17 December 2017

REVIEW: Kurio Snap


Kids and camera, eh? If you've bought your young 'uns a camera in the past you might have noticed that it either a: gets trashed after two days from being repeatedly dropped, or b: gets abandoned after a week because the kids are bored of taking pictures of the dog asleep. Because a camera is, after all, a grown-up tool... until now. Checking out the new Kurio Snap, the camera and selfie cam designed for kids, we get snap happy.

The first thing you notice about the Kurio Snap is the thick rubbery bumper running around the outside edge. In the hand it feels tough and sturdy; like it could survive heavy use by a dropsy child. Next, you notice the 4.3 inch touch screen, and then the camera lens itself, which can fully rotate, facing both towards and away from the user.

The point of it is that the same lens can be used to take photos in a conventional manner, using the screen as a viewfinder, and also for selfies, where fun things like frames and on-screen props can be added - all from a device that is charged via USB, thank goodness. No scrambling for batteries on Christmas morning. That USB port can also be used to hook up the Kurio Snap to a printer so kids can make hard copies of their shots, but it does also feature WiFi so parents can connect their smartphones to it (via the Kurio app) and download images, too.

However, this is more than a glorified kids camera; the software inside also does a lot to make this fun. For example, once photos have been taken, they can be edited and drawn over, letting kids save their work as a new file. They can also add effects and styles to the images, as well as photobooth-type props and objects. Its all very fun.

Kids can also take images that appear like Instagram's Boomerang photos: short gifs that play in a loop. Again, lots of fun, and something that kids will be used to seeing on social media themselves. Videos can be captured, which is great, but it was here we started to get somewhat disappointed with the Kurio Snap's camera. For photos in bright sunlight, or in well-lit rooms, the 3MP sensor worked okay. In the dark, at night, and when capturing video... not so much.

To be honest, we're saying that from the point of view of adults who, as you might imagine, spend a lot of time around the latest smartphones and cameras. Our kids really didn't mind all that much, and in fact several of them thought it was great, especially after a couple of years with another tablet-y camera, the VTech InnoTab S3 which had a decidedly pedestrian camera by comparison. Still, Kurio... at least 5MP would've been nice.

Mind you, there is a lot more to the Kurio Snap than a simple camera, as it boasts other tablet-like features, too. There is a Micro SD card port and a music app built-in, so kids (or you) can load up a tonne of mp3 files and use the headphone port to listen to them. There are also three games to play, using the touch screen, which let kids upload a picture of themselves so they can be the main character. It all loads very fast and easily, and as there is WiFi and it is an open-ended system, we assume there will be updates further along the road.

So, at the end of the day, the Kurio Snap is quite an impressive device, dropping in at a very acceptable price. For snap-happy kids it is perfect, especially for those who have a tendency to drop their gadgets. However, thanks to the games, the mp3 player, and the editing programme, pretty much any child will find this fun.


Available from www.amazon.co.uk 

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