Though there are fully sixteen devices comprising Softbank's latest round of phones, most are sitting in the giant -- quite literally giant, in fact -- shadow of the mighty 931SH. With the exception of a USB modem and two Nokias that are looking a little irrelevant in the face of Espoo's decision to pull out of Japan, though, we're going to give everyone equal time here -- so read on for the full batch!
Let's just jump right into the big guns, shall we? Closed, the 931SH from Sharp looks just a bit like an iPhone, but opening it reveals a d-pad and numeric keypad. What's more, the 931SH's ridiculous 3.8-inch 1024 x 480 touchscreen puts the iPhone's to shame, as does the color selection -- Black, Silver, Pink Gold, and Red -- and the camera, which measures 5.2-megapixels strong.
Samsung 930SC OMNIA
Everyone's getting in on the OMNIA action lately, so naturally, the Japanese version has to kick it up a notch or three. To do that, it swaps out the WQVGA display found on global units with a wide VGA one, but otherwise, some of the specs should sound familiar: 8GB of onboard memory and 7.2Mbps HSDPA, to be specific. The backside is available in Black, White, and Red -- all options we'd like to see in other parts of the world.
HTC Touch Diamond X04HT
Turns out that NTT DoCoMo isn't the only Japanese carrier that wants in on HTC's mojo. They're launching a version of the Touch Diamond as the X04HT, but unlike the once-over the OMNIA received, the X04HT is basically a dead ringer for its international cousin. VGA, 3.2-megapixel cam, Windows Mobile -- we all know the drill by now -- and it's available in any color, as long as it's black.
HTC Touch Pro X05HT
There's an old saying that goes something like this: "Where there's a Touch Diamond, there's a Touch Pro." Never heard that? Well, Softbank apparently has, putting its own version of the Touch Pro -- the X05HT -- right alongside the X04HT. It offers the same VGA display, 3.2-megapixel cam, and QWERTY (albeit localized) keyboard as other Touch Pros around the globe.
At first, you might not make much of Softbank's claim that the 930SH's 15.2mm-thick shell is markedly thin -- but then you realize that it's packing an 8-megapixel camera, which elicits an "ohhhh, that explains it." Unfortunately, it looks like all the engineering went into that cam, because it's a pretty boring, unassuming flip otherwise. At least it's available in your choice of Blue Green, Black, Pink, White Silver, and Silver Violet, right?
What's this, wide QVGA? You've already lost our attention, Casio -- but let's go through the paces here: 5.2-megapixel camera, one-seg mobile TV, a trick (well, trick outside Japan, anyway) translucent dot-matrix LED display on the face, and availability in White, Gray, Black, and Orange.
Toshiba fanfun.2 830T
A wide QVGA display, 2-megapixel camera, and artfully-angled corners should tell you that the fanfun.2 830T from Toshiba is more about looking totally awesome with the phone plastered to the side of your face than it is about taking the perfect photo. To that end, it's available in five fun (some might say "fanfun") colors: Pink, Black, White, Vivid Pink, and Gold.
Toshiba fanfun.petit 831T
The important specs of the 831T are essentially the same as the 830T, but the fanfun.petit (seriously, where do these names come from?) ups the designer ante by offering changeable faceplates. The phone itself comes in White or Pink, then you choose one of six plates (or none at all, if that's how you roll) to customize the flip and make it your own.
The 830P's being billed as a simple, super-readable handset -- and the 2-megapixel camera and WQVGA display certainly back up that billing -- but it's still reasonably attractive, we suppose. Gold, Silver, Black, and Pink are your options on this one.
Sharp PANTONE 830SH
The 830SH isn't the first PANTONE-branded set to grace Softbank's airwaves -- and if we can keep getting crazy colors like this eye-searing green, we hope it's not the last. Yeah, it's only got a WQVGA display and 2-megapixel camera like several other of the lower-end devices here, but come on -- green. Bright green. Cut it some slack, alright? If the green isn't to your liking, there are fourteen other colors to choose from, so dig in.
Sharp 830SH s
The 830SH s continues Softbank's GENT branding -- an indication that the phone's targeted at the mature crowd with big, easy-to-read fonts and huge buttons that are virtually impossible to mispress. It looks a whole heck of a lot like the 830SH and features the same technical specs, but the color selection isn't quite as varied or vibrant: Natural Brown, Warm Pink, Deep Green, and Mat Silver.
Who goes to Japan for a phone this boring? Not us -- and we're not sure why anyone would want this up against any other phone in the lineup -- but alas, Samsung is offering the meager 730SC for folks who are looking the simplest, most basic phone imaginable (by Japanese standards, anyhow). QVGA display -- no "wide" about it -- 1.3-megapixel cam, and just black and white shells to choose from. That's all she wrote.
Sharp 823SH Tiffany
If you're just now reading about this phone, you're already too late to get one -- but at over $100,000 a pop, it probably a moot point for you (and if it's not a moot point, we'd love to talk about some business opportunities with you). Just ten examples of the diamond-laden testament to conspicuous consumption were made, and Tiffany's even kind enough to provide owners with a lovely leather case that looks like it could've come out of a Crackerjack box. Beauty's in the eye of the beholder, eh?