Digital photography and tiny sensors mean we can put a camera just about anywhere these days, and that’s literally true in the case of the Polaroid Cube.
It’s tiny cube shaped device, measuring just 35mm to a side and yet it manages to cram in all the tech necessary to take full HD video at 1080p and 6MP still photos. That’s seriously impressive, especially when you see just how easily it fits in the hand.
The Cube is billed as an action camera, and it has the toughness to prove it. There’s a rubberised coating which keeps it safe from shocks, even if you drop it onto hard surfaces. And the whole unit is weatherproof and splash proof, plus there’s an optional waterproof case to make it totally impervious.
In operation, it’s supremely simple. There’s a large button on the top which is extremely tactile and responsive. Press and hold it for three seconds to turn on the cube – you’ll see the light go green and hear a beep to confirm. Press twice to start a video (the light will blink red to let you know its working) and press one to stop recording. And a single press at any time will take a still photo.
Refreshingly that’s pretty much all you need to know to use the Cube – a few simple instructions which reinforce the accessibility of the device. If you take off the rear cover you’ll find the very analogue switch for deciding between 720p and 1080p video as well as the charging port and microSD slot . The Cube takes cards up to 32 gig and be sure to pick up a fast one. Please note – no card comes with the camera so you won’t be able to record anything!
The key word with the Polaroid Cube is FUN. It’s incredibly easy to use so you never have to worry about forgetting how to use it, and it’s simple to make sure you’re taking a picture and video. And the tough coating means you don’t have to be too careful when using it.
These elements together mean that it’s the kind of camera you can just throw in your bag for a daytrip or even in your pocket. It’s so small that it’s a joy to bring around, and it really comes alive most when you’re with a group of people, passing it around and getting everyone in for a selfie.
It’s also the perfect camera for kids. They’ll be able to play away to their heart’s content without fear of breaking it, and you might even find they take some great photos by snapping away at everything. The tech specs help with this – there’s a fast lens with a viewing angle of 124 degrees. That basically means you’ll be able to see loads of things in wide angle in every snap and video.
Adding to the fun factor is the simple and easy mounting method – the Cube has a really strong magnet on the bottom side! And it will latch onto just about anything metallic – doors, fridges, skateboards, golf clubs, cutlery, radiators, light fixtures and lots more besides. We even plopped it onto the frame of a car driving around for some interesting perspectives.
There are optional mounts available as well but we say just get creative! For example there’s a little piece of metal in the box which you could easily adapt into a makeshift tripod. Or affix some metal to your bike helmet or a band for your wrist. And if in doubt, duct tape is the ultimate tool in any true camera person’s arsenal!
Once you spent the day snapping away with the Cube, it’s time to take a look at your photos. With no screen or mobile app, you’ll need to connect the camera to a computer to get access to pics and videos, which might feel a little strange at first. But it’s actually kind of exciting – not knowing what kind of great content you’ve created until you get home and find out.
The lack of a mobile app is an interesting one, making it impossible to know your framing or anything else ahead of time. But the lens is wide enough to capture plenty of detail in any situation and it’s pretty refreshing to be able to just snap away without having to worry about syncing it to your app to obsess over the details. For those who do miss these aspects, the Cube Plus is on the way soon.
The Polaroid Cube is an incredibly tiny and accomplished action camera with a great look and feel. The simple controls and rugged features make it one of the most accessible cameras we’ve ever got our hands on, and the chunky and funky design just makes you want to pick it up and get playing. Our really short review – It’s Just FUN!