Polaroid iM1836 review: Hands-on

The Polaroid Android camera is the first to feature interchangeable lenses

What is a hands on review?
Image 1 of 6 Polaroid iM1836 Android camera review
Polaroid iM1836 Android camera review
Image 2 of 6 Polaroid iM1836 Android camera review
Polaroid iM1836 Android camera review
Image 3 of 6 Polaroid iM1836 Android camera review
Polaroid iM1836 Android camera review
Image 4 of 6 Polaroid iM1836 Android camera review
Polaroid iM1836 Android camera review
Image 5 of 6 Polaroid iM1836 Android camera review
Polaroid iM1836 Android camera review
Image 6 of 6 Polaroid iM1836 Android camera review
Polaroid iM1836 Android camera review

The Polaroid iM1836 is the latest Android-toting camera to emerge and it's the first interchangeable lens camera to feature Google's mobile OS.

Polaroid was the first brand to introduce an Android camera back at CES 2012 in the form of the SC1630 Smart Camera although the Samsung Galaxy Camera and Nikon Coolpix S800c were the first Android cams to actually arrive in the UK.

We saw a couple of different prototype versions of the new camera, a dummy version that was being showcased by Polaroid (the black version in our picture gallery) and a working version from manufacturer an regular Polaroid supplier Vivtar (the white and blue versions).

Polaroid iM1836: Features

Aside from being the first Android camera with interchangeable lenses, the iM1836 has got another trick up its sleeve in the sense that the sensor is built into the lens, rather than the camera body.

This may sound a bit strange, but the maker argues that this means that there's no need to worry about getting dust in the sensor when you're swapping lenses. Not that there are actually any other confirmed to choose from right now...

While the logic of not putting the sensor in the actual camera may sounds like madness, we were told that an adaptor would be available that will enable you to attach lenses from all of the major camera brands.

Polaroid iM1836: Android

Polaroid's Android camera runs the latest OS - Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, which is a good start, but the camera was very, very slow to power up. Because this wasn't a finished version, the software wasn't final (and the battery was about to conk out) we weren't really able to give the camera a proper go, so we look forward to seeing it in action for real.

Polaroid iM1836: Verdict

The idea of having an Android-powered camera with a choice of lenses is certainly compelling. However, the early models that we saw looked very 'budget' in build quality and will need a fair bit of work in order to put the frighteners on Samsung and its Galaxy Camera.

The cameras we saw were very much pre-prodcuction models, so we'll reserve judgement until we get a finished snapper to look at in more detail.

Polaroid iM1836 release date: 2013

Polaroid iM1836 price: $350-400

What is a hands on review?

'Hands on reviews' are a journalist's first impressions of a piece of kit based on spending some time with it. It may be just a few moments, or a few hours. The important thing is we have been able to play with it ourselves and can give you some sense of what it's like to use, even if it's only an embryonic view.

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