The first, best thing I can about this new smartphone is: “It’s about time music sharing was brought back!” Marshall London smartphone is all about music and sharing it. Read below and more to find out why.
_ The last guitar amplifier I had was a Marshall which I used with my Ovation guitar. I wanted to bring it over to the Philippines but decided not to because I knew I’d get ripped off with exorbitant baggage taxes. Shipping was out of the question – I dreaded the idea of mishandling my Marshall amp. So, I left my Marshall in Vancouver, BC (not San Francisco).
“What? Marshall has a smartphone? Why on God’s green earth?”
Yeah, most of my peers said similar remarks. I am sure the young ‘uns would utter something of the same caliber. Okay, the Millennials. And then, there are the serious musicians wondering the same thing.
Well, here’s the thing.
Some hard drive companies went into music industry.
Some computer companies went into music industry.
Some mobile phone companies went into music industry.
So, why not the other way around? A company in the music industry going into the “mobile phone that’s a computer with a hard drive” industry, also known as a smartphone?
_ Introducing the Marshall London smartphone – after 50 years.
LOL! Nah. I meant Marshall Amplification PLC has been in the music business for more than fifty years.
The one main feature Marshall Amps both mentions and photographs that I really like is the Marshall London’s dual stereo jacks. Why? For the Baby Boomers and Gen X guys and gals, do you remember the Sony Walkman? The first versions of the Walkman and copycats all had two stereo jacks. The idea was to share music with someone else as opposed to today’s selfish gadgets a.k.a. no sharing. Bravo! Marshall! It’s high time someone brought back the era of sharing music. And much like the Walkman et al, the Marshall London’s twin stereo jacks each comes with an independent volume control.
Because Marshall Amps is all about the music business, then music features it is that’s jam packed into 4.7-inch 720p Gorilla glass smartphone. Let’s go through some of them:
Not Just One But Two Speakers – Marshall says its two front-facing speakers are the loudest on planet Earth. Oohh!
Scroll Wheel – Yes, there’s a scroll wheel found at the right side of the Marshall London for easy access to controlling the volume. Nice, practical idea!
M-Button – There’s a gold button atop the Marshall London with the “M” logo of Marshall, called the M-Button, which acts as a one-click access to your music. This means you can control your music on top of other things you have on your screen. Intriguing!
Oh, the Sound – Anyone who knows and have used Marshall amps and similar products will immediately assume the Marshall London smartphone isn’t going to cringe on the quality of sound. Well, we’re absolutely right! The London has a soundcard that provides a separate processor for music alone. Having a higher resolution sound means the best MP3 will sound “phenomenally better when played with London. Even FLAC formats can be played with the Marshall London. I want!
Global Equalizer for Music, Not Sound – Instead of just configuring sound features for the mobile phone functions, Marshall London has it the other way around. You select pre-loaded sound profiles or create a custom one based on the music you play. Accessing the Global Equalizer is by the touch of the M-Button. Nice one!
Best Bluetooth Sound Quality with aptX® – Instead of your usual Bluetooth connectivity, Marshall Amps decided to incorporate the aptX technology. This audio codec solves the problem of sending pure audio wirelessly over Bluetooth® by reducing the size of the audio files so they can be squeezed through the wireless pipeline without affecting the sound quality. The result is a full ‘wired’ audio quality. Awesome!
Quality Marshall Headphones Included – The Marshall London smartphone comes with the highly rated Marshall Mode in-ear headphones. Their website even quotes, “You’re welcome.” Nice one! Again!
4-Channel Recorder – This is the known Android app in the music industry, the LoopStack, which allows you to record four tracks independently at a high quality 44KHz 16-bit recording and processing.
Are You a Music DJ – What’s a well-known music industry giant going into the smartphone business if it doesn’t include a good DJ app? Well, have no fear. The Marshall London smartphone comes pre-installed with one.
Two Microphones Instead of One – Spur-of-the-moment recording is something we smartphone users do – all the time! Well, the Marshall London comes not with one but two microphones that reduces noise especially when recording outside – all recorded in glorious stereo.
For the smartphone techies and junkies, here are the other tech specs:
8 MP AF (auto-focus) main camera with flash, 2MP front camera
Removable 2500 mAh Li Ion battery
2GB RAM, 16GB mass storage, Micro SD card slot (128GB+)
Android Lollipop 5.0.2 with customized music applications
Nano-SIM, Micro SD, Micro USB, 2 x 3.5mm audio connectors
ALS, Proximity, Accelerometer, Gyro and E-Compass sensors
2 x AAC speakers (13mm x 18mm) with enhanced volume & bass
2 x MEMS microphones with active noise cancellation
Volume wheel, dedicated “M-button”, PWR button
Multicolor notification light, haptic feedback with vibra
149.4 x 74.7 x 9.8mm dimension, 145 grams
_ It’s not a phone with music features. Rather, it’s a portable music device with phone features. Make sure you understand that because if not, you are going to say all the features suck. There are those like me who live more for the apps that can be used through my phone than all the Siri and call-this-and-that features I’m never, ever going to use. Anybody out there that just like me and is a musician, I doubt you’re going to pass up the chance to get your hands on the London.
If you’re already gung-ho with the Marshall London smartphone, well, you still have to wait. Selling date, pricing and where it is going to be sold first hasn’t been announced (yet). Vaporware, anyone? Well, I don’t think so and at least the photos of the Marshall London in action maybe proves it really exists and is on its way to the consumer’s pants pockets real soon!