First optical zoom camera-phone appears in Vodafone catalogue - for Japan

by Guy Kewney | posted on 09 July 2004

I already saw my first two-megapixel camera-phone a couple of months ago, when a Japanese friend visited London. He apologised for the fact that it only had digital zoom.

Guy Kewney

Now, I discover (somewhat late!) that Sharp has revealed its first camera-phone with optical zoom - and, of course, a two-megapixel camera as well. Also, a pretty neat system of rotating the display from portrait to landscape.

Oh, no, of course you can't get one in Europe. It's strictly for Japanese consumption only, says Mobile Gazette

"This is a 2.5G device offering Vodafone PDC plus dual-band GSM support in a handset measuring 99x55x25 mm and weighing 132 grams - about the standard for a 3G handset. Memory can be expanded using SD memory card. and the V602SH comes with music playback, video support, 3G graphics acceleration for games, karaoke support, a dog bark translator and weather indicator."

By contrast with other development platforms, a mere two megapixels isn't that startling. There's the report of a Qualcomm chip set which will go up to six megapixels (no date!) - but there again, most of the photos on this site up to January 2004 were taken on a 2.2 megapixel Kodak. A real camera.

And no, the dog bark translator isn't a joke ...

The dog that didn't bark in the night, however, is more of a mystery. That's the failure of the 3 megapixel camera-phone to appear in spite of Intel's promises last year, when it first said it would be out this year.

Come on. Someone must be building one, somewhere?

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