Sony’s diminutive “deputy” phone

The SBH52 Smart Bluetooth handset allows for discreet mobile communication

Image: Hugh Threlfall

Have I discovered the world’s smallest-ever mobile phone at just 88mm long, 25mm wide and 8mm thick? Yes  – and no. This is the Sony SBH52 Smart Bluetooth handset, and it works as a kind of deputy phone – a satellite, if you like – for any Bluetooth-enabled smartphones concealed about your person, briefcase or handbag. It connects by Bluetooth to your real phone, which can be up to a few metres away, and has a screen to display the caller or text message, as well as a microphone at one end and a speaker at the other. Ergonomically, the device is just about big enough to hold to the side of your face, while still being as small as the most diminutive cigarette lighter. So if you’re somewhere where mobile use isn’t allowed – at a meeting, say, where peering at your phone could appear rude – you might get away with glancing at this, because it looks too small to plausibly be a phone.

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Alternatively, you can use this curious – but for many people, possibly irresistible – gadget clipped to a top pocket and connected to your ears by headphones. It will play music in proper stereo and there’s an FM radio built in, too, which uses the headphone lead as an aerial. The SBH52 works best with Sony Android phones, but is fine with other makes, including iPhones.

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