Marshall London Smartphone Price, Specs, Actual Unit : Previewed in the Philippines

Last night, I did something thrilling and unforgettable.

I played with the much-talked-about Marshall London Android smartphone.

Marshall London
I'm a big Marshall fan so this - the whole experience - is precious to me.

This stellar music-centric handset has just been announced in the United Kingdom and I was so lucky to have been given the chance to hold it and try it out -- months before its official global launch.

Jens Henriksen, Marshall London

I also met Mr. Jens Henriksen, Global Sales Head of Marshall, who's a rocker himself, living the legendary 'Marshall lifestyle'.

Jens Henriksen, Marshall London, Mark Macanas, Charles Paw
With Sir Jens and Mr. Charles Paw, CEO of Digits Trading Corporation

Jens Henriksen, Marshall London

Mr. Henriksen is currently in the Philippines to strengthen ties with Digits Trading Corporation - the official distributor of Marshall speakers and headphones in the Philippines. And while he's here, as per Sir Charle's idea and recommendation, Sir Jens took the opportunity to meet tech bloggers and members of the media to show us his smartphone, a prototype unit of Marshall London.

Marshall London

Representing a new chapter in Marshall's storied tale of Rock N' Roll, London is the company's first ever device under this product category. Running Android operating system and flaunting a 4.7-inch HD IPS display, this handset - according to Marshall - 'might just be the loudest mobile phone on Earth. With two front-facing speakers, you can enjoy your music without the use of headphones. Perfect for those impromptu get-togethers. It’s also pretty handy when you need to make a group phone call.'

That's cool and all -- but the phone has so much more to offer. After all, it's not just your regular Android smartphone; Marshall London is crafted by a mythical company known for making some of the best speakers and headphones in the world.

Marshall London

"Sir, what kind of consumer do you think would be most attracted to a phone like this?" I asked Mr. Henriksen.

He answered, "To be honest, sound industry is a collective. We really do everything together. We don't want to exclude anyone. We want to include everyone. [...] Everyone [who feels] that they like music, that music is an important part of their life, they should be attracted by this phone."

Marshall London

While it's not particularly a beast in terms of technical specifications (as it is merely powered by a Quad Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916 chipset and only has 2 GB of RAM, putting it in the mid-level echelon in terms of power), Marshall London is unquestionably a world-leader when it comes to music playback.

Quoting the company, "Marshall London packs a lot of heat under the hood. Take for example the Cirrus Logic WM8281 Audio Hub. This smart codec gives the London a separate processor for music, allowing it to play at a higher resolution. Higher resolution means that even the best quality MP3 will sound phenomenally better when played with London. Additionally it lets you play uncompressed music such as FLAC format. This cannot be emphasized enough; the London is boss!"

Marshall London

As for its looks, London flaunts design elements that are undeniably 'Marshall'; It has a rugged side frame, a removable plastic back plate with rough, faux leather finish, and gold metallic accents. It has a real, palpable Rock N' Roll vibe -- just like all other Marshall products.

Marshall London

Though, one should note that most - if not all - of the phone's design elements have clear functionality. For instance, instead of a regular rocker or a couple of buttons, London has this golden scroll wheel on its right panel. "This gives you quick access to volume control," Marshall shares. "Its tactile precision allows you to find that sweet spot of sonic goodness." All while adding character to the piece.

Marshall London

Likewise, the gold M button on the top-panel is a dedicated one-click access to your music, whatever the source of it may be. View your music player with just one click! Control your music on top of whatever else you happen to have on your screen.

The M button is framed by two 3.5mm audio jacks with gold trim. According to Marshall, "[This allows] you and a friend to plug in and share your music or watch a video together. Each sound source has independent volume control, so you’re free to kick out the jams while your friend keeps things mellow yellow."

Marshall London

The prototype unit that Mr. Henriksen showed us runs Android 5.0.1 Lollipop operating system. The interface is near-vanilla but it features customized music applications by Marshall, including the Global Equalizer. Depending on your musical taste and preferences, you can pick one of the pre-loaded profiles or adjust the sound to your liking and save it as a custom profile. This app will apply your selected profile to whichever music player you use.

"We developed this app. It is exclusive to Marshall smartphones," Sir Jens told me.

Marshall London Battery
Is Marshall London right for you? Well, if music is an essential part of your life and you consider yourself a 'rocker' (whether outright or 'deep inside'), I think you should definitely include this smartphone in your list of 'dream gadgets'. Also, if you're very particular about sound quality and clarity of instrumentation when listening to music and you want to get just that on your daily driver, this phone is for you.

How much will it be and when exactly will land here in the Philippines? Sir Jens said that Marshall London will don an SRP of around $500 USD when it becomes available in a number of key territories - including the Philippines - early next year. Off hand, the TechPinas Guesstimate for the smartphone's price in the Philippines is in the range of Php 23,000 to Php 25,000.

TechPinas Smartphone Technical Specs Table (TSTST)
Name Marshall London
Type Slate Form Factor (Full Touchscreen)
Price Category Midrange
Dimensions149.4 x 74.7 x 9.8 mm
Weight 145 grams
Available Colors Black
Operating System Android 5.0.2 with pre-installed Marshall Audio Apps
Display 4.7 inches, 1280 x 720 pixels, IPS, capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors, Gorilla Glass 3, oleophobic coating
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916 chipset with Wolfson WM8281 Audio Hub
Internal Storage 16 GB, expandable via microSD card slot, supporting up to 128 GB
Camera Main: 8 MegaPixels, autofocus, LED flash
Front: 2 MegaPixels
Video Capture Full HD 1080p 30 frames per second for main camera, HD for front camera (TBC)
Audio and Video Playback MP3, WAV, eAAC+, FLAC, MP4, H.264
Ports microUSB v2.0, Dual Stereo Headphone and Dual 3.5mm Input Jacks
Connectivity Wi-Fi a/b/g/n 2.4 GHz / 5 Ghz, Bluetooth 4.1 with BLE and aptX
GPS Yes, with GLONASS and A-GPS
FM Radio Yes
Sensors ALS, Proximity, Accelerometer, Gyro, and E-compass
Network GSM / 3G / 4G LTE
SIM Card Type Nano-SIM
Battery Removable 2500 mAh Li-Ion
Uptime TBD
Value-Added Features 2 x speakers (13 mm x 18 mm) with enhanced volume and bass
2 x MEMS with active noise cancellation
Marshall Mode in-ear headphones included in the package
Announcement Philippines, Media Preview ~ July 24, 2015
Availability 2016
Price Marshall Guesstimate: $500
TP Guesstimate: Php 23,000 to 25,000

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