Former HTC execs launch Kazam smartphones, with free cracked screen replacement and stock Android

Kazam is brand new to the smartphone scene and, as its founders Michael Coombes and James Atkins know well, making a dent it the market is pretty tough. The two former HTC UK execs announced the creation of the company in June, and they're now ready to announce the first devices. And, wow, are there a lot of them. In total seven models were revealed: two higher-end handsets under the Thunder line and five lower-end phones in the Trooper line. (We'd like to believe the latter moniker was chosen because Coombes and Atkins are huge Iron Maiden fans.) Of course, "high-end" here is a relative term. Specs for the Thunder Q5.0 are still a mystery, but the Thunder Q4.5 is powered by a 1.3GHz, quad-core processor from MediaTek and 1GB of RAM. The 4.5 in its title refers to the four and a half-inch screen up front that boasts a lowly 854 x 480 resolution. The various Trooper models (X3.5, X4.0, X4.5, X5.0 and X5.5) all lose a pair of cores and half the RAM, with the smaller 3.5- and 4.0-inch versions even opting for lower resolution displays.

Obviously, Kazam isn't going to take on the Nexus 5, but that doesn't appear to be the point. The company is positioning itself as a consumer-friendly value brand. There are microSD slots for expanding storage and a removable battery in every device, and there's no heavily branded skin here -- just pure, unadulterated Android. Each device also has two SIM slots -- so there's your flexibility. But, the biggest marketing push is reserved for its support. Kazam Rescue instantly puts you in touch with a support rep that can remotely access your device to solve issues. And, get this: Kazam will replace the screen if you crack it within the first year -- for free! (iPhone owners, feel free to scream.) Does this prove, as Atkins claimed in the press release, that "Kazam is not about gimmicks or corporate bulls**t"? Not really, but it does prove the two industry veterans know how to identify pain points in the current field of phones and attempt to exploit them.

There's still no word on pricing or release dates, but we wouldn't hold our breath waiting for a US debut.