Kodak Ektra Review

June 21, 2017 | Mark Goldstein | Rating star Rating star Rating star Half rating star


The Kodak Ektra is the second ever smartphone from the famous US company. Designed to be a smartphone for keen photographers, the Kodak Ektra has a 21-megapixel 1/2.4in sensor rear-facing camera with an f/2.0 lens, 6-axis optical image stabilisation and Phase Detection Auto Focus (PDAF). There's also a 13-megapixel front-facing camera with an f/2.2 lens, a dedicated dual press shutter button, RAW file support, plus an Advanced Manual Mode that lets you adjust the key camera settings. The Ektra runs the Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) operating system, uses a Helio X20 2.3GHz Decacore processor with 3GB RAM and a 3000mAh battery with USB 3.0 Type C fast charger, and has 32GB memory that's expandable with MicroSD cards and a 5-inch Full HD display. The Kodak Ektra is priced at £369.99 / $399.99 unlocked and sim free.

Ease of Use

Kodak Ektra
Front of the Kodak Ektra

The Bullitt Group, based in the UK, has licensed the use of the Kodak brand in production of its own smartphone: the Kodak Ektra Smartphone to be precise. This interesting development is said to take its name and inspiration from Eastman Kodak’s rich history and its original 1941 issue Kodak Ektra camera – as well as the classic advertising slogan ‘you press the button and we do the rest’. The Bullitt Group have worked very closely with Kodak to develop and market the Ektra, which clearly looks like a camera first and a smartphone second.

The Ektra has an appealing leatherette style finish and grip that mimics Kodak's Ektra film camera from the 1940s, and a very prominent glass lens housing that has a Kodak certified lens coating which enables more light to reach the sensor, helping to improve the image quality. The bottom of the chunky Kodak Ektra curves out, acting as a useful hand-grip for easier one-handed operation. We didn't like the all-plastic construction, though, or the poor battery life.

The Kodak Ektra has several key specifications to entice enthusiast photographers, including a 21 megapixel resolution camera with optical image stabilisation built-in, plus a 26.5mm lens with maximum f/2.0 aperture.  The lens also has an anti reflective coating. In addition, we get a 13-megapixel auto focus ‘selfie’ camera and 32GB of internal memory, expandable via optional MicroSD card, along with a 5-inch Full HD display. Connectivity is via USB 3.0 type C interface, whilst at the core of the camera/phone is a 2.3 GHZ Deca-core processor with 3GB of RAM. The internal rechargeable battery is non removable. The smartphone also has ArcSoft software pre-loaded, which its makers describe as ‘intuitive’.

Kodak Ektra
Rear of the Kodak Ektra

Whilst the all black finish denotes a certain seriousness, this intent is carried though to photographic-like features such as a two-stage press of its shutter release button being required to first focus and subsequently take a shot, thereby mirroring the feel of using a dedicated camera. In it's default state, shutter lag is very noticeable, causing lots of missed shots of moving subjects, but thankfully a recent firmware upgrade allows a faster-focusing mode to be toggled on and off.

Likewise familiar to photographers will be its on-screen scene selection dial and settings indicators, in tandem with the physical shutter release button as described above. Also featuring for those who like to get hands-on with their photography – after all, the very market the device is allegedly aimed at – there is a selectable night/low light mode, as well as a ‘bokeh’ mode to be found on the virtual scene selection dial. This is effectively a simulation of a shallow depth of field and we are told the camera takes two shots and stitches them together. A slider to one side of the screen then allows the user to adjust the level of blur. As well as the above modes, the camera features a sports mode and the ability for focus to automatically track a subject.

There are limited manual controls too in the Advanced Manual Mode. These include the ability to adjust shutter speed, ISO, focus, white balance, plus have some control over exposure. If this all gets too much for newbies and confusion ensues, we can simply reach for the ‘reset’ control provided, and there are also a number of scene modes too.

Kodak Ektra
The Kodak Ektra In-hand

Seeking to provide the full photographic package, the Kodak Ektra smartphone features instant on-board image editing via the popular ‘Snapseed’ app which is integrated directly into the camera app. Also pre-loaded is a print application, enabling users to order prints directly from the device and have the resulting hard copies delivered to their door in a classic Kodak yellow envelope. Naturally said prints are promised to be printed on Kodak paper. There is also the option to order a photobook as well.

Other features naturally include video at 720P, 1080P and also 4K resolution, which is pretty much unheard of at this price point.  There is also a retro ‘Super 8’ style recording function that adds film-like glitches and muted colours to your moving footage, whilst a bunch of photo apps come pre-loaded with the phone, including ‘Gallery Doctor’.

In terms of official accessories, these arrive in the shape of a genuine leather black and brown slipcase for a recommended £29.99 and a more deluxe camera case style pouch for around £65.

Image Quality

All of the sample images in this review were taken using the 20 megapixel JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 5Mb.


The Kodak Ektra has 7 manually-selectable ISO sensitivity settings available at full resolution, ranging between ISO 100 and ISO 6400.


ISO 100 (100% Crop)

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

iso100.jpg iso100raw.jpg

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

iso200.jpg iso200raw.jpg

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

iso400.jpg iso400raw.jpg

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

iso800.jpg iso800raw.jpg

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

iso1600.jpg iso1600raw.jpg

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

iso3200.jpg iso3200raw.jpg

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

iso6400.jpg iso6400raw.jpg

Focal Range

The Kodak Ektra's fixed focal length lens is equivalent to 26.5mm in 35mm camera terms.




The Kodak Ektra is able to focus as close as 5cm from a subject. We found this claim to be accurate, though autofocusing does occasionally struggle to lock on at this kind of range.




The Kodak Ektra uses a dual-LED flash, and as usual for this technology, it gives a weaker flash burst than a standard xenon camera flash.

Flash Off


Flash On

Selfie Mode


Thanks to the six-axis optical image stabilisation system and a wide f/2.0 maximum aperture, the Kodak Ektra performs fairly well at night, although the maximum shutter speed of 1 second is disappointing. This image was taken at the camera's ISO 100 sensitivity at a shutter speed of 1 second, and though there's some noise and detail smoothing, the result is still comparable to what a typical compact camera would produce.




The Kodak Ektra's automatic sweep panorama mode works well and lets you stop panning at will. The results aren't always perfect, but ghosting is rare. The Kodak Ektra has enough processing power to capture panoramas at fairly high resolutions, so they are usually around 1800 vertical pixels.


Sample Images

This is a selection of sample images from the Kodak Ektra camera, which were all taken using the 20 megapixel JPEG setting. The thumbnails below link to the full-sized versions, which have not been altered in any way.

Sample RAW Images

The Kodak Ektra enables users to capture RAW and JPEG format files. We've provided some Kodak RAW (DNG) samples for you to download (thumbnail images shown below are not 100% representative).

Sample Movies & Video

This is a sample movie at the highest quality setting of 3840x2160 pixels at 30 frames per second. Please note that this 17 second movie is 63.9Mb in size.

This is a sample movie at the quality setting of 1920x1080 pixels at 30 frames per second. Please note that this 17 second movie is 36Mb in size.

Product Images

Kodak Ektra

Rear of the Kodak Ektra

Kodak Ektra

Rear of the Kodak Ektra

Kodak Ektra

Rear of the Kodak Ektra

Kodak Ektra

Front of the Kodak Ektra

Kodak Ektra

Front of the Kodak Ektra / Image Displayed

Kodak Ektra

Front of the Kodak Ektra / Camera Mode

Kodak Ektra

Front of the Kodak Ektra / Settings

Kodak Ektra

Front of the Kodak Ektra / Shooting Mode

Kodak Ektra

Side of the Kodak Ektra

Kodak Ektra

Side of the Kodak Ektra

Kodak Ektra

Top of the Kodak Ektra

Kodak Ektra

Bottom of the Kodak Ektra

Kodak Ektra

Front of the Kodak Ektra

Kodak Ektra

Front of the Kodak Ektra


The Kodak Ektra certainly looks fantastic in all those glossy online marketing shots, but in reality it doesn't quite live up to its promise, either as a camera or a smartphone. 

While we love the retro styling, the dedicated shutter button and handgrip, the haptic-touch shooting mode dial, RAW support and the close integration with Snapseed, sadly the overall image quality doesn't blow us away, and neither does the day-to-day experience of using it as our primary smart device, with the Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) operating system lagging behind the competition.

Even with some pretty hefty recent price drops, the Kodak Ektra simply doesn't offer enough pizzazz to replace the likes of an Apple iPhone, Google Pixel, Samsung Galaxy, Huawei P10 Plus et al, even for more experienced photographers who would be naturally attracted to the styling of the Ektra, especially as all of those competitors are making just as much fuss about their image quality and camera experience as the Kodak Ektra.

So, in an age when everyone now has a camera in their pocket, the Kodak Ektra doesn't quite offer enough to persuade us to recommend it as our go-to smartphone/camera.

3.5 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 4
Features 3
Ease-of-use 3.5
Image quality 3.5
Value for money 4

Main Rivals

Listed below are some of the rivals of the Kodak Ektra.

Apple iPhone 7 Plus

The Apple iPhone 7 Plus is the first version of the most popular smartphone in the world to offer not one, but two integrated cameras. The iPhone 7 Plus also offers photographers 12 megapixel resolution and 4K video recording, plus the intriguing new portrait mode which uses both lenses to recreate the defocused look of a DSLR with a wide aperture lens. Read our in-depth Apple iPhone 7 Plus review, complete with full-size sample images, test shots, videos and more...

Apple iPhone 7

The Apple iPhone 7 is the newest version of the most popular smartphone in the world, offering photographers 12 megapixel resolution, an f/1.8 28mm lens with optical image stabilisation, and 4K video recording. Read our in-depth Apple iPhone 7 review, complete with full-size sample images, test shots, videos and more...


The HTC One is a new flagship smartphone with some intriguing photography features up its proverbial sleeve. The HTC One has a 4 megapixel sensor, 28mm fixed lens with fast f/2.0 aperture, 1080p video, sweep panoramas, a range of picture effects and 8fps burst shooting. Read our HTC One review to find out if it's the best smartphone for photographers...

Huawei P10 Plus

The new Huawei P10 Plus smartphone has once again been co-developed with Leica, this time around focusing on delivering "stunning artistic portrait shots in the Leica image style". Is this the best smartphone for photographers? Find out by reading our in-depth Huawei P10 Plus review...

Panasonic Lumix DMC-CM1

Is it a camera? Is it a smartphone? No, it's the new Panasonic Lumix DMC-CM1, which is bravely offering both in one device. Can the Panasonic CM1 replace a high-end camera and a premium smartphone? Read our Panasonic Lumix DMC-CM1 review now to find out...

Samsung Galaxy S6

The Galaxy S6 is Samsung's flagship smartphone, offering photographers a 16 megapixel sensor, a 28mm f/1.9 lens with optical image stabilisation, and UHD movie recording. Can the Samsung Galaxy S6 replace a compact camera? Find out by reading our in-depth Samsung Galaxy S6 review...

Sony Xperia XZ

The Sony Xperia XZ is a new photography-focused premium smartphone, featuring a 23-megapixel primary camera with a 1/2.3"-type Exmor RS imaging chip. Read our in-depth Sony Xperia XZ review now...

Review Roundup

Reviews of the Kodak Ektra from around the web.

stuff.tv »

The name Ektra should sound familiar. And not because you’ve just binge-watched Marvel’s Daredevil on Netflix. Get your comic book lore right - Matt Murdoch’s sai-spinning assassin/love interest was Elektra. No, Ektra should ring bells for serious photography nerds: Kodak’s classic 35mm rangefinder was as cutting-edge as cameras got in the 1940s. And now it’s back. Well… kind of. Kodak is resurrecting the name for a smartphone with a serious photo focus. Throw in some retro-inspired design touches, and it should (on paper) stand out from the crowd. Beyond the retro appeal, though, it’s tough to see exactly what (if anything) the Ektra does better than any other flagship phone out there right now.
Read the full review »

cnet.com »

The Kodak Ektra is my first disappointment of 2017. As an experienced photographer, I was genuinely excited to review this phone. Wow, did it let me down. The Ektra's combination of a shoddy plastic design, clunky camera interface and poor battery life were frustrating enough. But the worst part is that this photography-focused phone doesn't even take great photos.
Read the full review »

pocket-lint.com »

Is it a phone? Is it a camera? The Ektra wants to be both. Although, at-best, it's a mid-range Android phone with a camera proposition that even on paper isn't really anything beyond its competition.
Read the full review »


BAND GSM/GPRS/EDGE Quad-Band 850/900/1800/1900,
WCDMA 850/1700/1900
LTE 2/4/5/7/12/17 (Cat 4)
PLATFORM MediaTek MT6797 Helio X20 Deca-core
2x Cortex-A72 @ 2.3GHz
4x Cortex-A53 @ 2.0GHz
4x Cortex-A53 @ 1.4GHz
OS Android™ 6.0
DIMENSION 147.8 x 73.35 x 9.69mm (14.02mmat camera lens)
DISPLAY 5”FullHD(1920×1080), Capacitive Multi-Touch
CONNECTIVITY BT4.1, 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4GHz and 5GHz), GPS/Glonass
I/O 3.5mm audio, USB 3.0 Type C, microSD™ (Up to 128 GB)
Single SIM (Nano(4FF))
SENSORS Ambient Light, Accelerometer, Gyroscope, E-Compass, Proximity sensor
AUDIO Speaker, Receiver, Dual MIC
KEY Camera key, Power key, Volume up/down
BATTERY 3000mAh, with 5V 2A charging, and Pump Express ready
APPS Kodak Camera, Gallery, Super 8, Selects curation portal, printing apps; Google’s Snapseed™ editor;
MobiSystems’OfficeSuite and File Commander; AVG AntiVirus

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