You gotta love the Polaroid PoGo, a photo printer roughly the size of a pack of cards that prints pictures instantly from a cellphone camera. The pictures are credit-card size, of decent quality, and print out already dry through an inkless/ribbonless printing process called Zink.
The connection between a phone and the printer is Bluetooth wireless, and therein lies PoGo’s strength — and weakness.
The Polaroid website lists a blizzard of compatible Symbian, Blackberry, and Windows phones, but the two hottest phones are missing: the iPhone and the new Android smartphones.
When it was introduced two years ago, Polaroid probably never doubted the pocket-sized printer would be a natural pairing for the iPhone. But it wasn’t. In what must have been an emasculating moment for the company, Polaroid got down on its corporate knees and pleaded with Apple to make makes its iPhone operating system software Bluetooth-compatible with the PoGo, but to no avail.
When I bought the little printer, I made the same mistake. It wasn’t compatible with my iPhone so it went into the “close but no cigar” gadget category in my closet. But when I recently bought the Android-powered Motorola Droid X smartphone (reviewed here on Aug. 7), it paired perfectly. So I’m good to go.
Here’s where it gets tricky: Because I own a Motorola-manufactured Android phone, the printer will work. If my phone was an HTC-manufactured Android phone, I wouldn’t be so lucky, according to a Polaroid spokesperson, because the printer won't pair with HTC's Bluetooth wireless software. And still, there’s no progress in pairing with the iPhone. Go figure how Polaroid allowed this to happen.
If you get the PoGo, use “6000” as your pairing code. The phone will give you an error message that tells you you’re “paired but not connected.” Simply ignore it and you’ll be fine. (The pairing code is a specific number given to BlueTooth devices enabling them to pair with specific devices.)
PS: I learned about the PoGo as an avid reader of Rick Broida’s "Cheapskate" blog for CNET. Rick is an accomplished bargain hunter and one of the sources I check daily for good stuff. The original unit sold in the $150 range; Rick found it at a discounted $29.99 but that price was earlier this year. Today it can be bought for $40.
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