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Kodak IM5 Hands-On: A Smartphone For Your Parents

by Jacob Kleinman | January 9, 2015January 9, 2015 7:00 pm PDT

“We’re targeting the Baby Boomers,” a Kodak representative told me as I navigated through the IM5’s simplified Android operating system, and that’s pretty much the takeaway for this $249 device. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

This is a phone for Mom and Dad. It’s a phone for someone who doesn’t care about using the latest hot new app, but still wants to share their photos on Facebook. That’s not a bad thing, and based on the few minutes I spent with the Kodak-branded handset, it looks like the company managed to hit at least a few key notes pretty perfectly.

The first thing you’ll notice is how light the IM5 is, coming in at 120 grams with a 5-inch display compared to the 129-gram iPhone 6 or the 145-gram Galaxy S5. That’s not an accident or a side-effect of its plastic design. Instead, the company says it wanted to keep the new phone from weighing too much so people upgrading from a feature phone wouldn’t struggle with that extra weight.

The other big difference is software. Kodak’s IM5 runs Android 4.4.2, but comes with a simplified launcher that fills up the entire screen with simple white app icons labeled Phone, Contacts, Text, Calendar, Internet, Gmail, Light (flashlight), Magnifier, App Store, Camera, Gallery and Print. Up top you’ll also find a Settings button along with a way to see the rest of your apps. Finally, the company is also pushing a remote management feature that lets friends and family to control of your phone from a distance if you need help figuring something out.

From a hardware perspective the IM5 isn’t too impressive. It sports a 5-inch 720p display, a 13-megapixel rear camera, a 5-megapixel front-facing shooter, an octa-core MediaTek processor, a 2150mAh battery, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of storage with microSD support up to 32GB. Of course, that’s a pretty big upgrade from your typical feature phone, and Kodak isn’t going after the kind of customers who cares about specs anyway.

The Kodak MI5 is set to launch pretty soon in Europe, though the company hasn’t revealed any plans for a U.S. release just yet. Kodak previously said it’s also working on a new tablet and connected camera for later this year, so hopefully at least some of those products will be available in America.


Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...

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