This time we got to review two similarly shaped and priced cameras so we thought we’re gonna compare them to each other. These are Polaroid Cube and SJCAM M10+ Cube which were lent to us by the Gearbest.com. Before you start reading the review about them, I recommend seeing the unboxing articles of these cameras which you can find here (Polaroid) and here (M10+).
THE PACKAGE CONTENTS
If you’ve already watched the unboxing, you probably have the right guess about who the winner is. Polaroid Cube offers a modest package and besides the USB cable and manual there’s not much more here. GoPro doesn’t come with plenty of accessories either but compared to Polaroid Cube – the winner could be almost any device. In the SJCAM M10+ Cube’s cardboard box is however everything we’re used to see when it comes to Chinese camera packages.
THE PACKAGE CONTENTS:
- Polaroid Cube camera
- USB cable
SJCAM M10+ Cube
- SJCAM M10+ Cube camera
- waterproof case
- vent doors for better sound quality
- USB cable
- handlebars mount
- adhesive mounts for a helmet
- plain camera mount
- tripod mount
- Velcro straps
- cleaning cloth
- a pile of other mounts and holders
- instruction manual
- SJCAM sticker
DESIGN AND BUILD QUIALITY
That all comes down to our individual preferences. Both cameras are well made and while testing I didn’t run into any more significant problem.
The rainbow colored stripe around the Polaroid Cube bothers me a little bit, because it probably won’t last long. The camera is single-button operated and there’s only one LED. The camera body is rubber-covered and seems to be durable. However, the appearance can be deceiving so you’d rather avoid going to water with it. Without the waterproof case it’s resistant only against splashing water. It should survive a little bit of rain but I would personally be careful. What I have to highlight is the magnet at the bottom which is relatively strong and can keep the camera even on a car hood. The connectors and resolution switcher are hidden under the coin-accessible protective piece. The Polaroid Cube’s dimensions are 35 x 35 x35 mm and it weighs 47 grams.
I like SJCAM M10+ much more. Even at the first sight it’s pretty clear that it can endure harsher treatment than the Polaroid Cube. Five controlling buttons hand in hand with a 1.5” display make up a strong combination. The downside is that you lose the control of two buttons when placing the camera into its case. The on/off button and trigger are located at the top and navigation buttons along with Wi-Fi button are located on the right side. The connectors are located on the left side and the battery slot on the bottom. The dimensions of M10 Cube are 48,1 x 43,3 x 43,4 mm and its weight is 64g, including the battery.
CONTROLLING AND FUNCTIONS
Let’s start with Polaroid cube again. The controlling is pretty simple. We can choose between two resolutions using the switcher under the case and when the button is pressed for a longer time, we turn on the camera. Turning on, taking stills and video recording is indicated by the LED and beep sound signals. Sounds genius, right? Well, it’s not. On a sunny day, you are not able to tell whether the LED shines or not, neither you can tell the color of it. Same problem with the beeping. You can hear it perfectly at home but outside, for example on a bicycle, it becomes a difficulty. I own GoPro Hero 4 Session myself which is very similar when it comes to controlling but the LEDs are much bigger and brighter. It also has a tiny display, readable on the sun.
SJCAM played it safe with their M10+ Cube. The controlling is intuitive, you are always aware of what’s happening with the camera and what mode it is in. So I have nothing to criticize here. Well, the viewing angle of the LCD being a little narrow can be a bit annoying because sometimes it’s hard to tell what’s going on there, but it’s no big deal. There’s a variety of settings in the menu. Suddenly, there comes the obvious favorite of this category.
It’s gonna be easy here. Polaroid Cube doesn’t support Wi-Fi so controlling via smartphone is impossible. Although PC software gets copied to a memory card after inserting it to the camera, I couldn’t get it to work even after various attempts.
SJCAM M10+ Cube works with quite a lot of smartphone applications but the best choice is SJCAM HD that pops up when the QR code on the box is scanned.
I feel like I’m not very keen on Polaroid Cube and support SJCAM M10+ more, but the following specs speak for it all.
|Polaroid Cube||SJCAM M10 Plus|
|Waterproof case||Optional, 10 meters||Yes, 30 meters|
|Sensor||Unknown||OmniVision OV4689 (4Mpx)|
|Video||1080p/30 fps, 720p/30 fps||2560 x 1440/30fps, 1080Pp/60fps, 720p/120fps|
|Stills||6 Mpx||12 Mpx|
|Supported memory cards||microSD, up to 32 GB||microSD, up to 32 GB|
|Battery||Unknown capacity, up to 90 minutes||900 mAh, up to 80 minutes|
|Dimensions||35 x 35 x 35 mm||48,1 x 43,3 x 43,4 mm|
|Weight||47 g||64 g|
|Other||magnet on the bottom of the camera||Wi-Fi, gyroscope based stabilization, 4x digital ZOOM|
PHOTO & VIDEO
Will Polaroid cube reach the winner’s spot and fix its reputation a bit or will it get crushed by the SJCAM M10+?
There was no problem with SJCAM’s recording but it was a completely different story with Polaroid. The camera splits recording into 5 minute segments so it gets pretty fragmented. The sound was not recorded at all. Maybe it’s possible to change it in the software but I couldn’t install it.
Videos taken by this camera are in the full resolution of 1080p/30 fps and from SJCAM in 1080p/60fps.
These videos can be downloaded here.
Two previous videos for downloading here.
Photos from Polaroid cube are at the left, SJCAM M10+ Cube’s at the right.
Photos in the full resolution can be downloaded here.
Both cameras promise similar battery life and actual use only confirmed it. The capacity of the Polaroid Cube’s battery is unknown and while testing the camera turned off after 80 minutes of recording in the 1080p/30fps mode. The SJCAM M10+ camera did a little bit better and turned off after 95 minutes of recording in the same resolution but at 60 fps.
If you’ve got to this point of the review you probably have a clue about my recommendation. Correct, it’s gonna be SJCAM M10+. Among its biggest advantages is the amount of accessories in the box, LCD screen, Wi-Fi, more settings, higher resolution at a higher framerate and the quality of recording. I don’t really know whom would I recommend Polaroid Cube. Probably to those who prefer smaller size at the expense of the mentioned shortcomings.