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Polaroid Pop vs Kodak Mini Shot: Which should you buy?

Polaroid POP 2.0 Instant Camera and Printer
Polaroid POP 2.0 Instant Camera and Printer (Image credit: Polaroid)

Polaroid and Kodak are both pretty big names in the world of retro instant camera photography. The Polaroid Pop and Kodak Mini Shot are some of the latest offerings, and while they're both good, they're designed for different people.

Let's break it down

Polaroid Pop in purple printing out a photo while held in hand

hero-polaroid-pop (Image credit: Polaroid)

The Polaroid Pop may appear more expensive at first, but it's relatively easy to find the paper for it, so you'll always be able to maintain a constant supply. While the Kodak Mini Shot appears cheaper at first glance, you'll have to keep in mind that it will be harder to find the correct paper that it uses, since it's not as common as Polaroid, Fujifilm, or some of the other instant cameras out there.

Polaroid PopKodak Mini Shot
Cost$200$100
Dimensions6 x 4 x 1 in0.9 x 3 x 5.2 in
ProfileLarge, bulky round squareSlim and compact
PowerRechargeable via microUSB, lasts around 50 printsRechargeable via microUSB, 620mAh capacity
Connects to phoneYes via Wi-FiYes via Bluetooth
Compatible appYesYes
Digital copiesYes on microSD up to 128GBNo
Megapixels20MP10MP
Video recordingYes, 1080p/720p HDNo
ScreenYes, touchYes, LCD
Built-in photo editingYesNo, only through app
Shooting tools7 white balance options, flash, timerAuto-focus, flash, exposure, white balance, and gamma correction
Close-up shotsYes, digital zoomNo
PrintsPolaroid ZINK PaperKodak Mini 2 Photo Paper Cartridge MC

Even though the Kodak Mini Shot is more affordable, we still prefer the Polaroid Pop because it's more flexible.

With the Polaroid Pop, you get a mighty 20MP sensor that is also capable of recording video in stunning 1080p or 720p HD quality, and it even lets you make animated GIFs. Everything gets stored on an optional microUSB (up to 128GB), so you'll always have a digital backup of your memories.

Even though the Kodak Mini Shot is more affordable, we still prefer the Polaroid Pop because it's more flexible.

The large touchscreen makes it easy to see what the viewfinder sees, as well as make any edits that are necessary. Plus, you can review each photo before printing, so you can be selective and not waste any paper.

The Polaroid Pop app (opens in new tab) is needed to connect your Polaroid Pop to your smartphone via Wi-Fi, and you can send your smartphone photos to the Pop to edit and print out. There are even fun effects and stickers that you can put on your photos, and there's the ability to draw and write on them too. The Pop also prints out images on 3.5-by-4.25-inch ZINK paper, so they're large sheets, though the printed resolution leaves a bit to be desired. There's also no stick-backed option, so you can't turn photos into stickers.

However, if you're on a budget right now but still want to enter the instant camera foray, then the Kodak Mini Shot is a decent option. It's half the price of the Polaroid Pop, though it does come with significantly fewer features. Still, it's not bad for what it is since you get 10MP, auto-focus, exposure, white balance, and gamma correction, and it's a good photo printer for your smartphone images. The only drawback is that finding the correct paper is a bit more difficult than for the competition, because we only found the Kodak Mini 2 Photo Paper Cartridge at Amazon (opens in new tab), and no major box retailers carry it. If Amazon is out of stock, then you won't be able to stock up until they're back, and who knows how long that takes.

If you don't mind the cost of it, we recommend the Polaroid Pop over the Kodak Mini Shot. It may be double the price, but you get a ton more useful features, and finding paper for it won't be very hard.

Christine Romero-Chan was formerly a Senior Editor for iMore. She has been writing about technology, specifically Apple, for over a decade at a variety of websites. She is currently part of the Digital Trends team, and has been using Apple’s smartphone since the original iPhone back in 2007. While her main speciality is the iPhone, she also covers Apple Watch, iPad, and Mac when needed.

When she isn’t writing about Apple, Christine can often be found at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, as she is a passholder and obsessed with all things Disney, especially Star Wars. Christine also enjoys coffee, food, photography, mechanical keyboards, and spending as much time with her new daughter as possible.