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Marshall Wants to Rock You with Music Smartphone

Hoping to hit the charts at No. 1, Marshall announced today (July 16) that it is launching a new smartphone designed with music lovers in mind. The  audio equipment maker briefly released details on the Marshall London phone, which it has since removed from its website. It appears the device will be shipping on Aug. 21, and will reportedly cost $499/£399.

Following the brief leak, Marshall put up a timer on its website that's counting down to 6 p.m. ET today. We expect more information on the London to be announced then.

Engadget reported that, aside from dual front-facing speakers, the London offers two stereo jacks up top so you can plug in two sets of headphones or speakers simultaneously. The dual output setup lets you mix tunes like a pro, thanks to the included DJ app. Inside, the phone carries a Wolfson DSP (digital signal processor) for better sound processing, and a gold scroll wheel on the left side serves as a volume control.

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Aesthetically, the London looks like an old-school amp in a modern smartphone silhouette. Its faux-leather back and gold accents add a touch of rocker flair, and it appears that the gold-and-black theme carries over into the phone's Android 5 Lollipop operating system.

The rest of the phone lags in the specs race. Its 4.7-inch, 720p display is not as sharp as today's 1080p or QHD flagships, and the quad-core Snapdragon 410 CPU is less powerful than the brawny octa-core chips on plenty of other smartphones in the market. At 2500 mAh, the London's battery is also smaller than what we've come to expect, and its 8-megapixel rear and 2-MP front cameras are almost laughable compared to the 13- and 16-MP rear shooters most smartphones are packing.

It's not clear yet if the Marshall London will be heading stateside. Stay tuned for a full review.

Staff writer Cherlynn Low is a former wedding singer and mixed her own tunes on Audacity. Follow her @cherlynnlow. Follow Tom's Guide at @tomsguide and on Facebook.