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Polaroid’s 16-megapixel Android phone: SC1630 Smart Camera hands-on photos

Is this a Cameraphone or Phonecamera? Who knows (or cares), Polaroid’s SC1630 Smart Camera is a head-turner. It’s an otherwise average looking Android phone – 3.2-inch screen, 2.3.4 Gingerbread, 512MB of RAM – save for one, rather obvious, feature.

A 16-megapixel camera unit with proper optical zoom dominates the back of the Polaroid Smart Camera. 3x optical zoom, alongside 5x digital zoom gives this a real edge over your average Android phone’s camera. Being able to zoom in – properly zoom in – for close-ups and distance shots on this bad body might just convince us that it’s time to leave our SLRs at home.

There’s a Xenon flash as well as a separate LED light for autofocus in the dark, shutter speed of 1/1400 and an aperture of f/3.1 – f/5.6.

There’s also various shot modes such as smile detection, panoramic sweeps, touch-to-shoot along with 18 scene modes. The ISO is adjustable up to 3200 – more sensitive than a million Belle & Sebastian fans.

If this wasn’t enough, there’s also a photo editing suite built in that allow you to crop and resize pics and take out red-eye. It’s basically a powerful point and shoot that also happens to be an Android phone. As well as being a boss at taking stills, there’s HD video recording maxing out at 720p.

Internal memory is a tiny 512MB but naturally there’s a microSD slot, up to 32GB, for storing pics.

Our only gripe is that the screen has a resolution of 800 x 480 (WVGA) and there’s no mention of the processor speed on the spec sheet. We’d hope for at least 1GHz (ideally dual-core) running ‘neath the hood.

We also love that attention has been paid to the exterior of the Smart Camera; the marbled plastic sides give it a retro-tastic look. Hipsta-what-ic? As well as regulation black, there’s purple, shocking and pale pinks and yellow versions.

The Polaroid SC1630 Smart Camera Coming is coming out at some point this year for an unspecified sum. More on this when we hear about it – until then, do have a gander at our pics.

Pictures by Basil Kronfli.


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