Have You Seen Kodak’s Snazzy New Camera Smartphone Yet?

Kodak is a name that many of the older generation grew up with, but it’s not a name you generally associate with smartphones. Photography, yes, but not smartphones. And yet, Kodak has created what could be a unique combination of photography and smartphone technology in the Ektra, a name that was massively successful in the 1940s. Here’s a look at Kodak’s latest creation.

Kodak Ektra smartphone

The Ektra was originally a camera launched in 1941, and the new smartphone looks eerily like an SLR camera – a large lens, a dark leatherette finish, a curved grip on one side and all the nostalgia that you could fit into a smartphone. All of that lends an old-world appeal to this new piece of gadgetry from Kodak.

As for the specs, there’s nothing old-world about that! The Ektra smartphone has a 21 MP Sony sensor behind the lens, a deca-core MediaTek processor, 3 GB RAM, 32 GB internal memory extendable up to 128 GB and a 5-inch 1080p display.

But it’s the Kodak-curated apps that are the real stars of the show. The smartphone was created by Bullitt, a “smartphone maker for hire” that’s been used by companies like JCB and Caterpillar, Inc. (CAT), and features several apps that they and Kodak think are ideal for the camera.

For example, Bullitt has picked Snapseed as the default photo-editing application, and Kodak has curated apps like Prisma and Adobe Lightroom to enhance user experience.

The Ektra smartphone also comes with a pre-loaded app called Prints, which, as the name suggests, lets you order hard copy photo prints and physical photo books.

You might recall that Amazon recently launched a service called Amazon Prints that essentially provides the same type of service. Of course, Kodak doesn’t have the kind of reach that Amazon Prime does, but it’s a useful service to have on your phone nonetheless.

On the whole, Kodak is trying to cash in on its brand recognition factor rather than trying to create a high-end smartphone, but the phone will retail at £449/€499 when it launches this December in Europe. There are no plans for a U.S. release, but a company spokesperson said that they will keep their finger on the pulse of market demand and “react accordingly.”

Smartphones such as the Kodak Ektra fall into a small niche of products that aren’t mainstream, yet some of them are super-expensive and quite appealing.

A Unique and Expensive Privacy-driven Smartphone

Like the Solarin from Sirin Labs, for example. This phone starts at $12,000 – no, that’s not a typo – and comes with a titanium frame, leather back, 24 MP camera and a fingerprint scanner on the power button.

But the best feature is a small switch on the back that sets the phone to privacy mode. Turn that on, and all calls, messages, etc. between that and other Solarin phones will be encrypted and completely private.

Solarin smartphone from Sirin Labs - retail price $12,000

It’s the privacy angle for the rich and famous that this phone is obviously targeting, and as such it is a niche phone. But how big is that niche? Well, from 2002 – when the phone was launched, they’ve sold about 400,000 units. That’s a total sales of $4.8 billion – quite a bit, but not really if you consider the 14-year time-frame.

As for the Kodak Ektra, it’s not that exclusive, and it will hold a lot of appeal for people familiar with the Kodak brand and its superb capabilities in the world of photography. As such, it will be ideal for people whose sole purpose of owning a smartphone is a solid camera.

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