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Polaroid Takes on GoPro with New $99 Action Camera

October 21, 2014 1:43 pm

polaroid cube versus gopro

In a clever nod to their history, Polaroid has introduced the Cube with the hopes of getting in on the action camera market made popular by the GoPro. While today’s younger generation is excited about the small size, easy video capturing, and durability of the Cube, their parent’s see it as a rebirth for the company that brought them instant photos. With the recognizable rainbow stripe and boxy shape, the Polaroid Cube is a more affordable option than the GoPro, but each camera has pros and cons.

Mini action cameras explained

Small, durable cameras like the Cube and GoPro appeal to adventure-seekers. They offer a convenient and easy way to capture video while enjoying exciting endeavors such as skate boarding, skiing, snorkeling, surfing, base-jumping, and other extreme-style sports. The idea behind these action cameras is that they mount to bike handlebars, helmets, drones, and whatever else their owners dream up to put them on. With the press of a button or in GoPro’s case, the click of a remote, the camera captures video at up to 1080p resolution. The option for how that video is sharable is just one of the major differences between the Cube and GoPro.

Polaroid Cube basics

Coming in at 35mm square, the Polaroid Cube is lightweight (45.4 grams), small, and ideal for capturing action on the go. It records HD-resolution video, takes pictures, and is suitable for use as a dashboard camera.  With its wide-angle lens and 124-degree angle of view and recording resolutions of 720p/30 fps or 1080p at 30fps, users are able to capture moments with only some of the barrel distortion that’s expected for action cameras. The Cube is weatherproof, shockproof and has a magnet on the bottom for convenient mounting to metal surfaces. The rechargeable batteries on each side of the inside of the unit insure that it’s properly balanced. The microSDHC card slot supports up to 32GB cards and is accessible using a coin to open the back cover. Also inside that cover is the Micro-USB port used for transferring photos and videos, charging the batteries, and setting functions such as the time, date and recording resolution.

GoPro basics

Right now, the Cube only comes in one model, but GoPro currently has four different cameras in their HERO line. The dimensions of the models have remained the same for even their latest HERO4 model at 41 mm tall, 59 mm wide, and 21-30 mm deep depending on if the protruding lens is included in measurements. The HERO3 and HERO4 models feature Wi-Fi for instant sharing of recorded video and work with up to 64 GB MicroSD cards. Video resolution options include 720p, 960p, and 1080p and there are options for wide, medium and narrow angle views. The weight for GoPro cameras range from 74 grams to 152 grams, depending on the model and if they’re in the housing.

Cube vs GoPro

The lower price than the GoPro is a benefit with the Cube, but consumers sacrifice features for price. The magnet on the bottom is convenient but not necessarily strong enough to stay attached to bike handlebars and other metal surfaces in motion. While there are other mounts available for the Cube, it doesn’t come with anything but the magnet. A MicroSD card isn’t included with either camera. The GoPro shoots longer videos than the Cube, which records in five-minute segments. With the higher price of the GoPro, users receive more included features and Wi-Fi unavailable on the Cube. However, the Cube is perfect for those who want a minimalistic action camera they can throw in their bag and go.