Fujifilm Instax mini Link 2 Review – Updated Features, Same Design

Critique du Fujifilm Instax mini Link 2 - Fonctions mises à jour, même design

Fujifilm offers an extensive range of Instax products. Whether you're looking for a portable instant camera, a printer, or even a hybrid of the two, the brand has you covered. In early 2020, Instax launched its first standalone printing unit, the mini Link. The unit was a reasonably priced instant printer that offered a lot of value for fans of the brand. After its success, Fujifilm launched the successor to this unit, the Instax mini Link 2.

With the update to the new printer, Instax brings a few features that make it a much better party favor. However, the list of functions is not very long. So you have to ask yourself whether it makes sense to upgrade to the Link 2 if you have the original or which model is better to buy if you don't have one.

See also: Fujifilm's Instax Mini Link printer is simple but brilliant

Construction and design

When I first unboxed the Fujifilm Instax mini Link 2, I was a little worried about how much difference it would actually make. This was because the device looked almost identical to the first one when it came out of the box. That being said, there are some subtle differences. For starters, a new LED has been added to the side of the device. It supports the air-gesture function, which we will talk about later.

This may seem trivial, but the updated door on the back is something I appreciated. It is easier to open when you need to replace the pack. On previous devices, I always had trouble and had to lean over the device to unlock it before it opened. I can now change film packs in seconds without frustration.

The device retains its entirely plastic structure, which protects the internal components well thanks to its solid frame. It is quite sturdy and doesn't feel like it will break easily, even if dropped. The exterior still has the same streaky aesthetic, which isn't the easiest to clean but for the most part keeps fingerprints from showing up too easily.

There are three main colors to choose from. These are Clay White, Soft Pink and Space Blue. I received the Clay White version to review.

In terms of dimensions, it measures 91.9×36.4×124.8 mm. It's small enough to fit into most carry bags and, in some cases, even your back pocket. I could easily slip it into my cargo pants when I was covering an event or two. It also weighs as much as your smartphone (without the film), so it's not awkward when you carry it in your pocket.

This is not a major overhaul, but rather a simple design change.

Connectivity and features

As with each of the Instax ranges, there is a separate app for the Fujifilm mini Link 2 – the same as the original mini Link. After installing the app from the Google Play Store, all I had to do was turn on the Link 2 and launch the app for it to connect. No additional intervention was required for the connection via Bluetooth. It was a really transparent and automatic process.

There are instructions in the box contents, but they're not much use if you've used a wireless device in the last two years or so. Since two different devices are using the same app, it also detects which of the two devices it is and presents any relevant functions that are not available on the first iteration. This makes the app easier to manage, even if you have two devices, because it automatically switches between the two sets of features.

In terms of new features, there are a few. First up, there's Instax Camera mode. Using the app to act as a lens using the smartphone camera, you can control shooting from the printer with gestures. When you find the image you want to take, simply rotate the mini Link 2 up and down and it will start printing immediately. It works almost like a live capture, so to speak.

Although it has become standard with many Instax cameras, the list of frame options for your print has always been much more extensive on Link units. There are currently over 50 frames to choose from, with a set of Halloween-themed frames also included during my review period. These frames are very simple to use, just select them before printing.

Another important addition is Drawing mode. This allows you to draw patterns and shapes in the air while pressing the button on the side of the device. Using the app, simply point it in the direction of the subject who can then draw using the mini Link 2. There is a second drawing function that allows you to draw on the app using just your fingers. Once the subject is in focus, you can add effects to the Live Photo and then print it. These two effects are very interesting for adding a little sparkle to your prints.

Finally, there is the Test match. This is a fun feature of the app. You can take the test with your friends or partner and answer a few simple questions. Once you've answered the question, the app lets you print a photo you've taken before and add the results to the bottom of the printout. Needless to say, this is just a game and should not be used for real compatibility testing.

Performance and battery life

When it comes to overall performance and print quality, the device doesn't differ too much from the original. However, there is a key difference in this regard. While the previous device offered the standard, natural printing mode, the Link 2 offers a new Instax Rich mode. This mode adds a touch of brightness and a lot of contrast and vibrancy to the final result. After experiencing the effect, it's hard to see why you would want to print using Natural mode afterwards.

Using all the new features is also quite simple. Most often it works smoothly and effortlessly. However, there are some awkward moments that require reshooting or restarting the device or app to get things back to normal.

As for the battery, it uses the same configuration as the previous one with its internally powered battery. Its duration isn't that bad, lasting about 35-40 draws (or four packs) in total. The rechargeable battery uses a MicroUSB port. This is pretty annoying in 2022, with the majority of modern devices having already moved to Type-C support. That said, charging doesn't take long, between 40 and 60 minutes.

See also: Fujifilm Instax Link Wide Printer Review – Bigger and Bolder

The Fujifilm Instax mini Link 2 is identical to its predecessor, focusing on additional features rather than a design overhaul. The built-in motion capture is the most notable feature, while adding a bit of fun with the Match Test mode.

Although it offers a series of new features compared to the original Instax mini Link printer, there is still the issue of price. The first printer was available for $1,899 shortly after release, which was a reasonable price for an instant, portable printer. The Fujifilm mini Link 2 retails for €2,799, which is a considerable increase.

The question that arises is whether you should opt for the Fujifilm Instax mini Link 2 rather than the original camera. If you're looking for fast prints without any of the extra features, I suggest you go with the original device or keep it. However, if you need a little more than a basic print, with a few fun elements thrown in, then the Link 2 has value. It's not the big leap there was when the first printer came out but it adds a lot of additional value.

Review

Instax mini Link 2

PROS

  • Instant photo prints
  • New air-gesture features
  • Updated app control with live mode
  • New rich mode printing
  • Ideal for quick fun at parties

CONS

  • MicroUSB charging port
  • Gesture controls still have some bugs
  • Available only for Android and iOS

Detailed review

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  • Ease of use
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  • Design
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  • Performance
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