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Polaroid Now vs OneStep Plus (2021): Comparing Modern Instant Cameras

Unlike photographs taken by digital cameras, a Polaroid picture isn’t reproducible. Once you’ve snapped a photo and printed it, you can’t delete it. It’s what makes the prints valuable. And with the vintage vibe of the photos, the aesthetic appeal of the cameras is hard to question.

The Polaroid Now is arguably the company’s most popular offering. It’s one of the more affordable models, too. With the Polaroid OneStep Plus, however, the retro camera gets some modern conveniences, including smartphone connectivity. But are the contemporary conveniences of the OneStep Plus worth the extra dollars? Check our Polaroid comparison below to find out.

Polaroid Now vs Polaroid OneStep Plus Comparison Chart

ModelPolaroid Now i-Type Instant CameraPolaroid OneStep+ i-Type Instant Camera
 Polaroid Originals Now I-Type Instant Camera - Black (9028)Polaroid OneStep+ White (9015) Bluetooth Connected Instant Film Camera
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
TypeInstant cameraInstant camera
LensesOptical grade Polycarbonate and Acrylic lenses, coatedOptical grade polycarbonate lens, coated
Focal LengthClose-up 94.96 mm
Distance 102.35 mm
Portrait 89 mm
Standard 103 mm
Field of View41° vertical, 40° horizontal41° vertical, 40° horizontal
Build MaterialPolycarbonate + ABS plasticsPolycarbonate + ABS plastics
Double ExposureYesYes
Bluetooth ConnectivityNoYes
Tripod MountNoYes
Film CounterLED, numbersLED lights only
BatteryRechargeable Lithium-Ion 750mAhRechargeable Lithium-Ion 1100mAh
Dimensions3.7 × 4.4 × 5.9 in3.8 x 4.3 x 5.9 in
Weight0.95 lbs1.08 lbs


The Polaroid Now comes in more colors while the OneStep Plus has more multifunction components.

Polaroid Now vs Polaroid OneStep+ Design Comparison
Here’s a look at the Polaroid Now in black (left) and the slightly bigger Polaroid OneStep+ in white (right).

The Polaroid Now looks as if it was plucked from the 70s. From the chunky exterior to its bright colors, the device captures the form of its iconic origins. The throwback sensibilities, however, are strongest on the two-toned models like green, orange, and blue. But if you’re not a fan of flashy designs, you can get the Polaroid Now in more discreet black or white variants.

Polaroid’s OneStep Plus has the same retro shelf appeal as the original OneStep models. However, it doesn’t come in a spectrum of colors. You can only choose between black and white. But like the Now, you do get rainbow stripe detailing, too — a thoughtful, throwback flourish. Plus, both cameras brandish an improved, ergonomic grip.

Color and ergonomics aside, most of the external components are the same for both cameras. On the front, you’ll find the dual-lens system and film shield. There’s also a flash system — round on the Now, rectangular on the OneStep Plus — above the shutter button. With the OneStep Plus, you do get additional toggles, like the Light/Darken switch and a multi-function Plus button.

Meanwhile, the back of the cameras houses the viewfinder, power button, and flash override button. Near the base, you’ll find neck strap loops if you want to make your Polaroid more portable. The OneStep also comes with a tripod socket, great for setting up steadier shots.

Click here to read our Polaroid Now vs Polaroid Go comparison.


The Polaroid OneStep Plus has more features than the Polaroid Now, thanks largely to its compatibility with the Polaroid mobile app.

Polaroid Now vs Polaroid OneStep+ Features
A closer look at the autofocus lens of the Polaroid Now (left) and a view of the Lighten/Darken switch on the OneStep Plus (right).

The Polaroid Now and OneStep Plus have several features in common. Both cameras, for instance, enjoy point-and-shoot operations. They’re also equipped with a self-timer, optional flash, as well as double exposure. The Polaroid Now, however, comes with auto-focus. On the OneStep Plus, you’ll have to manually switch between portrait and landscape lenses. Still, the fixed-focus lens allows you to get closer to your subject — up to 0.3 meters — than the Now.

Thanks to Bluetooth connectivity, the OneStep Plus can also be paired with a smartphone. Connected to the accompanying Polaroid mobile app, the camera’s functionality expands. Users, for instance, can create light painting effects or set remote or noise triggers. While a self-timer is built into the OneStep Plus, the same can be configured via the app as well. For pros, a manual mode even offers customizable settings for ISO, shutter speed, and aperture.

Image Quality

Polaroid’s OneStep Plus offers more consistent focus and exposure than the Polaroid Now.

Polaroid Now vs Polaroid OneStep+ Image Quality
Here are sample images taken by the Now (left and center photo); the Light Painting feature on the OneStep Plus (right).

Since they’re purely film cameras, you don’t get a digital display on either the Polaroid Now or OneStep Plus. This means you’ll have to hope for consistent results while (blindly) taking photos. Otherwise, you’ll end up throwing prints, which could be easy if film rolls didn’t cost an arm and a leg. Given this context, most will find that the OneStep Plus has the edge when it comes to image quality.

See, Polaroid’s Now does offer the conveniences of auto-focus. However, the feature can be hit or miss, with some images out of focus. The camera’s powerful flash tends to wash out the images, too. Compared to other instant cameras, you get a more stylized aesthetic result, which may appeal to some but could be a dealbreaker for those who want ‘realistic’ colors. To get the most out of the Polaroid Now, you’ll want an abundance of natural light as well.

Just like the Now, the OneStep Plus is best used under good lighting. Still, it handles ambient light better. The OneStep Plus’s flash is also powerful but less likely to overexpose your shots. This means vibrant images with a noticeable sharpness when it comes to portraits. Serious photographers can also play around with the manual mode to maximize the camera.

If you’re a casual photographer, however, don’t worry. The focus and exposure on the OneStep Plus are good enough even if you’re not dabbling with the customizable settings.

Battery and Film

Both the Polaroid Now and OneStep Plus have USB-rechargeable batteries and are compatible with i-Type and 600 films.

Polaroid Now vs Polaroid OneStep+ Battery and Film
Polaroid offers a range of i-Type films — from color to B&W.

The Polaroid Now and OneStep Plus both come with rechargeable batteries. Charging is also easier thanks to a microUSB port and cable. On the Now, you’re getting a 750mAh lithium-ion pack while the OneStep Plus comes with a larger 1100mAh battery. Despite having a lower capacity, a single charge of the Polaroid Now can shoot up to 20 packs of film. With a fully-charged OneStep Plus, you can shoot up to 15 packs of film. If left on standby, the battery can also last up to 60 days.

One of main gripes with instant cameras, however, is the cost of film. Most Polaroid films include a battery inside the pack to power your cameras. This adds to their cost. Since the Now and OneStep are both rechargeable, they’re compatible with battery-free film Polaroid calls i-Type. This makes it more affordable than the traditional 600 film, although you can still expect to spend at least $20 for an 8-piece pack. Plus, the i-Type film will not work with your vintage Polaroids.


Go for the Polaroid Now if you’re on a budget. But if you’re after image quality, get the Polaroid OneStep Plus instead.

Today’s instant cameras are a great way to enjoy the aesthetic of film while benefiting from modern conveniences. The Polaroid Now and OneStep Plus, for instance, are both USB-rechargeable models. With the OneStep Plus, you even get additional camera functions thanks to its support for the companion Polaroid mobile app.

Between the two, however, the Polaroid OneStep Plus is our pick. Aside from the extra features mentioned above, the camera simply performs better. When it comes to focus and exposure, you’ll find this Polaroid is more consistent than the Now. If you’re on a budget, the Polaroid Now makes more sense. But we think whatever you save there is better invested in the more capable Polaroid OneStep Plus.


📌 What is the key difference between the Polaroid Now and OneStep Plus?

Unlike the Polaroid Now, the Polaroid OneStep Plus comes with Bluetooth connectivity. This means the camera works with the companion Polaroid app. Through the mobile program, the OneStep Plus enjoys additional camera functions, including a manual mode.

📌 When it comes to the Polaroid OneStep Plus vs 2, which is better?

The Polaroid OneStep Plus is an upgraded version of the OneStep 2. Like the Now, the OneStep 2 has built-in features only and doesn’t support the mobile app.

📌 Is the neck strap included with the Polaroid Now?

Yes, it is. Out of the box, the Polaroid Now includes a neck strap and USB charging cable.

📌 How long is the warranty on the Polaroid OneStep Plus?

The Polaroid OneStep Plus enjoys a one-year warranty. Its films and accessories, on the other hand, carry a limited warranty only.

Last update on 2021-07-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Mari Bassig

Senior Editor, writer and researcher passionate about gadgets, social media, and music.