A Japanese toaster company makes the most unique Android phone of the year | Ars Technica

2021-11-24 06:05:04 By : Ms. Amy Wang

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Ron Amadeo-November 16, 2021 at 7:11 PM UTC

Not every day you see the release of smartphones, it does look like something new and different, but please say hello to "Balmuda Phone". This is a unique, compact and small Android phone, completely unexpected, from the Japanese luxury toaster manufacturer. You can't make up these things.

Usually, the stories of these "smartphones made by random companies" are the same, and they all involve calling turnkey smartphone manufacturers and making general-purpose phones. These turnkey smartphone businesses have brought us great products, such as KFC or Pepsi P1, but this is not what Balmuda did here. The company makes mobile phones because it has new ideas for mobile phones, focusing on compact, rounded designs rather than the huge flat rectangles that dominate smartphone design. This is a mobile phone designed around human hands, not the rectangular components that make up the phone.

Quoting the website (translated via Google) the company said: "The design shape of the Balmuda Phone naturally fits your hand. For this reason, not only is the back curved, but the shape when viewed from the front is actually wrapped in a soft curve-even It’s the display. In other words, the Balmuda Phone is the only smartphone that does not include any straight lines in the ratio."

Balmuda Phone is designed to be hand-held meaning that it is one of the rare compact smartphones on the market. It has a 4.9-inch, 1920×1080 display, and a body width of 69 mm. Microphones do not have enough battery space, and the 2500 mAh battery in the specification table does not make us optimistic. The phone is also very thick at 13.7 mm, but it can still slip into the pocket easily because the entire back of the phone is curved, and the top and bottom are almost a point.

It looks like the main speaker of the phone is on the back, next to the camera and LED flash. On the left side of the camera is another round object, a combined power button/fingerprint reader, almost as big as the camera lens. It is difficult to identify in the photos, but in those back photos, there is also a volume rocker on the right side of the camera.

Everything on this phone looks like custom parts work, including the display, which has very rounded corners and a punch-hole camera on the right side of the display. The difference is expensive, and the Balmuda phone is priced at 104,800 yen, or about $915. For this price, you will get a mid-range Snapdragon 765 SoC, an unspecified amount of RAM and storage, and a 2500 mAh battery. We don't know whether the 4.9-inch 1080p display is LCD or OLED. There is a USB-C port on the bottom. It is said that this phone supports wireless charging and has IPx4 water resistance to resist splashing water.

The phone is equipped with Android 11 and Google Play, and has an interesting home screen interface. The first home screen panel is a collection of usual icons and widgets, and sliding horizontally will bring up built-in applications such as calendar, clock, and phone.

The main product of Balmuda is called "Balmuda The Toaster"-a $300 oven that is designed to add some steam during the baking process. You pour a small glass of water into the top of the device, and the steamy air is said to bake the outside of the toast faster. Balmuda says this can lock in the natural moisture of the bread, thereby enhancing the aroma and flavor of the toast. After expanding the product line to electric kettles and LED lanterns, are Android phones, uh, a significant expansion of the product line? Balmuda Phone may never leave Japan, but the United States is the only other country where Balmuda sells its products.

This phone will go on sale in Japan on November 17.

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