Despite being a colossus in the history of photography, Kodak hasn't made a lot of waves in the last few years. With smartphones gobbling up the market for point-and-shoot cameras, and DSLR and mirrorless cameras occupying the high end, the venerable company is being squeezed from both sides. Kodak hopes that a unique smartphone design, bearing the name of one of its most famous film cameras and packing a huge focus on photography, will save it from obscurity. The Ektra is scheduled to go on sale today in Europe for €499 (about $525 at today's exchange rate).
Look, Chinese phone manufacturers, we need to have a talk. I know trademarks, copyrights, patents, and all manner of intellectual property are played kind of fast and loose over there. But when even your legitimate companies follow Apple like a bunch of multi-million-dollar ducklings, it's not poking any holes in the old "iPhone clone" argument. Case in point: OPPO's shiny new F1 Plus, a phone that has some fantastic design and hardware and could certainly stand on its own merits... that just happens to look like someone took an iPhone 6 Plus and put it through a photocopier a few dozen times.
The photo-focused smartphone is becoming a definite niche, and at Mobile World Congress, Lenovo is hoping to break in with a new model. The Vibe Shot (which sounds a lot like something you'd order at a questionable cocktail bar) is a Lollipop-equipped phone with a 16-megapixel rear camera and an 8MP front-facing shooter. Other photo-focused features include optical image stabilization, infrared autofocus, and a tri-color LED flash. Lenovo hopes to launch the Vibe Shot in June starting at $349.
We actually got a look at the Vibe Shot back in February when Lenovo's MWC lineup was leaked. What we didn't learn at the time about the phone is its price, which is particularly attractive considering its high-midrange specs.
Samsung's Android-based Galaxy Zoom phones haven't exactly been a runaway hit. Maybe it's because no one really wants a massive camera strapped to the back of their phone, or maybe it's because they're lumpy and expensive. Whatever the case might be, Panasonic is throwing its hat into the super powerful phone-camera with the LUMIX Smart Camera DSC-CM1, a gorgeous little point and shoot that hides a full Android phone (including calls and data) on its back end.
The phone portion of the CM1 is relatively high-end, with a 2.3Ghz Snapdragon 800 processor, a 4.7-inch 1080p screen, 2GB of RAM, and a surprisingly unskinned version of KitKat.
The Galaxy S4 Zoom, Samsung's strange combination of a standard Android phone and a point-and-shoot camera, was a bit of an odd duck. But it seems to have sold enough units that Samsung intends to release a new model, if only to continue their strategy of covering every possible cell phone niche. Photos posted on Baidu show what's claimed to be the "Galaxy K," which certainly seems to be an updated version of the S4 Zoom.
Get ready, on-the-go photographers - come July 27th, you'll be able to pick up the myTouch 4G Slide, which, according to T-Mobile's presser, will be the best camera phone yet.
As a reminder, the latest iteration in the myTouch series will cost $199.99 with a new two-year contract and will pack:
A 1.2GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor
A 3.7" SLCD 800x480 display
Android 2.3 with Sense 3.0
An 8-megapixel camera with dual-LED flash and 1080p video capture
A full QWERTY keyboard
"4G" (HSPA+) connectivity
You'll be able to pre-order the device starting July 19th, and while we're not so sure about that 3.7-inch WVGA display, we doubt that'll stop you if you're serious about great keyboards or mobile picture-taking.