, Softbank and NTT DoCoMo have both announced their autumn / winter '07 handset lineups as well. More on the NTT DoCoMo
goodies shortly, but for now, let's take a closer look at just what Softbank has to offer our friends on the other side of the Pacific, shall we?
[Thanks, Chris N.]
Sharp plays a huge role in this particular collection with six models; the "Premium" 820SH isn't the most exciting, but it just might be the most attractive. Available in eight colors ranging from white to black and pretty much everything in between, the 13.4mm clamshell is fashioned of stainless steel and includes one-seg mobile TV. Look for it in early December.
Just a hair upmarket from the 820SH, the 821SH -- also branded as part of the Premium line -- comes in seven colors and features stainless steel construction. At 12.9mm thick, it's being marketed as the world's thinnest one-seg phone. Like the 820SH, it'll be available early next month.
This one's definitely for the form-over-function crowd. Its full name, technically, is the "Mirror 821P," a name given by a mirrored surface that apparently causes the phone's color to vary slightly depending on the angle. It also features a push-to-open button, making for a fabulous weapon should the need arise (slapping opponents with your display as it opens can be really demoralizing, don't ya know). This one should come knocking mid-November in five colors.
Here's where things start to get interesting. Like the 912SH
) before it, the 920SH gets slapped with AQUOS branding -- this time on account of its lovely 3.2 inch WVGA display. At 18mm, it's not the thinnest of the lineup by a long shot, but with international roaming (an AQUOS first) and one-seg on that huge, 16:9 screen, we're willing to forgive and forget. The 920SH launches in mid-November.
One of three sliders in the batch, the 920SC represents the latest entry in Samsung's ever-widening Japanese mobile presence. It's branded as the "PHOTOS 920SC," owing largely to its 5 megapixel camera, xenon flash, and face recognition capability on the autofocus. Its display is an outdoor-viewable OLED, too, making it fit to take over basic point-and-shoot duties in the family. The 920SC gets a rather late launch toward the end of December in four color combos.
The 920T approaches the visual goodness of the 920SH, featuring a 3 inch WVGA display -- so if the slider form factor is your thing, this puppy's the way to go. 1GB of storage finds its way inside the 920T, too, perfect for recording shows off the one-seg tuner using the DVR-like timed record functionality. Look for it in the middle of December.
This one's marketed as the lightest AQUOS-branded handset ever made, but don't get too excited -- while it is
3 inches in diagonal, it sports just QVGA resolution on which to enjoy your one-seg programming. It's 18mm thick, too, so we think we'll pass. This one comes around mid-December in five shades -- two blues and three whites.
Panasonic gets stylish here and leaves the ultra high-spec stuff for some of the other models in the lineup. The 820P's headliners include one-touch open, a 2.8 inch WQVGA display (which is still better than pretty much anything we get around here), and something Panasonic calls "WaveTileKey" which seems to be nothing more than a keypad with raised buttons. The 820P's available shortly -- mid-November, to be exact.
Sharp 913SH G TYPE-CHAR
This slider isn't brand new, but a special edition of a phone originally introduced in Softbank's summer '07 collection (which is, of course, ancient at this point). It celebrates some dude named Char Aznable from Mobile Suit Gundam
, and that's about all we know. And, oh yeah, the charger is in the shape of some other character's head. How creepy is that? You can pick this up in early December -- but don't expect any color options.