The Balmuda Phone is an unusual phone with a unique design by 2021 standards: It has a 4.9 inch display and a curved back that the company says makes the compact phone easy to hold in the palm of your hand. It’s also a fairly expensive phone: it goes in sale in Japan this week for ¥ 104,800 (about $914).
Available in black or white color options, the Balmuda Phone has a plastic case that measures 123 x 69 x 13.7 (4.84″ x 2.72″ x 0.54″) and weighs 138 grams (4.9 ounces), making it positively tiny by modern smartphone standards.
With a 4.9 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixel display though, it should still have enough screen space for most activities, and the phone’s Qualcomm Snapdragon 765 processor, 6GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage are similar to what you’d get from a Google Pixel 5a.
The Balmuda Phone supports 5G networks (in Japan), WiFi 5, Bluetooth 5.2, and NFC and has an IPX4 water-resistance rating.
Other features include a 48MP rear camera and 8MP front-facing camera, a rear fingerprint sensor, a 2,500 mAh battery, a USB Type-C port with support for USB PD 3.0 fast charging.
The phone also supports wireless charging. The phone ships with Android 11 software and a custom user interface.
While you can certainly find phones with similar specs for lower prices, there’s nothing quite like the Balmuda Phone available in terms of screen size and design. Whether that’s worth paying a hefty premium for is something only you can answer… but it’s also something that probably only matters if you happen to be in Japan at the moment, since it’s unclear whether the Balmuda Phone will ever be available anywhere else.