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This mini Instax printer brings me the joy of instant photography without the pain

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This mini Instax printer brings me the joy of instant photography without the pain
The Instax Mini Link 2 printer being used to print pictures on instant film



(Image credit: Fujifilm)

Every couple of months, I’ll find myself on Amazon.com agonizing over the pros and cons of purchasing an instant camera.

My latest instant-cam fantasies have been revolving around the Polaroid Now+, one of the best instant cameras we’ve reviewed. Its iconic design makes it look like a modern version of a retro snapper, and it comes with mod cons like an accompanying smartphone app that opens up new creative possibilities for your pictures. But at $150 / £139 for the camera and roughly $2 / £2 per shot, it’s just not a purchase I feel I can justify. 

So I close the tab and move on for several weeks before inevitably starting the cycle all over again. But now, that cycle might finally be coming to an end, and it’s all thanks to the Fujifilm Instax Mini Link 2 printer.


My love of instant cameras developed during my childhood. At some point between the ages of three and five, I was given a Polaroid P600, the first ever gadget that felt like it was mine.

This wasn’t the Sega Mega Drive that my parents would set up and then put away when my game time was up; nor was it the home computer that I struggled to operate without assistance. This was my camera, and it was simple to use, and it looked beautiful covered in stickers.

So when I futilely search for an instant camera today, what I’m really looking for is that bit of nostalgia, that thing that’ll take me back to the early 2000s. The issue is that I’m not a kid anymore, and over time, I’ve become aware of the instant-camera problems I never noticed before.

A Polaroid P600 instant camera on a bright blue background

This isn’t the camera I had – that’s been lost at some point over the past 20 years – but it is a Polaroid P600. (Image credit: Amazon / Polaroid)

Shaky like a polaroid picture

To four-year-old me, every picture I printed with my Polaroid P600 was a masterpiece. I kept every single one in a binder (actually three binders as the first two got filled up) and would proudly show off my work to everyone that I could – whether they wanted to see it or not. 

But I was not a good photographer, and even now I’m not sure I have the skill to wield an instant camera properly.

For some people, that flash and print mechanism – that one shot at glory – is what elevates instant cameras over even the best mirrorless or DSLR cameras. But, as my younger self demonstrated, if you aren’t careful, your whole roll of film can be wasted by blurry photo after blurry photo.

And as a child, you don’t care. You burn through the shots you have and then one day a new roll of film arrives as if by magic and you can naively snap away again. But now, as an adult that has to shell out for each picture myself, I don’t want to see my income frittered away because of my artistic incompetence.

(Here I would insert some of the pictures I took when I was younger, of poorly lit haunted houses, half-eaten cupcakes, and my pet dog, but my mum and dad couldn’t find my photo album. So instead, enjoy this recreation)

A cupcake with a bite taken out of it by AMBERORDONEZ that has been distorted to make it look more like the picture I would take

Blurry, distorted, kind of a weird subject; it’s just like all the pictures I used to take with my P600 (Image credit: Shutterstock / AMBERORDONEZ)

To that end, I much prefer the spray and pray method using my Google Pixel 6. Ask me to take a picture of you and you’ll find 10 to 100 new snaps in your phone’s camera roll afterward, each a subtly different version of the one photo you wanted. That way, a poorly timed blink, or an awkward camera hold won’t ruin the day – somewhere in the mass of pictures you’ll find perfection.

But when using a smartphone, your snaps are only digital, and you don’t get to enjoy the magic of seeing the film sheet emerge blank and slowly develop into your masterpiece.

Hybrid instant cameras like the Fujifilm Instax Mini Evo have tried to bridge the gap between digital and instant snappers, but the quality of the digital pictures isn’t great compared to what most smartphones can pull off. Plus with the Mini Evo, you have to print the picture before you can share it to your smartphone, which makes keeping images that you like but don’t love more of a hassle than it needs to be.

A better solution is Fujifilm’s Instax Mini Link 2. 

Instant perfection

It’s a Bluetooth smartphone printer that you can connect to your smartphone to print off images from your camera roll using instant film. Just like with an instant camera, you can watch the film develop over a few minutes, and your pictures will come out looking like you used a Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 – or another retro-style camera.

You can also print your images as they are or, using a greyscale or sepia filter, you can use the printer’s LED to draw in the air and make words and images appear in your snaps (or use your finger and the phone app for the same effect). You can even print a video that comes out as a stationary image accompanied by a QR code, which you can scan to bring the picture to life.

Pictures taken with the Instax Mini Link 2, they include a picture of turtles under the sea and a woman riding a carousel

Some of my pictures that I’ve now printed using the Instax Mini Link 2 (Image credit: Future)

On top of that, the printer only sets you back $99 / £114 / AU$179, and while the film comes to roughly  $1 / £0.75 a sheet (which can add up), you have much more control over your picture composition. Because you’re choosing what to print (and what not to print) you never feel like you’ve wasted a shot, making the costs feel more justified.

The only letdown is that the prints are smaller than I’d like. That’s a fairly easy fix though – I just need to swap the Instax Mini Link 2 for the Instax Wide printer, or another alternative that uses larger film (which is only slightly more expensive).

So if you’re thinking about picking up an instant camera like I’ve been considering, I’d strongly suggest looking at a smartphone printer that uses instant film instead. If your artistic integrity will let you get over the fact that it’s not a true polaroid picture, then I’m sure you’ll love the results.

If you’ve got a smartphone printer now headed your way ,you might want to browse our picks for the best camera phones so that the pictures you print look as impressive as possible.

Hamish is a Staff Writer for TechRadar (@Hamish_Hector (opens in new tab) on Twitter) and has been writing about tech for almost five years. He now lends his experience to cover news and reviews across everything on TechRadar (from Computing to Audio to Gaming and the rest). In his free time, you’ll likely find Hamish humming show tunes while building Lego or playing D&D with his mates.

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FIFA 23 lets you turn off commentary pointing out how bad you are

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FIFA 23 lets you turn off commentary pointing out how bad you are
A player shouldering the ball



(Image credit: EA)

FIFA 23 might be the best game soccer game yet for terrible sports fans, as it lets you turn off commentary that criticizes your bad playing.

Now that the early access FIFA 23 release time has passed, EA Play and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers can hop into the game ahead of its full release. But as Eurogamer (opens in new tab) spotted, they’ll find a peculiar option waiting for them.

FIFA 23 includes a toggle to turn off ‘Critical Commentary’. The setting lets you silence all negative in-match comments made about your technique, so you can protect your precious ego even when you miss an open goal or commit an obvious foul. The more positive commentary won’t be affected. 

Spare your feelings

A player dribbling the ball in FIFA 23

(Image credit: EA)

The feature looks tailored toward children and new players, who don’t want to have their confidence wrecked within mere minutes of picking up the controller. But even experienced players who just so happen to be terrible at the game might benefit.

It’s not perfect, though. According to Eurogamer, the feature didn’t seem to work during a FIFA Ultimate Team Division Rivals match, with critical comments slipping through the filter. Still, who hasn’t benefited from a light grilling every now and then?

Polite commentary isn’t the only new addition in FIFA 23. It’s the first game in the series to include women’s club football teams, and fancy overhauled animations that take advantage of the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S’s new-gen hardware. EA will be hoping to end on a high, as FIFA 23 will be the last of its soccer games to release with the official FIFA licence.

If disabling critical commentary doesn’t improve your soccer skills, maybe building a squad of Marvel superheroes will. Although you might not do much better with Ted Lasso wandering the pitch.

FIFA 23 is set to fully release this Friday, September 30.

Callum is TechRadar Gaming’s News Writer. You’ll find him whipping up stories about all the latest happenings in the gaming world, as well as penning the odd feature and review. Before coming to TechRadar, he wrote freelance for various sites, including Clash, The Telegraph, and Gamesindustry.biz, and worked as a Staff Writer at Wargamer. Strategy games and RPGs are his bread and butter, but he’ll eat anything that spins a captivating narrative. He also loves tabletop games, and will happily chew your ear off about TTRPGs and board games. 

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Google Pixel 7 price leak suggests Google is totally out of touch

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Google Pixel 7 price leak suggests Google is totally out of touch
The backs of the Pixel 7 and the Pixel 7 Pro



(Image credit: Google)

We’re starting to hear more and more Google Pixel 7 leaks, with the launch of the phone just a week away, but tech fans might be getting a lot of déjà vu, with the leaks all listing near-identical specs to what we heard about the Pixel 6 a year ago.

It sounds like the new phones – a successor to the Pixel 6 Pro is also expected – could be very similar to their 2021 predecessors. And a new price leak has suggested that the phones’ costs could be the same too, as a Twitter user spotted the Pixel 7 briefly listed on Amazon (before being promptly taken down, of course).

Google pixel 7 on Amazon US. $599.99.It is still showing up in search cache but the listing gives an error if you click on it. We have the B0 number to keep track of though!#teampixel pic.twitter.com/w5Z09D28YESeptember 27, 2022

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According to these listings, the Pixel 7 will cost $599 while the Pixel 7 Pro will cost $899, both of which are identical to the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro starting prices. The leak doesn’t include any other region prices, but in the UK the current models cost £599 and £849, while in Australia they went for AU$999 and AU$1,299.

So it sounds like Google is planning on retaining the same prices for its new phones as it sold the old ones for, a move which doesn’t make much sense.


Analysis: same price, new world

Google’s choice to keep the same price points is a little curious when you consider that the specs leaks suggest these phones are virtually unchanged from their predecessors. You’re buying year-old tech for the same price as before.

Do bear in mind that the price of tech generally lowers over time, so you can readily pick up a cheaper Pixel 6 or 6 Pro right now, and after the launch of the new ones, the older models will very likely get even cheaper.

But there’s another key factor to consider in the price: $599 might be the same number in 2022 as it was in 2021, but with the changing global climate, like wars and flailing currencies and cost of living crises, it’s a very different amount of money.

Some people just won’t be willing to shell out the amount this year, that they may have been able to last year. But this speaks to a wider issue in consumer tech.

Google isn’t the only tech company to completely neglect the challenging global climate when pricing its gadgets: Samsung is still releasing super-pricey folding phones, and the iPhone 14 is, for some incomprehensible reason, even pricier than the iPhone 13 in some regions. 

Too few brands are actually catering to the tough economic times many are facing right now, with companies increasing the price of their premium offerings to counter rising costs, instead of just designing more affordable alternatives to flagships.

These high and rising prices suggest that companies are totally out of touch with their buyers, and don’t understand the economic hardship troubling many.

We’ll have to reach a breaking point sooner or later, either with brands finally clueing into the fact that they need to release cheaper phones, or with customers voting with their wallets by sticking to second-hand or refurbished devices. But until then, you can buy the best cheap phones to show that cost is important to you.

Tom’s role in the TechRadar team is to specialize in phones and tablets, but he also takes on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK.

He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working in TechRadar freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist. Outside of TechRadar he works in film as a screenwriter, director and producer.

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DisplayMate awards the “Best Smartphone Display” title to the iPhone 14 Pro Max

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DisplayMate awards the “Best Smartphone Display” title to the iPhone 14 Pro Max

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