Meet this unique, compact Android phone from a Japanese toaster company

The Balmuda Phone. It's designed to be held.

Enlarge / The Balmuda Phone. It’s designed to be held. (credit: Balmuda)

It’s not every day you see a smartphone launch that truly looks like something new and different, but say hello to the “Balmuda Phone.” This is a unique, compact little Android phone, totally out of left field, from a luxury Japanese toaster maker. You can’t make this stuff up.

Usually, these “random company made a smartphone” stories are all the same and involve calling up a turnkey smartphone manufacturer and getting a generic phone made. These turnkey smartphone operations have brought us wonderful products, like the KFC phone or the Pepsi P1, but that’s not what Balmuda is doing here. The company made a phone because it has a new idea for a phone, with a focus on a compact, rounded-over design rather than the huge slab rectangles that dominate smartphone design. It’s a phone designed around human hands and not the rectangle-shaped components that make up a phone.

To quote the website (through Google Translate) the company says: “The Balmuda Phone was designed for a shape that fits naturally in your hand. To achieve this, not only is the back curved, but the shape when viewed from the front is actually wrapped in a gentle curve—even the display. In other words, the Balmuda Phone is the only smartphone whose proportions do not include any straight lines.”

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