When you think of the best action cameras, Polaroid might not be the first name that comes in mind. However, the company does have a series of them designed for the budget user. The $69 Polaroid Cube, released in late 2014, takes an entirely different approach by using a concept that’s more lifelogging camera than action cam. It’s small, cute, and dead simple to use – ideal for kids or anyone who doesn’t want something overly complicated. A clever magnetic bottom lets you easily attach the camera to any metal surface. Our Polaroid Cube review shows that this affordable action cam can’t compete against the GoPros and Sonys — but there’s a certain charm about it nevertheless.
- 124-Degree Wide-Angle Lens
- 6MP CMOS Sensor for Crisp Images
- Selectable 720p or 1080p Video Rate
- Built-In Rechargeable Battery Records 90 Continuous Minutes Per Charge
- Micro SD cards up to 32 GB
- 8 custom accessories
True to its name, the Polaroid Cube is cube-shaped, just 35mm (1.4 inches) on a side, with rounded corners. Its tiny yet rugged rubberized body is shockproof, cold-proof, and waterproof down to 6 feet. I got the black version; it’s also available in blue and red. On two sides are rainbow-colored “racing stripes.” In the front face is the lens. On the bottom is a magnet, strong enough to adhere securely to any iron or steel surface.
A circular rubber button on top is the cam’s only button. Pressing it for a long time turns the Cube on or off. Pressing it once, quickly, takes a 6MP still image. Pressing it twice starts video recording, and pressing it again stops the video.
In the back, beneath a circular lid that screws off with the twist of a coin, are a microSD card slot, plus a USB port for charging the Cube’s internal lithium-ion battery, rated at 90 minutes—a USB cable, but not a charger, are included—and a toggle switch to change video resolution between 720p and 1080p.
Here is the diving video test sample:
One area in which the Cube falls notably short of its peers is in still images. The sensor is 6MP (3,328 by 1,872 pixels) and still quality was good, (The shot of the tree shown here is one of the better ones, but even so, the focus is poor, as is the transition between tree and sky, and there is too much yellow in the blue sky.) Worse, the Cube only lets you shoot one image at a time.
The Polaroid Cube is tiny, cute, simple to use, and produces surprisingly good video. Although it takes still images, they’re of relatively low resolution, and the camera doesn’t support either time-lapse or burst mode. If you don’t need these modes, and can make do with 720p and 1080p video at 30 fps, it’s a great choice, and definitely money well spent.0