It would either be very brave or very foolish of Kodak to try and compete with the likes of Apple and Samsung. But with the launch of its camera-focused new Ektra phone, that's exactly what it's doing.

Kodak used to be one of the biggest names in traditional film photography. But the digital era hasn't been kind to it, so the company is looking to the world of phones to help get some cash back in the bank.

True to Kodak's heritage, the Ektra is aimed squarely at photography enthusiasts. At the camera's core is a 21-megapixel sensor, with a bright f/2.0 aperture lens in front. Kodak claims the camera will be able to capture crisp images in low light, helped by optical image stabilisation and software tweaks.

A physical wheel on the front of the phone lets you change settings quickly -- something that will no doubt appeal to photography purists who like the tactile feel of physical dials. There's also a wide range of scene modes and a manual mode to help you get a bit more creative.

On paper, the phone's camera has plenty to boast about, although whether it delivers on image quality remains to be seen until we take it for a proper test.

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Kodak

The Ektra will need to produce some stunning shots if Kodak truly hopes to make photographers take interest. Photography prowess is one of the mostly hotly contested aspects of top-end phones, with devices such as the iPhone 7 ($550 at Boost Mobile), Galaxy S7 and new Google Pixel all capable of taking beautiful photos.

It's interesting to note that Kodak hasn't built the phone itself -- the actual hardware is produced by a company called Bullitt, which it previously partnered with on the Kodak IM5 phone, a much simpler affair with older folks in mind. It's not clear how much work Kodak has had to do on the Ektra beyond slapping its branding on it, but it's hopefully wise enough to not lend its name to a product before checking that it's any good first.

The Ektra will be on sale across Europe later this year and will set you back £449. At the time of launch, Kodak has no plans to launch the phone in the wider world, but that UK price converts to about $550 or AU$720. We'll update this article with more information when it's available.

Specs and features

  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow software
  • MediaTek Helio X20 2.3GHz decacore processor with 3GB RAM
  • 32GB storage, expandable with microSD cards
  • 13-megapixel front-facing camera
  • 3,000mAh battery
  • USB type-C