I loved the photos I had made for my Mpix photo printing review, and their packaging was totally extra. My photos were so carefully packaged that a 500-pound gorilla could jump up and down on it and still probably not cause damage. Shipping was fast and free. There are nearly endless options for cool photo gifts you can order. But placing my order on Mpix's website was a chore, especially when it came to making the best photo books. For example, as noted in my Shutterfly Photo Printing review, there are easier-to-use photo book creation platforms.
Author's Note: Since I originally wrote this review, Mpix has improved its website and streamlined the photo book creation process. It's a lot smoother and more in line with the quality of Mpix's products. I'd recommend giving it a go.
Price: VariesBottom line: If you can get past the ordering process, Mpix's photo printing is stellar.
- Gorgeous photos
- Careful packaging
- Reasonable prices
- Frequent coupons and discounts
- Free, fast shipping
- Experienced tech issues on website
- Frustrating photo book creation
Highs and lows
Mpix Photo Printing review: Features
Ordering from Mpix was an emotional roller coaster. When I went to Mpix's website, it looked great. I started going through the tabs and saw nearly endless options for the kinds of prints and photo gifts that I could create. It's almost overwhelming, but it's well organized, so I happily dug in. Uploading photos from my computer took some time but it was no problem. The problem was, the photos kept disappearing while I was trying to place my order. I gave up and moved on to another project. I tried again another day a couple of times until it finally worked. Then, trying to create my photo book was a whole other ordeal. I was unable to add anything at all to the cover, I'm still not sure if it was my error or if you just can't do that on the smaller books. The book created itself, putting all the photos in any which way. So, I had to manually remove each photo and put it back in the way I wanted it. It was all a very frustrating process. I wanted to hate my order when it arrived so I could trash Mpix altogether.
But ... the order showed up and it was pretty amazing. It was packaged as if it were the Mona Lisa. It kind of made me feel special, that someone cared to protect my precious memories that way. When I did finally get in, I could see that the quality was fantastic for the most part.
I ordered a 20x30 in black and white, an 8x10, three 4x6 prints, a 5x5 photo book, a set of cards, and four wallet-sized photos. All of the professional engagement photos you see in my order were taken by JMS Imagery. I can't think of any critique of the prints I received whatsoever. From the tiny wallets to the huge 20x30, both color and black and white, all of them looked exactly how they were supposed to. The wallets are pre-cut, you just pop them out. When you order cards, there is a minimum of five, which is pretty small compared to most printing services. I was quite happy with the quality of the cards, though they do have a noticeable Mpix logo on the back. This seems to be standard across the industry, though I don't love that. The photo book was nice. It has a cloth cover and the photos inside look great. The binding is stiff but I'd imagine it will loosen up with time. It's not the best photo book I've ever made, but I was so frustrated by the process that I didn't do my best work on it.
|Print size range||From wallet to 36x48|
|Variety of photo products available||Huge|
|Free shipping||Yes - and it's fast|
|Cloud storage||60 days|
|Shipping time||One week or less|
|Auto-crop||Yes, but easy to change|
|Option to pick up locally||No|
|Upload photos from other websites||Yes: Google Photos, Dropbox, Facebook, Google Drive, Instagram, Amazon, OneDrive|
|All items arrived undamaged||Yes|
Choices and quality
Mpix photo printing review: What I like
I was so pleased with each and every photo, as well as the cards. It's nice that you can use photos from so many photo storage and social media websites. Free shipping is unusual in the photo printing industry, and Mpix's was not only free but it was fast. I was blown away by the array of choices, you can get prints that are four feet wide for goodness sake. There are so many cool gift options, you could delight each and every family member at every holiday for years to come without repeating a gift. The prices aren't the lowest I've found, but they are reasonable and Mpix often emails me coupons and discounts.
Mpix photo printing review: What I don't like
I almost gave up on my order altogether; if I weren't doing it for work I probably would have. For several days, my photos kept disappearing on me. Now it seems to be working fine, so maybe Mpix was experiencing technical difficulties and that's not the norm.
The photo book platform just isn't great. The books themselves are fine, and there are certainly tons of choices for the type of book you'd like to make, but putting together that one tiny book was a time-sucking exercise in frustration.
Order everything but books
Mpix photo printing review: Bottom line
If you want to make the photo books, I can't recommend Mpix. For everything else, assuming the site is working for you, it's a great service. The huge array of photo prints and gifts, fast free shipping, careful packaging, and high-quality prints earn four out of five stars from me despite the frustrations. I felt Mpix was still worth a mention in my roundup of the best online photo printing services.
Karen is a contributor to iMore.com as a writer and co-host of the iMore Show. She’s been writing about Apple since 2010 with a year-long break to work at an Apple Store as a product specialist. She's also a contributor at CNET. Before joining iMore in 2018, Karen wrote for Macworld, AppAdvice, WatchAware. She’s an early adopter who used to wait in long lines on release days before pre-ordering made things much easier. Karen is also a part-time teacher and occasional movie extra. She loves to spend time with her family, travel the world, and is always looking for portable tech and accessories so she can work from anywhere.