This week, a new OEM revealed its presence on the Internet. The Germany-based company Linshof says it will release a line of high-end Android 5.0 Lollipop smartphones and tablets for very low prices starting sometime in the first quarter of 2015.
The company claims that both the Linshof i8 5-inch Android smartphone and their 10-inch "performance tablet" will have an unnamed octa-core processor running at 2.1 GHz, with 3GB of RAM and 80GB of onboard storage. In an email sent to media outlets Saturday, Linshof clarified that the 80GB of storage is actually split in two; 64GB is reserved for actual data storage, while the other 16GB is put in a "super-high data rate" chip to decrease boot and app loading times.
Linshof also says both their smartphone and tables will have a 13MP rear camera and an 8 MP front facing camera. The tablet will sell for $360 while the smartphone will be priced at $380; at least, that's the prices that Linshof is currently claiming. Even the designs of these products are different. Both have odd octagonal shapes with large and sharp edges at the top and bottom.
We contacted Linshof to ask if their products would have Google Play and other Google apps pre-installed and were told by a spokesperson, "Yes, we plan to, but we not there yet. At the moment we do not provide a customer services, we are just completing our manufacturing process and acquiring new factory capacities." In their new Q&A sent to media outlets, they stated the devices will have a "clean Android" version installed with "no trial ware, no ads, no unnecessary drivers" along with its own custom user interface.
The company says that it will begin selling its Android devices by the end of March 2015 in Asian markets and online, with U.S. and European launches scheduled for June. It has indicated it will be attending the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona in early March, where presumably members of the media will actually get to see and use Linshof's products. Hopefully we will learn by then if this new company is really going to do what it says, or if it's just another example of an OEM that posts a fancy website and nothing else.