When Polaroid sent me their minuscule Cube video camera, I was at a bit of a loss as to how to show off what it can do. I run, which is about the least extreme sport ever. My hobbies include writing and painting miniatures, and I doubted anyone wanted to literally watch paint dry. I settled for a few test videos – you can see my indoor test as part of my Gumdrop case review and the outdoor test here:
(I swear, I’ve pressure-washed my patio since this video)
But what’s funny is when I sat down to write up the Cube, all kinds of possibilities sprang to mind: I could take it to the beach and use it as the ball in a game of catch with my kids. I could toss it in the waterproof case accessory and go hunting for fish and stingrays. Heck, since the bottom is magnetic, I could attach it to the roof of the car and subject you all to the impossible maze that is the Siesta Key parking lot. OK, maybe that last one isn’t exactly viral YouTube fodder; but you get the idea. When you have a teeny video camera that’s weatherproof, shockproof, and magnetic, all kinds of options open up.
The Polaroid Cube is just 35mm high, shoots 720 or 1080p video, and has a battery that lasts around 90 minutes on one charge. It will also take still images. The Cube comes in three colors, accepts up to 32GB of external Micro SD memory (not included, though – so make sure you have a card ready), and sports action-oriented features like water resistance (don’t submerge it unless you have the waterproof case), shock-resistance, and an internal magnetic mount. Mud puddles and falls aren’t going to phase the Cube. It’s the perfect video camera to give your kids to go and capture their adventures.
The outdoor video quality is solid, though the fish-eye lens is much more suited to grabbing large vistas of action as opposed to more mundane scenes. This is a camera that’s meant to go places. It reminds me most of the GoPro Hero4 Session; but without the premium price tag. Granted, that camera has a higher max resolution and is waterproof without an extra case; but if I’m going to take a camera with me to get abused, I want the one that’s under $100. That said, if you do want to spend a bit more, you can upgrade to the latest Polaroid Cube with 1440p video, image stabilization, and built-in wi-fi and still come in $100 under the Session.
Without a doubt, this is going under the tree this year for my daughter. It’s easily transportable, has dead simple one-button operation, and can mount just about anywhere (plus you can get a little monkey mount!). In short, it’s the perfect portable video studio for my hopeful YouTube star (if anyone can explain to me how a video of unboxing a Barbie Glam Camper can get half a million hits, I’d appreciate it). If you’re looking for a capable action camera, grab a Cube and use the money you save for a few accessories.