If you don’t mind paying a flagship retail price for a low-end smartphone with premium design, then you might want to take a closer look at Marshall’s newest device. It’s called the Marshall London and it has an attitude that we rarely see in smartphones. Visually, it’s stunning, but the device houses low-end hardware, which may be a deal breaker to some.
The Marshall London costs $600 and it isn’t available in the US, yet. It’s available for purchase in a few European markets such as England, Germany and France. Chile, Argentina and Brazil are next in line.
The Marshall London is being built by Swedish-based manufacturer Zound Industries. You can purchase the smartphone from the official Marshall Headphones website. Check our Marshall London Review for more info.
Marshall London Review
It looks like something straight out of a classic rock dream. In a good way though. It has this bad-ass feel to it. But the vibe it bleeds from every nook and cranny doesn’t make up for its mid-end specs. Yes, it looks the part, but are you willing to sacrifice functionality over premium design?
Marshal London specs
- 7-inch 720p display
- 8-megapixel camera
- 2 gigs of RAM
- 16 gigs of built-in storage
- Snapdragon 410 proc clocked at 12GHz
Marshall London Design
Design is where M-London makes its voice heard. It’s built out of a polycarbonate material that emulates the design found on the beloved Marshall amplifiers. It resembles leather and, at first, that’s the impression you’ll get out of the phone. Under closer scrutiny, you quickly discover that it’s just your average plastic.
It’s not that tacky kind of plastic that shines and makes a fool of itself. Yet, it’s not the best type of plastic either. I found it nice to the touch and it sits nicely in the palm of your hand without slipping. It isn’t a dust magnet, but it’s prone to scratches, so beware! Overall, it looks good. Considering its hefty price, I don’t see why the Swedish manufacturer didn’t opt for synthetic leather. Its textured prints fits the design better, at least, in this reviewer’s humble opinion.
Regardless, build materials are top-notch. The metal that was used to build the majority of the buttons and the headphone jack offers a satisfying feel. Moreover, the volume rocker is a volume wheel. It differentiate itself from the norm that employs a pushable button.It’s an impressive visual detail, I can give it that. Yet, I found myself trying to push it more often than once. This may be because I’ve been way too accustomed with Samsung and the likes.
Just upwards of the volume wheel you’ll find the power button. On top of the Marshall London you’ll find what the Swedish manufacturer loves to call, the M-button. This button is basically a shortcut to the phone’s music player. It also activates M’s flashlight.
It looks like it’s made out of gold, but don’t let it fool you. It’s clearly not.
Marshall London Display
It’s comparable with Motorola’s 2015 G. It sports a 4.7-inch 720 IPS display. Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protects it from accidents. A 720p display on a $600 smartphone isn’t going to make anyone go out of their way to purchase it. However, it has 321 ppi which outputs almost pin-sharp quality.
You won’t find any fuzzy good-for-nothing pixels.
Even though it comes packed with a mid-range display, it’s more than useful. A pleasing and comfortable experience, I might say.
Marshall London Special Features
One special feature that the Marshall London includes, which in all fairness provides a unique experience, is the Wolfson WM8281 chip. It’s basically a sound-dedicated CPU.Another sought after feature which you will find only in the Marshall London is the ability to allow two people to listen to music at the same time. It has two audio ports.
More so, it comes with 2 MEMS microphones that have noise cancelling capabilities. Its two front-facing mics are just sublime. I don’t think I have ever witnessed so much power outputted from smartphone speakers.
Marshall London Software
Zound Industries doesn’t have experience with app development, nor does Marshall. This means that they had to look elsewhere for software. They employed independent devs to create their audio player app, as well as other proprietary apps for recording purposes.
Stefan Wessels, one of the designers responsible for the London notes that the main reason why the smartphone doesn’t have your average UI is so it won’t ship with bloatware. The M comes with pre-installed apps sure, but they are unique, and you won’t find them on any app store.
Yet, the Marshall London runs a stock and naked Android 5.0.1. It’s capable of running Google’s new Android Marshmallow when the time comes.
Marshall London Performance
It houses a Snapdragon 410 proc paired with 2 gigs of RAM. Performance wise, it’s on par with the Motorola’s 2015 G. What differentiate them is the fact that the London comes packed with a unique chip that helps to optimize audio processing.
Marshall’s device is microSD-enabled, and it supports cards up to 128 gigs. Yet, it comes with just 16 gigs of internal storage.
Marshall London Camera
Clearly it’s made for audiophiles and enthusiast music producers.
The camera is just down-right despicable. The main rear-facing camera is an 8-megapixel unit. The secondary front-facing sensor is just a measly 2-megapixel camera. It isn’t on par with other $600 smartphones in the camera tier.
Marshall London Battery
Firstly, I would like to mention that its battery is fully removable. Something that we don’t see that often nowadays. It’s a 2.500mAh power-unit that has power-saving mode on by default thanks to Android Lollipop.
Intriguing, to say the least, is the fact that Marshall doesn’t boast, nor does it claim, that their London can last up to 24 hours on a single charge. Instead, they choose to express that considering it has a 4.7-inch HD screen and a naked Android OS, its battery life is as optimized as it can get.
Marshall London Verdict
I don’t think I would give up functionality over premium design. Sure, it looks incredible. More so, audiophiles will fall in love with the London. Yet, for $600 I could very well buy the OnePlus 2 and still have some money left over to fork for a great pair of headphones and a new video-game.
I wouldn’t recommend giving up on your high-end smartphone just yet. The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge has an incredible design, as does Apple’s latest iPhone 6S.
Buying the Marshall London comes more as a show of teeth and social status.