Polaroid has finally made their Android powered camera phone, the iM1836, official. The specs match up exactly with what the first leak said in mid-December. Let’s start with the camera. This thing packs a massive 18 megapixel sensor, making it one of the highest resolution Android devices we’ve ever seen. The lenses are interchangeable, but there’s a small catch. You have to buy them from Polaroid. You can use Micro Four Thirds (MFT) lenses, but you’re going to need an adapter. As for the screen, we hate to tell you this, but it’s only 3.5 inches diagnol, so don’t expect to make this your daily driver. Android 4.1 is on-board, but we’re not sure about the guts. What SoC is inside? How much RAM? What we do know however is that it’s going to cost $399 when it lands in Q1 2013.
Should you buy this thing? Without even reviewing the device, we’re going to say no. If you really care about imaging, then the best thing you can do right now is wait. The Galaxy Camera, arguably the best Android powered camera currently on the market, doesn’t produce images that are significantly better than the Galaxy S3. That’s got to make you wonder, how much better will the camera be in the Galaxy S4 when it gets announced in a few months? There’s also Mobile World Congress in February, what sort of awesome camera phones are we going to see there?
We think there’s a huge market potential for devices that look like cameras from the front, but from the back they’re just like any other Android phone. That being said, it’s early days. Remember how awkward the first Galaxy Note was, but then when the successor came out it was that much better? The same thing is likely going to happen to devices like the iM1836.
What do you guys thing, is this product category viable?
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it may have the 3.5″ screen, but that means a smaller camera body. The compact system cameras are a designed as a smaller alternative to dslr’s not your smartphone. The camera sensor is what is really important here. Your comparing apples to oranges.
It’s better than Galaxy Camera..
The sensor is important, but the biggest factors for me making real cameras more attractive than cell phone cameras have been (1) optical zoom and (2) stability, whether through a tripod mount (adaptors that work like little vises are nice and all, but not enough), optical shake reduction, or both. I’m not interested in software simulations of those two features, like blurry “digital zoom” or grainy high-ISO “electronic stability enhancement”. Give me the GS3′s sensor with 20-30x zoom and a tripod mount and let’s call that the minimum I’d accept in something sold as a camera for my hobbyist use.
I’d love to see a DSLR running Android, but I’m not holding my breath. Still, even with the interchangeable lenses, the name Polaroid isn’t exactly a selling point.