In Japan, carriers tend to release new models in giant, blockbuster batches -- seasonal "collections" that leave the rest of the world green with envy. KDDI au
is no exception, having just announced its predictably spectacular Summer 2008 lineup with entrants from Kyocera, Sony Ericsson, Sanyo, Sharp, Toshiba, Casio, and Korea's Pantech. Here's the rundown:
- Hitachi Wooo W62H. KDDI is emphasizing this one's video and 3D gaming capabilities, both of which are assisted by the presence of a 2-way hinge for flipping out the screen in a landscape orientation. Comes in blue, silver, and black.
- Sharp W62SH. The FM transmitter's kinda cool, and the three-inch WVGA screen should be perfect for watching Spiderman 2, which comes bundled with the phone. Purple, white, and gold are the color choices.
- Sanyo W63SA. Global CDMA roaming and an integrated English-Japanese dictionary makes this one a solid choice for world travelers. Get this one in red, silver, or black.
- Toshiba Sportio. As the name implies, this one's all about burnin' those calories with an integrated calorie counter. The candybar form factor is a refreshing change of pace in the lineup, but too bad about that QVGA display! Five colors to choose from here: orange, black, white, green, and red.
- Casio G'zOne W62CA. Like its counterparts on Verizon, the W62CA is designed to take a beating without falling apart. It's impact resistant and waterproof, features a compass, thermometer, and GPS, and naturally, one-seg TV. Get it in green, black, or white.
- Sanyo W64SA. This fashionable flip has some crazy light effects to go along with its crazy selection of colors, but other than that, it seems pretty pedestrian. If you can call a 2.8-inch WVGA display "pedestrian." It's available in pink, white, yellow, and black.
- Sony Ericsson Full Change re. The WQVGA display is one metric ton of weak sauce, but as the "Full Change" name suggests, five individual pieces can be removed from the front, back, and top of the phone to create a totally customized handset. Shell choices include white, pink, green, orange, and silver.
- Toshiba W62T. Seriously, what's up with all this WQVGA garbage? The W62T appears destined for the midrange, though the 3.2 megapixel camera ain't bad. Colors for this one are gold, pink, and black.
- Kyocera W64K. Possibly leading up the bottom end of the collection, the W64K rocks a WQVGA display and a weak 2 megapixel cam. We see "basic capabilities" mentioned a couple times in the translated description for it, so that says pretty much all we need to know. Pink and gold are the only color options here.
- Kyocera W62K. Whoa, and we thought the W64K was low end! 1.3 megapixel cam, QVGA (yeah, that's right, QVGA, not WQVGA) display. 'Nuff said. Beige, blue, and black are the choices here.
- Kyocera W63K. The W63K candybar is just 10.8mm thick, but we're still not sure that we can forgive it for a meager 1.3 megapixel camera. Kyocera's seriously dragging here, in case you haven't noticed the trend. Black, burgundy, and beige.
- Pantech W62PT. The only phone in the lineup sourced from a non-Japanese manufacturer, the Pantech's nothing to get too excited about with a QVGA display, but the presence of quick dial buttons directly below the screen indicates that this one's designed for folks that are looking for a simple, easy-to-use phone that's just enough to make voice calls -- and ironically, it's still better than a good percentage of the phones you'll find elsewhere in the world. It'll come in silver, gold, and pink.
Not a bad showing, especially considering that KDDI au stands out as Japan's major CDMA carrier in a country dominated by FOMA
. Get 'em while they're hot, folks -- you know it's just a few months before the next collection debuts!