A Japanese toast company has made a tiny mobile phone designed for the human hand
The Balmuda Phone is a unique, tiny Android Phone that comes completely out of the blue from a luxury Japanese toaster maker. More often than not, these "random smartphone companies" tell the same story, including calling a turnkey smartphone manufacturer and asking them to make a regular phone. These turnkey smartphone operations have brought us great products like KFC phones or Pepsi P1, but that's not what Balmuda is doing here. The company made a phone because it had a new phone idea that focused on compact rounded corners rather than the giant flat rectangles that dominate smartphone design. It's a phone designed around the human hand, not the rectangular components that make up the phone.
"Balmuda is designed to fit your hand naturally," the company's website says. To do this, not only is the back curved but the shape is curved when viewed from the front -- even the display. In other words, the Balmuda is the only smartphone with proportions that don't contain any straight lines."
The Balmuda phone is small and has no straight lines. The Balmuda phone is designed to be handheld, which means it's one of the rare pocket smartphones on the market. It has a 4.9-inch 1920 x 1080 display and a body width of 69 mm. Tiny phones don't have enough battery space, and the 2,500mah battery listed on the spec sheet doesn't make us optimistic. The phone is also thick, at 13.7mm, but it still fits easily into a pocket because the entire back of the phone is curved, with almost a point up and down.
The phone feels like a love letter to the little phone lovers who speak their minds online. However, when the company met their demand for smaller phones, they didn't show up. The iPhone "Mini" line has been the worst-selling iPhone model and is rumored to be dying out with the release of the iPhone 14. According to Counterpoint Research, consumers are buying phones with larger screens, while phones under 6 inches account for only 10% of the market.
Balmuda's main speaker is on the back, right next to the camera and LED flash. To the left of the camera is another circular object, a combined power button/fingerprint reader, which is almost as big as the camera lens. It's hard to tell from the photos, but in those back shots, there's also a volume stick to the right of the camera.
Everything on the phone looks like custom parts, including the display, which has very rounded corners and a perforated camera on the right side of the display. Being different is expensive. The Balmuda phone costs 104,800 yen, or about $915.The phone is said to support wireless charging and is IPx4 waterproof, which should stand up to water splashes. The phone runs Android 11 and Google Play and has an interesting home screen interface. The first home screen panel is usually a collection of ICONS and widgets, swiping horizontally to reveal built-in apps such as calendars, clocks, and phones.Balmuda phones may never make it out of Japan, but the United States is the only other country Balmuda sells its products in.
The phone will be available in Japan on November 17.