07/31/2014 03:59 pm ET Updated Sep 30, 2014

Polaroid Enters the Action Camera Business with XS100i

Usually when we think of sports action cameras, GoPro is the first brand that comes to mind. Well, the folks at Polaroid are determined to change that.

The new Polaroid XS100i ($179.99) is a 1080p HD, waterproof camera that delivers everything you'd expect from one of these rigs.

The one we played with included mounting kits for bikes and helmets and a carrying pouch and only took us about five minutes to set up and begin shooting. Not being bike riders, we used the helmet mount and roamed the hills and valleys around our home. The results were stunning, clear HD videos of our forays into neighboring woodlands, etc.

Like the GoPro, we were also able to shoot still pictures at a rate of up to 10 photos per second. The GoPro Hero 3 we have is only able to shoot three per second. Both cameras also offer time lapse photography.

Where the GoPro exceeds the Polaroid is in SD card capacity. The Polaroid can accommodate SD cards up to 32GB, while the GoPro can handle 64 GB cards. But, like the GoPro, the Polaroid has built-in WiFi.

What are the major differences, you ask? OK, here's a list of a few Polaroid features that its competitors don't have:

  • It comes with a 1200MAH (milliamp hour) battery, which has more capacity than the GoPro
  • It has a G-Sensor, which allows the lens to rotate to accommodate the angle the camera is shooting from.
  • It offers dual file recording, creating a smaller non-HD copy of every video for faster uploading onto a PC, etc.
  • It vibrates to let you know it's functioning well. This comes in handy when you can't visually confirm its settings.
  • It's waterproof for up to 30 feet without a case.
  • The Polaroid is heavier than the GoPro, weighing 4.8 ounces compared to 2.6 ounces, but the GoPro becomes heavier when you add a waterproof case.

Otherwise the features of the two cameras are identical.

They both have:

  • A five megapixel sensor
  • An F2.8 lens
  • Mono and ACC audio compression
  • The ability to shoot videos in 1080p, 960p and 720p at similar frame rates

This new Polaroid may not offer instant, out-of-focus prints, but does set, we believe, a new standard for the action cam industry.

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