The new Kodak Ektra is a smartphone that looks a bit like a classic rangefinder camera

If you know anything about cameras, then you're probably well aware of the brand recognition that Kodak used to enjoy among photography enthusiasts. As the company's film business was made obsolete by the shift to digital photography, however, Kodak is now struggling to remain relevant. One way that the company hoped to achieve its return to its former glory is by launching photography-centric smartphones. Kodak's first attempt, the IM5, was far from the success that the company wished it to be. As such, many will be approaching the all new Kodak Ektra with a healthy dose of skepticism. But let's see if that's warranted, shall we?

Named after the company's iconic rangefinder from back in the mid-twentieth century, the Kodak Ektra looks a lot like a digital camera if you just happen to glimpse at it while it's laying face-down on a table. The large protruding lens is the first indication of a photo-centric smartphone. Then there's the fake dark leatherette on the back, one that's reminiscent of pocket cameras of old. Other hints that speak to the fact that the Kodak Ektra is a smartphone aimed at the photography crowd are the curved grip on one of the sides as well as the metallic dedicated shutter button on top.

But what about the camera itself? Underneath the large lens, there's actually a 21MP sensor manufactured by Sony. Given the large resolution of the sensor, the Kodak Ektra should churn out pics with plenty of detail. The lens has an f2.0 aperture and also comes with optical image stabilization. For nighttime photography, the primary camera is also equipped with a dual-LED flash and Arcsoft night shot technology. Unfortunately, we cannot comment on the picture quality as we've yet to test drive the Kodak Ektra for ourselves. Oh, and since this is the selfie era, after all, the Ektra also comes with a high-resolution 13MP front-facing camera.

On the software side, the default camera app comes with a digital 'Scene Selection Dial' that should cater to photography enthusiasts. A variety of shooting modes can be accessed through this dial, such as Manual, Landscape, Sports, and Macro. 



The Kodak Ektra also comes with a range of mobile photo-editing apps pre-loaded. Snapseed is set as the default one out of the box, but also preloaded are heavy-hitters such as Adobe Lightroom, VSCO, and the insanely popular Prisma.

Ok, now that we know about the camera hardware and software, it's time to move on the hardware. The chipset of choice is the deca-core MediaTek Helio X20. Other specs include 3GB of RAM, 32GB of expandable internal storage, as well as 3000mAh battery. The display is a 5-inch panel running at 1080 by 1920 pixels; this is small enough to allow for a pocketable form factor but also crisp enough by modern standards.



The Kodak Ektra runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow out of the box. Sadly, there's no word on a potential update to Android 7.0 Nougat. Bullitt, the company that actually manufactures the smartphone says that it will consistently launch Android security updates, so at least there's that.

The Kodak Ektra will launch in December at a price of £449/€499. Unfortuantely, the Ektra will only be available in markets around Europe. If you're from the US, however, and the Ektra seems like the perfect phone for you, there's a glimmer of hope: speaking to Engadget, a company spokesperson said that Kodak is monitoring market demand and will react accordingly.

What do you guys think of how the Kodak Ektra is shaping up?

source: Kodak

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