Its been a while since we heard of a rather unique smartphone coming from Japan. Onkyo the country’s leading high end audio equipment manufacturer had tied up with Pioneer for the Granbeat a premium smartphone focusing on audio. Companies like JBL, Bang & Olufsen and Harmon Kardon have partnered with phone companies to lend or develop technologies for a smartphone, this is the first time an audio company has delved into this arena. Undoubtedly with a heavy focus on audio the Granbeat is built with the idea of achieving the ‘highest quality of audio in the history of smartphones’. It comes with a standard 3.5mm audio jack and a 2.5 mm 4 pole jack which delivers higher sound quality. It is also the first smartphone in the world to come with dual amplifiers and a full balanced circuit, a feature that is present in high-end amplifiers. The DAC and amplifier circuit are placed in a special enclosure that shields them from electromagnetic interference (3G / 4G reception) producing quality 24 bit 384 Khz audio or ‘HD-Audio’. The phone is pre-loaded with Onkyo’s proprietary audio controls which let you fine tune the amplifier even further.
The body of the Onkyo Granbeat is made from a single aluminium block with a dedicated volume knob on the left and player controls on the right side. Coming to the specifications it comes with 128 GB of expandable storage, runs on Android 6.0, packs 3GB of RAM and a 5.0′ (1080 x 1920 px) IPS display. its not just about audio, the phone also graces a 16 MP Sony camera in the back and a 8MP selfie shooter in the front. The dual SIM phone’s 3000 mAh battery delivers 1320 minutes of continuous talk time, 480 hours of standby and 25 hours of audio playback. The phone will be available later this month on Rakuten Mobile for 84,800 Yen ($ 740), we are not sure if the pricing is with a plan, but for such a standalone price the phone is a bargain. Lets hope it crosses the Pacific real soon.