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Polaroid Cube-13

Remember the classic Polaroid instant camera? Those have been revamped to meet the 21st century, and in addition to an impressive-looking product lineup, there’s now the Cube, an adorable 1.4” (3.5 cm) HD lifestyle video camera sporting the Polaroid rainbow stripe motif. I spotted them at CES this year and was interested to see how this tiny camera would perform.

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First off, the Cube is packaged atop a pyramid with a magnet suspending it in place for shipping. Out of the box, you’ll find the camera, a very short USB 2.0 cable, multi-language user guide and one-year parts and labour warranty. Interesting to note that the warranty extends to two years in Europe and Russia.

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The Cube promises 90 minutes of continuous 1080p shooting at 30 frames per second. There’s also the option to shoot at 720p as well as 6 megapixel still photos.

The back of the Cube is accessed via turning the slot with a coin. Inside you’ll find a micro SD slot (max. 32GB memory), a micro USB cable port, and 720p/1080p toggle switch. Both the cover and the bottom are magnetized so you can place the camera onto the cover while charging or uploading video to your computer.

Polaroid Cube-20

If you can find a magnetic object to stick the Cube to, all the better. Otherwise, it’s handy to purchase the tripod mount accessory for it.

The Cube took about two hours to charge via my laptop’s USB port (you can also use a USB wall charger). The Cube is equipped with 124-degree wide angle lens with a built-in microphone. There’s no light capability on it, so it’s best suited for outdoor activities.

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[6 MP photos, here and below]

The Cube is weatherproof (and splash proof) but not waterproof. The colourful Polaroid classic rainbow stripes around the Cube follow the orientation of shooting; you’ll know you’ve got it right when the multifunction button’s on top. That’s the only button you’ll need for either recording videos or still images. And it’s super easy to use.

Polaroid Cube photos-2

Hold the button for three seconds, wait for the three beeps and the LED light on top to flash green. You turn it off the same way, and the two-second beep followed by a single short beep will indicate that it’s shut off.

By pressing the button once, a beep will sound and the LED will blink red once. Get to video mode by pressing the button twice.

Panasonic’s included software ON the Cube: it’s accessed by connecting the camera into your computer’s USB slot. The software allows you to set options such as light frequency, timestamp, camera buzzer volume, and sync with computer.

When you’re close to running out of juice (10% power remaining), you’ll hear four beeps and the LED will turn orange. At 0% battery, a two-second beep will sound followed by a short beep; this means the camera’s about to shut down.

Specs

– 1920 x 1080, 1280 x 720 (30 fps) video capture resolution
– H.264 recording format
– 6 megapixel still image resolution (JPEG format)
– 124º wide angle viewing (f/2.0, f=3.4mm lens)
– Weatherproof/splash proof
– Micro SD card capability of up to 32GB
– Lithium battery, 90 min. of power
– Microphone: included
– USB 2.0 output
– Micro USB Port (USB 2.0) for both PC and Mac

I took the Cube around town to put it through its paces.

Below is another handheld video with indoor and outdoor footage.

This is a great little camera to go out and have fun with and retails for US $100. It also comes in red and black.

Polaroid Cube-12

I also got a couple of accessories to go with the Cube. The silicon bumper case (available in blue, red, and black) retails for US $18 and comes with a carabiner clip and lanyard neck cord with adjustable clip to customize to your desired length. You can mix and match the Cube with a matching or contrasting case (me, I’m going blue all the way).

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Only problem I have with the case is that it’s hard to see the green or red LED light through its top, even in broad daylight. I now use the case to port the Cube around; hopefully Polaroid will include a tiny cut-out slot on top in future versions to allow the LED to be visible.

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The tripod mount (also US $18) is designed just for the Cube and will mount to any standard tripod via the universal insert. It also has a quick-release clip to detach the camera as needed. I mounted it to both a Joby GorillaPod and a lightweight selfie stick with no problem. It’s pretty sturdy once it’s on there too.

Polaroid Cube-16

Polaroid also makes a waterproof case with suction mount (US $40) that can be mounted to any flat surface, be it a boat deck, jet ski or car hood. I’ve yet to test the waterproof to 33 feet (10 meters) option but hope to on our next snorkel trip.

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The suction mount has a quick-release clip that mounts right to the waterproof casing. This fully shock-proof case will work with any mount in the Cube accessory line. Firmly push on the suction unit and rotate it to seal the suction. I tried this on a car hood and it held position, however without a remote option, I could see this being handier on a boat or other object that you can easily access by reaching with your hand to access the button.

Polaroid Cube-1

In addition to the above, you can find a helmet mount, bicycle mount, strap mount, and curious little monkey-shaped stand for the Cube. It’ll be interesting to see what Polaroid does with the Cube in future releases. Will it grow to include space for a 64GB micro SD? Will there be an Apple/Android app developed to work with the Cube that will offer a live viewfinder (via Bluetooth)?

Polaroid Cube-19

From the smart-designed packaging and products down to the dedicated website, it’s clear that Polaroid has invested some serious time and effort into the Cube. Don’t count on low-lit shoots though; the Cube is much better suited for daylight video capture.

I was sent the Polaroid Cube and accessories for the purpose of test-driving them for this review.

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