Why this thread?
I have finally made enough progress with the Marshall London to where I feel comfortable enough posting a thread for this device. I doubt this device will ever get its own section considering how niche and relatively unknown it is... Aside from a couple of questions about root for this device, there's basically next to zero support on XDA (or anywhere else)... and I hope to change that. Hopefully people will be able to find this thread.
Extra special thanks to Dees_Troy for getting a working TWRP recovery for me to test out and use. Also extra thanks to autoprime. This basically wouldn't have happened without either of you two putting up with me on IRC.
Also thanks to Zound Industries for providing the stock fastboot flashable images for those who would be unable to take OTAs, as I wasn't able to for some reason.
I'm not a developer, just the one who managed to find the awesome folks to help me with all of this.
What is the Marshall London?
The Marshall London is a phone designed by Zound Industries with design elements licensed from Marshall. There was an emphasis put on sound quality and to be able to use the phone as a multi function media device. Two headphone jacks, front facing speakers that actually sound pretty good and are loud, Cirrus Logic Wolfson DAC, the ability to control volume levels for each headphone jack independently, the ability to use both headphone jacks as stereo INPUTS and to do 4 track recording on the device... It's a nifty little device hampered by poor performance from the Snapdragon 410 SOC in it. The phone is actually pretty awesome... and most of the issues go away once you make some tweaks.
Unfortunately, likely due to out of the box performance issues and cost... the phone never really took off. Even just using the phone as a high quality mp3 player resulted in issues (mostly lag) until I was able to find a way to pare down the system to only what I needed. My aim is to give people access to the tools they will need to be able to do this for themselves as well... but also to help people fix their device should something have been done that necessitates a return to stock.
Some reviews about the device to digest:
Snapdragon 410 SOC in 64 Bit Mode (MSM8916)
Nano Sim Slot
MicroSD Slot that supports 128+GB cards
1280x720 Screen at 320 DPI
Cirrus Logic Wolfson DAC Hub
Dual Front Facing Speakers
Dual Headphones/Input Jacks
Programmable Shortcut "M-Button"
8MP Rear Camera, 1080p Video recording mode
1.9MP Front/Selfie Camera, 720p Video recording mode
So yes, low average specs, even for when it was announced in 2015.
Where is it available?
Europe, mostly. It appears (in internal software memos) the device was tentatively planned for release in the US as an AT&T exclusive and it just never happened. If you're in the States like I am, you will have to import it or buy it used. Some ... ahem ... opportunistic people thought the relative scarcity of the product meant they could just buy one and try to resell it for double. You can easily import order (on eBay or Amazon) this device, brand new, for about $400 USD. I got mine from a store in Italy called E-Commerce World/Ghz Wireless and it arrived in 5 days. They were nice enough to include an EU to US power adapter in the package. Wherever you do find one, don't pay more than $500 for it. Marshall still has it for sale on their own site.
Where is it compatible?
- GSM: 850, 900, 1800, 1900MHz
- WCDMA Bands: 1/2/4/5/8
- LTE Bands: 1/3/4/7/17/38/40
Sadly, next to none. There's a nice leather flip case with a red velvet interior that was made for the phone (you don't slip it in, but rather another battery cover is stitched into the wallet itself)... but good luck finding one. Headphones, like the one that was boxed in with the phone itself, are available separately through Marshall's site.
Due to the lack of support, ANYWHERE, for this device, I enlisted the help of some folks to try to remedy that.
Here's what I know about the device:
- It is not bootloader locked.
- Fastboot is 100% standard. It shows up as a Google device and all commands are supported.
- It is rootable. (I used Kingoroot initially, not recommended because it brought the system down to its knees with its bundled crapware)
- A working custom recovery now exists for the device. As a result, this means you can root it from within recovery instead of relying on shady root tools.
- This also means you can now use XPosed.
- Stock images for flashing device back to 100% stock
- Rooted images for flashing (though may break OTA)
- 100% working TWRP Recovery for backing up, flashing other roms, rooting the device with Magisk. (Magisk, since it modifies boot.img, also may break OTA) It will be mentioned several times, because it's that important, DO NOT use the TWRP built-in root/SuperSU installer. There is a reason the instructions say to use Magisk instead.
- Enough resources to allow for people to start developing custom roms for this device should anyone feel inclined.
All goals met.
- Changing the DPI with build.prop editors won't work.
- Changing the DPI using ADB (adb shell wm density ### && adb reboot) works but will break all Marshall apps: The onscreen buttons render right but cannot be activated. This means that if you want to use the device for music, you'll have to replace the stock music app (and freeze it to keep it from hijacking audio playback) for another one if you change the DPI to show more on the screen. I find 260 or 280 to be a reasonably good DPI value for both size and density of information. Default is 320.
- This device cannot be rooted using the internal tool in TWRP Recovery. It will cause the device to hang on boot. Use Magisk instead.