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(Pocket-lint) - When you think about toy robots, Sony's Aibo probably springs to mind. But Sharp has its own, too, called RoBoHon. And it's getting an upgrade.

RoBoHon is a smartphone disguised as a robot. The little robot works as a phone, with a screen for a belly, but it does more. The original model could move and talk for call alerts and more. It even had a projector in its face, so it could lean forward and project larger images on surfaces. This was useful for viewing photos, following a recipe or simply as a novel hands-free option. Unfortunately, the first model was limited to Japan.

The newest model, the second-gen RoBoHon, is just as cute, and it includes LTE and WiFi-only variants. There's also a cheaper variant that costs 79,000 yen plus tax (around $715), but this one can't walk. It can still move the top half of its body to music and so on, however. Users can also manually make the bot stand upright. Altogether, Sharp is touting improved reactions and response times with the latest RoBoHon range.

In terms of specs, the smartphone inside has been upgraded from Android 5.0 to Android 8.1. It also has a  2.6-inch display (up from 2 inches), a Snapdragon 430 chipset, 2GB RAM, 16GB storage, and an 8-megapixel camera. As for that projector, it's been ditched.

Other features include taking and sharing images to (soon) and controlling smart home appliances. Sharp said the bot's speech and movements can also be programmed using the 30 pre-loaded apps. Beyond consumers, Sharp said an incoming feature will let RoBoHon offers assistance regarding products and exhibits in stores and museums. Another app will make it double as a multi-lingual receptionist, The Japan Times said.

The RoBoHon LTE variant excluding tax costs 180,000 yen (about $1,628), while the Wi-Fi variant excluding tax costs 120,000 yen ($1,085). That's not including the 980 yen (around $9) monthly subscription fee. These bots are available to pre-order now and will be released 27 February.

Writing by Maggie Tillman. Editing by Adrian Willings. Originally published on 18 February 2019.