Kodak Ektra tries to bring back the days of glory for Eastman Kodak

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By now you might already be aware of Kodak's latest product launched in India that created some serious buzz in the gizmo world. The Kodak Ektra is the latest smartphone offering from the brand that has a killer camera. Yes, you got that right. Ektra is a camera centric smartphone and when I say camera centric I seriously mean it. The smartphone has created a state of hullabaloo among smartphone photography enthusiasts and the device is already up for grabs on Flipkart.

Kodak Ektra tries to bring back the days of glory for Eastman Kodak

Specifications

Before we go any further with this article let's have a look at what Ektra has to offer.
Kodak Ektra sports a 5-inch LCD display with a 1080x1920 pixel of resolution. The smartphone runs on a quad core MediaTek Helio X20 MT6797 processor clocked at 2.3 GHz. It is paired with 3GB of RAM. It also has a graphics processing unit which is ARM Mali -T880 MP4. The smartphone has 32 GB of inbuilt storage which can be expanded up to 128 GB via microSD card.

Ektra has a 3000 mAh battery and a USB Type-C charging port. It houses a single nano-sim.

The smartphone runs Android Marshmallow 6.0 which is a bit disappointing on its end. We have seen several smartphones that boast Android Nougat 7.0 even in sub 10k segment. It is quite obvious that getting hands on Nougat is not a tough row to hoe.  It is not too much of a demand expecting Ektra to offer the same. 

The camera

The specifications Ektra sports are pretty decent, however, the camera of the smartphone is a different recipe altogether.

The camera comes with a 21-megapixel sensor and f/2.0 aperture. It has built in optical image stabilization along with PDAF. The smartphone can record 4K videos and the camera app on the smartphone gives users option to capture images using manual settings for several parameters.

Kodak Ektra tries to bring back the days of glory for Eastman Kodak

The front camera is a 13 MP snapper and it also gets PDAF along with f/2.2 aperture. Kodak Ektra offers several filters for both photographs and videos. The camera app is also something never seen before on a smartphone. It has a dial that allows a user to switch between various scene modes including portrait, panorama, night scene, bokeh, sport, macro, and landscape.

The history

Kodak in hopes to revive its brand value came up with an expensive smartphone. But Kodak did give a fair amount of detailing to the device. It has a premium styling with a rear panel that has leather like texture. It also has grip similar to cameras.

Kodak Ektra tries to bring back the days of glory for Eastman Kodak

Ektra is originally a rangefinder camera that was launched back in 1941 and was a success. Kodak wanted its latest smartphone to carry the imprints of success which was a naive move for the concurrent market which has evolved to a great extent and so has the requirements of consumers. Kodak simply jumped in with an overpriced device in hopes to achieve a response similar to premium brands.

Why now?

It must have certainly crossed your mind that why is Kodak entering the smartphone game so late. Well to clear the air, it's not.

Kodak Ektra is not the first venture in the smartphone business from the American imaging company. In fact, it launched a couple of smartphones under IM series which never really made a big news. Ektra did create a buzz when it was launched back in 2016 in the US however it faced brutal criticism and failed in Europe and US badly. The camera centric smartphone was blamed for a bad performance both as a camera and as a smartphone.

Fairly priced!

The price point at which this smartphone was launched had run it down. It was priced at $549 in the US when it was launched last year. Honestly, you could get a Moto Z play along with a Hasselblad mod to slap on to it and it would be more than enough to beat Ektra down to dirt. Kodak failed to decide a fair price factor for, what I think is, a decent device with a great camera.

However, to quote German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, "That which does not kill us, makes us stronger." Ektra has been priced at Rs. 29,999 in India although it is being offered, at a discount of 33%, for Rs 19,990. This makes a strong case for the smartphone.

The smartphone may just do fine in the sub-continent catering to smartphone photography enthusiasts who won't mind shelling out for a superb camera.

There are challenges!

Now that Kodak has cut down the price for the smartphone in India it is safe to assume that the company is not going with the USP of a premium device but a camera centric smartphone.

India may still not be a market that receives the first shipment of most of the latest smartphones but it certainly is catching up. There is a growing consumer base in the country that wants the best and the latest. Sadly, Kodak falls behind where 'latest' comes in. Moreover, there isn't a lack of competition in the Indian market as well for even a camera centric device such as Ektra. 

Nubia M2 has some great camera features to look up to. Similarly, smartphones from Oppo and Xiaomi have developed a liking among Indian consumers for their imaging qualities. 

Yet another aspect of the scenario is the fact that India is huge and diversified market. Ektra just might do better in the sub-continent than it did in the whole of the Europe combined.

Well, it would be unjust to comment on Ektra's performance as well as camera unless we get our hands on it. We will be doing a comprehensive review of the smartphone very soon to give you more details about it.

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