This holiday season, transform your digital photos into real Polaroid pictures with the all-new Polaroid Lab. Not a printer, not a scanner, just an instant formula for timeless images. The Polaroid Lab takes the digital and makes it analog. From something on a screen to a tangible thing, a moment to be shared with a friend, an experience that you can hold in your hand.
The Polaroid Lab Review and Experience
The Polaroid Lab is out now and it’s a great way to combine nostalgia and modern photography. Growing up as a kid in the 80s and 90s, Polaroid was a pretty big deal back then. It’s fun how Polaroid has come full circle with my photography career and hobby. From the hobbyist perspective of my photography, I have been working on options to get my work printed. There have been clients who have gotten our work printed, but as far as my landscapes and such, it has not happened till now.
Well, obviously the Polaroid Lab is nowhere near the style I actually want my landscapes to printed as, but I LOVE the fact that I can take my edited photos, load them on the Polaroid App, and print them out as a Polaroid photo print. Since I have had this, I have been thinking about ways I can incorporate some fun prints for client work. Such as bringing the Lab to a wedding I am capturing, do a quick edit on my phone, and print out some photos from the wedding day to give the clients. They can have some instant photos to take with them on the day of their wedding. The sky is the limit of how these prints can be used.
There’s just something special about having a printed photo. You can’t just swipe away to the next thing. It’s there and stays. I’ve found myself looking at printed photos a whole lot longer time compared to something on my phone. Polaroids can stop the scroll. Don’t get me wrong, I love tech, but I am appreciating analog more and more these days.
Ease of Use
To prepare for using the Lab, I watched a couple reviews on YouTube, but when you use the app they give some similar instructions. I plan to make a video with a setup section because everything I have seen misses out on a few things that I think would help us all. I’ll still include those details in this post a little later.
Using the Polaroid Lab there are only a few steps to take.
- After unboxing, make sure there is enough power. My unit came with about two bars of battery life.
- Insert the film at the bottom of the Lab.
- Press the power button.
- Download and load the photo(s) you want to use and make any adjustments needed. Bonus point here, if you have a dark image, you might want to increase the exposure a bit as the Lab’s print will print out darker than you snapped.
- Place the phone on the Lab’s scanner. Mind, try to line up the square photo and the two dots under the square with the same layout on the Lab.
- Wait for the chimes to let you know the Lab is ready to print.
- Press the red button to print.
- Don’t pull the black flap because it is part of the Lab. Pull the photo print from under the black flap.
- Let the print sit upside down or in a dark environment for about 15 minutes for color and 10 for black & white.
There’s not much I would change about the Polaroid Lab. The first thing I would change is the USB connection. It’s 2019, almost 2020, and all charging ports need to be USB Type C at this point. It’s not a deal-breaker, but personally I would like to have just one type of cable and everything is going towards USB Type C.
When adjusting the exposure and other elements from the app, there is no preview or way to see how the adjustments will affect the outcome. There needs to be a preview of what the images should look like before printing.
The cover to the scanner does not stay in place well. Needs to be able to snap on or secure to the top.
Pricing and Availability
Pick up the Polaroid Lab at Best Buy for $129.99. Film packages prices range from $15-30 depending on the type and amount needed. There are black & white and color options.
Compatible Smartphones: iPhone 6, 6s, 7, 8, X, Xs and newer, Most Android™ Smartphones
L 5.9 × W 4.6 × H 5.9 in (closed)
(L 150 × W 115.6 × H 149.7 mm closed)
L 5.9 × W 4.6 × H 7 in (open)
(L 150 × W 115.6 × H 177.16 mm open)
Weight: 1.44 lbs (655 grams) (without film pack)
Battery: High-performance lithium-ion battery, 1100mAh, 3.7V nominal Voltage, 4.07Wh
Materials: Polycarbonate, TPU, EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer)
Lenses: Optical grade acrylic lenses, AR coated on top lens surface
Shutter System: Fixed aperture, variable speed shutter module (solenoid)
The App: Available for iOS and Android
Compatible iOS versions: iOS 11+
Compatible Android versions: Android 5+