Marshall Amplification Emphasizes Music with New London Smartphone

The legendary amp maker enters the smartphone field with a device geared for music lovers.
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By Christopher Scapelliti

Marshall Amplification revolutionized rock and roll in the Sixties with its powerful amplifiers. Now it wants to reshape the smartphone industry by putting an emphasis on music and high-fidelity audio.

In a move that surprised pretty much everyone, the company has just revealed its first smartphone. Called the Marshall London, the $499 Android device features two headphone sockets (each with its own volume control), a scroll wheel that lets user move quickly through playlists, and a dedicated “M” (for “music”) button at the top of the handset to launch the user’s tune player of choice.

The London’s clear and powerful sound comes courtesy of a hi-fidelity audio card, two forward-facing speakers and enhanced bass technology.

And because music is at the forefront of the London’s raison d’être, it has a global equalizer that allows users to adjust the tone across all of the phone’s apps. Marshall also bundles in a set of Marshall Mode in-ear headphones.

“We always aim to go big” says Konrad Bergstrom of Zound Industries, owner of the Marshall brand, which just introduced its handwired Astoria range of amps at Summer NAMM 2015. “There was no smartphone on the market putting music on the main stage, so we created it.”

With its black-and-gold livery and tolex-textured back, the London looks every bit a Marshall product. The matte surface feels similar to Marshall’s amp coverings and offers a firm grip.

The phone runs on Android 5.0.2 and has a 4.7-inch 720P screen, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage and an eight-megapixel camera. The battery, while not especially big, is removable, and the phone boasts a microSD card slot for extra storage.

The London has an expected delivery date of August 21.

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