Polaroid licensee C&A Marketing has spent the past few years developing compelling products, such as the and , that combine modern camera technology with hints of nostalgia for the 75-year-old brand. The Polaroid Snap, announced at this week's IFA trade show in Germany, follows suit.
In fact, the pocket-sized instant camera looks a lot like the company's, which is less than an inch thick and about 3 inches high by 5 inches wide (23 by 74 by 120mm). However, instead of printing photos sent to it wirelessly from a smartphone or tablet, the Snap has a basic built-in 10-megapixel digital camera.
With a press of the shutter release, it spits out a small, 2x3-inch borderless print. It uses Zink zero-ink paper embedded with cyan, yellow and magenta dye crystals. The crystals start off colorless, but as the print is being made, heat activates the crystals, changing them into the appropriate colors.
The camera itself seems pretty lean on features. The f2.8 lens is a fixed focal length, so there's no zoom. It doesn't have a screen, but instead has a pop-up optical viewfinder on top. There are three capture modes -- color, black and white and vintage Polaroid -- in addition to a photo booth mode, which takes six pictures in 10 seconds with or without the classic Polaroid photo border. You'll also be able to set a 10-second self-timer, but really that's it.
There is a microSDHC card slot on the side, though, so you can save a 10-megapixel digital version of your photos, too. This, along with its small size are things you won't get with Fujifilm's Instax Mini line (though the Instax prints are better quality than the Zink prints).
Also, unlike the instant film the Fujifilm Instax uses, there is no waiting for the Zip's prints to develop and the prints are less expensive; a pack of 100 sheets of Zink paper runs about $25, £15 or AU$65. The paper is the only consumable, so you don't have to worry about ink cartridges, and the prints come out dry and smudge-proof because there's no ink involved.
Expect to see the Polaroid Snap toward the end of 2015 for $99 in the US with UK pricing coming in at £90. Australia pricing wasn't available, but the price converts to approximately AU$140.
For the best of IFA 2015, see CNET's complete coverage.
reading•Polaroid Snap is a pocket-sized instant-print camera
Sep 28•Inside 'devil's mountain,' a reclaimed Cold War spy station
Sep 27•This former NSA spy station explodes with Berlin street art
Sep 14•Dell's Visor brings comfort, convenience to VR headsets
Sep 5•Alexa was everywhere at Europe's biggest tech show (The 3:59, EP. 278)