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KDDI au announces Spring 2008 collection

Chris Ziegler

Yes, friends, the time has come once again for Japan's carriers to upheave their still-fresh lineups and replace them with even fresher ones. Here we take a look at KDDI au's just-announced Spring '08 collection, including a model with an e-ink display and another with a 3 inch OLED. Wowza! Note that not all of these handsets are new -- some are carryovers from the carrier's Winter '07 collection, so we won't be covering those here. Read on.

Sanyo W61SA
KDDI is touting that the W61SA features the world's first 3 inch OLED in a handset. The term "Full Front" also gets thrown around, an homage to the fact that the WQVGA display takes up virtually all of the phone's top half. Other features include a 2 megapixel autofocus cam, Bluetooth, microSD expansion, and one-seg. Available in Fusion Black, Innocent White, and Grace Pink.

Toshiba W61T
The W61T falls just shy of the W61SA's impressive mark, offering a 2.8 inch WQVGA OLED. A 3.2 megapixel autofocus camera, Bluetooth, microSD slot, and 7 x 7-segment external LED display all make the cut. This one launches in Athletic White, Dancing Pink, and Sailing Blue.

Sony Ericsson Cyber-shot W61S
As you might imagine, the Cyber-shot-branded W61S throws some weight behind its cam, delivering a full 5.11 effective megapixels of shooting resolution with Sony's "smile shutter" technology for detecting smiles. Add in a 2.8 inch WVGA (that's 800 x 480, by the way) display, and we're sold. This one will hit in Spectrum Pink, Shadow Black, and Prism White.

Casio W61CA
Looks thin and unassuming, doesn't it? Don't be fooled, though; the W61CA packs some serious punch with a 5 megapixel camera and waterproof casing. Unfortunately, it also sprinkles a little weak sauce on the display, delivering nothing more than 400 x 240 resolution over 2.7 inches. The W61CA will be available in Mode Green, Couture Gold, Esprit Yellow, and Robe White.

Sanyo W62SA
The W62SA doesn't pack the visual punch of its W61SA stablemate, but hey, you've got to admit that there's a little something for everyone in this lineup. The clamshell features a 2 megapixel cam, microSD slot, and a 2.8 inch WQVGA display, all wrapped up in your choice of Shelly White, Aquatic Blue, and Rattan Brown.

Hitachi W61H
Here's something you don't see every day: the top half of the W61H is covered in a so-called "Silhouette screen," an e-ink display that allows the user to choose from a whopping 95 patterns. Functional? Not so much, but very cool nonetheless. In case the e-ink isn't enough, also features a 2 megapixel camera, 400 x 240 primary display, microSD slot, FeliCa support, and integration with KDDI's LISMO music service. Colors for this one are Liquid Green, Crystal White, and Graphite Black.

Kyocera W61K
KDDI is advertising the W61K squarely at women, though we see no good reason why it couldn't be enjoyed by everyone. The feature list puts it at or near the bottom of this particular lineup (KDDI calls it "ease of use") with a 2 megapixel shooter and WQVGA display. It'll be available in Serenity Pink, Glimmer White, and Burnish Black.

Panasonic W61P
Thin is the name of the game here; the W61P comes in at 12.9mm thick while still managing to pack a 2.9 inch WQVGA display and one-seg mobile TV tuner -- not bad at all. It comes in a grand total of five color choices, too: Lusso Blue, Grazia White, Fino Black, Gentile Gold (yes, Gentile, not Gentle), and Supremo Red.

Sony Ericsson W62S
Lacking the W61S' Cyber-shot branding, the W62S steps down to a 2 megapixel camera. It makes up for that, though, with global roaming and a pretty fricking attractive shell (if we do say so ourselves). You also get a 432 x 240 display -- a slightly larger WQVGA variant -- along with a 128 x 36 external piece. It comes in the rather intriguing color combos of Silver / Leather, Black / Rouge, and White / Lime.

Pantech W61PT
Korean handsets are making inroads into Japan's lucrative mobile market, and Pantech brings its W61PT slider to the table for this round. The only problem, though, is that it comes up a bit short on the spec sheet with a measly QVGA display to accompany its 2 megapixel cam. At 14.2mm, at least it's reasonably svelte. Grab it in Elegance Pink, Noble White, or Midnight Black.

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