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Polaroid Pop vs Polaroid OneStep 2: Which should you buy?

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

While both of these cameras come from Polaroid, they're aimed for two different groups of people. If you want to try your hand at the old style Polaroids like your grandparents, then the OneStep 2 is the way to go. If you prefer to have a Polaroid with modern capabilities, then you should try the Pop.

Let's break it down

Depending on what you're looking for in an instant camera, both the Polaroid Pop and OneStep 2 are good choices in their respective categories.

Polaroid PopPolaroid OneStep 2
Price$200$100
Dimensions6 x 4 x 1 in6.7 x 4.72 x 4.72 in
DesignBulky, thick, rounded squareOriginal Polaroid OneStep
BatteryLithium-ion up to 50 printsRechargeable via Micro-USB, lasts 60 days
Megapixels or lens20MP106mm lens
Video recording1080p HDNone
Digital copiesYes with microSD up to 128GBNo
Film3.5x4.25" inch ZINK paperi-Type or 600 Film
BluetoothNoNo
Wi-FiYesNo
Compatible appYesNo
Manual lighting adjustmentsYesNo
FlashYesYes
Self-timerYesYes

With the Polaroid Pop, you're getting a 20MP digital camera that's able to record HD video in either 1080p or 720p, which is more than a lot of instant cameras can do. The large touchscreen on the Pop allows you to easily see what the viewfinder sees, so you can frame your photos accordingly. Once a photo is taken, you can edit it right on the touchscreen with any necessary adjustments, or you can add fun touches like stickers, frames, and other effects before choosing to print it out.

If you download the companion Polaroid Pop app (opens in new tab), you can connect to your smartphone via Wi-Fi and send pictures from your Camera Roll into the Pop itself. From there, you can edit the photos and print them out, as you would with a standalone photo printer.

The video recording capability of the Polaroid Pop is also impressive. With just a tap, you can record gorgeous video in 1080p HD resolution, and even turn short 15-second videos into animated GIFs, right on the camera itself.

Both the Polaroid Pop and OneStep 2 are good for their respective audiences.

The OneStep 2 is a throwback design. It was modeled off the original Polaroid OneStep, which was released in the 1970s. This new edition is designed for those who want to replicate the traditional Polaroid OneStep instant camera feeling. The shape of the camera itself won't make carrying it very easy, but it does work right out of the box as long as you have some i-Type or 600 film ready. However, the film isn't exactly cheap (average price of $16 or $19 with about eight sheets) and the camera doesn't come with any. You're going to need to spend extra on paper no matter what camera you purchase, but compared to the ZINK paper that the Pop uses, it's even more expensive.

With the OneStep 2, it's important to also remember that you won't have too much control over the results. The camera is designed to automatically adjust how much light gets in, so you can't manually adjust it. However, the OneStep 2 does have a flash suppression button that you can push down while taking a picture if you choose to not have flash (it goes off for every picture otherwise).

You also don't get support for microSD cards at all with the OneStep 2, so there are no digital copies, just purely analog prints. And of course, there's no video recording either, just like with the original.

Both the Polaroid Pop and OneStep 2 are good for their respective audiences. However, if we must go with one here, we'd recommend the Polaroid Pop over the OneStep 2. It just offers a lot more, and even though it has a high sticker price at first, the 3.5-by-4.25-inch ZINK paper it uses ends up being a lot cheaper in the long run compared to the i-Type or 600 film you need for the OneStep 2. But if you really want to try an analog instant camera and get those cool, imperfect shots, then by all means, give the OneStep 2 a try. The price point for the camera itself isn't too high, at least.

Christine Chan
Senior Editor

Christine Romero-Chan has been writing about technology, specifically Apple, for over a decade at a variety of websites. She is currently the iMore lead on all things iPhone, 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.