Kodak is hoping this new camera-led Ektra smartphone will revolutionise its business, with the company seeking relevance again in a photo-dominated digital landscape.
Kodak’s highs (historical) and lows (contemporary) have made the company a fascinating business to study, with a new chapter about to be written.
From photography behemoth to technology afterthought, the company’s unwillingness to embrace digital at a time when it commanded a huge chunk of the photography industry was its costliest oversight. The company was brought to its knees long before Instagram, iPhones and selfies with presidential candidates emerged.
Its initial response, far too late, saw Kodak trawl through the various patents it accrued over the decades, seeking ways to monetise something new.
As the years went by, digital cameras were incorporated into smartphones, apps made photography everybody’s easiest pastime and Kodak, looking on from afar, finally got with the times.
In 2015, it released the IM5: an Android device that was as much the company dipping its toe in the water as anything else. Now, it claims the Ektra – named after a 1940s camera it designed – is a game changer.
Released solely in Europe sometime before Christmas, Ektra sports 3GB of RAM on a deca-core MediaTek Helio X20 processor.
32GB of internal storage can be supplemented with a MicroSD slot, a necessity for those looking to use the phone for what its primary purpose will be: images. Add to that a cool exterior and nice line of covers and this is an appealing device to investigate.
The 5in 1080p display should look good and, operating on Marshmallow, its Android interface also holds a selection of Kodak’s own apps.
Users can film in 4K, with a 21MP f2.0 main camera, 13MP front-facing camera, phase detection auto focus and HDR imaging, as well as optical image stabilisation and auto focus.
Its price point will be around €500 and, according to Engadget, a US release will only happen if market demand dictates so.