October 14th, 2004


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KDDI’s five new babies
KDDI's Marc Newson-designed talby
It’s an unspoken law in the Japanese cellphone industry that handsets never get launched alone, and KDDI abides by it by dropping five newies on us all at once today. As ever with KDDI, the specs of the first four lack the military unity of DoCoMo, and it’s pointless trying to nail down common features; there are megapixel cameras that shoot up to QVGA-sized movies, stereo speakers, big screens, the cellphone version of Opera, GPS, Bluetooth, USB webcam functionality, FM radios, and a host of other things spread liberally across the range. The fifth handset announced today is perhaps the pick of the bunch, though: a Marc Newson-designed handset called the talby (pictured above) that has a 3.3-megapixel camera and comes in at 0.5-inches thick and 2.8 ounces.

   Olympus’ new m:robe media players: the MR-500i and MR-100

Olympus m:robe MR-500iThis is gonna sound weird at first, but Olympus has decided that there’s room for one more in the mobile media pool and has just bounced out a couple of new portable media players.

The m:robe MR-500i is a new 20GB portable digital photo viewer/MP3 player with a 3.7-inch VGA resolution touchscreen LCD and a built-in digital camera. There’s tons of software for organizing, viewing, and “remixing” your digital photos (you can transfer pics directly over from a digital camera), but despite the Olympus m:robe MR-100sweet high-res screen it looks like there is no support for video.

The m:robe MR-100 is their new 5GB competitor for the iPod mini. You won’t be falling out of your chair or anything, but Olympus says it uses some sort of “unique electrostatic pad” for controls. Alright!

Both are currently for Japan only.