Kodak Ektra 21MP camera, 32GB unlocked Android Smartphone CDN$180 delivered
- Deal Link:
- B&H Photo
The Kodak EKTRA is a photography-focused smartphone that combines advanced imaging technology with flagship-worthy specs. The EKTRA features a 21MP rear camera with f/2.0 aperture and a 13MP front-facing camera with Phase Detection Auto Focus and a f/2.2 aperture. This impressive camera array is supported by the EKTRA's custom app, which is controlled by an intuitive haptic touch, SLR-style Scene Selection Dial that allows adjustments to be made in real time. Auto and Manual camera modes are available, so beginners and pros can use the EKTRA to shoot great footage.
This is a bit of a niche deal for the photo / retro / Kodak enthusiast who is looking for a pretty good in-the-pocket camera with a solid phone behind it. [Disclosure: I've been using the Nokia 1020 with 41MP camera until last year, so the camera on the phone is #1 feature for me]. The phone is built by Bullit, branded by Kodak, and was launched last year as an upper mid-level phone at $400. Most of the initial reviews for the phone were mediocre at best, as the camera was good, but not great, it's not sleek, and it only runs Android 6.0 marshmallow, hence it was not seen as good deal. So what's changed?
1) The phone is now priced at the budget level, and you are getting relatively a lot of bang for your buck at this pricepoint (2.3 GHz Helio X20 deca-core processor with 3GB of RAM). It is priced CDN$259+ at Amazon.
2) The phone also includes a retro leather case and a tempered glass screen protector (supposedly valued at ~$80). The lowest price the camera has been sold at is for US$99 on 2017 Cyber Monday, but that didn't include the case and screen protector (so they're probably worth ~$20).
3) Kodak has released some software updates that have reportedly improved the low light image quality, especially as you can now shoot in RAW and edit directly in Snapseed
The most informative review I've found is on Tom's Guide, where there are image samples compared to the Samsung S8 (DXOmark 88). Note in this review that all the sample photos are taken on auto / default settings. Some more recent reviews have noted that the image quality has improved a lot with the updates, particularly when using specific camera modes and shooting in RAW. Oh, and it does shoot 4K video too.
Again, not a deal for the average phone user or someone looking for the latest sleek phone, but may appeal to some. I have ordered one, and with free shipping and prepaid customs clearance the amount charged to my CC was $180. I haven't received it yet, but if there's interest I'll report back on the image quality once I have it. Here are the full specs:
Operating System Android 6.0 Marshmallow
Memory 3 GB
Chipset MediaTek Helio X20
CPU 2.3 GHz ARM Cortex A72 Dual-Core
2.0 GHz ARM Cortex A53 Quad-Core
1.4 GHz ARM Cortex A53 Quad-Core
GPU 780 MHz Mali T880
Storage 32 GB
Display Size 5.0"
Native Resolution 1920 x 1080
Aspect Ratio 16:9
Pixel Density 441 ppi
Display Technology IPS LCD
Screen Coating Gorilla Glass 3
Ports 1x USB 3.0 - Type C
Audio 1 x 1/8" (3.5 mm) Headphone
1x Integrated Speaker
1x Integrated Microphone
Flash Media Slot 1 x microSDXC
SIM Card Size Nano
GSM 2G GSM, GPRS, EDGE: 850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz
GSM 3G/3.5G UMTS, HSPA+: 850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz
4G LTE LTE: 2, 4, 5, 7, 12, 17 Bands
Wi-Fi Yes, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth Bluetooth 4.1
FM Radio Yes
Resolution 13.0 MP
Image Stabilization None
Front Camera Flash No
Resolution 21.0 MP
35mm Focal Length 26.5
Focus Type Phase-Detect Autofocus
Image Stabilization Optical
Rear Camera Flash Yes
Number of LEDs 2
Number of Tones Dual Tone
Sensors Ambient light sensor, Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Magnetometer, Proximity sensor
Water Resistance None
Battery Internal Lithium-Ion (3000.0 mAh)
Fast Charging MediaTek Pump Express 1.0
Dimensions (W x H x D) 5.8 x 2.9 x 0.4" / 147.8 x 73.4 x 9.7 mm
Weight 5.9 oz / 167.3 g
EDIT: Initial impressions + Sample photos: Received the phone two days ago and I'm generally v happy with my purchase and the camera quality (period, but especially for the price). I'm not making any claims as to whether it's better or worse than X, but IMHO the camera is probably going to be more than good enough for the vast majority of people.
As other reviews have noted, apart from the Kodak camera / photo apps, it is running stock android 6.0. I immediately updated the firmware and put in a 64GB micro SD, and once all my apps downloaded, it has been running smoothly. The battery life is distinctly average, but it gets through the day. Seems to run smoothly with all apps I've used so far, with the exception of Flipboard which was very laggy for some reason. As mentioned above, I mainly purchased this for the camera, as although I own several cameras (dSLRs etc), I've really found this adage to be true: the best camera is the camera that you have with you. In short, I like the camera on it, especially the ability to have a lot of manual control and shooting RAW. I like having a dedicated physical shutter button as that's what I'm used to, but I do wish the button could be used to just turn on the camera. Focus seems quick and accurate. Other reviews have noted the lag on taking a picture, but it's not noticeable or an issue too me. The video quality seems good, and no stabilization problems so far (that some reviews had noted issues with this - firmware update fix?). I've taken a range of photos inside and out, macro, panorama, and have been happy with all of the pictures (good colour reproduction, and certainly no photos that resemble the basketball photo shown in the thread below). I like the ability to edit photos (including RAW) directly in Snapseed, but as I'm a PC photoshop user, I'm not likely to use in-phone editing too much personally. I'm mainly into outdoor / landscape photography, so I went for a walk in the woods today and took the followings shots on the smart auto mode (apart from the 3rd pic in macro mode). They are obviously taken in good light, but because of the glare of sun and snow creating high contrast, these can be challenging photo conditions for cameras to avoid over saturation of the snow, and capturing detail /colour in non-snowy bits. All these photos have been edited in photoshop using my standard workflow (optimizing levels generally, typically increasing contrast and colour saturation levels, no change to sharpness) without any major tweaks, then reduced in size for posting here: