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Marshall London hands-on: a smartphone for music fans

Could a smartphone from an audio company prove compelling? We try to find out with the Marshall London.
By
September 3, 2015

We’re here at IFA 20115 and couldn’t help but take notice the Marshall London, a new smartphone made for audiophiles and music lovers alike. While the phone was first announced back in July and formally launched a few weeks ago, we had the opportunity to try the phone out for ourselves. You may not have this phone on your radar, but maybe you should, as the phone certainly manages to stand out in a few key ways.

In terms of design, we are looking at a very neatly build handset. It has an elegant leather back that is very reminiscent of other Marshall products (which include amplifiers, speakers, etc.). I happen to be a fan. And though it may have some mid-range specs, it does have a removable battery and microSD card slot, which is something that is becoming less common on the mid-range and flagship level.

marshall london ifa aa (5 of 18)

There’s an 8 MP camera on the rear, as well as a 2 MP front shooter. That’s all extra talk, though. What you will really care about is the sound features this phone will provide. The Marshall London comes with dual front-facing speakers, as well as a couple of 3.5 mm headset jacks, making it simple to share your music with others. By the way, I had never seen a device touting that last feature.

What really called my attention are the extra buttons on the device. The volume rocker is actually a wheel, and there is an extra golden clicker up top that gives you quick access to all your music applications. These are both very functional and aesthetically pleasing.

The phone feels great and looks amazing. Its size also makes it a very comfortable handset at 4.7 inches (720p display), but the real focus is on music. This is why the Qualcomm Snapdragon processor is supported by a dedicated sound card by Cirrus Logic. Sadly, we can’t really showcase this phone’s sound capabilities in this video, as we were in a very loud room. But trust us, the sound is outstanding.

There’s also some software optimizations that will expand your music possibilities. Press the physical button on the top and the phone will take you to Marshall’s music central. From there, you can select local music or streaming services. Users will also be able to do some recording and manipulate the equalizer, as well as selecting different volume levels per output. Of course, there’s also a news app that will keep you informed on the world of music.

 

I personally like the idea of this phone and its musical focus. I would certainly like to give it a try and show you guys more about a phone that most of you would probably never would have considered. It’s not available in America just yet, but Marshall is hoping it will be soon enough. It’s available in Europe, and especially in the UK, where you can have it for $499/£399.

Would you consider getting a phone with an emphasis on music and sound? Let us know in the comments below and keep it tuned to Android Authority for all things Android and IFA 2015.