Let me guess, after looking at the picture above you have two questions…
1. Polaroid is still around?
2. That thing is a video camera?
Yes and yes! The tech specs on the Polaroid Cube sound normal enough – 1080P, FullHD Camera with a 124 degree wide angle lens and the ability to snap 6MP photos. It is only when you see the form factor of the Polaroid CUBE that you start to think, wait, something very weird is going on here.
The CUBE is actually ushering in a new type of camera – the Lifestyle Camera as Polaroid calls it. Does it work? Does your lifestyle need a Cube? All this and more is answered in our hands-on video review of the Polaroid Cube –
Cubes Just Want To Have Fun
The GoPro Hero is an awesome camera that we use on a regular basis. If you like jumping out of planes, doing triple flips over a lava pit or riding a 50 foot wave, while wrestling a dolphin – you just can’t beat a GoPro!
The Polaroid CUBE is a Lifestyle camera for people with a more relaxed…yet still incredibly fun lifestyle. Running through a sprinkler, kids crawling, dogs being cute, frisbees flying, siblings spying on siblings, catching the cookie thief, friends being weird and the impromptu family talent show are all the types of things which can be captured with the Polaroid Cube.
While the GoPro Hero 3 ($400) and the Polaroid Cube ($99) can both be considered HD action cameras – the feature sets and price points put them in totally different categories.
Maybe Not Having Instant Playback is A Good Thing
The Cube is a strange camera. It is brand new (not available until October 2014), yet in some ways it feels like something classic and old. No app to control it, no Wi-Fi, no screen for playback, no button to press to instantly share on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram. It is reasonable to ask, why in 2014 would you want a video camera lacking so many “standard” features today?
Yes, on one hand, there are negatives to things like not having a screen for playback. Did the shot you take come out? Was the lighting right? How did it sound? Reasonable concerns for a “normal” video camera…but as we said, the Cube is a strange bird.
The Cube is not looking to replace you normal camera or the camera that lives on your phone. Most of us already have a device that can shoot video, allow us to watch and edit it and instantly share it with the world. The Cube is looking to be the device you use, when before you used nothing!
You probably never thought to stick a camera to your golf club…but now you can. Stick a camera to your fridge and see what the pooch does when you are out? Why not? Once you start thinking of the Cube as a whole different type of camera, the “lack of features” starts to make more sense. It is no longer about instant playback to see if you got the shot just right. Part of the fun is just living in the moment, experimenting and then later on see if the shot came out. You never know exactly what you get with the Cube and I think that is a major part of the appeal.
Yep, The Cube Takes Photos Too
Here are a few photos we snapped on the Polaroid Cube –
(Click the photos above to see larger images)
The photos are clear with decent color reproduction. Again, not going to replace a DSLR with the Cube, but the photos it takes are high enough quality to capture moments and events where you may not have your phone or another camera with you. For example, if you are out camping, you could have the Cube magnetically stuck to your backpack – and if something interesting happens, like you see Big Foot riding a Unicorn, you just pop the Cube off and start snapping away.
The Polaroid Cube Is The Perfect Camera For When You Don’t Want a Camera
I know that title sounds like something Yogi Berra might say. If you buy a Cube as your primary video camera for major life events, you will be disappointed. Get a Cube to replace a $400 GoPro Hero 3 and you will have buyer remorse. On the other hand, if you have fun times, that after the fact you wish you had captured on video, the Cube is right camera for you.
Maybe you are at the beach and left your phone and camera behind because you didn’t want them getting wet and sandy…and you can never see your screen in direct sunlight anyway. Then the kids decide to bury each other in sand and laugh hysterically as a dog comes by and licks their faces. A precious, spontaneous moment that would go uncaptured.
With the Polaroid Cube you could capture this moment and not care about the sand and water damaging your camera. In addition, not having a screen for playback will allow you to stay in the magical moment and enjoy life. Maybe you got a great shot with the Cube, maybe you didn’t – either way, you didn’t miss the event just so you could get the perfect video. You live your life and if the $99 Polaroid Cube can capture even 50% of these magical moments, it is money well spent.
Polaroid CUBE, Retail Price $99. Available October 2014 in Various Colors
Watch Our Video Review of the Polaroid Cube