Balmuda Inc, a high-end Japanese toaster maker, launched a stripped-down smartphone on Tuesday, hoping to gain a foothold in a sector dominated by Apple’s iPhone.
At the launch event, Chief Executive Gen Terao stated that the 5G enabled Android gadget is expected to contribute 3 billion yen ($26 million) to Balmuda’s sales in the current fiscal year. The “Balmuda Phone” sports a 4.9-inch screen and a curved back and costs 104,800 yen ($920).
It is manufactured by industrial ceramics business Kyocera Corp and sold by wireless carrier SoftBank Corp, which was the first to bring the iPhone to Japan.
The 4.9-inch 1080p screen is accompanied by a 2,500mAh battery that can be charged by USB-C or wirelessly. It, like the Pixel 4a 5G, is powered by a Snapdragon 765 with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. Other major technical specifications include a 48-megapixel rear camera and a fingerprint sensor located opposite each other. There’s also an 8MP hole-punch front-facing camera, NFC, and an IP44 water/dust resistance designation.
The other main selling point of this Android 11 phone is unique software, even while it plainly runs Google Play services on the default home screen, with Chrome, the Play Store, Search, Gmail, Drive, and YouTube Music.
The launcher, however, is fully original, as is the calendar app, memo (notes — with the pinch-to-zoom layout), calculator, and clock. The camera app is quite simple, with your most recent shot displayed on the left and a menu on the right. You may access modes for food/cooking, people, night view, and movies by swiping on the capture button.
Its smartphone will face heavy competition from Apple, which sold $28.5 billion in iPhones in Japan in the fiscal year ending September. In Japan, the 5.4-inch iPhone 13 mini is over 20% cheaper than the “Balmuda Phone.”