You would be excused if you saw the name "Polaroid" in any news title and glossed over it. The company isn't nearly synonymous with hip and cool technology anymore and it rarely, if ever, makes the Android news cycle. But Polaroid isn't going down easy, it wants a piece of that sweet mobile photography pie that other manufacturers are tossing around like last night's stale pizza. So it's back at CES this year, not with an Android-based camera, but with actual smartphones. Unlocked and decent smartphones, at least on paper.
Snap is the first of the two new Polaroid devices and it's about bringing the camera to the very midrange to low-end market.
The current era may be captured by smartphones, but the previous one was caught on film by Polaroid. The company's cameras printed out photos just after they were captured, with photographers shaking the results to help them dry (a gesture Polaroid says can actually damage the picture these days).
A poorly-named successor aimed at hip, young smartphone users—the Socialmatic—has been in development to introduce this functionality to a new generation. Polaroid announced the Android-powered camera at last year's CES. This year it will soon be available from Polaroid (eventually), Amazon (January 15th) and Photojojo (end of this month) for $299.99. Polaroid sent out a press release today saying the product is now shipping, but none of the sites above have been updated to match this information.
Making Android-powered cameras isn't something new for Polaroid, but that doesn't mean it's the first company to come to mind when thinking of capturing digital photos (and for good reason). On the other hand, the company's old instant printing cameras call upon an altogether different set of memories. So now the company is shaking things up by re-introducing the premise it's known for. Not only can the Socialmatic instantly share pictures to social networks like any other Android-toting camera out there, it can instantly print them out to a 2"x3" sheet of paper.
To be fair, Socialmatic isn't being developed by Polaroid.
So, the idea of an Android-powered camera with a swappable lens intrigues you, yes? Well, last night we got a chance to play with such a device, the Polaroid iM1836... and moral of the story: execution, execution, execution. Polaroid, we think, got it wrong. While we were playing with a pre-production model, I can't help but feel Polaroid took a half-decent idea and managed to totally flub it. First, the video.
Even after a few short minutes with the iM1836, we were able to assemble a formidable list of problems with the device. First, the actual image sensor for the camera is located inside the lens.
Not to be outdone by Nikon and Samsung, Polaroid has taken the wraps off of its previously leaked new Android-powered camera, the iM1836. Past its super-clever and easy-to-remember (not really) name, this offering weds an 18.1MP mirrorless body, 3.5" display, and built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth with Android 4.1 for an out-of-the-box hoot of a good time.
While there's no tentative release date for the iM1836 right now, the camera is already tagged with a price of $399, which includes a 10-30mm lens. That's a pretty reasonable price for a mirrorless compact, especially considering its versatility over the competing offerings from Samsung and Nikon.
Well, it's CES time again – time for manufacturers to show off what they've been working on for the last several months in hopes of coaxing you into opening your wallet to them. Normally, we get a slew of fantastic, exciting, and innovative devices in the CES storm; however, there are also a few that just aren't worth even considering. This new Polaroid tablet for kids is one of them.
NEEDS MOAR BEZEL!
You may or may not have already heard about it today. For those who haven't, here's the skinny: it's a 7" tablet with a display resolution of 800x480, half a gig of RAM, a 1GHz single-core processor, 8GB of storage, a 2MP rear shooter, and Android 4.0.
Sure, Samsung is stealing the spotlight recently with its Galaxy Camera, but did you know that other companies are working on Android cameras? Companies that have been making picture-taking devices for longer than most of us have been alive, even! Take Polaroid's IM1836, for example. This thing has leaked before in a couple different variations, and today were getting a glimpse at a unit that might be a little closer to final production.
From what we can tell, it will come with a 3.5" touch screen (which is significantly smaller than the Galaxy Camera's 4.8" display), WiFi, a microSD card slot, a mirrorless sensor and interchangeable lenses.
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.
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.