I miss the Polaroid Cube – the magnetic camera that looked like a Lumecube

Polaroid Cube
(Image credit: Polaroid)

The Polaroid Cube was brilliant and I wish it was still a thing. There, I said it. 

I know I'm not alone in this thinking. The Polaroid Cube, despite not exactly rivaling the best GoPros or topping anyone's list of the best action cameras, really was a fun and funky photo device.

Which, I guess, is the brand in a nutshell. The best Polaroid cameras are less about being the best actual imaging devices and more about being the ones that are the most fun to actually use

That was certainly the case with the Polaroid Cube. A perfect cube measuring one-and-a-half inches square, it came in three colors (which I'm going to call "Blazin' Red", "Icecube Blue" and "Midnight Noir") each emblazoned with the Polaroid Spectrum stripe logo. This wasn't a camera that looked like any other. 

It looked more like a Lumecube or Joby Beamo – fellow pocket-sized, sugar cube-looking groovy gadgets – than it did a GoPro or any other action camera. Just to look at it made you want to fiddle with it, and more importantly want to start using it.

(Image credit: Polaroid)

Its 2.36mm f/2.0 lens had a 124° field of view (roughly akin to GoPro's Medium mode), capable of capturing up to 1080p 30p video and 6MP stills – or, with the newer Polaroid Cube+, up to 1440p and 8MP still images.

It and was splashproof out of the box, though not fully waterproof without a dedicated housing. So far, so ordinary… until you turn it upside-down and look at the bottom. 

This is where you found a big fat magnet instead of a wacky and complicated camera mount. Of course, you could get little rigs to affix it to the best GoPro accessories, but having a built-in (and very powerful) magnet meant that you could just slap this onto any magnetic surface, such as your car bonnet, and start shooting. Pure genius

The issue was that the image and video quality wasn't the best. There was a general lack of sharpness, the Jell-O effect could be pretty nauseating, and the inability to shoot 60p even in 720p was disappointing. 

As a concept, though, the Polaroid Cube was – and is – brilliant. And I'd love to see a guns-blazing (or even Red Guns Blazin') follow-up, if anyone fancies sending a politely worded email to Polaroid's customer service team for me.

Read more: 

Best waterproof cameras
Best cameras for kids
Best cameras for beginners
Best cameras for vlogging

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James Artaius

The editor of Digital Camera World, James has 21 years experience as a journalist and started working in the photographic industry in 2014 (as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy, who succeeded David Bailey as Principal Photographer for Olympus). In this time he shot for clients like Aston Martin Racing, Elinchrom and L'Oréal, in addition to shooting campaigns and product testing for Olympus, and providing training for professionals. This has led him to being a go-to expert for camera and lens reviews, photo and lighting tutorials, as well as industry news, rumors and analysis for publications like Digital Camera MagazinePhotoPlus: The Canon MagazineN-Photo: The Nikon MagazineDigital Photographer and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and talks at The Photography Show. He also serves as a judge for the Red Bull Illume Photo Contest. An Olympus and Canon shooter, he has a wealth of knowledge on cameras of all makes – and a fondness for vintage lenses and instant cameras.