Polaroid's just-announced Pop camera could be the most basic digital distillation of its iconic instant cameras we've seen thus far -- but unfortunately, all the company had to show at CES was a non-working prototype. However, I was able to get a sense of just what we'll be dealing with when the Pop ships near the end of the year. To sum up: It's a big, chunky plastic camera that should be incredibly simple to use. There's one button on the front, along with its 4-inch touchscreen, and that's basically it. Camera lens is on the back, prints come out the top, and the bottom is a colorful plastic border with a wrist strap.
You can pull that colored area off to access the SD card slow, charging port and the place where you load up the paper. And that's about all there is to it! I will say that it feels much bigger in the hand than I expected based on the press shots, and I do wonder if anyone would want to tote this thing around when our phones slip into our pockets so well.
Unfortunately, without turning on the screen I couldn't tell just how good or bad the UI is, which is what will really make or break this thing. Until we can actually turn this thing on, it's impossible to say whether it's worth the $200 or so Polaroid is asking (the final retail price hasn't been announced yet). For my money, I'll just order prints online -- but if you need to have immediate photographic evidence of your activities, the Pop may do just fine.