Commodore, wow, that’s a name I’ve not heard for a long time. It looks like they’re back, but before you head into your loft to find that box filled with dusty floppy disks and cassettes, you may want to wait a second as the classic 1980s company isn’t releasing a new PC, instead they’re releasing a smartphone.
The Commodore 64, for those who were born in the 1990s, was one of the best personal computers of its time. In fact, Guinness has named it the single biggest-selling computer ever, as the company has sold 17 million of them. Unfortunately the company went bankrupt in 1994, with the brand being passed around a number of times over the years.
Fortunately that familiar name has returned to the world of consumer tech, but not with an updated PC, instead they’re going with what’s popular at the moment and are launching a 5.5-inch smartphone.
The PET as it’s called, shares its name with Commodore’s other iconic PC, and runs a custom Android build which includes two emulators so you can enjoy those classic Commodore 64 and Amiga games.
The Commodore PET has been in the works for some time now with a pretty long-winded history, but all you need to know is that two Italian entrepreneurs, Massimo Canigiani and Carlo Scattolini, registered Commodore Business Machines Limited in the UK, claiming to have acquired rights for the brand and trademarks in the mobile industry in 30 countries, including the US.
So in theory, Commodore is back, and their first release is the Commodore PET. But what exactly is it, and does it compare to the current market leaders?
Here’s the specs. It comes with a 5.5-inch IPS HD display (1920×1080) made of Gorilla Glass 3. It’ll feature a 1.7GHz Mediatek 64-bit octa-core processor, with a pretty hefty 3000 mAh battery. It’ll have a 13-megapixel snapper with a f/2.0 aperture, and can take images up to 4096×2304 pixels, that’s right, 4K. It can also shoot video up to 1080p HD.
It’ll come with an 8-megapixel front facing camera too, with an 80 degree wide-angle lens allowing for a much wider shot for you and your friends to be included in the perfect selfie. Both of the cameras can also be operated with a dedicated button on the side of the smartphone.
Finally, it’ll run Android, with dual-SIM capabilities, and 4G LTE.
Now, you might have noticed that I didn’t mention RAM, that’s because along with internal storage, the Commodore PET will come in a series of different flavours.
It’ll be launching in a “light” version that’ll cost around $300 with 16GB storage, and 2GB RAM. There’s also a “regular” version at around $365 with 32GB storage and 3GB RAM. Both of them will however have a 32GB microSD card included, though the slot itself supports upto 64GB.
It’ll come in white, black, or classic biscuit-beige case, other colours may be added further down the line.
Better yet, it also launches this week in Europe.