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Polaroid OneStep+ vs. Fujifilm Instax Mini 9: Which camera should you buy?

Polaroid OneStep+ and Fujifilm Instax Mini 9
Polaroid OneStep+ and Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 (Image credit: Bryan M. Wolfe / iMore)

Here's a look at the Polaroid Onestep+ vs Instax Mini 9, two of the best instant cameras on the market.

Instant cameras have been around for decades, but they were reintroduced for the digital age, and the market is growing. The Polaroid OneStep+ and Fujifilm Instax Mini 9, both excellent instant cameras, target different users as their price points and list of features reflect. However, one is still a clear winner overall.

Polaroid Onestep+ vs Instax Mini 9

The differences between these two products are extensive, as you can see below in our Polaroid Onestep+ vs Instax Mini 9 comparison. As you'll see, we see a clear winner in the Polaroid OneStep+.

Polaroid OneStep+Fujifilm Instax Mini 9
Price$140$50
Estimated price per printaround $2$1 or less
Dimensions5.9 × 4.3 × 3.8 inches3 x 5 x 5.5 inches
Powerrechargeable2 AA batteries
FlashYes, automatically, depending on shooting modeYes
PaperPolaroid i-Type or 600 instant filmFujifilm Instax Mini Instant Film
Photo size3.108 × 3.024 inches2.44 x 1.81 inches
ColorsBlack and WhiteCobalt Blue, Ice Blue, Flamingo Pink, Lime Green, Smokey White, and retailer exclusives
Selfie mirrorNoYes
TimerYesNo
Close-upsYes with Portrait ModeYes with an optional lens attachment
Digital copiesYes with digital scannerNo
Bluetooth supportYesNo

Instant cameras have never been designed to take great photos. Instead, they're here to take good pictures quickly.

Instant cameras were designed to take great photos. Instead, they take good pictures quickly. Both the Polaroid OneStep+ and Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 cameras surpass this decidedly low threshold appropriately. Only the Polaroid OneStep+, however, offers a solution that best matches the look of instant photography of yesteryear by using iconic Polaroid Film. This is the iconic film that's used in other Polaroid cameras as well. This camera produces photos that measure around 3-by-3 inches, versus the 2.44-by-1.81 inches for the Fujifilm camera, which uses a different instant film.

The larger photo size isn't the only reason we recommend the OneStep+ for most users. It's also the only one that supports Bluetooth. In doing so, you can take advantage of the Polaroid app (opens in new tab) for iOS and Android. With this app, you can use extra features, including double exposure, a self-timer, light painting, a manual mode, and a noise trigger. Thanks to the app, you can also scan your Polaroid pictures and convert them for digital use.

About the film

The Polaroid OneStep+ supports i-Type and 600 films, available in both color and black and white. This film comes in various border styles, depending on the time of year. For example, you can purchase "summer haze" and "summer blues" packs. The Fujifilm Instax Mini Instant Film doesn't come in different styles, although it's cheaper than the Polaroid film. The price difference makes sense, given the size of the photos.

Beyond this, the Polaroid OneStep+ offers a Portrait mode that allows you to take photos of objects or people as close as 12-inches away. It also benefits from having a rechargeable battery.

By contrast, the Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 includes a selfie mirror and macro lens adapter for close-ups. There's also a high-key mode that lets you adjust the brightness before taking a shoot. The Fujifilm camera is also noted for coming in more than two colors.

Bottom line

Perhaps we're putting too much emphasis on the Polaroid OneStep+ because of its ties to the past. When coupled with its advanced features, however, it's clear the price difference makes it worth it.

Bryan M Wolfe
Staff Writer

Bryan M. Wolfe has written about technology for over a decade on various websites, including TechRadar, AppAdvice, and many more. Before this, he worked in the technology field across different industries, including healthcare and education. He’s currently iMore’s lead on all things Mac and macOS, although he also loves covering iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. Bryan enjoys watching his favorite sports teams, traveling, and driving around his teenage daughter to her latest stage show, audition, or school event in his spare time. He also keeps busy walking his black and white cocker spaniel, Izzy, and trying new coffees and liquid grapes.