I’ve waxed lyrical over KDDI’s gorgeous, Japan-exclusive Infobar series of phones in The Verge’s figurative pages before, and the first model in three years was just announced: this is the Infobar XV. As the name alludes to, it’s actually an anniversary phone, celebrating a decade and a half since the first Infobar was released in October 2003.
It looks a lot like the 2007 Infobar 2, my personal favorite of the range, and it moves away from more recent models in that it’s not really a smartphone. It runs Android as a base, yes, but KDDI says the software atop it has been designed from a feature-phone perspective, and the Infobar XV has the physical buttons to match. This means you can run essential apps for Japan like Line on an LTE connection while retaining the classic Infobar experience. In theory. The phone was supposedly developed based on the feedback of Infobar fans.
This picture shows the XV in the middle, with the original Infobar on the left and the 2 on the right:
And here are the three colorways being offered. The classic koi carp-inspired Nishikigoi is still around, of course, backed up by two new options: the pink and purple Cherry Berry and the ostensibly eggplant-esque (I don’t really see it) Nasukon.
Spec-wise, the Infobar XV has a 3.1-inch 800 x 480 screen, an 8-megapixel camera, and LTE connectivity. It’s 14mm thick and has a 1,500mAh battery.
So yeah, it’s a feature phone, but an extremely hot one. It’ll be out in October — only in Japan, of course.