LAS VEGAS -- Kodak has launched its very first smartphone, but don't expect it to replace the company's DSLR cameras. Launching later this year for $249, the Kodak IM5 is an entry-level handset that aims for first-time smartphone owners, while packing handy functions such as built-in photo editing and the ability to send pictures from your camera roll straight to a printer.
The first thing that caught my eye about the IM5 was its black rear panel, which sports a horizontal Kodak logo and makes the phone look a bit like a low-end point-and-shoot camera at first glance. The plastic device is comfortably lightweight, and while its design isn't exactly arresting, it sports some nice thin bezels around its 5-inch full-HD display.
The IM5 is designed for people who may be using a smartphone for the first time, and, as such, runs a customized Android skin with extra-large icons for accessing essentials such as texts, contacts, Gmail and the camera. If mom or dad (or grandma or grandpa) still somehow get confused by the extra-user-friendly interface, you can help them out from afar using the phone's remote-access capabilities.
The IM5's 13-megapixel rear camera and 5-megapixel selfie cam are fairly standard for an Android phone, but there's a good amount of stuff to do once you've taken photos with them. The device sports a proprietary photo-editing app, and, most notably, can send photos to both your home printer and any supported photo centers.
Under the hood, the handset packs a 1.7-GHz octa-core CPU with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage, which can be augmented by a microSD card of up to 32GB. The Android KitKat device has full Google Play access, as well as a proprietary app store that highlights camera software and essential apps.
While camera-brand smartphones like the new Panasonic Lumix turn the smartphone into a high-end shooter, the Kodak IM5 is intentionally the opposite. Rolling out by the end of March 2015 and selling for $249 unlocked, the handset could find a niche among technophobes who want a hassle-free way to keep up with family, take a few pictures and print out those photos with minimal hassle.
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