Steve's Conclusion


Steve's SnapShot
  • Full 1080p HD video capture
  • 6-Megapixel still image capture
  • 124-degree viewing angle
  • f/2.0 lens
  • One button camera operation
  • Tough construction is splash and shock proof
  • Built-in microphone
  • 90 minute internal Lithium battery
  • Micro SD/SDHC card compatible
Pros
  • One button operation makes the camera incredibly easy to use.
  • Video image quality is very good for an affordable action camera.
  • Very simple to change camera settings.
  • Tough and splashproof
  • Great selections of mounts for the camera
  • MSRP of $99.99
  • Lightweight and compact size may make it good for use with drones / quadcopters
Cons
  • No HDMI output
  • Some of the camera mounts are not very secure, the camera could be knocked from with a simple bump
  • Still image capture is sub-par
  • No wireless capabilities
  • Very Difficult to compose shots
Bottom Line
The Polaroid Cube is an affordable action camera with good video quality. Its compact size makes it easy to carry at all times, just in case it would be needed. A great selection of camera mounts improves its versatility. With a MSRP of under $100, it's a viable option for those who can't afford a GoPro.
Pick This Up If...
You are looking for an affordable "action cam" that is great around pools and kids. It is also reliable enough to put into just about any situation, although it may require a specialized mount.
The Polaroid Cube is a very small "action camera" that offers full 1080p HD video recording in an incredibly small package. At just 35mm tall, the body of the camera is very compact and built to be shock-resistant, and splash-resistant so it can be used in almost any situation. Sporting a lens with a maximum aperture of f/2 and a 124° angle of view, you can use the camera in the closest of situations. It also fairs well in low-light, so you can shoot without a video light. A magnet on the bottom is enough to support and hold the camera in place on any magnetic surface, in case you find a situation that you cannot find a mount for. The cube shape of the body gives it a very distinct look compared to other action cameras. It is available in several different colors, all of which include the iconic Polaroid rainbow stripe.

Controlling the Cube is incredibly easy when the camera is in your hands. There is only one button on the entire camera, and it handles all of its operations. Holding it down turns the power on and off, pressing it once captures a still image and pressing it twice allows you to record video. On the camera there is only one switch, located under the door on the back. This switch allows you to change the video recording mode between 720p and 1080p (both record at 30fps). You will also find the MicroSD card slot and USB connection under this door. When the camera is plugged into a computer, the software that is built into the camera offers a couple more features. Light frequency can be changed to reduce flickering in certain lighting conditions. A time stamp can be turned on or off and the camera can be set to record over old videos when the memory card is full. Finally the beep volume on the camera is adjustable, so it can be turned off for quiet situations or turned up for outdoor or noisy times when you may not be able to see the LED light.

One thing that the Cube is lacking compared to most of the other action cameras out there is the ability to control the camera and view its images wirelessly. This means that you have to be able to get your hands on the camera every time you want to capture an image or start/stop the camera from recording. There is also no way to preview your composition, you just place the camera and live with what you get. As you use it more, it does get easier to guess on your composition, but the ability to preview it on a smartphone or portable monitor would be very helpful.

The Cube's video quality looks very good, even when not in the best lighting. The video plays back very smoothly on a computer, but getting your videos to a TV is a little harder. The lack on an HDMI output limits how and where you are able to view movies and still images. The wide lens gives you a fisheye view, forcing you stay very close to your subjects if you want to capture their detail. It also makes it hard to shoot with if you are trying to avoid capturing certain background details. The audio for our sample videos is what we have come to expect from a tiny built-in microphone, picking up the sounds and background noises that are closest to the camera. When viewing our videos, the only program that would play the sound was iTunes. Windows media player would play the video but in silence.

Still image capture is more of a secondary feature, with adjustable settings. You see the same fisheye effect from the wide lens and the image quality is comparable to that of a standard camera-phone. As you can see with our sample images, it is very hard to compose your images, even with the wide lens. It will just take practice.

Polaroid has provided a slew of useful accessories in the way of mounts for this camera. The ability to take and use the camera during your favorite activities is the sole purpose for the Cube. Some of their mounts include a tripod mount, helmet mount, bike mount and full waterproof case with suction cup mount. They are all very easy to use, but a few of them allow the camera to clip into it a little too easily. We don't see any worry about the camera falling out on its own, but getting bumped could easily dislodge it. The suction cup mount definitely provides the most security.

Bottom Line - The Polaroid Cube is a fun and easy-to-use action video camera. With still images as a secondary mode of capture, the video quality is much better than the still image quality. With the lack of a screen and wireless capabilities, the camera can be a little difficult to compose. It also lacks an HDMI output, making it hard to view your movies on an HDTV. With a MSRP of US $99.99, this could be a great little accessory for anyone with an adventurous side that is looking to save some money over the higher priced models like a GoPro.


Visitors of Steves can visit the stores below for real-time pricing and availability. You can also find hot, soon to expire online offers on a variety of cameras and accessories at our very own Camera Deals page.