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Techmoan never approaches companies to ask for sample products to review. 



    

Pick of the Camera Reviews

(Click the pictures for reviews & links) 

ACTION CAMS

Yi 2 - Best Budget 4K

Sony AS100V

Drift Stealth 2

Gitup Git2 (My Pick)

 

Xiaomi Yi

Dazzne P2

SJCAM M10+
 
DASH-CAMS (CAR DVRs)
DDPai M6 Plus (My Pick)Vantrue N1
XiaoYi Yi
G1W Budget 1080p Cam

A119
DrivePro 200
Transcend DrivePro 220
Transcend Drivepro 520
MINI CAMERAS
(The Mobius also works as a dashcam)
Mobius
Polaroid Cube+
Mobius
HTC Re

My favourite USB battery power Pack

This is the excellent USB power pack I use when I travel.

2 x 2.1amp outputs. 8400mAh capacity.

Two digit Led display shows battery level

 

What SD CARD should I buy?

If you want an SD Card for your camera - these are the ones I use and recommend. 

I'd strongly recommend not to buy any SD cards off ebay - I've heard about too many issues with counterfeit cards - often sold on by unwitting resellers. My inbox regularly gets messages from people who bought a £150 camera then cheaped out and bought a £3 memory card on ebay - Then when it doesn't worth they blame the camera! It doesn't make any sense. Good memory is cheaper than it's ever been - see the links above.

A lot of HD cameras will not work properly with cards larger than 32GB (cards over 32GB are usually SDXC rather than the SDHC standard used by 32GB cards. SDXC cards use the ex-FAT system rather than FAT32 - in short they are a different standard). - so don't just buy the biggest card you can afford - read the specs in the manual to see what it accepts.

VERY IMPORTANT. These links go to the product, but Amazon have three different ways of selling. There's Amazon Direct - This means that you are only dealing with Amazon themselves, then there's other sellers that use Amazon's facilities - these show as Fulfilled By Amazon and finally there's Market place sellers that advertise on Amazon, but operate independently.  I strongly recommend that you only use the first...the Amazon Direct - Sold By Amazon option. Even if it appears that you are paying a couple of £/$ more it is more than likely you are comparing the going rate for a real item against the price of a fake one that won't work.

As an example of the extent of the problem of fake goods online...In a recent survey by Apple - 90% of the 'Apple' chargers sold by Amazon - using the other the two methods..which includes the "Fulfilled by Amazon" option -  were found to be counterfeit....90%! 

UK & US LINKS & PRICES BELOW

RECOMMENDED CARDS

CLASS 10 UHS-1 CARDS (For HD Cameras)

 

U3 CARD (For 4K cameras)

 

 

 

            

 

« The Contour Roam3 Helmet Cam Review | Main | The Seiko 'Sea Urchin' is a Smart Watch not a Smartwatch »
Monday
Oct062014

The Polaroid Cube Review

The Polaroid Cube is a fun little camera but you'll probably need to pick up optional accessories to make it into a functional action camera. If only the quirky and attention grabbing magnet base was a less wacky but infinitely more flexible tripod screw mount it would be much more handy straight out of the box. You can see my full video review below.
 
 
After uploading the video I realised that I hadn't mentioned the size and weight, so it's a 3.5cm (1.38") cube that weighs 47g (1.65oz) 
 
DOWNLOADABLE CLIPS
I have uploaded the same samples to two locations. You can download them from pCloud Do not stream these as this downgrades the quality - you need to download the clips and then play them back from your computer to see their true original quality. 
 
There are links below if you want to buy the Polaroid Cube on Amazon.
 
 
 
Want to know more about the Mobius camera featured in the video?  Click Here to see the review.

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Reader Comments (28)

Magnets, how do they work?

October 6, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMark

re: Polaroid Cube.
Can this be charged using the cigarette lighter socket in a car (USB powered port )?
and if yes, can I leave it plugged in while recording without frying the Cube?
Thanx

October 6, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSpencer

Hi Mat,

I love the video review of this one, I agree with all your comments...

I'll add to following points / observations :-

1) I would have loved the option to come in black colour as well as the bright blue.
2) I love it's design and simplicity
3) A bit lacking in the settings area of the camera, when you compare it with the much cheaper Mobius camera
4) Price is a bit high for this kind of cam I think
5) Really love the auto orientation part of the cam (strange they don't mention it in the instructions?)

Great stuff as always!

Thanks for listening.

Daz

October 6, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDaz

Hi Mat, I've just realised it does come in Black too! But with the bright stripes too...

Daz

October 6, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDaz

Spencer - USB is 5V whether it's in a car a plane or a boat....so yes if you plug this into USB it will charge it.

See http://www.techmoan.com/blog/2014/7/19/batteries-cables-and-confusion.html

for more info about this subject. Also you can see me talking about recording and charging at the same time at 15:30 in the Cube review.

October 6, 2014 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Mark - Glad you got the reference.

October 6, 2014 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Right, where do I begin? Well, 'as always', an excellent review. I was really looking forward to this camera. But, after watching your video, as well as others, I've come to the following conclusions. Marketing, brilliant. Packaging, spot on. Looks real cool and trendy. OK, so technically it's pretty good. But for me it's more a case of style over substance. Try slipping it in your tight fitting jeans pocket. I don't think so. The Mobius or Innovv would be a far less conspicuous bulge. Also, I thought the size would have been just right for hiding behind my Audi rear view mirror as a dash cam, after blacking out Polaroid's rainbow graphics. But no, it's not to be. Had they designed it to auto record upon power on etc, then maybe. Besides, £99 for a $99 camera, they're having a laugh.

October 6, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTerry Carter

Thanks for the review, pretty cute device indeed, I take it the accessories (including the tripod mount) are not available yet?

October 6, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterwebvan

The accessories now seem to be available on Amazon.com. Click here for more http://amzn.to/1uNti6i

October 6, 2014 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

The Polaroid website states that the magnet will 'allow for stacking and sticking onto any metal surface'. As you found out, that's not the case! Stainless steel, copper, brass, forget it. OK on the handlebars of your steel (ferrous) bike. BTW, the pyramid shaped packaging that the camera was attached to could make a pretty nifty helmet mount...

October 6, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTerry Carter

So If you use it as a dash cam and leave the car, it will record for 1!/2 hours and then switch off when the battery runs out. NOT A BAD IDEA I think . Presumably it will power up again when you re-start the car.

Could easily make a small steel shelf to put it on in the car. Easy to remove if you want to. Could have two - back and front/side - looking out of the car when you leave it. And If one fails the other might still be working. Easy to paint over the bright markings on the black one and make it more hidden in the car

Any comment Matt ?

October 7, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJohn W

It doesn't auto start recording. It needs to be switched on first and then double tapped to start the video recording. Other than this issue it could make a respectable dashcam.

October 7, 2014 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

On Peugeot cars, at least on my 406 V6 and also the 307 Griffe, you can move fuse F1 one notch to give constant +12v on the cig. outlet if you wish, default is (as usual) only +12v via the ignition key.

October 7, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMatte

You could always glue a small magnet to either/both sides of the Cube to maintain landscape mounting.

October 7, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterChris

Hi Matt, re dashcams, I think I may have found what might be the perfect solution. I've been prevaricating over different models for ages, but subject to what I hope will be an in-depth review by your good self, I'm hoping this will come out tops. It's the Street Guardian SG9665GM. It appears to offer discreteness along with a good tech spec. It's close to being almost like an OEM product. There's a review on DASHCAMTALK, though nowhere as good as your reviews. The link is https://dashcamtalk.com/forum/threads/street-guardian-sg9665gm-now-available-unboxing-video-review.7184/
BTW, what do you do with all the old stuff you've reviewed? Apart from the rubbish that got the sledgehammer....
As always, thanks for listening.

October 7, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTerry Carter

Another great review, Mat. I wouldn't buy one, but then i don't need one. Polaroid have become a marketing company selling a license to manufacturers, and taking a commission on each item sold, rather than risking their own capital. A shame I think. I see that Amazon sell the US version sells for $99, but the UK version for £99 - rip-off Britain in a nutshell. Keep up the good work though, I love your down to earth reviews, with no hype, just a good honest point of view.

October 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterQuaser

That Street Guardian SG9665GM looks crud!
Looks like a tiny arcade machine.

October 11, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterevilution

Thanks for the great review.

Imho the lack of a tripod mount shouldn't be a big issue. You can glue a piece of metal in place where you want to use the camera, that gives you the opportunity to use the camera in place where a tripod can't be used.

Besides that there are a number of (reasonable priced) accesories to mount the camera.

Last but not least the price is reasonable, taken into account the video quality and compared to go pro alternatives.

Regards,
Maarten

October 23, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMaarten

Great review, thank you.
I bought mine from Photojojo, and tried the video auto-orientation feature - without success. For still photos the orientation sensor seems working (based on EXIF info) but my videos stay in the same normal orientation, no matter how I switched the cube on or start to record.

Any idea?

Greetings

October 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTom

It seems to depend on whether the playback program can read the orientation flag. I'm using Quicktime (on a Mac).

October 27, 2014 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

..and you are right! My MacBook plays all files in correct angle - no problem with the Cube. Thank you!

October 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTom

I'm having the same issue with the auto orientation feature. I just got in from making a trip to my local post office, had the Cube mounted upside-down on my windshield, have just popped the micro sd into my iMac and played back through quicktime and the footage is all upside-down. I've had the very same issue when recording with the Cube attached to the metal part of the headrest in the car, so on its side, and the video is actually recorded at a 90 degree angle, which cannot be put right.

November 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJamie

You can flip the upside down video around in iMovie using the crop tools. Vertical video shot with any camera will always remain vertical. It looks ok on a phone screen but isn't any use elsewhere. You can always crop out the middle if you really need to use the shot....but it's not ideal.

November 13, 2014 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

This camera would be the dogs wotsits if it had auto start, surely someone could modify the firmware.
That's why I love my mobius, the firmware is always being tweaked.

November 26, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSteve R

Matt, those interesting in this cube might want to try the "Steelie" mounts from Niteize they might work in some mounting situations. Basically a "steelie" marble type mount that the cube should be able to magnetically affix to.

Thanks for all your fine postings.

Mark

January 1, 2015 | Unregistered Commentermark

Hi!

I am really considering getting one of these little cameras, but I have a little hang-up around the video quality.

According to this Reddit Thread, the settings for changing the video bit-rate have been exposed somewhere along a firmware update (how to upgrade) via the Settings.txt file that the device generates on the SD-Card. According to that, the bit-rate can be bumped up from 8 Mb/s to 13 Mb/s.

Could you please test and confirm if this changes the quality of the recording?

For me this might be the only remaining push to get one of these cubes.

Thank you!

June 26, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterBallz

Wow, thanks for your review, i just ordered The Cube on simpleshoppinglink.com and i'm waiting for my order in a few days. Can't wait to try it byself

June 29, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterLien

Can you PLEASE PLEASE tell us if the software is MAC compatible.

I had a Mobius camera and it was nothing but trouble.
When I upgraded to Yosemite on MAC it ( Mobius) would not recognize the camera any more!!

August 8, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterLucky

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