The Morning After: The premium toaster maker that’s launching a smartphone

by Kelly

I’ve been obsessed with Balmuda’s fancy toaster for years. As some readers might know, I used to live in Japan while working for Engadget, and I’d browse around electronics superstores like Yodobashi Camera and Yamada Denki, gawping at high-level cameras, weird 3DS games that would never make it to the West and touring floors upon floors of home appliances and gadgets. There are entire shop floors dedicated to rice cookers, water boilers and the rest. And it is amazing. 

Balmuda’s premium toaster oven was the apex, though. Fortunately, the company’s steam-based toaster has made it to the US in recent years and now, for $329, you can have the fluffiest slices of toasted bread you can imagine. But for those in Japan, Balmuda has now announced its first-ever smartphone. 

It’s a petite device with a full-HD 4.9-inch display. The company teamed up with Kyocera to manufacture the Android device, which has 5G and wireless charging. It comes with a 48-megapixel rear camera, an 8-megapixel front-facing camera and a fingerprint sensor. The Balmuda Phone is powered by a Snapdragon 765 processor and, as you might tell, the device packs relatively middleweight specs. The company may be banking on its premium status to convince smartphone shoppers.

At the moment, the company doesn’t have plans to release the phone outside Japan.

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