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Marshall London unboxing and first impressions
A few days ago during the IFA 2015 show in Berlin, we got our first look at a very interesting smartphone, the Marshall London. A smartphone made by a speaker and audio company is certainly very intriguing, and we couldn’t wait to get our hands on a review unit. I’ve received mine, but before diving into a full, comprehensive review, here is a quick look at the unboxing, as we give you our first impressions about the Marshall London!
The device is in plain view on the box, with the front and back views of it on the front face and side of the box. Just from these images, you can see that the smartphone features a leather backing, the same material choice that Marshall favors with a lot of their amps and speakers. Opening the box reveals a guitar pick, one of Marshall’s icons, and and opening that cover reveals the phone itself, but not in the way you’d see with most unboxings. Instead the device is also covered, with the wrapping featuring Marshall’s motto, “Long Live Rock ‘N’ Roll.”
Under the phone is the battery, and given its replaceable nature, you should technically be able to pick up spares to help with their battery life needs, but these batteries may not be the easiest to find. The battery also features the Marshall motto on it, which is a nice touch. Available in the box is a pair of high quality Marshall headphones, which come with in-built controls to control the music and the volume. Finally, the USB cable that is included also features a unique design, with it being made with a fabric outer material instead of the usual plastic, and coming with a ridged design at the two ends of the cable.
With the big focus on audio, the device otherwise features decidedly mid-range specifications. Going through some of the features of the user interface, you get a pretty standard version of Android 5.0.2 Lollipop, with signature Marshall elements, as seen with the clock. Up top is the Marshall button, pressing which opens up the music player. What is great here is that Marshall has integrated a number of different streaming audio players like SoundCloud, Spotify, and MixCloud already, but you can obviously also easily access your locally-stored music as well.
As mentioned, this is a somewhat vanilla version of Android, with a lot of Material Design elements of Lollipop making their way over to this software experience, with of course, a few extra features built in. The volume roller, which is the best way to describe this unique implementation, on the right side, can also be pressed, and functions as a shortcut to the camera.
Speaking of the camera, the Marshall London comes with a 8 MP primary camera and a 2 MP front-facing unit. Up front is 4.7-inch display with a 720p resolution, and under the hood is a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor. The processing package leans towards the lower end of things, and there has already been some instances of slow down when trying to install applications, but nothing beyond what is expected from a lower-spec’d processor.
The Marshall London features a Cirrus Logic sound card, previous known as Wolfson, for audio processing. You will be able to get Hi-Fi audio, and everything from flac files to lossless audio as well. A double tap of the button up top also opens up the equalizer, to let you change the settings to adjust the sound to exactly what you want it to be like. To take advantage of everything, you also have a dual headphone jack setup, that flank the Marshall button at the top. You can check out a sample of how great the audio sounds with the dual front-facing speakers in the video above.
Undoubtedly, one of my favorite parts about the Marshall London is its look, and you don’t usually get a phone that is designed the way this one is, with Marshall’s amp design over on the side, along with all the features underneath. The volume rocker, or roller, implementation is also very different, and a lot of fun to use, giving the feel of an analog control over the volume, even though this is of course, a fully digital device.
For all those wondering whether this device is just another re-branded smartphone, that is actually not the case at all. We were told at IFA that the Marshall London was designed from the ground up in Sweden, and then manufactured for sale in England and across other parts of Europe. The Marshall London will not be officially making its way over to the US, which is a shame, as there are quite a lot of fans of Marshall products in the west, and this phone might be exactly what they are looking for.
So there you have it for this quick look at the unboxing of the Marshall London! Stay tuned with Android Authority for the upcoming comprehensive review of this smartphone, as well as more great content from the world of Android.