Designed for Polaroid's 600-series integral film, the 636 Talking Camera has a unique gimmick. Along with a couple of pre-recorded messages, the camera can also be used to record speech (or music) which is played via a loudspeaker just before firing of the shutter. It works in a similar way to a digital answering machine. The sound effects can be switched off completely if desired. The pre-recorded messages apparently vary according to the territory the camera was marketed in, and include American and Spanish versions. The UK version has "Smile, you're on Polaroid!" and "Don't say Cheddar, say CHEESE!" said in a comedy accent.
When the loudspeaker is turned off, this camera functions in much the same way as a standard OneStep 600, with fixed focus and automatic flash. A sliding close-up lens is included, but it tends to make images even softer than usual. Although marketed as a fun camera for taking close-up snapshots at parties and family reunions, picture quality is better when focussing over longer distances out of doors in bright conditions.
This camera was also available with blue trim. The earlier US model Polaroid OneStep Talking Camera was slightly different.