Forget the iPhone, we want this Japanese robot phone

Get your wallet ready: Sharp's adorable little robot phone costs a not-adorable $1,800

Most phones look very similar these days, but Sharp doesn’t want to follow the crowd with a phone it has announced is now available. It’s called the RoBoHon, and it takes the concept of a modern smartphone and the almost ubiquitous virtual assistant, and stuffs it all inside the body of a robot. If the video is anything to go by, RoBoHon is going to be the robotic pal you’ve always wanted.

Related: See which Apple iPhone is right for you

RoBoHon is available for pre-order now but it won’t come cheap. When you say something won’t come cheap, many immediately start thinking well into the multiple hundreds of dollars — “could it cost as much as an iPhone?” Well folks, it does, and much more, coming in at a cool $1,800. That’s a pretty penny for what is basically a high-tech toy. The cost doesn’t stop there, though — you’ll also have to front $6 per month to use RoBoHon’s voice recognition features. The good news is, he’s awesome.

RoBoHonLike a cross between Pepper the robot and a Lego Minifigure, RoBoHon stands just under 20cm tall, and is controlled primarily by your voice; although he does have a small touchscreen on his back for those more complicated tasks. What does he do? Everything your phone does — from making calls to receiving emails — but with the added cuteness only an always-happy robot can provide.

RoBoHon will read messages, then send a dictated reply, he’ll help snap a selfie or take group photos, and thanks to his head-mounted projector, even display media and images onto walls or other surfaces. If any of those pictures bring a tear to your eye, RoBoHon will tell it’s all OK, and that he likes you. What more could you want?

RoBoHon PouchYou may want a higher spec phone, as RoBoHon’s 2-inch screen, 320 x 240 pixel resolution, and Snapdragon 400 chip aren’t exactly up to date. Plus you’ll have to put up with a few questioning glances when your phone looks and acts like a little robot. For example, using RoBoHon to make calls does make you look a bit odd, as will carrying him around like a baby in the specially made pouch. Being treated like a social outcast will be small price to pay, because owning RoBoHon will be like living in the future.

Unfortunately the device will only be available in Japan for now, and it will go on sale on May 26. Sharp rarely sells phones outside Japan, so we’d be surprised to see RoBoHon at AT&T alongside the Galaxy S6 or iPhone 6S, sadly.

Updated on 04-14-2016 by Christian de Looper: Included update about pricing and availability.

Product Review

The new Asus gaming phone certainly isn't a beauty, but it performs like a beast

Asus is on a roll in 2019, having started out with the Zenfone 6 -- a welcome surprise and a great phone -- and now with the ROG Phone 2. This gaming phone has plenty of ability to ensure even casual gamers will want to take a look.

Android vs. iOS: Which smartphone platform is the best?

If you’re trying to choose a new phone and you’re not sure about the merits and pitfalls of the leading smartphone operating systems, then come on in for a detailed breakdown as we pit Android vs. iOS in various categories.

It's still worth boarding this fleet of old flagship phones if you want to save

Do you really need to blow your savings to get the latest smartphone, or is it worth looking at the top phones from yesteryear? We highlight some old flagships that are still worth buying and discuss new budget phones as an alternative.
Product Review

You don't need a gaming phone, but the Red Magic 3 will make you want one

Gaming phones have arrived, and Nubia has pulled a tempting example from its top hat in the shape of the impressive Red Magic 3. A huge display, speedy performance, and more make this a dream phone for gaming.

Big, beautiful, and breakable: Check out the best Galaxy S8 Plus cases

There’s no denying Samsung’s ability to turn out an attractive smartphone, but glass curves are expensive to fix and metal chips easily. We've rounded up the best Galaxy S8 Plus cases on the market.

FCC filing reveals impressive specs for luxury Movado Connect 2.0 smartwatch

It's been a while since we saw a smartwatch from luxury watchmaker Movado, but that drought may be over soon. FCC filings for the Movado Connect 2.0 have surfaced, and they paint a picture of a high-spec smartwatch.

Amazon Prime Day deals are ending, but you can still get great bargains

Prime Day 2019 has come to an end for Amazon, but that doesn't mean the Prime Day deals are over. With deals from Walmart, Best Buy, and Amazon still going on, this massive shopping event is continuing on through the week.

T-Mobile wants to give you a free smartphone when you add a line

Did someone say free smartphones? T-Mobile is offering free smartphones from a select range of affordable phones when a new line is opened on its $40 per month per line Magenta tier and above.

Get your game on with the best controllers for Android smartphones

If you're looking to do some serious gaming on an Android device, you're going to need a gamepad. Here are the best controllers for Android games on smartphones and tablets, with rechargeable and wireless options.

The best mobile collage apps, for when a single image or video just won't cut it

Today's collage apps combine images and videos into a crafted presentation complete with fonts, stickers, memes, and other elements that tells a story, instead of relying on a single iconic representation of a place or event.

From DIY to AAA, here's how to take a passport photo in 6 different ways

If you're applying for a passport or renewing one, you need to submit a photo in your official application. There are strict guidelines, but fortunately, it's something you can do at home. Here's how to take a passport photo.

Here’s every Alexa Built-in phone that can access Amazon’s assistant on the move

If you've got your Amazon Echo, Echo Show, and Fire TV set up, you might want a phone that's just as tied into your Amazon-based A.I. network. Here's every Alexa Built-in smartphone you can buy from Amazon right now.

Text up a storm with the best messaging apps for iOS and Android

These days, most people tend to favor digital messages over phone calls. We have the best messaging apps that allow you to share photos and documents, send text messages, and more with end-to-end encryption.

Seeking photo storage and backup in the cloud? Google Photos gets the picture

Google Photos offers free, unlimited photo storage in the cloud, making photos instantly accessible and sharable. Google also uses artificial intelligence image analysis to organize photos and videos, making them easy to search and edit.