“The time has come to witness the next chapter in this storied tale of Rock ‘n’ Roll. It’s time to change the way you use music.” OK Marshall, you’ve got my attention…
For as long as I can remember, music has been the driving force behind all that is good in the world for me, and really great Rock music is the crowned jewel of my wide and varied tastes. Nothing speaks as clearly or as directly straight into my soul as a loud, sweaty, pulsing, driving Rock band. And while each instrument and the many companies that have dedicated their lives to creating them have a special, sonic place in my heart, there is one name that will always remain synonymous with Rock music as a whole – Marshall. Seeing those elegantly curved cursive letters emblazoned across an amp when I walk into a room gives me all kinds of warm, anticipatory fuzzies, and it looks like in just a few short weeks, I’ll be able to access those feels at any time from the close proximity of my own front pocket. Audiophiles, meet the smartphone that was made specifically with us in mind – the Marshall London.
Every ounce of thought put into the London comes from Marshall’s own love of that sweet, sweet sound. The dual front-facing speakers provide what may be the loudest, clearest sound currently available from a mobile phone. Twin headphone jacks allow two people to listen to music simultaneously and each listener is even provided with their own independent volume control. The Wolfson WM8281 Audio Hub is a soundcard that gives the London a separate processor for music, which allows it to play at a higher resolution. This means that even high-quality MP3s will sound better when played through the phone, plus gives you the additional bonus of being able to play uncompressed music, such as FLAC formats. And at the core of the London, keeping everything running smoothly and stylishly, is the M-Button. By clicking this golden switch in the top of the phone, you can control your music without disruption to whatever else happens to be on your screen at the time. Other amazing audio features you can look forward to include a scroll wheel for volume control, a Global Equalizer, LoopStack (a 4-channel capable recording app), dual microphones with noise reduction, and even a bespoke DJ app that allows users to cue and mix tunes in their headphones while the current track plays through a speaker – a technology I have yet to see on other smartphone devices. In other words, this smartphone is not just for listening to music, it’s actually designed to create it too.
The London runs Google’s Android Lollipop 5.0.2 and includes 2GB or RAM as well as 16GB of storage. A microSD card slot offers options for added space while a removable 2,500mAh battery keeps everything running on-the-go. The 4.7-inch display screen is 720p Gorilla Glass and the front and rear-facing cameras are 2- and 8-megapixels, respectively. All told, not a terribly impressive lineup by current smartphone standards. But here’s the thing – Marshall isn’t trying to replace your souped-up Samsung or vie with the mighty iPhone. It’s created its own answer to a demographic it knows (and loves) well – those of us who would sell our souls for Rock ‘N’ Roll.
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