Review: Polarr is a Flexible Photo Editor for Many Platforms

polarr review

Polarr is a photo-editing app for many different platforms and operating systems that packs a punch. It has a lot of features for people to edit photos and create and share styles.

Editing With Polarr

It’s kind of funny. When the Polarr team reached out and asked for a review, I thought, “Oh yeah I remember you.” I actually first used the app in 2015, when I had a Chromebook. At the time, Polarr was one of the only photo editors available for Chrome OS. I ended up writing a review of it here (Yes, I did actually write for an Android site once). Since then, I have moved on to different apps and don’t use Polarr anymore. But that’s not a reflection of its capabilities, I still think it’s a good app. I’m just a VSCO boy now.


I don’t want to spend a lot of time talking about the editing features because they’re typical of most photo editors nowadays. Controlling exposure, contrast, highlights, shadows, RAW files, color, and more are all there. You can import LUTs, add overlays and textures, etc.

Polarr’s main feature is called Polarr Styles. Anyone can create their own Style and share it with others through a QR code. There’s a section within the app called Discover where you can easily try Styles from other creators. A Polarr Style isn’t just a simple filter for color, contrast, or exposure. You can include overlays, face adjustments, and more in a Style. Included effects for Polarr Style:

  • Selective AI objects: Sky, Person, Background, Vegetation, Building, Ground, Animal, etc
  • Selective masks: Brush, Radial, Gradient, Color, Luminance
  • Overlays: Gradient, Duotone, Weather, Texture, Backdrops, Custom Overlay, etc
  • Retouch: Skin, Liquify, Face shapes (mouth, teeth, nose, chin, etc)
  • Global adjustments: Light, Color, HSL, Toning, Effects, Fringing, Details, Curves, Vignette, Grain, LUT
  • Productivity: Batch photo exports, Face detection, A.I. object segmentation

I’ve created a few Styles for testing but the one I used the most emulates the photographic style I tend to use in my photography. I prefer low key styles, either in color or black and white. You can find the Style I created here. To import it inside the Polarr app, tap on the plus (+) button in the upper-right display. Choose Import QR Code or Scan QR Code.┬áTo create a Style to share you’ll need a Polarr account. You can create an account with email or Sign In with Apple.

andrew orr polarr style
“Custom Style.” I forgot to name it

The app is free, and an optional subscription unlocks all premium Polarr Styles as well as video editing. It costs US$3.99/month or US$19.99/year.

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