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KDDI pulls a KDDI, shows entire summer lineup at once

Chris Ziegler

We'd be shocked at the rate KDDI churns out new models, but let's be honest -- its domestic competitors manage to stay pretty much in lockstep, and they're all bested by the Keepin' It Real Fake machine that is mainland China. As we might expect from a massive launch on a Japanese carrier, the so-called "Collection 2007 Summer" (that's the "Summer 2007 Collection" for those not accustomed to reading phrases backwards) holds a handful of gems, including some VGA displays and 5 megapixel cams. Let's hop to it, shall we?

Sanyo W53SA
If you're into phones that look like little tiny quilts, the W53SA should be right up your alley. KDDI appears to be targeting this one squarely at the fairer sex (hence the color palette) with FeliCa support, IPX7-compliant water resistance, 2 megapixel camera, 400 x 240 primary display, and one-seg TV in a 20 millimeter thick shell. An itty bitty OLED display on the front indicates call information; no details on the resolution, but it's good enough to display Japanese characters.

Casio W52CA
Nothing earth-shattering here, but it still has that "ooh, a Japanese phone we'll never get to play with" mystique to it. The W52CA is actually very similarly spec'd to the previously-mentioned W53SA with a 2 megapixel autofocus cam, 400 x 240 display, one-seg support, microSD expansion, and some manner of water resistance, all at the cost of 21mm of closed thickness.

Casio W53CA
Now here's where it starts to get interesting. The W53CA is one of the real halo models of KDDI's summer '07 lineup, putting down a killer 5.1 megapixels of snapping power -- hence the Exilim branding -- in a rather comely 18.9mm package. But wait, it gets better: this one also features that crazy 800 x 480 display first seen in KDDI's last batch plus microSD expansion (you need somewhere to throw those 5.1 megapixel pics, right?) and FeliCa.

Sony Ericsson W52S
This one's getting marketed as a music phone -- and indeed, if you look really closely you'll spy a little Walkman logo in the phone's lower right corner. Shockingly, the W52S supports both Memory Stick Micro M2 and microSD (perhaps at the carrier's request), though the built-in 2GB of memory should keep you going for a while. Forty hours of continuous playback time doesn't hurt, either. It's otherwise a pretty unremarkable handset, though, with a 432 x 240 display, FeliCa, and a 2 megapixel camera.

Panasonic W52P
Ooh, shiny metal! The W52P has what appear to be real, actual Allen screws fastening the top of the clam, giving it an industrial chic look that plastic just can't manage. The external display clocks in at just 96 x 64 pixels but still manages to do some nifty tricks, offering up news headlines and a wide variety of clock display styles. Otherwise, though, not much to ogle: 2 megapixel camera, wide QVGA display, microSD slot. Noticing a trend here?

Toshiba W54T
Toshiba seems to put out some of the more fascinating handsets on the Japanese scene, and the W54T is no exception, especially considering the rarity of sliders in this bunch. The keypads are etched metal, and in this particular case, the guts live up to the style with a one-seg tuner, 3.2 megapixel cam, and that same glorious 800 x 480 display. Naturally, FeliCa and microSD are along for the ride here, too.

Hitachi W52H
Come on, Hitachi -- in a field this stacked, you've got to bring it stronger than this. The one-seg tuner is all good, the orange is... well, bright enough, and the 1100mAh battery promising 28 hours of music playback is just super, but the 2 megapixel cam leaves a sour taste in our mouth. Then again, maybe we're just still hung up on the W54T.

Sharp W52SH
At this point, we can probably all guess the spec sheet: 400 x 240 primary and small OLED secondary displays, 2 megapixel cam, microSD expansion, and one-seg television. Sharp's got an angle here, though, with a relatively thin 17.6 millimeter case housing a feature set that's still relatively stunning by any standards but Japan's own.

Toshiba W53T
Like the W54T, but maybe sliders aren't your thing? Hang tight; Toshiba's sense of style impresses again with the W53T flip. The little shiny strip there serves as the phone's secondary display, while the wide QVGA primary can be rotated 180 degrees and folded flat when you're chilling in one-seg mode. Otherwise, you'll find a 2 megapixel camera (surprise, surprise) and a microSD slot in this 18mm slab of Toshiba's finest.

Sanyo W52SA
Sanyo's got one more trick up its sleeve in this impressive bunch, the W52SA. Like the W53SA, the external display here is crazy small but apparently somehow still manages to flash news headlines. Enjoy all the one-seg you can handle on its 400 x 240 internal display (a little healthier than the external's dimensions, if we do say so ourselves), or pull up photos you've snapped with the 2 megapixel shooter.

Quite a bunch, right? Apparently that's not all, either -- rumor has it KDDI's added a couple global phones and another Sony Ericsson to the mix, though it hasn't added any of those other models to its official summer collection yet. We'll keep you posted as we find out more!

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