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When snapping pictures, users are reaching for their smartphone instead of the point-and-shoot more and more often. The folks at Polaroid recognize this, so they decided to throw together an Android-powered camera -- a cool idea, no doubt. There is one problem with that, though: you still have to carry two different devices, which almost defeats the purpose.

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That aside, the the Polaroid SC1630 is still nothing to scoff at, as it packs a 36-108mm lens and 16MP sensor with 3X optical zoom, 3.2-inch touchscreen, Wi-Fi, optional 3G connectivity, and even has access to the Android Market, which opens up a whole new world for the camera. You'll be able to access all sorts of third-party camera apps, effects, photobooths, and photo editors right there on your camera. After you've taken and edited the perfect shot, sharing it with your social network is a simple tap away.

Thanks to Ron and his hyperattention to detail, we realize that the SC1630 is likely running Android 2.1 because of the uppercase PM in the time. An explanation is likely in order here  - time for an Android history lesson! In Éclair the AM/PM was displayed in all-caps, while in Froyo it was lowercase, and disappeared completely in Gingerbread.

Update: David and Artem took some time to swing by the Polaroid booth and get some hands-on time with the SC1630.

wm_IMG_9832 wm_IMG_9830 wm_IMG_9829

Along with the standard set of features you would expect from a camera, the SC1630 will also come with its own photo editing tools, making ease of on-the-spot red-eye removal, cropping, resizing, and color correction.

The SC1630 is expected to be available sometime this year for an undetermined amount. For more info, check out Polaroid's SC1630 landing page.

Polaroid Announces the SC1630 Smart Camera Powered by Android™

Fusing the Feature Set of a High-End Digital Camera with the Power of Android*, the Polaroid SC1630 Makes Snapping and Sharing High Definition Digital Images an Instant Experience

LAS VEGAS, Jan. 10, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Polaroid today announced that capturing and sharing high-end digital images is now seamless with the Polaroid SC1630, an Android powered smart camera. The Polaroid SC1630 Smart Camera features a high definition 16 megapixel camera with built in 3X optical zoom, touch screen display and Wi-Fi, making uploads to social networks as easy as the touch of a button. Merging the optics of a digital still and video camera with the limitless power of the Android platform, the Polaroid SC1630 Smart Camera evolves the process of clicking, editing, uploading and tagging to an instant experience on one device.

With the Polaroid SC1630 Smart Camera powered by Android you will no longer need to choose between your smart phone and your point and shoot camera because it offers the best of both worlds. Delivering everything expected from a digital camera but powered by Android, the Polaroid SC1630 Smart Camera surprisingly packs all the features needed to conveniently capture, connect and instantly share beautiful HD digital images and video into one device, weighing a mere five ounces.

An ultra-portable, two-in-one instant sharing powerhouse, the Polaroid SC1630 Smart Camera leaves even the most powerful camera phones in the dust by combining an advanced imaging feature set with an unmatchable Android powered mobile platform:

Capture Like the Pros: Life’s quickest moments are no longer at risk to becoming blurry images from a basic camera phone. Built on a 16 megapixel CCD senor, the Polaroid SC1630 Smart Camera treats images to a 3X optical zoom - a feature not found in most mobile phones. Choose from 18 scene modes and then click and view crystal clear images - captured at 36mm or full 108mm magnification - on the Polaroid SC1630 Smart Camera’s 3.2” widescreen display.

Enhance Your Moments With Smart Features: The Polaroid SC1630 Smart Camera powered by Android takes the work out of being behind the lens with automatic face and smile detection. Also, gone are the days when digital images that never connected with a USB cord went unorganized and forgotten. The Smart Album feature of the Polaroid SC1630 Smart Camera automatically organizes photos by date, location and people. Plus, geo-tagging features can add longitude and latitude coordinates to photos.

Edit, Share and Save: Now there is no reason to leave the party - everything needed to edit, save and upload can be done anywhere right on the Polaroid SC1630 Smart Camera. On-board editing features include cropping, red-eye removal, resizing and color correction. Backed by the power of Android, the Polaroid SC1630 Smart Camera uploads images to social networks with the touch of one button and can hold up to 32GB of memory via a microSD card.

Instantly Connect to the World: The Polaroid SC1630 Smart Camera’s Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and optional cellular data connections empower digital images to be shared from anywhere in a snap.

Get Productive: Need to check-in on where friends are gathering, get directions or make the next move in your favorite game? Backed by the power of Android, the Polaroid SC1630 Smart Camera supports Google’s Android Market, making it truly like no other camera available today. Now you can snap, share and link up with more than 400,000 apps.

“Polaroid has helped the world bring stories to life through photographs for the past 75 years,” said Scott W. Hardy, President, Polaroid. “The newest member of the Polaroid family, the Polaroid SC1630 Smart Camera unites the beauty of high-end digital images with powerful Android connectivity features. The result is an instant experience of click, capture and share that enables social networks to see and experience the moment as if they were there.”

Designed to be just as fashionable as it is portable, the simple, clean lines and straight forward interface of the Polaroid SC1630 Smart Camera makes capturing and sharing effortless. Loaded with features that enable easy capture, connecting and sharing on the fly, the rechargeable battery can last all day on a full charge.

Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, musician, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6-string, spinning on the streets, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • Mike

    This has no market.

    • Aaron

      "Backed by the power of Android, the Polaroid SC1630 Smart Camera supports Google’s Android Market" Read the PR.

      • Mike

        I think he meant no market for this type of device.

        • Mike

          lol. Bingo. Yes, sorry for ambiguity: I mean there is no market for this type of device.

      • Abhi

        i believe he means no market as in no demand for such product and would not sell well.

    • Jaymoon

      Maybe he means no audience to market this to?

      The Android alternative to an iPod Touch sounds appealing, but is Android that popular enough outside of a phone or tablet setting?

  • Chris

    So it's an android device without calling capabilities...why buy this again?

    • http://derekross.me Derek Ross

      Oh you... just because there is no Phone.apk present does not mean the mic and speaker cannot be used with a VoIP app from the Market for all sorts of phone call lovin'.

      But yes, why buy this. Comment #1 nailed it.

      • svenakin

        I kinda like the idea though. When you look at it as a camera on steroids(in terms of software) and not as a stripped down phone its a pretty cool thing....

    • Mark

      SIP VoIP Applications? WiFi Phone + Camera?

  • Zachary Jacob Zblewski

    You should post the pics that show the front and side views of the camera. This pic makes it look like an iPod Touch competitor, not the camera that it is.


  • butchyon

    Wow. Just throw a LTE radio in it and you've finally got an Android phone that takes fantastic photographs, too! Is this where we're eventually gonna end up?

    • Carwyn Stephen

      If they'd have done this it'd be a really good device, shame.

  • Golightly

    Really glad I clicked the link to the Polaroid website. I was completely uninterested in it and assumed it was a glorified iPod touch that would only sell to the 'more MP are better' crowd. It is a full-fledged P&S though, although I still can't figure out the flash. If it's not LED, I like it.

  • Jon

    I think there is a market for a device that can do everything this can do but have 3g/4g radios and a phone part. I mean. People don't want to carry 2 devices anymore and would love to take high quality photos with their phones. Thos device is almost there.

  • john

    There is definitely a market for this. It's the android equivalent to a ipod touch with a far better camera than any comparable device. You can keep your basic phone, and contract, but still have a next generation device, especially if you have wifi access regularly.

  • Helen

    I think, depending on the price, that there is a market. I gave my son my old Droid to use as a camera/MP3 Player/PDA type device. This would serve that same purpose (I have another kid who could use one) without me having to wait through a 2 year contract first. Granted, I'm sure it'll be out of my price range, and I would prefer a smart phone that I can set to wifi only for non-phone functionality (and not have to pay for the data plan) while staying with my current provider. But hey. Can't have everything.

  • Spydie

    and... it doesn't have the capabilities of an ipod touch? no music? will it play games? I can't imagine how many people are still buying the Touch when they have a smartphone that will do the same thing. But there IS a market for those people, and one with a real camera is appealing. However, I was just wondering, before seeing this ad, when will phone manufacturers give us optical zoom? I'd buy that phone in a New York second. First it will be 3X, which is a good starting point, but when it gets to 7-12X it will be a showstopper. It's entirely doable and I'm surprised no one is doing it. We keep getting more megapixels, but no optical zoom. (get rid of digital zoom... it's not worth the software)

  • Me

    I was actually thinking this morning (UK-time, 12 hours ago) that an Android-powered P&S wouldn't be such a bad thing. Especially if it supported the market.

  • Scott M

    I like the idea. But, I think a 3.2 inch screen is a little small to be editing photos.

    • Stewart Higgins

      On the fly editing. Red eye, cropping, filters, etc.., it is a fine size for such things.

  • kc

    T-Mobile HAD a Samsung that WAS a digital camera with a touchscreen...kind of a prehistoric version of what this will be...my gf has a brand new one she wont even use it....shows how popular the idea is


    • Zachary Jacob Zblewski

      Sony Ericsson had the same thing in their Cybershot line on at&t.

      This is more practical, as it actually has a decent OS on it to edit and share photos.

  • Aux

    This is absurd, where was this a year ago? Isn't Polaroid supposed to be dead already?

  • nate carter

    freaking waste of a device. the ONLY way it would be awesome is if it had the shooting capabilities of a high end nikon. since it doesnt. FREAKING WASTE

  • PointZeroOne

    Everyone appears to be looking at it as a phone without the phone features.

    Digital Cameras are still made. This is the next step up for a Digital Camera. Not a step down for mobile phones.

    It looks really interesting. Specially since we still carry a digital camera around as a mobile phone goes flat quickly and you keep it always on. Where as a camera you turn it off when not using it and back on when you want to use it meaning it'd last you a day or 3 of usage.

  • Peter

    A camera that has to be charged every day ??? :-(

  • PointZeroOne

    See that's the thing, it's a camera so you won't actually have it on all of the time like you have a phone.

    Also it won't also be trying to get a phone signal to drain the battery either.

  • Flingwing

    As a camera I am sure it has potential at the right price with a decent lense. The one thing that would be holding me back is the microSD...That's fine for a phone if you don't swap it too much, but for a camera I'd prefer a regular size SD.

  • a.d.AM

    With 1080p recording and the RAZR having a 13mp cam in Asia this thing makes me a little nervous. Polaroid shouldve bought Instagram eons ago.

  • Juice

    I think this will have a decent market share, its the next logical step for a P&S device and a lot of people will want it. Think about the Facebook obsessed teens who will snap millions of mirror pics using this device. It was not meant to be a phone, it was meant to be a nice P&S camera with a touch screen and the ability to upload on the fly. They hit the nail on the head, I would take this over my Panasonic Lumix P&S any day (yes I still use a digi cam for photos no matter what cell I have) Real memories deserve real pictures. Snapping random photos with a phone is one thing but if you're going to your kids baseball game or a dance class, I would opt for high quality over availability.

  • Bazar6

    I don't think this is really geared towards Android lovers. It's great that it's utilizing Android as it's OS, but this seems to be geared towards the P&S crowd who want an optical zoom lens.

    I still think they need to take a high end smartphone from one of the big three, and collaborate with Canon or Nikon and throw a high quality lens on it. Not a telephoto lens, just one that takes pictures with outstanding quality, that doesn't have that "cell phone quality" to it. Forget MP's, you can throw a 20MP sensor on a smartphone but it'd still look like **** if it doesn't have good hardware and software

  • topoff

    Hmmm, interesting....... Anyone noticed that this err, camera was actually the Altek Leo which was (supposed to be) released in the Asian market some time ago. Funny thing is, that was actually a camera phone running android. It seems silly to me that Polaroid should think of removing the phone element. The original device is far more appealing IMHO.

  • topoff

    After hitting on the Pocket Lint hands on review, this is, actually a camera phone.......so it is just an Altek Leo with a Polaroid badge !!

  • Franco

    I like it,wonder how much more tech can go into it so it fully functional for phone/camera use size wise.I have found most phone cameras are good but lack serious zoom functions.

  • JamesL

    For those of you whining that an android without phone capabilities is useless; there are PLENTY of us who do not want so-called "smartphones", and will never buy such devices. I want my cellphone to do ONE thing; make phone calls. I don't feel like being held hostage to online services just to get data from my PDA-sized device to a computer that is 2-3 FEET away from it. I certainly don't feel like paying the ever increasing and exorbident data plans from any of the cell companies. So a non-phone android handheld sold under the auspices if a camera might actually replace the sadly-departed PDA market (as in PalmOS devices).

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