Lovers of music are probably familiar with the name “Marshall” and what it means to people who play music, thanks to its instruments and amps, but would it surprise you to know the same brand is entering the world of smartphones?
Marshall’s “London” is that product, with the result being an Android phone geared at musicians more than anyone else.
That might be a first, with Marshall packing the London with apps and hardware features musicians can appreciate, such as two microphones and a piece of recording software for it, a four-channel recording app “LoopStack” preinstalled for advanced recording and mixing on the go, a global equaliser used for fine tuning the overall sound of the phone, FLAC playback, two speakers, and two headphone ports for sharing music.
The fine tuning aspect is one part of the package we’re particularly keen to play with, and that’s the volume control.
It might sound simple, but on the London smartphone, it will be a manual brass volume dial, allowing you to get the volume you’re going for and not one bar too high or too low.
That dial sounds like it will be a similar design element to what we saw on the Marshall Stanmore speaker we checked out last year, which too offered a manual way of finding the right volume, and was one reason we fell for the speaker, aside for its sound.
Design was also important on that product, as it was on the Marshall Monitor headphones, and it appears to be central to this with the leather-look trim that looks a lot like the amps, though it is plastic.
From a technical side, the specs aren’t too hot, though should provide enough of what people need, with a Qualcomm 1.2GHz Snapdragon 410 processor, 2GB RAM, 16GB storage with a microSD to expand it, Google Android 5.0 “Lollipop”, and a nanoSIM for 4G LTE. This sits under a 4.7 inch 720p display protected by Corning’s scratch-resistance Gorilla Glass 3, and there is a removable battery, too.
They’re not the best specs in the world, and neither is the 8 megapixel rear camera with a 2 megapixel front-facing, but this phone isn’t meant to be like every other phone, with the focus squarely planted on this being a phone for musically-minded individuals.
In fact, there is even a Marshall “M” button, which we’re told should allow a degree of control for whatever music app you’re running at the time, acting like a pause or play controller, or even a quick shortcut to the equaliser.
Pricing in Australia isn’t yet finalised, nor is availability, mind you, but we’re checking with the good people at Marshall in Australia to find out if or when this thing is coming, and for what sort of money you’ll have to shell out if you’re keen to play.
To give you an idea of what you’ll need to pay, however, the cost translated from Swedish Krona is just under $800, so if/when the Marshall London arrives in the down under home of Australia, expect this to hit closer to the $1000 mark. We’ll let you know if it’s worth it when Marshall allows us to put our hands all over it.