This is the first time we've reviewed Foto.com, but we were immediately impressed by its well-designed website, low prices and massive range of novelty items and extra features. When choosing photos to print, you can import photos from Facebook, Flickr and Picasa, upload via a simple HTML form or choose between three different transfer speeds: SuperFast, Fast and Classic. Fast and SuperFast apply compression to your image as it is uploaded, so for the best quality and particularly for large prints, it's best to go with Classic transfer.
A Java applet lets you browse your PC for images and drag them to an upload window in fairly typical fashion. Following that, a simple interface lets you name your order, so that the back of each photo is labelled, select the number of photos you want and whether you want white borders or filled sheets. Three different paper settings are available: Classic, which uses Fuji Crystal Archive Paper Glossy; PRO Glossy, which uses thicker Fuji Crystal Archive Paper Supreme; and Matt, which provides a thick, non-glossy print.
This graph totals our blind test scores from all the prints in a stacked bar graph, so you can see which service did best overall and where their individual strengths lie - click to enlarge
You can choose from a variety of traditional and digital aspect ratio sizes. The service is currently giving away 20 free 6x4.4in classic glossy prints with every order, but we opted for traditional 6x4in prints for our test. You can also preview how each image will look with different fill settings and choose between them.
An excellent rendition of our sunset colour test, scanned from the actual print - click to enlarge
Foto.com did well in all of our comparative tests of print quality. Our panel of judges particularly liked its rendition of our sharply-detailed high-contrast shot and stunningly lifelike reproduction of natural skin tones. We were also impressed by the level of foreground detail visible in the accurately coloured print of our sandy beach picture.
Here's our natural skin tones test, scanned from the actual print - click to enlarge
Unusually, there's an 89p administrative cost on top of the unit price of 5p per photo and postage cost of £1.99, which makes small orders less cost effective. However, despite this extra price, Foto.com's prints are still gratifyingly cheap and their quality couldn't be rivalled by any of the other online photo printing services we tested.
Although its overall quality couldn’t rival that of Snappy Snaps, our best high-street photo printer, or that of our home inkjet, Foto.com's prints look great and cost remarkably little. It wins our Best Buy award.