Phones shaped like hearts, monkeys and stars? This can only be Asia. We take a look at the weirdest mobiles-that-don’t-look-like-mobiles of recent times, proving that our Eastern buddies do bonkers better than us….
Exhibit One: Heart 401AB
If we could think of one place in the world where a mobile phone could become popular, based solely on the fact that it twists into a heart shape when it’s not in use, Japan would be it. So it’s no surprise that Japanese mobile manufacturer Ymobile is launching just such a device, romantically called the Heart 401AB.
Ymobile appears to be hoping the sappy design will be enough to sell the device, as the phone itself is as low-tech as possible, boasting a 0.9-inch monochrome display with a mighty resolution of 128 x 36.
Seriously, check out this highly exciting specs sheet:
Of course, the company is marketing the device directly at the female market, claiming that the heart shape fits perfectly into a woman’s hand, although we’re not sure how accustomed to female hands the developers actually are, as the device looks pretty bulky and awkward when folded. Just to really cement the ‘form over function’ air to the Heart, the charger is also heart shaped, making this a contender for the award of ‘most saccharine handset ever produced’.
However, in slightly thrilling news, there’s also a Sailor Moon edition.
The device runs on Japan’s PHS network, which only make voice calls, making the Heart 401AB a compliment to a smartphone rather than a standalone device. Having one device for calls and one for everything else seems like a huge pain in the arse to us, but apparently is common in Japan, where young consumers are mental for flip phones and fashionable trinkets.
Exhibit Two: CCT ‘Colorful bar phone for gife cute bee style cheap price with disco light’
Yes, that really is the full name of this kiddie-oriented monkey car phone, at least according to Chinese company CCT’s website. We don’t think it captures the sheer genius of the handset though, which combines mobile tech with a fun toy and a loveable jungle creature.
As if that wasn’t enough genius by itself, the monkey car phone’s tyres also light up. Presumably that’s the ‘disco light’ part, although we’re uncertain as to whether the wheels flash or encourage John Travolta-style cavorting.
Now tell me you don’t want one.
As for the phone part, you get a 1.44-inch colour TFT screen, a mighty 0.08-megapixel camera and a 500mAh battery, which presumably won’t last too long once those tyres start flashing.
Exhibit Three: C99 Star-Styled Phone
Heart-shaped mobile phones clearly aren’t bonkers enough, so check out this star-shaped effort from Chinese company C99. While the Heart phone is a relatively normal shape during use, snapping into its bizarre alternative form when you’re done with it, the C99 Star Phone is permanently shaped like a Disney version of those beautiful balls of gas burning up in t’sky.
The Star Phone sports a 240 x 320 resolution screen and more features than the other two phones here, including an FM radio, media player, to do lists, an 0.3-megapixel camera and even an MSN app. Of course, chances are you’ll probably drop and break the thing after three minutes because it’s such a bastard to hold, not to mention a rather unwieldy 600g according to the specs sheet.
Are these the strangest looking mobiles you’ve laid eyes on, or have you seen weirder? Let us know in the comments below.