Polaroid Snap review: Entry-level, instant camera goodness

A white Polaroid Snap with a cute dog
(Image: © Polaroid)

In recent weeks, I've found myself surrounded by an overabundance of instant cameras to test and review. One of these, the long-running and entry-level Polaroid Snap, allows you to take pictures on the fly or store them for later use. The Polaroid Snap isn't a perfect camera; however, for certain situations, it's a good camera worth considering.

The Good

  • Simple operation
  • Include three modes
  • Offers photobooth-like feature
  • Uses relatively inexpensive Zink Paper
  • Has a microSD port to store photos

The Bad

  • No smartphone support
  • Not waterproof
  • Can't print images stored elsewhere like other instant cameras

Welcome back, Polaroid

What is the Polaroid Snap?

Announced in 2015, the Polaroid Snap is a point-and-click camera that prints photos automatically after they are taken using Zink Paper. The all-in-one print technology allows you to print full-color, smudge-proof, 2x3 inch images without ribbons or toner cartridges.

Features you need

Polaroid Snap: What I like

Polaroid Snap

The phrase less is more is appropriate for the Polaroid Snap, which is never going to win any awards for being feature-rich. Available in seven bold colors, the instant camera provides just a few features -- most of them very well.

Included here is the ability to change the appearance of the photo on the fly. Using a simple dial on the top of the camera, you can move between color, black and white, and sepia. The Polaroid Snap is also easy to use. To take a photo, point and click and watch the magic happen. Within seconds, your picture will begin printing automatically. Again, simple.

The Polaroid Snap offers a few features best described as extra. These include a photobooth-like tool that allows you to take four photos, one after another, and print them on the same sheet of Zink Paper. (Don't get too excited; remember, the Zink Paper is just 2x3 inches.)

I'm also impressed that this camera includes a microSD card slot (for cards up to 32GB). When installed, you can store photos on the card and then view them when the camera is connected to your computer.

Finally, it worth noting that the Polaroid Snap is very durable and solid on touch. At its price point, this is somewhat surprising, especially when you compare it to something like the Fujifilm Instax mini 9, which feels noticeably less so.

Also, hats off go to Polaroid for adding a rechargeable battery to this unit. Over time, you'll save a lot of cash by not having to buy replaceable batteries, which are required on other products.

Understand its limitations

Polaroid Snap: What I don't like

Polaroid Snap inside

As an entry-level camera, the Polaroid Snap can get away with many of its more lackluster features. For example, it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that what you see in the viewfinder isn't exactly what you'll see on the printed page. Instead, what gets printed is a cropped version. Also, Zink Paper shouldn't be confused with traditional film in terms of print quality. However, again, at this price point, that's okay.

Other annoyances about the Polaroid Snap are less acceptable, however.

The flash not going off every time it's required is unfortunate, as are the LED indicators at the top of the device that are so small they are nearly impossible to understand. The photo frames button, which allows you to turn frames on prints on/off, is also too little to comprehend its purpose without first looking at the instruction manual.

Entry-level goodness

Polaroid Snap: Bottom line

Overall. I have enjoyed using the Polaroid Snap for what it is; a solid, entry-level camera that should provide years of enjoyment for kids and anyone else new to instant photography.

Have any questions?

If you have any questions or concerns about the Polaroid Snap or instant cameras in general, let us know below.

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.