Print photos from your smartphone: online service or specialized application? We tested for you

Printing photos is still common practice and with online photo printing services, we can do it easily from home. These services, which are offered by several stores, are gaining in popularity. However, using them directly from a mobile phone or tablet is not always easy.

For those who would like to have additional options, we have tested services LaLaLab and Shutterfly. Both of these new services, available through an application in Google Play and the App Store, offer the direct printing from your phone or tablet. We also  compared them with one of the most popular online photo printing services: Jean-Coutu.


The LalaLab application offers a wide range of photo products and trending printing formats. Especially square formats adapted to social media platforms like Instagram, but also standard and larger formats.

Very easy to use, the application allowed us to select photos from our device as well as from our Facebook, Instagram, Dropbox and Flickr accounts. Also, unlike other services tested, it allowed us to modify the pictureand even add frames and filters.


Shutterfly has an incredible variety of photo products: interior decoration products, accessories, personalized gifts, greeting cards, photo book, etc. The application allowed us to upload and even store the photos from our device as well as from our Facebook and Instagram accounts. So we can save storage space on our device and easily organize all our photos on the same platform.

Even if Shuttterfly has a full range of products, it offers less flexibility for photo editing than other services. The application automatically adjusts the photos and warns us if the quality of one of the selected images can be compromised due to its low resolution.


Jean-Coutu, the online service we used for comparison, also has a wide variety of photo products. With its responsive website, we found that we could easily use its photo printing service from our smartphone, even if it’s not an application.

To our surprise, the service allows us to select photos from our mobile device but also from the following social platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Flickr, Google photos, Dropbox. It also gives us the possibility to reframe our photos and to have a good overview of the final result. More flexible in terms of delivery than the other services, we can pick up our photos at the Jean-Coutu store of our choice or have them delivered to our home by paying an additional fee.

Comparative Table of Services Tested
[easytable colalign=”center|center|center|center” colwidth=”150|200|200|200″ terminator = “|” nl=”~~” ] ,Jean-Coutu,LaLaLab,Shutterfly|
Fast Delivery / Picking,
10/10~~Picking after 24h,7/10~~Received after 9 days,7/10~~Received after 9 days|
Ease of use from mobile devices,9/10,9/10,9/10|
Unit price,7/10~~$0.15 (4×6 format),5/10~~$0.55* (4×5 format),
9/10~~$0.15* (4×6 format)|
Delivery cost,-,7/10~~($4.72),8/10~~($3.39)|
Diversity of products offered,8/10,7/10,9/10|
Flexibility to edit photo,5/10,9/10,3/10|
Overall mark,7\,8/10,7\,5/10,7\,6/10|
Best choice for,Develop photos in a standard format,Add a touch of originality to photos,Customize objects|
[/easytable] *Promotional code when creating an account. We didn’t pay the prints.

In our experience, Jean-Coutu is the best service for those who simply want to print their photos in a standard format. It offers the best price, since there is no delivery fees when picked-up at the store, and is the fastest. On the other hand, for those who wish to have more flexibility to edit their photos and have access to less standard photo formats, LaLaLab has a complete offer that allows you to print picture that are out of the ordinary. Finally, if you want more a service that allows you to customize objects, Shutterfly stands out for its elaborate catalog offered at very competitive prices.