Polaroid Cube & Zip printer: Snap instantly, print instantly

By: | Updated: December 10, 2015 1:00 PM

A HD action camera in an ultra-small package and a pocked-sized printer for mobile phone photos—camera maker Polaroid is going all out to woo the youth segment

A HD action camera in an ultra-small package and a pocked-sized printer for mobile phone photos—camera maker Polaroid is going all out to woo the youth segmentA HD action camera in an ultra-small package and a pocked-sized printer for mobile phone photos—camera maker Polaroid is going all out to woo the youth segment

Mobile phones are nowadays equipped with excellent cameras and much better quality lenses. So much so that this has led to a craze in mobile photography with people from all walks of life taking artistic photos and cleverly editing them. Believe it or not, mobile phones, especially the high-end ones, can take some really stunning images which you could believe were taken on an expensive camera.

As more users opt for smartphone photography, traditional camera makers are revving up their innovation
engines in order to stay relevant in the marketplace. Polaroid, one of the world’s well-respected and recognisable brands, is one such firm. Back in the early 80s, Polaroid captured people’s attention with its instant cameras—a type of camera which uses self-developing film to create a chemically developed print shortly after taking the picture.

Cut to present. Polaroid has placed its bets on the youth segment. It has come up with two innovative devices, Polaroid Cube HD action camera and a stylish ZIP mobile printer. The Cube is designed to capture action, be it
extreme sports, travel or on-the-move photos and videos. It retails for R12,399. The Polaroid Zip printer is another product that could be an apt smartphone printer. It literally fits into your pocket and prints smudge-proof, water-proof photos of 2 x 3-inch dimension. It retails for R10,787. Both the devices are available on Flipkart.com. Let us check out the finer details of these funky Polaroid devices.

Polaroid Cube

Globally, the action camera market is set to grow at a CAGR of 23.83% by volume and 16.2% by value over the period 2013-2018, reaching 76 million units and a retail value of $3.2 billion. Polaroid seeks to grab the first mover advantage with its cool array of imaging products. According to Polaroid, the action camera market in the country is presently approximated at $16 million and growing at a 23% value. As an early market entrant, Polaroid is ready to shake up the market with its cool new array of action cameras, beginning with Polaroid Cube.

Polaroid Cube, as compact as it sounds, is as compact as it can get. It is designed to capture action, be it extreme sports, travel or on-the-move photos and videos. The idea is to cater to that voracious urge to record every moment to relive it at leisure. Technical speak, the Polaroid Cube is capable of shooting videos of 1080p/720p resolution. It has a 6 megapixel still camera, and being lightweight and compact, is the right device for some heavy-duty adventure.

Since it has a magnetic base, it sticks on any metal surface. It could be a motorcycle or even a helmet! The camera’s weather-proof and splash-proof features make it the right stuff for outdoors. The big picture is guaranteed with its 124-degree wide angle lens. Battery life is 1.5 hours, and storage is complete with a Micro SD slot that can take upto 32 GB.

I have been using the Cube for little more than a week and here are some things that I liked about this ultra-small camera. It weighs even less than 50g and consists of little more than a camera lens and one button. Basically this is a camera that you can toss in your bag or attach to yourself or your bike, so you can capture hands-free video for sharing online. The camera’s wide-angle lens has a 124-degree angle of view, so you get a lot of the scene you’re shooting, and surprisingly there is no distortion of the image. With the edge of a coin you can remove the small circular cover on the back that’s covering the microSD card slot and Micro-USB port for charging, transferring video and photos. You’ll also find a switch for selecting your recording resolution: 720p at 30 frames per second or 1080p at 30fps.

On top of the Cube is one big button, the camera’s only control. Press it for a few seconds to turn it on and off. When on, press it once and it’ll snap a 6-megapixel picture. Give the button two quick presses to start recording and once more to stop. That’s it, it’s as simple as that and believe me, it’s not difficult to master the device.

As far as video and photo quality is concerned, it is of fairly good though I would suggest not to shoot in low light. Overall, this lightweight action camera is good enough for catching life’s little moments on the fly. It can be used for capturing HD video. Above all, it is the Cube’s design that will draw people’s attention.

* Estimated street price:  Rs 12,399

Polaroid Zip Mobile Printer

Polaroid Zip is another product that could be an apt smartphone printer. It is a pocket-sized photo printer for smartphone-captured photos. A small box slightly larger than a deck of playing cards, if I may put it precisely. The Zip is an attractive, simple device that looks more like a portable hard drive than a printer. It literally fits into your pocket and prints smudge-proof, water-proof photos of 2 x 3-inch dimension. Peel-back sticky paper adds more fun. Equipped with a 500 mAh Lithium battery, the printer gives 25 sheets per charge.

Simple to set up and use, the Zip mobile printer doesn’t require any consumables beyond Polaroid’s Zink paper. The only button is for power and the only port is Micro-USB for charging. A user can print directly from a mobile phone or tablet in less than 60 seconds using Bluetooth or NFC technology. I connected it with my better half’s iPhone 6s Plus and wow, this Polaroid innovation instantly gave me 2 x 3-inch full-colour, smudge-proof photos with a sticky back for extra fun. Basically, Zink zero ink printing produces photo-quality, full-colour output without using ink cartridges, ribbons, or toner. In simple words—no ink, no hassles.

Overall, the Polaroid Zip is a great little accessory for freeing your photos from your mobile phone.

** Estimated street price:  Rs 10,787

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