Polaroid has always done things a bit differently. From photos that were printed out in an instant to cameras that don’t look like all the rest, Polaroid is a true camera company through and through. But, what’s a camera company like Polaroid to do when consumers only want to use smartphones? Well, Polaroid has answered this questioning by designing the Polaroid SC1630 Smart Camera.
The Smart Camera looks just like a smartphone, it runs on Android (Gingerbread, though the company will likely upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich soon), provides users to various Apps, and allows consumers to share photos through social networks. What the Smart Camera doesn’t allow users to do is make a phone call – the Smart Camera looks and acts like a smartphone, but it’s really just a camera in disguise. Why would you want one? Polaroid is banking on camera enthusiasts who want to break away from smartphone use.
Inside the Smart Camera
Polaroid has equipped the Smart Camera with 16-megapixels and an optical zoom. According to CES reviewers, this camera is also a bit heavier than smartphone offerings. The shell of the Smart Camera is sleek, black, and can fit into most pockets. For most, the design of this camera easily resembles any given smartphone, though it does have a telltale Polaroid textured case (think back to those older Polaroids). The Smart Camera works with a touchscreen interface that’s very similar to those that you’ll see on any given touchscreen phone.
Polaroid claims that this camera can run on the 3G network, though the camera company hasn’t mentioned any carrier information yet. One can assume that Polaroid is working on partnering up with some carriers, though. Based on this information, some are assuming that Polaroid may turn the device into a phone after all, but all of this remains unclear at the moment. As far as pricing and availability go, Polaroid is keeping these details a secret as well. Consumers can expect the company to make a formal announcement sometime this year, though the exact date hasn’t been clearly defined yet.
A Wary Reception
As mentioned, the Polaroid Smart Camera was first introduced at the CES conference in Las Vegas this past week. Thus far, the camera or phone (or whatever you want to call it) has gained a wary reception. Reviewers aren’t sure whether this camera is a necessity or whether or not it has any real place on the smartphone or camera scene. Needless to say, it will be interesting to see where Polaroid winds up with the Smart Camera. This reviewer is hoping that Polaroid will be successful when it comes to carrier talks, so that the rest of the world can check out what the, always innovative, Polaroid has to offer.
It’s a tough day for camera companies, it seems. As smartphone sales continue to grow and the world relies on mobile, cameras that don’t double as smartphones are becoming more and more obsolete – except, of course, with the true camera crowd. For those who don’t believe that a smartphone camera is “just as good,” companies like Polaroid will always remain on top.