Audio gear manufacturer Marshall enters smartphone arena with the London
Mid-range device makes up for lack of power with focus on high-fidelity sound
Marshall, a manufacturer of guitar amplifiers and headphones, last week stunned the technology world with the surprise release of a new smartphone, the Marshall London.
The Android-powered device is said to put music first, and is aimed at audiophiles more than technology fans. Marshall claims that the London might just be the loudest phone on Earth, thanks to a pair of front-facing speakers using enhanced bass technology and a dedicated Hi-Fi-grade soundcard.
That's relatively par for the course with high-end smartphones, but Marshall said that the London can offer "crystal-clear" playback of lossless FLAC files - a file format best-suited for high-definition audio. The device also features two stereo jacks on top, allowing two users to share music simultaneously and at different music levels.
Meanwhile, a global wide equaliser allows the user to personalise music without having to adjust the sound on each different music app. There's also a ‘M' button, which provides quick access to all of the device's music players, including the London's pre-installed player which supports pretty much every file format.
As a music listening device, then, the London seems like it's got its house in order. But Marshall has also done rather well in terms of the styling of the device. There are brass details and buttons - harking back to the vendor's other gear - as well as an analogue scroll wheel, which offers more precise volume control. There's a faux-leather back cover, but other than that, it looks like a high-end device - not bad for something that will retail at $499 when it launches later this year.
In terms of the technology under the pretty face, the London has a 2,500 mAh removable battery, 16 GB of internal storage, and a MicroSD slot for extra storage. The screen is a 4.7-inch, 720p display, and there's 2 GB of RAM and a Snapdragon 410 processor, which provides LTE connectivity. These stats won't set the world alight, but they're not bad, either.
Marshall said that the device will initially be available in 22 countries worldwide, with deliveries starting in August, depending on the region. There's no word yet on whether the London will be available in the Middle East, but there's always hope that a local distributor might take enough interest in it to get shipments rolling over here.