Designed for Polaroid's 600-series integral film, the Impulse models are similar in body design to the OneStep or Pronto! models released for SX-70 film in that they feature a non-folding plastic body, single-element plastic lens and fixed focus.
The basic Impulse model as shown here is usually found in a dark gray colour, but there were a variety of different colours of Impulse released including yellow, red and light gray. Some autofocus models were also made which were designated as Impulse AF and feature higher quality 3-element lenses. The body is a hard-wearing plastic, and features rubber grips around the rear, a tripod-socket, flash-ready light and film counter. The flash is raised by pressing down onto the top of the unit; this also turns the camera on and retracts the lens cover.
Features common to all Impulse fixed-focus models are:
- Single element plastic lens with fixed aperture (116mm, f9)
- 1.2 m (4 ft) minimum focus distance.
- Exposure compensation controls below lens.
- Flash fires for every shot; cannot be user controlled.
The Impulse Portrait model adds a simple plastic "close-up" lens for focussing between 0.6 and 1.2 meters (2 to 4 feet), but it lacks sharpness. The yellow-bodied model also features a warning sticker reminding users that, despite its colour scheme, it is not waterproof.