Casio looks to go head-to-head with iPhone

Every time Casio walks out of the calculator or watch fields, as they are wont to do, I feel a bit wary, like watching a master swordsmith take up rifle making. But Casio knows what they are doing: they are sensible, practical and reliable. They release very few truly terrible products. So their new cell phone excites me. It's sort of the Nintendo DS of cell phones: on one side, a tradititional display, but swivel the top around and you have an iPhone-like touchscreen. The phone also offers a 5 megapixel camera and video recording... which is a far cry from the iPhone's crummy offerings in that regard. Price is unknown at this point, or even if it'll get a US release, but it's scheduled for a Japan debut sometime this month. Make a winner, Casio! I'd love to see a serious showdown between Apple, Palm and Casio in the smartphone wars. Casio CA001 [Casio via DVICE]
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8 Responses to Casio looks to go head-to-head with iPhone

  1. devophill says:

    They make a pretty good camera, too… this excites me, as well.

  2. johninsapporo says:

    Historyman68, I hope you aren’t offended, the Casio keyboards that I have seen are truly horrible. There may be Casio keyboards that I don’t know, but those I have tried are not good. In fact, I’m afraid I have yet to see a Casio product I like.

    And as for the new cell phone above, the interface looks pretty hard to read and I wonder what the battery life for video recording is.

  3. 13tales says:

    Short version: that AU logo on there, means it’s a cellphone for the Japanese market. They suck.

    Long version: I live in Japan, and yes, phones here have some pretty awesome features that don’t seem to make the jump to other countries. Stuff like electronic wallet chips (swipe your phone to pay for stuff – handy, since japan is strangely allergic to credit/debit card payment), the ability to watch digital TV (real TV transmission, not streamed video via the network), ubiquitous GPS and email features, and the ability to render your emails into masterpieces of flashing, sparkling, cutesy, epilepsy-inducing horror (6 months here and all my attempts at cultural understanding have so far not cured me of the firm belief that japanese people are really weird sometimes).


    They’re about as usable as…as…a very unusable thing. Seriously, the UI is generally quite shockingly bad…especially since large portions of the firmware seem to be provided by the network and not the hardware manufacturer, so not even previously trusted brands like Sony-Ericsson or Nokia provide a respite. I lasted about a month with one, before throwing in the towel, paying the enormous cancellation fee, and getting an iphone. A fair few of the manufacturers for the japanese market have quickly released some savvy iphone-esque handsets, with touch screens, touch gestures etc. I have no doubt they’ll be successful, since japanese people just don’t seem to care too much about UI on cellphones.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Sorry but Casio cameras are awful in terms of image quality. Their point and shoots are so inferior to even a $150 Canon Powershot. Nothing is in sharp focus, and you have to do is zoom down to 100% of a photo and all you see is splotches.

  5. historyman68 says:

    I loved my casio watch, and I love my casio keyboards. They have a way of making products with really specific features that turn out to have far more applications than you’d expect.

  6. pidg says:

    Many of the old 80s Casiotone keyboards (e.g. MT-100) are very solid and have some really meaty tones for what ought to be cheap pieces of junk.

    Surprised LG isn’t being mentioned here – their new Renoir phone has an 8MP camera (yeah I know, megapixels don’t matter).

  7. misterdna says:

    @johninsapporo: You can argue for the sound quality of Casio keyboards, but I was struck in the 80s with the way they delivered true low-cost synthesizers and samplers to the general public.

  8. appfiend says:

    Casio is already represented on iPhone. Take a look at MiniVLTone and MelodyCalc apps at the iTunes App Store.

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