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Toshiba phone grows arms, legs and robot face

Let's file this one under 'insanely frivolous' - one of Japan's major mobile phone networks is releasing a handset that comes with detachable arms and legs that are supposed to make it look like a robot.

Number three carrier Softbank Mobile said yesterday that it would start selling the Toshiba-made 815T PB in April to coincide with a new TV show it features in. As the show progresses, new downloads will add related games to the phone.

His master's voice

The flexible limbs do little beyond allow the phone to stand, literally, on its own two feet, while on-screen graphics turn the display into a robot face of sorts. Software on the phone is capable of listening to spoken commands and adjusting the face's reactions accordingly.

Although the phone's so-called extras sound like a heap of time-wasting nonsense, the device itself is solid enough as a standard 3G Japanese mobile.

Better yet, the TV show ('Mobile Detective Agency 7') is directed by Takashi Miike, the auteur responsible for such cinematic gems as Audition and Chakushin Ari - trust us, go rent 'em.