As mobile manufacturers like Samsung (LON:BC94) continue to test the boundaries of acceptability (and usability) by turning out ever-larger “phablet” smartphones, one Japanese company is taking the opposite approach.
Wireless carrier Willcom on Tuesday unveiled a new phone that it’s calling the “smallest and lightest phone in the world.” Known as the Phone Strap 2 WX06A, the new phone weighs in at 32 grams and measures 32 x 70 x 10.7mm.
As the successor to Willcom’s original Phone Strap, the Phone Strap 2 WX06A is actually slightly thicker than its predecessor, which measured just 10.5mm. But with its new phone, Willcom managed to trim down the Phone Strap by one gram while still adding several essential features such as emailing.
As far as features and specs are concerned, the Phone Strap 2’s offerings are almost as thin as the phone itself. It has a one-inch LCD screen with a 96 x 96 pixel resolution. By point of comparison, Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) latest smartphone, the iPhone 5, has a 4-inch display screen with an 1136 x 640 resolution. That’s a lot more display space (not to mention the phone’s internal processing power), but the iPhone 5 is also 80 grams heavier and significantly larger at 123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6 mm.
Given the Phone Strap 3’s minute measurements, the phone has no camera, no native apps, and not much in the way of internal storage. The battery, meanwhile, supports just two hours of talk time.
In a statement announcing the new phone, Willcom was not shy about these potential shortcomings. But the company said that the new device is intended to accompany a regular smartphone that supports a fuller range of features -- the name “strap” was intended to suggest that users could latch the tiny phone onto larger mobile devices as a complementary accessory.
Willcom said that the Phone Strap 2 will be released in Japan later this year in white, pink, and black. The company gave no details about pricing or any potential release outside of Japan.
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