Kazam is a small, UK-based company that was launched by executives that used to work at HTC. They want to make a splash in the mobile handset market and they announced two brand new octa-core devices at Mobile World Congress this year. The first is the Tornado 2 5.0 and the second is the Tornado 2 5.5. The devices are almost identical. A MediaTek MT6592 SoC clocked at 1.7 GHz powers them both; they both have a 720p display, an 8-megapixel rear camera, 8 GB of onboard storage and an SD card slot for expanded device storage. Both smartphones have dual SIM capabilities and will launch in Europe sometime this year, although no specific launch dates were provided. Europe was the only region announced for these smartphones, and they’ll be priced right around £250.
Kazam as a company has been pretty quiet up to this point. Other than the fact that it was formed by former HTC execs, we didn’t know much about what they are doing. They stated at MWC that they have bigger plans than just making mid-range smartphones. They do want to keep their devices affordable, but they also plan on offering programs like remote device assistance and a program to replace cracked displays for free. HTC recently announced a similar program, and it seems that it was modeled after Kazam. The remote device assistance sounds a lot like Amazon’s Mayday button on the new Kindle Fire.
These two new Tornado devices look pretty generic in design. They appear to have capacitive buttons on the bottom as well as on-screen navigation buttons, which is a bit of head-scratcher. The software is also pre-release, so it’s a little buggy and device performance isn’t stellar. The final versions of these devices will have hardware buttons; the software navigation buttons will be gone. That’s unfortunate, but it’s not unsurprising from former HTC employees. HTC, much like Samsung, refuses to give up their hardware buttons. Motorola and LG seem to have figured out a way to differentiate their devices and still follow the current Android design guidelines. Kazam hopes to offer something more. Here’s hoping they can make it work.