Do not doubt your eyes. What you see here is indeed a 2021’s smartphone. The phone is from Japanese high-end appliance maker, Balmuda, best known for its over-the-top expensive toaster, lantern, and portable vacuum tube speaker.
In the age where smartphone makers are striving to make the thinnest phone and edge-to-edge display with minimal screen disruption, the Balmuda Phone, as it is simply called, does the opposite. It makes no apologies for the chunky bezel and neither is it sorry about the curved, bulging back that will most certainly seesaw when place on any flat surface.
It is unapologetically small too, with a 4.9-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080 pixels) display. And would you check out the giant-size hole on the screen that houses an 8 MP selfie camera? That front-facing camera is literally screaming “I am here, look at me!”
The phone is small for obvious reasons; Balmuda wants it to be practical, i.e. easy to operate and hold, as opposed to chasing after the latest in technology. The phone measures a tiny 123 mm by 69 mm, but it is impossibly thick by today’s standard, with a thickness of 13.7 mm.
On the flip side, it has no camera bump (but the humpback is definitely going to annoy!). It is also super lightweight, weighing a mere 138g.
Under the hood, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 765 runs the clockwork with 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of ROM. On the all-important imaging department, it only has a 48 MP camera that strangely, can only record 12 MP.
Another strange design choice is the physical fingerprint sensor which is located at the top left corner around the back.
Other highlights include a 2,500 mAh battery that supports USB PD 3.0 and supports wireless charging (presumably Qi standard), 5G and LTE radios, NFC, Bluetooth 5.2, WiFi, USB Type-C interface, and IPX4 for dust and waterproof.
The Balmuda Phone is a real phone, which despite its mid-range specifications, has a price tag of a flagship device, or 104,800 yen (about US$908) to be precise.
Balmuda is taking pre-orders for the phone, with shipping slated to happen on November 26 for the black model and December for the white model. No words if it will be made available outside of Japan.
All images courtesy of Balmuda [JP].