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Marshall Announces London, its First Smartphone

News by Luke Jones on Thursday July 16, 2015.

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Marshall London
Marshall London

Marshall is hardly a name we associate with smartphones, but if we want to shred out a guitar solo the company does provide some of the best amps out there. So, can a legendary music brand make its way in the handset game? Marshall thinks so with London, the company?s first smartphone. As you can probably imagine, the famed brand focused on music technology to differentiate London, relegating the rest of the specs to secondary.

We?ll start with looks as the debate in the office seems to suggest the Marshall London is hit and miss in terms of aesthetic. It looks elegant and if you are a long time musician like me, you will certainly appreciate the classy Marshall logo on the front bezel, or the M emblazoned on the power button. Around the back it is more of a take it or leave it affair, it is clear Marshall tried to replicate the look of an amplifier, but the effect will divide people I imagine.

As the specs are really a secondary part of this handset, I will tackle them first. The London packs a 4.7-inch IPS screen with 720p resolution, Qualcomm's 64-bit baby Snapdragon 410, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, micro SD slot to expand, and a 2500mAh battery. There is also an 8 megapixel rear camera and a 2 megapixel front facing lens, both suggesting photography was not a priority for Marshall. In terms of software, the handset Android Lollipop.

You may have noticed in the image above that the London is a pretty fat smartphone by today's standards, but Marshall has a reason for that girth. The device has a party trick, well two of them in fact, in the form of two ACC stereo speakers (13 mm x 18 mm), with "enhanced volume & bass." Marshall is a giant of audio, so we expect it to be stellar here, and with such goodies as two MEMS mics (with active noise cancellation), a volume wheel (how cool is that?), we expect London will deliver.

In terms of music software, Marshall has equipped Wolfson WM8281 Audio Hub, while there are also two custom music apps, LoopStack and DJapp. On top of that the company has included two 3.5mm stereo audio jacks on the London, meaning you can output stereo sound for two listeners.

An audiophiles wet dream in smartphone form I imagine, but the price is hardly enticing considering the overall specs. Marshall is launching London August 17th for $585, but is softening the blow by giving away a pair of Marshall's Mode in-ear headphones for free (usually retailing for $70 normally).

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About the author

Luke Jones
Luke Jones is the Managing Editor at MobileBurn.com and is the person you need to speak to about the content on the site. Luke studied creative writing at degree level before carving out a reputation as a freelance tech writer. He settled here at MobileBurn, where he reviews devices and contributes to the news, as well as overseeing the site's content and direction.

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