Legacy camera brands the likes of Polaroid and Rolleiflex have tried pivoting to stay relevant in the digital age, and you can now add another company to that list. The Kodak IM5 — let's be real, everyone will call it the Kodak Phone — is made by Bullitt, a company that specializes in ruggedized phones that are typically licensed to companies like Cat. We just tried the IM5 on the Pepcom floor, and despite my hopes that Kodak would bring some photographic know-how to it, it's pretty clear that it's not for me.
The Kodak phone has a 13 MP main camera in the back, and a 5 MP shooter in the front. Both seemed to do admirably in the tough lighting conditions presented by the conference hall — specifically the front-facing one — but the images paled in comparison to what I could reproduce with my iPhone.
Bullitt is actually okay with that. As they told me, the goal with the Kodak phone is to provide an easily usable cameraphone to consumers who don't want to fuss with high-end flagship phones. Bullitt also want the photos to be easy to share or print once they're taken, so big "print" and "share" buttons are prominent in their custom version of Android 4.4 KitKat (Lollipop will be coming later this year, I was told).
The company has the makings of all of that with this phone. It feels solid in the hand and is incredibly light — like Samsung Galaxy Alpha light. It's also only going to cost $249 unlocked when it's released in the first quarter this year, but it will only be available in Europe. Kodak loyalists in the United States will have to wait until later this year. At that point, this could be an option for a very specific set of people. The rest of us will go back to our flagships.