Japanese smartphone to challenge iPhone

With a giant, high-res screen the nani could be a contender

It's hard to look at a multimedia phone like the upcoming nani from Japan's Sophia without making comparisons with Apple's just-launched attention seeking iPhone.

Due to be unveiled at the Wireless Japan 2007 exhibition tomorrow, the nani's most prominent feature is a large touch-sensitive screen that - at 4.3 inches - beats the iPhone by almost an inch. The resolution is also more impressive, at 800 x 400 pixels, compared to 480 x 320 on the Apple device.

Blast from the past

The rest of the package, however, seems unlikely to pass muster, although it may have sounded cutting edge a year ago. The processor runs at 600MHz and there's Wi-Fi, dual cameras and a digital terrestrial tuner. Memory comes in the form of a microSD card with no internal user storage at all.

On the software front, Windows CE seems an unlikely choice. Although if it can handle the nani's various applications well, there's no reason to be prejudiced against the older OS.

Windows Media Player, however, may be something of a handicap for fanboys interested in watching ripped DVDs on that large screen, so Sophia needs to allow users to install their own software.

Pricing remains unknown, as does whether or not any of Japan's networks will carry the nani or if it will be sold as-is. We do know that it has a slot for a W-SIM card , meaning it will at least function on Willcom's PHS network .

J Mark Lytle was an International Editor for TechRadar, based out of Tokyo, who now works as a Script Editor, Consultant at NHK, the Japan Broadcasting Corporation. Writer, multi-platform journalist, all-round editorial and PR consultant with many years' experience as a professional writer, their bylines include CNN, Snap Media and IDG.