Studio Plus wants to show you how reliable, fun, and convenient photo printers have become.

Setting up the HP Sprocket Studio Plus was an absolute breeze. At first, it can look intimidating as you pull all the pieces out of the box. And once you see how it all goes together, it’s a quick and painless process.

The printer is relatively small at 6.65 x 10.75 x 2.68 inches and weighs only 2.05 pounds.

Opening the door on the front of the printer reveals a power button, three indicator lights, and a large hole. The large hole is where you attach the removable paper tray and where your prints will ultimately come out from.

When you aren’t actively using the printer, the removable paper tray stores neatly on top of the printer. It’s a wonderful space-saving design, although it could have been designed to be more secure. It could be easily knocked off the top of the printer.

The right side of the printer has another door, which is where the dye-based ribbon cartridge goes. Installing the cartridge is easy, but be careful to insert it in the correct orientation as part of the ribbon is exposed.

Fair warning: Make sure you don’t have the printer too close to a wall or block the back in any way. A print will go in and out of the printer multiple times to apply different layers before it finishes printing.

Around the back is a fan grille, an opening for the power cord, and a thin slot. This thin slot is where the paper temporarily comes out from while it’s printing, only briefly sticking out the back.

Loading the HP Sprocket app brings you to an account creation screen (which you can skip) and then guides you through the printer setup process.

This setup process is mainly just pairing the Hp Sprocket Studio Plus to your Android or iPhone with the built-in Bluetooth 5.0. It will then connect you to your Wi-Fi and drop you to the main screen of the app.

The HP Sprocket app is well laid out, intuitive to use, and gives you plenty of features to satisfy most users. The main app screen displays your gallery of photos, allowing you to quickly and easily select the photo that you want to print.

The main screen also gives you the chance to easily create a collage or make pre-cut stickers if you have the proper sticker paper.

You can also easily connect the app to Instagram, Facebook, and Google Photos to gain access to any photos you may want to print from your social media accounts.

Selecting a photo will give you a preview of what it will look like printed. If you would like to edit the photo, you can click the pencil icon to bring you to the editing screen.

This is where you can adjust things like brightness, contrast, apply filters, and crop your photos. You also get access to photo-enhancing features such as stickers, borders, and a text addition tool.

Make sure you pay close attention to what your photo will look like, as you will most likely need to crop it to make it look right.

Toward the end of my testing, I noticed the app would occasionally force close. It didn’t do this at first, so I believe an update may have caused some instability.

The HP Sprocket Studio Plus performance was quite good, and it can print up to 300 dpi for both color and black ink. For the most part, the colors were accurate, and each print took about 1 minute and 30 seconds to go from start to finish.

The only time I saw colors struggle on the HP Sprocket Studio Plus was when the image had a lot of lighter colors in it. Most prints come out equal to what you would get from CVS or Walmart.

The 4×6 prints have a tab with perforated edges on the shorter sides of the paper.

This makes for easy handling after printing and can be easily torn off. It does leave the edges feeling a bit rough compared to normal paper, but it’s tough to tell just by looking at it.

The printer came with 10 sheets of paper and a single printer cartridge. After 10 prints, the cartridge promptly ran out of ink.

This was a bit of a concern, considering a pack of 108 sheets of replacement paper and two cartridges costs $47 on Amazon.

You can’t buy the paper and cartridges separately, so it could feel like a leap of faith investing in more paper, not knowing how many prints you can get out of a single cartridge.

Luckily, HP sent along one of those packs to test out. It was a pleasant surprise to find that the cartridge in the replacement pack can print a significantly higher number of photos.

I have printed 50 photos since swapping the replacement cartridge, and it has yet to run out of ink.

If you are worried about the longevity of your prints, then you will be happy to hear that HP says the paper used in the Sprocket Studio Plus is smudge-proof, waterproof, and tear-resistant. I never encountered any smudges or tears during my testing.

If you are looking to print smaller photos, then the Liene Mini Photo Printer may suit your needs better than the HP Sprocket Studio Plus. This printer prints 2×3 inch photos with a removable back, allowing you to stick it on all kinds of things.

Even more, you can use it to convert standard images that you have taken and make retro-looking Polaroid photos.

For those of you on a budget, the Canon Selphy CP1500 is a similar printer to the HP Sprocket Studio Plus but can be found on sale for as little as $100.

They are both dye sublimation printers and can print 4×6 photos, but unlike the HP Sprocket printer, you don’t have to rely on an app for printing. You can print from your wireless network, memory cards, and flash drives.

Maybe a dedicated photo printer is too limiting for you, and you want something a bit more robust The Canon TR8620a can cover your photo, scanning, copying, faxing, and printing needs for less than $200.

The price is a bit higher, but this is a true multifunction printer and is much for versatile.

The HP Sprocket Studio Plus successfully brings the convenience and thrill of printing physical pictures to the comfort of your home.

If you are the type of person who prefers having physical photos, loves scrapbooking, or wants to easily swap pictures in and out of frames, the $150 HP Sprocket Studio Plus will be a surefire hit.

The photos this little printer can make look quite good, with the minor exception of photos with a lot of light colors. It’s not that those photos are bad; they pale in comparison to the photos that you would normally get from the HP Sprocket.

At $0.44 per print, the HP Sprocket Studio Plus doesn’t end up being very expensive after the initial cost of the printer. Each photo takes about a minute and a half to print, and the paper tray can hold 20 pieces of photo paper.

If you like to batch a lot of pictures at once, you may want to get your pictures developed by someone else or be prepared to wait a while.

It would have been nice to have a printer capable of adjusting between 4×6 and 5×7 photos to tackle two of the most common sizes, but you are limited to 4×6 with this printer.

Overall the HP Sprocket Studio Plus is a fantastic little printer, especially if you fall into the use cases outlined above.

And keep in mind eliminating the need to send your photos somewhere else and then having to pick them up may result in printing more photos than you ever have.

The HP Sprocket Studio Plus is a fantastic little photo printer, even if it's a bit pricey. Most photos look fantastic but it can struggle a bit if there are a lot of light images. The HP Sprocket app is well-designed and gives you quite a bit of functionality including making quick edits and building a simple collage.

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Steve is a tech enthusiast and an avid gamer. He loves writing about, tinkering with, researching, and reviewing the latest technology. When not doing something tech related, he enjoys spending time with his family, running, and hiking.

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