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DoCoMo launches waterproof kids' phone

Japanese will have yet another tool to keep tabs on their kiddies with this tough handset, which packs GPS and a mighty alarm.


I still see kids in the Tokyo subway actually using payphones (remember those?) to call their parents as they make their way home from school. Telecommunications giant NTT DoCoMo seems to be launching this just-for-junior Android-powered smartphone to convince them to knock it off.

The HW-01D (PDF) comes in yellow, blue, or pink. It's powered by Android, has a 2.0-inch QVGA screen with a 240x320 resolution.

The browser and phone can be restricted to parent-set contacts and sites.

It has a 100-decibel alarm to ward off nasty people, GPS, and can send SMS texts so you can keep tack of your little one all the time.

It's also made for abuse, constructed of sturdy plastic that's waterproof and dust-proof.

The HW-01D joins 18 other new DoCoMo summer models, some of which feature pre-installed manga comics.

Others will have the Twonky Beam app installed, which allows you to stream content to your Internet-connected TV.

DoCoMo's Raku-Raku Smartphone F-12D, meanwhile, will feature a 4.0-inch WVGA screen that mimics the feeling of pushing actual buttons. After all, who wants to buy a phone with real buttons?

"Users less experienced in touch screen operations are expected to welcome the familiar feel of this newest model in DoCoMo's series of easy-to-see, easy-to-hear and easy-to-use mobile devices," the company said in a release.

The models are expected to be released in Japan this summer.