Marshall just announced a smartphone, its least rock 'n' roll move ever

An intriguing pairing of mid-range specs and hi-res music playback

Marshall, a company known best for its amplifiers, announced that its getting into the smartphone game. Its first phone, called London, is an Android Lollipop-powered device that is decidedly mid-range in terms of its specs, rocking only a 4.7-inch 720p IPS panel with a Snapdragon 410 SoC.

But Marshall's phone isn't trying to be a major flagship player. Instead, it's much more about providing a unique music playback experience to smartphone users with features that you really can't find anywhere else right now.

The London, which is coated on its back with the company's signature ruggedized leatherette, boasts two stereo headphone jacks. This is perfect for sharing tunes with a friend or outputting to two different speakers. On the side, Marshall implemented a slick, bronzed volume scroll wheel.

It's all about that Wolf, son

Under the hood, Marshall stocked the London with a Wolfson WM8281 sound processor, which will give regular MP3s a hearty boost in sound quality. For some context, some of Apple's older clickwheel iPods were adored for their Wolfson digital to analog converters, but recent portable music players, including smartphones, have relied on comparatively inferior software-based methods to improve sound quality. Pushing out uncompressed FLAC files won't be a problem for Marshall's smartphone.

Marshall London

Image credit: Marshall

While the London can't provide the blistering speeds of today's flagship phones like the iPhone 6 or Samsung Galaxy S6, it looks to have all the chops necessary to power your music like never before on a smartphone. No word yet on a US release, but the Marshall London will make its debut in the UK and across Europe and the Baltic States later this summer for $499 (£399, about AU$672). We'll update this article once we hear more details.

Via Engadget

Lead image credit: Marshall