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September 26, 2011

KDDI Unveils Super-Slim Waterproof Smartphone with WiMAX for Japanese Market

By Ashok Bindra
TMCnet Contributor

Akihabara News, a Japanese weblog based in Tokyo, posted on its website that Japanese telcom operator KDDI (News - Alert) has released its first smartphone for the Japanese domestic market. The Kyocera DIGNO will be available on the au network as an autumn/winter 2011 model, as per the post on the Akihabara News site.

According to Akihabara News report, the new Kyocera model has a waterproof, slim body, and weighs 130 g. It runs Android (News - Alert) 2.3, and supports WiMAX as well as 3G. Thus, offering capability to download data at speeds of up to 40 Mbps.

A company spokesperson told Akihabara News, “So far, Kyocera (News - Alert) has made feature phones, and released lots of slim models. Those include the SA001, the world’s slimmest model with mobile TV, and the SA002, the world’s slimmest waterproof sliding model. Now, we’ve utilized Kyocera’s technology for making very slim phones to offer the slimmest au model yet, just 8.7 mm thick, with a full range of features including WiMAX (News - Alert) and water resistance. So the concept here is an all-in-one model that packs everything into a body 8.7 mm thick.”

Key features of the new smartphone include high-contrast OLED display, with toughened glass to protect it from scratches, 8-megapixel main camera and a VGA front facing sub-camera. It also supports mobile TV, mobile wallet service, and infrared data transmission, as per the technology news site.

Regarding software, KDDI said that it has included a more user-friendly, smartphone version of the company’s unique Text Now capability for featurephones. Consequently, as per the report, the user can choose which application to jump to after entering text.

Additionally, according to Akihabara News post, the Text Now feature can also be started up directly from the phone’s lock screen. Text can be written or entered using voice recognition, as well as using an ordinary software keyboard.

Planned for release sometimes early December, the new smartphone models will be offered in three colors: black, green, and pink.

Ashok Bindra is a veteran writer and editor with more than 25 years of editorial experience covering RF/wireless technologies, semiconductors and power electronics. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves

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