I’ve got used to press releases now. Usually, if a company is launching a new phone and they’ve no experience in phone making, it’ll be a rebrand of another phone. Take the Bush Spira E3X for example. It’s basically an Archos phone with a different logo on the back.
If I’m brutally honest, I was expecting a fairly “normal looking” slate from Kodak. I was expecting it to be a generic slab which had a shiny Kodak logo on the back.
Well, this definitely isn’t one of those. Meet the Kodak Ektra – a phone which actually shouts, “I’m a camera” pretty loudly, then says, “…and a phone too”.
Around back, a 21 megapixel camera with fast focus and dual-LED flash, an f2.0 aperture and DSLR functionality. Up front, a 13 megapixel f2.2 shooter. Both get optical image stabilisation and autofocus, 4K video capture, Phase Detection Auto Focus (PDAF) and HDR imaging.
The phone uses haptic feedback in a custom camera app to give you easy control of shots. An SLR-style jog-wheel lets you scroll through settings such as Landscape, HDR, Portrait, Macro, Panorama, Bokeh, Sport and Night-time. A manual mode let’s you tweak around with shutter speed, exposure, ISO, focus and white balance. As you go through these you’ll see the results instantly on the preview screen. For the less brave there’s a “Smart Auto” mode which will do a lot of the heavy-lifting for you.
The proof in the pudding will be shown when we actually get to borrow one of these, but Kodak tell me that there’s tech inside to ensure that photographs look as good as they can be. Low-light and night shots seem to have been high on the priorities list, with something called “ARCSOFT Night Shot Technology” working with specially-certified Kodak lens coating wizardry to ensure that more light hits the sensor.
Kodak also tell us that…
(The Ektra will) reduce ISO noise, brightening underexposed areas and stabilising blur from slow shutter speeds. Dynamic Focus and Object Tracking give additional control over the camera focus while crisp, clear images are guaranteed through automatic Image Noise Reduction features, reducing the need for extensive post-editing.
Here’s some examples that Kodak sent us from the Ektra camera. Click each thumbnail to see the full shot..
Cost? Well, it’s going to be £449 and will be in shops around Europe from December. Kodak have also brought back the dual-press dedicated shutter button and there’s even more traditional tones within the phone via a “Super 8 app” which lets you add a stack of professional features. There’s also editing software from SNAPSEED with the ability to print off your creations and share them out.
As for specs, it’s powered by a HELIO X20 Decacore processor ….. woaha there. Just wait right there. That’s 10 CORES (get the full geek-fest info on the CPU here). The specs-sheet says 2x Cortex-A72 @ 2.1GHz ~ 2.3GHz, 4x Cortex-A53 @ 1.85GHz and 4x Cortex-A53 @ 1.4GHz. Woaha. I say again. Woaha. This sounds very promising indeed. Very promising.
It’s also got 3GB of RAM, a 5″ 1080p screen, 32GB of on-board storage, a microSD slot and will run Android 6.0 (Marshmallow). It’s got a 3000mAh battery and USB Type C charger.
Full specs as follows…
You can register for updates on www.kodakphones.com. Further info below…
KODAK EKTRA Smartphone is Designed for Photographers – from Enthusiasts to Experts
Photography-led smartphone features powerful imaging and editing capabilities
October 20th 2016 – Eastman Kodak Company and Bullitt Group today unveiled the KODAK EKTRA Smartphone, a photography-led smartphone designed for those with a passion for photography, from enthusiasts to experts. The KODAK EKTRA Smartphone fuses the best of Kodak’s rich history in imaging with the latest innovations in smartphone photography. Launching soon across Europe, the KODAK EKTRA Smartphone lets keen photographers capture exceptional images, whatever the environment, with an incredibly fast smartphone, tuned for the best in image quality and media management.
Jeff Clarke, Kodak Chief Executive, said: “Kodak has a rich history in imaging technology and the launch of the KODAK Smartphone today demonstrates our ongoing commitment to bringing the latest advances in photography to consumers. The original KODAK EKTRA Camera was launched in 1941 and in its latest reincarnation, opens up a world of creative opportunities to all who care about photography.”
At the heart of the KODAK EKTRA Smartphone is a 21-megapixel fast focus camera sensor with f2.0 aperture, and an industry leading 13-megapixel front-facing camera with Phase Detection Auto Focus PDAF and f2.2 aperture. The custom built camera app is controlled by an intuitive haptic touch, SLR-style Scene Selection Dial, where adjustments are made in real time via a range of settings including HDR, Landscape, Portrait, Macro, Sport, Night-time, Panorama and Bokeh, alongside a Smart Auto mode which auto-selects the best conditions for your photographs. In Manual mode, more advanced users can adjust exposure, ISO, focus, white balance and shutter speed, with the results being visible on the screen as changes are made.
The camera blends high quality low light and night-time photography, utilising ARCSOFT Night Shot technology combined with a Kodak certified lens coating enabling even more light to reach the sensor, as well as reducing ISO noise, brightening underexposed areas and stabilising blur from slow shutter speeds. Dynamic Focus and Object Tracking give additional control over the camera focus while crisp, clear images are guaranteed through automatic Image Noise Reduction features, reducing the need for extensive post-editing.
The KODAK EKTRA Smartphone has an ergonomically weighted and high quality industrial design, underlining its camera styling and featuring a dedicated dual press shutter button in the horizontal style of traditional cameras. The device also features a Super 8 app, providing professional effects reminiscent of Kodak’s iconic Super 8 film stocks. A lightning-fast HELIO X20 Decacore processor powers the ANDROID Marshmallow smartphone.
The KODAK EKTRA Smartphone includes editing software from SNAPSEED, providing exceptional tools to edit images on-the-go, without having to download any additional apps. This enables users to transform images with professional results similar to many popular desktop image editors. Sharing the results in real time is also easy with integrated social media apps and the Prints app is a simple way to select your best shots to be professionally printed.
“It has been a joy to work with Kodak, their clear brand direction and photography knowledge, combined with our customer and technology insight has culminated in the beautiful and powerful KODAK EKTRA Smartphone,” said Peter Stephens, CEO Bullitt Group, mobile device licensee for Kodak. “We are excited to reach out to this dynamic and engaged photography category and look forward to getting this camera phone into people’s hands.”
KODAK EKTRA Smartphone key features:
o ANDROID 6.0 (Marshmallow)
o Professional results from a 21MP fast focus camera sensor with F2.0, PDAF, OIS, Dual LED Flash
o 13MP phase detection auto focus front-facing camera with F2.2 PDAF
o Helio X20 2.3GHz Decacore processor with 3GB RAM
o 32GB memory, expandable with MicroSD cards
o Advanced Manual Mode – adjustable on Exposure, ISO, Focal Length (Manual/Auto), White Balance, Shutter Speed, Aperture (fixed f2.0 main camera)
o Familiar scene selection dial experience – includes scene modes Smart Auto, Portrait, Manual, Sports, Bokeh, Night-time, HDR, Panorama, Macro, Landscape, Film / Video
o Integrated high quality printing app
o Super 8 Video Recorder
o Integrated social media sharing
o 3000mAh, with USB 3.0 Type C fast charger
The KODAK EKTRA Smartphone will be priced at £449 and available across Europe later this year. To find out more visit;www.kodak.com
Register for updates on www.kodakphones.com