Being a ‘relatively‘ long-time Polaroid cameras user, I was tickled and curious when they announced their entry into the music player arena, and not with one but four different models in a go.
Fast forward, I am very thankful to the local distributor for kindly sharing the 1st set of the P2 player in Singapore for this review, and here’s a quick unboxing video for what one will expect.
The Polaroid P2 music player plays true to Polaroid’s retro design DNA of not taking itself too seriously and ensuring good functionality in a very simple-to-operate user design. The Polaroid Music app provides access to the Polaroid Music service, ensuring firmware support and allowing room for future improvements.
The support for both Apple Music and Spotify is great. Still, I am not sure when the advertised Polaroid Music comprising 5 stations catering to different moods, will be available in Singapore.
The sound quality is decent for a casual fun portable speaker, and I wish the P2 was waterproofed. Still, for a music portable priced at USD129.99, the P2 stands out for its sense of quirky funkiness and decent sound quality, and Polaroid fans or fans of the quirky spirit will likely find the P2 attractive.
The technical stuff
Coming in 4 colors following Polaroid’s color spectrum (mine is the grey version) and at a good portable size of 220 x 90 x 50 mm (8.66” x 3.54” x 1.97”) and 660.2 grams (23.3 ounces), Polaroid has used the analogy of ‘imagining the size of two bananas’ to describe the Polaroid Music Player and hey, it’s pretty accurate so long as we are talking about the slightly larger sized bananas.
A LED display takes center stage on the player when you switch it on. This helps communicate statistics like battery level, ‘ connect to BT,’ or simple instructions to the user.
Staying true to Polaroid’s design DNA, the P2 player is straight forward in its operation and easy to set-up.frankly, you shouldn’t even have to read the included manual.
The advertised output is 20W with a capacity of 7.2V 2500mAh. Playtime is up to 15 hours, with a charging time of approx 4 hours through the USB-C port.
Connectivity is by Bluetooth 5.0, AVRCP, A2DP ≈ 10m (30ft), and of course, if you are really old school, it takes in music through the 3.5mm AUX-In jack next to the USB-C port.
*disclaimer, I am hardly an audiophile or someone who will splurge tens of thousands of dollars on audio equipment for the sake of entering aural heaven hence the comments here are really personal.
Polaroid rates the speakers as ≥ 75dB (A), 165Hz-20KHz, and I used the Bluetooth 5.0 connection. My first impressions were, wow, the Polaroid P2 music player can go pretty loud and easily fill a room.
However, there were times I felt that while ‘loudness’ was plenty, music quality was lacking in the oomph and detail; for example, songs lacked the clarity I had expected to hear on the lower end.
However, the Polaroid P2 does stand out well if one is looking for a casual-use speaker. In this sense, it easily beats hands down many of the similarly priced competitor brands, for example, with the included Polaroid Music Service and potential for firmware updates down the road.
*There is an option for Stereo output if one pairs two Polaroid P2 players. I obviously didn’t have two sets but ya, just putting it out here for information.
Operation and handling
The most lovely part of any Polaroid product is its ease of use; in this case, the Polaroid P2 shines.
On the top, we get a good row of physical buttons, including an analog volume dial (which can also be used to switch stations on the Polaroid Music service). At the same time, other controls let you access favorites and skip tracks, which is always handy.
To get the player running, one needs to download the Polaroid Music app (available on both iOS and Google Play store) prior, switch on the player using the red button, connect to one’s device, and voila, you are ready to jam.
The front LED is the main way to communicate, showing the battery status that is connecting and even displaying a scrolling message reminding me to update the player’s firmware the 1st time I switched it on. To be honest, I was initially skeptical but very pleased at how fast the firmware update process turned out idiot-proof to manage.
In a nice touch, Polaroid has integrated Polaroid Music into the speaker. Connecting it via the Polaroid Music app gives you access to a series of stations; however, at the time of testing (a week before the official sales release in Singapore), the Polaroid Music Service is unavailable in Singapore yet.
I use both Spotify and Apple Music, which work well with the Polaroid P2 speaker so yeap, all good to go.
The app can let you adjust the player’s display brightness and system sounds; as of today, there is no EQ support to adjust sound levels, and I hope an update can come later to offer this function.
A reminder that the 3.5mm jack means wired audio possibilities and is a nice option to include, and there is an NFC panel for quick phone pairing.
Polaroid has never been keen on competing for the ‘best’ specs like megapixels count etc in their cameras, and instead focuses on their free sense of fun and quirky-ness and the P2 player is representative of this spirit.
If one is keen on entering aural heaven, maybe the more powerful P3 and P4 speakers might be a better choice, and of course, there are many more professional options though at a costlier price.
*for example, the Polaroid P4 music player is rated at 60W, a full 200% more powerful than the Polaroid P2 music player.
At an entry-level price of USD129.99, the Polaroid P2 music player can hit the sweet spot of outperforming its competitors at a similar price bracket for the casual listener looking for a good bit of fun and user-friendliness in an attractive ‘Polaroid-resque’ design and in this sense, I am pretty sure it will attract its own crowd of fans.
The Polaroid P1, P2, P3, and P4 music players will launch in Singapore at Takashimaya Departmental Store (and its online store) on 22 November 2022. I am pretty sure there will be some launch promotions to not miss!
Thank you for reading.
- Well, this is my first time writing about non-photographic equipment and making a best attempt to widen my learning and repertoire, so do be kind.
- I did not get paid for doing this review to maintain my neutralness (if not, I don’t think I could have written about the areas of improvement, haha). If you find this useful, kindly buy me a cup of coffee to keep the site running at the bottom of the page (thank you)