Looking back at smartphones from unexpected brands

There are many big smartphone brands that we immediately recognize when mentioning, but there are also many small brands that almost do not appear on the “smartphone map”. There are even brands that are extremely popular in another area, but you wouldn’t expect them to make phones too. Today we will be looking at some interesting examples of these products.

Pepsi P1

“Would you like to switch to Pepsi?” That is one of the jokes when it comes to thinking about this famous beverage brand. Regardless of whether you like Pepsi or Coca-Cola, you probably did not expect that Pepsi used to make phones, not just one but two models.

Pepsi has been running a fundraising program for two Pepsi P1 and P1S models in China through

That plan has backfired. You can still see the above fundraising campaign webpage and you’ll find that it only met 43% of its funding target. The odd thing is that the P1 is expected to be sold in very limited quantities, with only 1,000 on offer and they are quite cheap. The asking price was 700 CNY ($ 110 / € 100 at the time). This is a marketing campaign aimed at attracting more attention than profit.

Looking back at smartphones from unexpected brands | Mobile

Pepsi phones are manufactured by ODM China and run “dido OS” – an Android interface also used by some Doogee phones. Of course, these models have Pepsi theme installed. And while they’re cheap, the hardware is actually pretty decent. The P1 has an aluminum body, 5.5 inch 1080p screen, an 8-core processor, a 13MP camera and LTE connectivity.

Looking back at smartphones from unexpected brands | Mobile

However, apart from the brand name, the machine is nothing special. In the end, people can only say “It’s over Pepsi!”, But can’t say “It’s over P1!”.

Onkyo Granbeat DP-CMX1

Onkyo is famous for its home cinema and audio equipment, but the company has also moved into portable electronics. Things like portable music player and Granbeat DP-CMX1 smartphone.

Looking back at smartphones from unexpected brands | Mobile

The Granbeat DP-CMX1 has both a standard 3.5mm headphone jack and a 2.5 mm balanced jack. Jack Balanced sends the audio signal twice, the “hot” and “cold” signals are reflective of each other. This setup is much more resistant to interference from electrical devices than the 3.5mm jack.

It is equipped with two DACs and two amplifiers. The Granbeat DP-CMX1 is a “giant” unit machined in aluminum and has physical controls on the side and a volume dial for a premium music experience.

Looking back at smartphones from unexpected brands | Mobile

Looking back at smartphones from unexpected brands | Mobile

The Onkyo Granbeat DP-CMX1 has 128GB of storage – not much for FLAC files, but the phone already has a microSD slot (up to 256GB).

Although very impressive as a portable music player, Granbeat is just an ordinary Android phone. It runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow on a Snapdragon 650 chipset and has a 5-inch 1080p display. The 3000 mAh battery promises music time of 25 hours. One 16MP main camera and 4MP selfie camera.

Kodak Ektra

Photography aficionados are no stranger to this name, Kodak has been making 35mm cameras back in the 1940s, but it also has a camera-centric Android smartphone released in 2016. This is not. must be Kodak’s first Android, which was the 2015 IM5, which was disappointing but the company didn’t give up and keep trying again in this area.

Looking back at smartphones from unexpected brands | Mobile

Looking back at smartphones from unexpected brands | Mobile

Highlights are the 21MP camera on the back with 1 / 2.3 ”sensor, f / 2.0 aperture, 6-axis optical image stabilization and 4K video recording. The design on the back is quite sexy and there is also a luxurious genuine leather accessory that is neat and matches the design as a retro camera.

Like Leica today, Kodak has relied on its film camera expertise and offers delightful retro modes. For example, the video app Super8 added a film grain effect, vignette, and gradation to simulate an 8mm film. There is also a black and white mode named Tri-X. You don’t hear these names anymore, but they are legendary films by Eastman Kodak.

Looking back at smartphones from unexpected brands | Mobile

Kodak Ektra has a 5 ”1080p display, Helio X20 chipset with 3GB RAM and 32GB of internal memory (expandable with a microSD card). The machine first launched in the UK for £ 450, arrived in Europe in December 2016 for € 500 and then the United States in mid-2017 for $ 400. Kodak also partnered with Archos to release several Kodak branded tablets at the same time.

RED Hydrogen One

RED is one of the most recent attempts to get a camera maker to try it out in the smartphone market. RED cameras have become popular and used in both personal films and major Hollywood blockbusters. So you’d expect this to be the best camera phone ever made, right?

Looking back at smartphones from unexpected brands | Mobile

Although Hydrogen One was announced in 2018, the odd thing is that it focuses on 3D, a feature that is already almost outdated. It has two 12.3MP cameras on the back and an automatic glass 3D screen. This screen is said to be more advanced than the 3D screens we often see, RED calls it “4 View” (or 4V).

It is said to create a three-dimensional effect by outputting four images instead of the usual two. However, its quality is not too impressive. The dual-camera hologram also doesn’t deliver the camera revolution promises RED had expected.

Looking back at smartphones from unexpected brands | Mobile

The company is also preparing an interesting addition to Hydrogen One, Lithium 3D. This prototype weighs 3kg. This additional tool aims to record high quality 3D video with the phone used as a monitor. Actually, this is the only phone that can do this job because the 4V screen is needed to preview 3D video shot by Lithium.

And those could also be extremely impressive footage, as the dual camera system can record 8K videos. This was intended to be the tool to be used by professionals, but the project was abandoned before its completion. The phone itself had a limited launch and was quickly dying.

There are still a lot of phones from unexpected brands, but that’s probably a story to follow. Do you remember another surprise product?

Reference: GSMArena

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