LAS VEGAS—Kodak is primarily known for its film and paper for traditional cameras, but now it wants a piece of the Android smartphone market.
At CES, the company unveiled the IM5, a mid-range phone with “user-friendly” tweaks to Android geared toward faster picture-taking and image editing.
The smartphone has a five-inch 720p screen, octa-core 1.7 GHz processor (the exact model was not mentioned), 1GB of RAM, and 8GB of internal storage with a microSD slot for expansion. Of course Kodak wants you to pay attention to the camera - it features a 13 MP rear camera and 5 MP on the front. The camera and internal specs aren’t anything spectacular, so Kodak is hoping to win buyers over with its Android tweaks, which include image management software and a curated, separate app store (although it does also include Google Play).
Kodak says the phone runs Android 4.4.4, but will eventually get the upgrade to Lollipop.
The IM5 looks pretty sleek, with a solid black color scheme and a metal trim. There aren’t any specifics about when it will hit the U.S., as it’s slated to head to Europe sometime in the first quarter of 2015 and eventually come stateside.
Why this matters: This is the next step in Kodak’s reinvention from its days as a camera king. The build quality of the IM5 seems solid enough, but it’s disappointing to see a phone launch without the latest version of Android and with another custom interface. Android is fragmented enough, and another proprietary app store and set of Android tweaks just aren’t necessary given how effective and well-designed Android has come to be with Lollipop.