Kodak’s new Ektra smartphone doesn’t blow the competition away on paper, but that’s OK

Kodak launched its first smartphone of 2016 today, and unsurprisingly it’s pitched directly at photographers. Sort of.

As much as the leatherette handset combined with a huge, protruding shutter cover leaves little doubt who the phone is aimed at, the camera tech itself is doesn’t blow established smartphone rivals out of the water. For £450 (it’s not available to pre-order yet, but you can register interest) you get a 21MP fast focus camera sensor with F2.0, phase-detection auto-focus (PDAF), optical image stabilisation (OIS) and dual LED flash. On the front, there’s a 13MP F2.2 PDAF selfie camera. Those certainly aren’t specs to sniff at, but they don’t blow the competition out of the water either.

Other hardware highlights include a 2.3GHz Decacore processor, 5-inch full HD display, 3GB RAM and 32GB of onboard storage. There’s also microSD expansion, as you’d expect on a phone made by a camera brand.

While the hardware is no slouch, it’s going to be the combination of novelty, price-point, camera specs and other value added through photographic tweaks – like an advanced manual mode, scene selection and a Super 8 Video Recorder.

With a sea of me-too smartphones, all performing comparably, Kodak’s Ektra might not win on paper, but it probably has enough appeal to attract buyers