Review: Polaroid Snap Touch

It took a while for me to wrap my head around the Polaroid Snap Touch–and it’s not because I’m not accepting to what they’re doing. It’s more because of the fact that they’re finding a way to appeal to the Snapchat generation in the form of a camera. Personally, I don’t use Snapchat and never used it for anything else besides dating. When it comes to instant film cameras, I prefer, well, instant film. That’s one of the biggest issues right here. The Polaroid Snap Touch doesn’t use actual Polaroid film or even anything close to it. Instead, it uses zInk paper and has a printer built into the camera. You could say that it helped influence the Fujifilm Instax Square SQ10. And even then, I’m really not the customer for a camera like that simply because I know what’s possible with the actual film.

For those of you who aren’t aware, I’m one of the mods for R/Polaroid–and without a doubt we’re a bunch that don’t really accept what Polaroid has become. Make no mistake, all that the Polaroid Snap Touch is is a camera with a printer inside of it. It isn’t a true Polaroid in any right.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Fun filters
  • Pretty simple and intuitive to use

Cons

  • The absolute most awkward way to power on a camera
  • The way to power on the camera may allow the camera to become powered on when in your bag and so then you’ll miss out when it comes to battery life
  • Terrible battery life
  • Printing takes forever
  • A phone arguably takes better images these days
  • The loading process of the paper allows it to easily be dinged or bent on the edges

Gear Used

The Polaroid Snap Touch was used with some of the zInk paper it comes with.

Tech Specs

Specs taken from the Polaroid listing page

Camera Features

  • 1Instant 2×3″ color prints
  • 3.5″ LCD touchscreen viewfinder
  • 13MP photos
  • 1080p/720p video
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Photobooth mode
  • Burst mode

Integrated Printer Features

  • Snap and print — no computer connections needed
  • 2×3” full color, waterproof prints using Zink® Zero Ink® Printing Technology
  • No Ink. No Hassles.™ — no ink cartridges or ribbons to throw away
  • Filters, borders, and digital stickers
  • Auto timer
  • Built-in selfie mirror
  • MicroSD card slot (up to 128GB)
  • Micro USB port
  • Microphone & speaker
  • Built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery

Polaroid Print App

  • App for iOS and Android
  • Edit, add extras, and print from other sources

Ergonomics

When you look at the Polaroid Snap Touch, you see a camera that is trying pretty hard to gain the favor of the Instagram world. It even sort of looks like the Instagram logo. In the photo above, the camera is activated. You can do this by pressing the pop-up flash. In fact, this is the only way to electronically activate the camera.

The flash is also the home to the saddest, smallest selfie mirror.

Move around to the top of the Polaroid Snap Touch and what you’ll spot is not only the flash itself but this big red button. Take a wild guess at what that does!

Move to the back of the Polaroid Snap Touch and you’ll find this giant touch screen. By touching the screen you can activate a number of other functions. When you go down to the bottom of the camera you’ll find things like the tripod socket and the USB charging area. Prints come out of the side of the camera.

Build Quality

Uhhhh, the Polaroid Snap Touch is plastic as hell. To be fair, a whole lot of other instant film competitors are too. The wrist strap is surely handy because otherwise the body is smooth and doesn’t have a whole lot of gripping power. Either way, I’m sure it will survive being toted around in your camera bag. Just remember that the pop-up flash is pretty simple to come up once you press it down a bit. That means that the camera will activate and you’ll be draining the battery life.

Ease of Use

When you activate the Polaroid Snap Touch you’ll see this screen. When you touch said screen, these options will pop up. There’s a digital zoom, filters, overlays, and the playback. Plus you can do stuff like HDR imagery.

Now, here’s the menu. It’s not complicated but it’s surely lacking in some ways. The better and more fun menu comes when you’re in playback mode.

This is one of the other menus on the screen. It’s a shooting menu.

Now here’s what I sort of like. The playback menu on the Polaroid Snap Touch. It’s simple.

When you’re working with the menus, you can also put these borders on the images. One of them straight up makes the images look like they’re an Instax print.

Then there are other filters which give previewed effects on photos.

And here’s what an image will look like normally when you view it on the screen.

AutoFocus

The autofocus on the Polaroid Snap Touch is slow in both bright light and low lighting. In low lighting, it’s almost like waiting to pour thick honey. It’s really not that great. The options from Fujifilm like the SQ10 are much faster.

Image Quality

Here’s where I’m torn. There are cameras that can give you fantastic Fujifilm Instax prints, but most of them don’t. The Polaroid Snap Touch’s photos are simply just crap. But they’re fun. I saw friends of mine take photos, put crazy filters on, then add stuff Snapchat and Instagram style. And for all purposes, they’re fun. That’s what I think that the Polaroid Snap Touch does right and that other manufacturers should really look at. The way that you make cameras fun again is you basically copy Snapchat and Instagram. Give us filters. Give us wacky and fun additives. And don’t be like Sony and make someone pay a ridiculous extra fee to use the extra apps.

Conclusions

I’ve got a lot of problems with the Polaroid Snap Touch. It’s bound to be accidentally activated in your camera bag. The battery life sucks. The interface is sort of weird. The image quality sucks. The paper sucks. But perhaps the saving grace is the fact that it doesn’t take itself very seriously. With that said though, there’s something about holding a Fujifilm Instax print vs a zInk print. Instax genuinely feels like it has life to it. zInk doesn’t.

The Polaroid Snap Touch receives two out of five stars. Maybe I don’t get it. Maybe it just isn’t for me. Maybe Polaroid should fix the issues with it.