There’s no way Marshall’s first smartphone isn’t an homage to The Clash’s infamous third album, London Calling, but that makes us love it even more. Without warning yesterday, the brand announced their plans to release London, a retro-styled Android phone that will immediately be a hit with diehard music lovers. Looking like the rest of Marshall’s lineup, from amps to headphones, London looks way cooler than any other phone on the market and that alone is enough to set it apart.
London isn’t going to compete with every smartphone on the market, but it doesn’t have to. Aimed towards true music aficionados, the phone has dual front-facing speakers and a scroll wheel that makes turning the volume up to 11 just feel better. The best part? It has two stereo jacks at the top so you and a friend can plug in with separate headphones (which are actually included) and rock out. In case you didn’t know, that’s not common.
Inside the smartphone is a Wolfson WM8281 Audio Hub soundcard, which gives a “separate processor for music, allowing it to play at a higher resolution.” That means London makes even the best MP3 songs sound even better. It will also play uncompressed music, like FLAC files, so nothing is ever lost. If you’re the type who likes to play around with an equalizer to get just the right sound, the gadget allows you to save your preferences as a custom profile and will then apply it to whatever music player you use. You can also just use one of the pre-loaded profiles if you’d rather trust Marshall with the nitty gritty.
London comes with LoopStack, which is an Android app that allows the owner to record four tracks independently, and a DJ app. In terms of the way it looks, the phone is in line with Marshall’s 50-year history with brass detailing and a matte black casing that is easily gripped in your hand.
So far, London ($590, with an expected August 21 delivery) seems to be in a class all its own and that class sounds awesome.