HTC, who is already struggling with internal and external problems, might be facing a new competitor in the European market right from its own ranks. KAZAM, a company that was formed by two former HTC executives, has just outed its first six smartphones, which, as suspected, run the Android OS.
Former HTC sales head Michael Coombes and former HTC marketing head for the UK James Atkins formed KAZAM last June with the goal of providing the market with user-friendly and supportive phones. Back then, these were empty words that sounded much like any other spiel from any other smartphone manufacturer. After all, who would want to openly say they want to design user-unfriendly devices? KAZAM also wanted to focus on local markets in order to be able to quickly prototype and react to changes in the demographic’s needs, which suggested that they will be utilizing the openness of Android for that very purpose. And indeed, five months later, the company has now announced its new devices, split along the Thunder and the Trooper lines.
Thunder represents KAZAM’s high-end models, with the Thunder Q4.5 taking the spotlight. This smartphone sports a 4.5-inch FWVGA screen with a 480×854 pixel resolution. The device runs on an unnamed 1.3 GHz quad-core processor, 1 GB of RAM and 4 GB of internal storage, expandable to up to 32 GB with a microSD card. It also has an 8 megapixel autofocus rear camera and a 2 megapixel front-facing camera that is capable of recording 720p videos at a 30 fps framerate. Android 4.2 Jelly Bean is the OS installed on the Thunder Q4.5.
The KAZAM Trooper line, on the other hand, focuses on the mantra that less is more, and their model names suggest their screen sizes. The Thunder X3.5 sports a 3.5-inch 320×480 screen, while the Thunder X4.0 has a 4-inch 480×800, the Thunder X4.5 with a 4.5-inch 480×854 resolution display, the Thunder X5.0 a 5-inch with a similar 480×854 resolution, and the Thunder X5.5 with the largest 5.5-inch panel but with the same 480×854 pixel resolution. All five devices are powered by an also unnamed 1.2 GHz dual-core processor with 512 MB or RAM and, like the Thunder Q4.5, only has 4GB of storage but also expandable via the microUSB slot. All of the Trooper smartphones also run Android 4.2.
KAZAM does, however, offer some rather interesting features that could differentiate them in the market. For one, all smartphones in both Trooper and Thunder lines sport dual SIM support. KAZAM is also offering one free screen replacement that can be claimed should the screen be damaged within 12 months from the date of purchase. There is also a KAZAM Rescue service that allows KAZAM’s support team to remotely access devices in case of problems.
There are currently no pricing details yet, but given the rather mid-range hardware, we’re expecting a reasonable low-cost price range. It remains to be seen if KAZAM will be able to offer something unique and enticing enough to make a name for itself in a highly competitive and already crowded smartphone market.