Marshall outs London, a music-centered Android with two audio jacks
Marshall, the maker of world-class amplifiers that most of your favorite bands use while on tour, is gearing up to release its first smartphone, and it will be running Android, of course. The beauty of Google's mobile OS is that everyone can tailor the experience towards their vision of what a smartphone should be, and, since Marshall is in the quality sound business, its first phone is music-oriented.
Called London, Marshall's handset doesn't wow us with sheer specs, so let's get them out of the way first. It sports a 4.7" HD IPS-LCD display, Qualcomm's first 64-bit SoC, the Snapdragon 410 (MSM8916), and 2 GB of RAM, as well as 16 GB of storage plus a microSD slot for expansion. The photo department is covered with an 8 MP rear camera, and a 2 MP front-facer, while all of the above is backed up by a decent capacity 2500 mAh battery. The London phone is relatively chubby for today's standards, at 149.4 x 74.7 x 9.8 mm and 145g, but for a good reason, as here comes the best part.
Marshall's first Android phone is equipped with two ACC stereo speakers (13 mm x 18 mm), with "enhanced volume & bass." We also get two MEMS mics with active noise cancellation, a volume wheel (yes, a wheel!), and a dedicated "M-button." Musical prowess is nothing without control, though, so the sound pros equipped the London with a Wolfson WM8281 Audio Hub for the cleanest, strongest sound possible. The kicker, however, is that Marshall placed two 3.5mm stereo audio jacks on top of the phone, so that you could output two different tunes at once, or listen to stereo sound with someone while watching video on the phone together, for instance.
The Android Lollipop 5.0.2 on the handset comes with custom music apps (of course), like the new DJApp, and LoopStack that lets you record four tracks independently. How much for all that audiophile goodness? The equivalent of $585 when Marshall London lands on August 17th - hey, the London comes with Marshall's Mode in-ear headphones, after all. Any takers?