PROS Big, square instant photos. Color, black and white, and limited-run films. Easy one-button operation. Smartphone app for creative control. Tripod socket. Convenient USB charging.
CONS Color film delivers inconsistent results. No selfie mirror. The film is expensive.
BOTTOM LINE The Polaroid Now+ is an instant camera with a companion app for manual exposure control. It’s a terrific tool for artists and creators, but you pay more for its film than with rival Fujifilm’s Instax Square system.
Polaroid is following last year’s Now instant camera with a Bluetooth-connected model, fittingly called the Now+ ($149.99). For an extra $50, the Now+ includes features artistic photographers will love, including app-based manual control and a set of creative filters. Polaroid is also back to making interesting film stocks beyond the basic color and black and white options, adding some appeal for out-of-the-box photographers working in the instant medium. It remains more of a niche choice for artists and is pricier to buy and feed compared with our Editors’ Choice winner, the Fujifilm Instax SQ1. But if you’re in that niche, be happy to know that the Now+ lives up to the Polaroid name.
RETRO LOOKS IN THREE COLORS
The Now+ uses the same film packs as vintage cameras from the 1980s. Because of this, its form factor isn’t too far off—the system used to expose and eject the film dictates the camera’s general shape and size. Polaroid’s designers are taking aesthetic cues from days of yore as well: You can get the Now+ in black or white, each with the iconic Polaroid rainbow stripe logo.
We received the third color option, Blue Gray, one that is sold directly only through Polaroid’s site. It’s a little more understated, without the bold rainbow. The shutter button pops visually—its glossy red sheen stands out against the matte-blue body.
The camera is light, just shy of a pound, even though it’s a little bulky, about 3.7 by 4.2 by 5.6 inches (HWD). Everything is plastic, so the lack of heft isn’t surprising. Film loads in the front and the lens is centered just above. The flash and shutter release is at the left, and the optical viewfinder and plus button are opposite.
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