In a week in which Google has stolen some of the smugness from Apple’s face with the critically-acclaimed Pixel smartphone, Kodak has released one of its own that was specifically designed for photographers. It’s called the Kodak Ektra, and it’s just made its public debut in the UK and Europe for a price of £449 ($550.)
Kodak hopes the Ektra, named after its 1941 rangefinder (and the ’70s 110 film camera range), will attract photo enthusiasts. It certainly looks like a camera. It’s wrapped in a dark, artificial “leatherette,” with a curved grip on one side. At the back there’s a large, protruding lens, under which lies a 21MP Sony sensor. When you hold the phone horizontally, there is even a proper, physical “shutter” button with the Kodak “K” engraved on it.
KODAK EKTRA key features:
– 21MP fast focus camera sensor with F2.0, PDAF, OIS, Dual LED Flash
– 13MP phase detection auto focus front-facing camera with F2.2 PDAF
– Helio X20 2.3GHz Decacore processor with 3GB RAM
– 32GB memory, expandable with MicroSD cards
– 3000mAh, with USB 3.0 Type C fast charger
– ANDROID 6.0 (Marshmallow)
Inside, the device runs Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) and comes with a Helio X20 2.3GHz deca-core processor with 3GB RAM. There’s just 32GB of memory as standard, which may prove to be too small for people taking a lot of photographs, but it can be expanded using microSD cards. You’ll get professional results from the 21MP fast focus camera with dual LED flash, but it remains to be seen how they’ll stack up compared to pictures taken on the iPhone and Pixel. That being said, the advanced manual mode — which includes exposure, ISO, focal length (manual/auto), white balance, shutter speed and aperture — is something iPhone photographers have been crying out for.
Interestingly, the phone isn’t actually made by Kodak, but a UK-based company called the Bullitt Group, which has licensed the brand since its financial troubles in 2012. Bullitt was co-founded by ex-Motorola execs and staffed with ex-employees of once huge, now disappeared, European handset makers. You could say it’s a place for all that wasted talent to now call home, or you could say it’s a graveyard of failure — with ghosts prowling around, refusing to stop making phones that nobody really wants or needs.
Head over to the Kodak website for more details.