KDDI's New Handsets Described as 'Sports,' 'Change,' 'Video'

Jun 4, 2008
Shinya Saeki, Nikkei Electronics
Twelve summer models announced by KDDI
Twelve summer models announced by KDDI
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The Toshiba "Sportio"
The Toshiba "Sportio"
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The Toshiba "Sportio." Sportswear and other items will be also provided in collaboration with adidas of Germany.
The Toshiba "Sportio." Sportswear and other items will be also provided in collaboration with adidas of Germany.
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Casio's "G'zOne W62CA" waterproof handset
Casio's "G'zOne W62CA" waterproof handset
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The W62CA uses an electronic paper device for its sub display.
The W62CA uses an electronic paper device for its sub display.
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The W64SA manufactured by Kyocera (previously by Sanyo)
The W64SA manufactured by Kyocera (previously by Sanyo)
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KDDI Corp announced 12 au-brand mobile phones as summer 2008 models June 3, 2008. Each of the 12 handsets falls into one of the three categories, "Sports," "Change" and "Video."

KDDI will release these models to "propose a new lifestyle, instead of just enhancing capability," said Makoto Takahashi, associate senior vice president and general manager for consumer business, KDDI. We introduce the models specialized in Sports among the three areas above in this article.

Announcing that, "au will make sports life richer and more fun," Takahashi indicated the company's attitude to further strengthen the combination between its mobile phones and sports such as jogging and walking.

Toshiba Corp's "Sportio" is the handset that KDDI positions as the symbol of this attitude. Featuring an acceleration sensor and a GPS, the handset allows users to confirm the number of steps, traveled distance and consumed calories in the standby screen just by carrying it ("Calorie Counter" mode), and to compose a song by walking or running in accordance with the special tracks ("Beat Run" mode), for example.

These modes will be available after subscribing for "au Smart Sports Run & Walk" service, KDDI said. Given the Bluetooth capability, the handset also allows users to listen music wirelessly during exercise.

It measures 52 x 93 x 13.7mm and weighs 86g. "We've realized the size and weight that would not hinder while the user is exercising," KDDI said. Its display is a 2.2-inch LCD panel with 320 x 240 (QVGA) resolution. A 1.96 Mpixel CMOS camera is also equipped.

KDDI announced two other acceleration sensor-embedded handsets at the same time, namely Casio Computer Co Ltd's "G'zOne W62CA" and the "W64SA" manufactured by Kyocera Corp (previously by Sanyo Electric Co Ltd).

The W62CA is waterproof. Its main display is a 2.7-inch LCD panel with 400 x 240 resolution. The LCD panel is an IPS mode product. It features a 1.1-inch electronic paper device as its sub display. The company did not specify the manufacturer of the electronic paper device, but the sub display employs the microcapsule electrophoresis technology developed by E Ink Corp of the US.

The W64SA applied two-color formation to its body on the back of the main display. Housing four LEDs, the chassis has the added capability to illuminate the front face when the handset is opened, closed or charged, for example. It can also be illuminated by quickly shaking the handset as it works in conjunction with its acceleration sensor.

Its 2.8-inch LCD panel has 800 x 480 (wide VGA) resolution. Kyocera reduced diffused light reflection by strongly bonding the LCD panel and the hardened cover glass together.