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Could Kodak’s Ektra phone boast the best mobile camera of 2016?

Known for its photography chops, Kodak is back in the smartphone game with its freshly-launched Ektra mobile. But can the Ektra’s 21-megapixel camera, which boasts some seriously impressive photography features, beat the best Android snappers like the Galaxy S7 and Pixel phone?

It seems like everyone and their grannies are churning out smartphones these days, but Kodak’s Ektra mobile is one of the more intriguing devices launched in 2016. The Ektra is an Android phone packing a mighty 21-megapixel camera, designed to allow professional photographers to shoot perfect photos in any conditions. And as Kodak has a fair bit of experience in the area of image capture, we’re optimistic that the Ektra could rock one of the best mobile cameras of the year.

Kodak Ektra camera specs

The Ektra’s 21-megapixel camera is built in-house by Kodak and features an f/2.0 aperture lens and fast ‘Dynamic’ Phase Detection Autofocus. Object tracking helps to keep your subject sharp even if they’re on the move, while Optical Image Stabilisation minimises judder and shakes when shooting video (and helps to prevent blurry low light shots).

Low light performance has been a key focus for the likes of Sony and Google with their recent mobile cameras, and the Ektra looks like it could be hot competition. The Kodak-certified lens coating enables more light to reach the sensor, while the Arcsoft Night Shot technology helps to reduce grain and blur and keep the light balance just right.

There’s also a physical shutter button on the edge of the phone for taking photos. This button supports dual-press capture, where a light push focuses and a heavy push takes the photo. That’s something you won’t find on other camera phones.

As for video, you can shoot up to 4K UHD resolution footage.

Around the front of the Ektra you get a 13-megapixel selfie camera with an f/2.2 aperture lens and Phase Detection Auto-Focus.

Kodak Ektra camera apps and features

Kodak has also built its own camera app to help you capture perfect photos with the Ektra. You can swap between different camera modes using a DSLR-style dial, which gives you access to HDR, Panorama, Portrait, Landscape Macro, Sport, Night-time and Bokeh settings. There’s a standard Smart Auto mode if you can’t be arsed to fiddle around, plus a full-on manual mode to tweak the likes of ISO levels, white balance and shutter speed.

You also get a Super 8 app which adds filter effects like the old-school Super 8 film stocks. And you get full Snapseed editing software too, giving you a suite of professional tools for touching up your snaps on the go.

Kodak Ektra phone specs

The Kodak Ektra’s specs are as follows.

5-inch Full HD (1920×1080) IPS screen

Android Marshmallow

Helio X-20 Decacore processor

3GB RAM

32GB storage + microSD support

3000mAh battery

21-megapixel rear camera

13-megapixel front camera

Kodak Ektra vs mobile cameras: Is the Ektra worth watching?

Right now we’re very interested to get our hands on the Ektra and test that camera against the opposition. The likes of Samsung’s Galaxy S7 and Sony’s Xperia XZ have given us some excellent mobile snappers in 2016, offering sharp and detailed image capture even in dark, dodgy conditions. However, Kodak’s photography know-how mean the Ektra could come out on top, especially with unique features like the dual-push shutter button.

That said, you wouldn’t buy a mobile just for the camera, so the rest of the phone has to hold up too, especially as the likes of the excellent OnePlus 3 costs over £100 less. Here’s hoping that Helio processor provides smooth performance, and the screen and battery life holds up against rivals.

Kodak Ektra UK price and release date

The Kodak Ektra is coming to the UK later this year, with a price tag of £449. Stay tuned for our full Kodak Ektra review.

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