Last year, for CES 2011, Polaroid teamed up with Lady Gaga to announce a new line of Polaroid products called the Grey line. Of the three products introduced, only one was a traditional Polaroid camera. The other two were a portable printer and a whacky pair of glasses that doubled as a digital camera (more about those here). This year, Polaroid is back, and it's got another unique camera in tow.
Announced today at CES 2012, the Polaroid SC1630 is an Android-powered smart camera that, at first glance, looks a lot like a regular touchscreen phone. The SC1630 is a 16 megapixel camera with built in 3X optical zoom and a touch screen display. For easy sharing to your favourite social networks, the phone also has integrated Wi-Fi. Polaroid's aim here was to merge the traditional smartphone with a point-and-shoot camera so users no longer have to choose between the two devices.
"With the Polaroid SC1630 Smart Camera powered by Android you will no longer need to choose between your smart phone and your point and shoot camera because it offers the best of both worlds," the company said in a statement. "Delivering everything expected from a digital camera but powered by Android, the Polaroid SC1630 Smart Camera surprisingly packs all the features needed to conveniently capture, connect and instantly share beautiful HD digital images and video into one device, weighing a mere five ounces."
The SC1630 does provide more than the average point-and-shoot, Polaroid is right about that. The device boasts 18 scene modes for capturing images at 36-mm or full 108-mm magnification and a roomy 3.2-inch display for viewing pictures. On-board editing features offer cropping, red-eye removal, resizing and color correction, and the camera has support for up to 32 GB of storage via microSD. Judging from the press shots, there's also music, browser, email, calculator, and calendar apps, and users have the ability to download even more camera/photo apps from the Android Market.
Still, despite all these applications, the one thing Polaroid doesn't mention is that this thing is also a phone, which is a bit shortsighted if you're claiming your smart camera is the best of point-and-shoots and smartphones. After all, phone functionality is the reason we have smartphones in the first place. Though it was oddly omitted from the press release, the SC1630 actually is a phone, it seems. After having spent some time with the device last night, Enadget reports that the SC1630 packs 850/1900/2100MHz WCDMA and 850/900/1800/1900 GSM radios, along with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS and an FM antenna. They also spoke to COO Emanuel Vorona and he confirmed that the company is in talks with multiple carriers and is considering offering the phone on contract as well as a prepaid handset.
No word on pricing or a release just yet, but Polaroid says that this smart camera will be out this year. What do you think? Is this the perfect marriage of smartphones and point-and-shoots? Let us know in the comments below!