Polaroid Cube+ FHD Action Camera
February 2016 – Several years back Polaroid introduced the Cube lifestyle action camera in a 1.4” cube footprint. This camera entered the market to compete in the GoPro compatible action camera marketplace. While the feature set of the original Cube was slightly behind the specifications of the GoPro line, the format and footprint of the camera was so innovative it even drove the redesign and expansion of the GoPro product line to have a look and feel compatible product.
Into this space, Polaroid has updated the feature set of the camera and released the Cube+ (also called Cube Plus by some). The new Cube supports FHD 1080p 8bit color video and can take up to 8MP still photos. Like all the action cameras, there is a fixed wide-angle lens, on this model supporting a 124-degree view. The video camera supports up to 1440P at 60fps and 720p120fps, the nominal setting is FHD or 1080p at 30fps.
The camera has in internal microUSB card slot that supports up to a 128GB card. The standard package has an 8GB card for the camera. With the door for the microUSB card, the camera achieves a IPX4 waterproof rating. For deep water applications, the camera has a fully immersible waterproof case as an accessory.
The camera has a magnetic mount on the top and bottom so the cameras are stackable or allow easy connection to metal objects and tripods. Additionally, the cameras have a large number of mounts for handlebars, helmets, skis, snowboards/skateboards and other sports. For these sport applications the camera has image stabilization built-in to reduce or eliminate shaking on the image. The camera also supports low light imaging for use in the evening and nighttime.
The camera operates from a single control button – it is the power control and start/stop control. As the unit has a single button, configuration and advanced modes are set via the smart phone app. The app also allows for monitoring of the video & stills being recorded on the smart phone screen. The camera connects to the smartphone via a built-in WiFi controller.
Also new, is the improved microphone. The small size limits the acoustic cavities available for the microphone. The new mic is designed to be an omnidirectional unit that picks up the sounds and voices of the sports activity. This has the side effect of limited pickup on a directional basis for dialog.
The images that are captured are quite bright and stable. The colors are very balanced and the system does a good job with realistic colors – white snow is white (not blue) and blue skys are blue (not purple). Like most of the small cameras and imagers, the camera is green centric so it has very realistic people and faces. The images are easy to edit and the sound track is firmly anchored an remains in sync with the video in the compressed files.
As a lifestyle product the camera is an easy to use, easy to place device. It communicates via WiFi so it is a no-cable product in active use. The camera is rechargeable via USB. A single 60min charge allows the camera to operate for about 90min of image capture. The image capture time is reduced slightly when using the built-in LED light. The camera is currently available from many outlets and on-line retailers for a $149 MSRP.