Audio gear manufacturer Marshall in July stunned the technology world with the surprise release of a new smartphone, which it has dubbed the Marshall London.
According to the company, the new device, running on the Android operating system, puts music first. Though it isn’t quite up to spec in terms of stats, a number of features show that the phone is aimed squarely at audiophiles. For a start, in a reference to its rock ‘n’ roll roots, Marshall claims that the London might 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.
Of course, many high-end smartphones offer front-facing speakers, but Marshall says that the London can also offer “crystal-clear” playback of lossless FLAC files—a file format best-suited for high-definition audio, and one that flummoxes most mobile devices. The smartphone also features two stereo jacks on top, allowing two users to share music simultaneously and at different 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.
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 are hardly iphone-beating, but you can forgive the London on the technology front on account of its great looks.