NTTDocomo Smartphone Roundup

Technology

With the mobile marketshare war heating up in Japan, each of the three major carriers – au by KDDI, SoftBank and NTTdocomo are gearing up for a fight in the smartphone arena.

Toshiba T-01C “REGZA Phone”

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Déjà vu? We saw this as IS04 from au by KDDI two weeks ago. Back then, I had hoped that Toshiba would bring this to NTTdocomo and perhaps even worldwide. Of course, a worldwide release is uncertain but perhaps unlikely considering the numerous Japan-specific features.

The REGZA Phone T-01C features Android 2.2 running on second-generation Snapdragon hardware. Couple that with a FWVGA resolution 3.8” screen and a powerful 12.2MP CMOS camera and you’ve got one high-spec smartphone that isn’t afraid to trade punches with traditional keitais.

Toshiba included the Japanese features such as SP-mail, emoji, Osaifu-Keitai (mobile wallet) and 1seg Digital TV. Waterproofing was also a feature found in almost all keitais that was lacking from smartphones until the T-01C.

Unlike the IS04, the T-01C comes in Black and Red (which looks more like rose/pink). I would have preferred a white variant myself.

Touch Wood SH-08C

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While not a “smartphone” per se, I chose to put it here for the sake of simplicity.

The Touch Wood was first seen at CEATEC JAPAN 2009 as, you guessed it, Touch Wood concept model. The idea is that each phone is crafted from its own piece of hinoki – or Japanese cypress – and that no two phones are alike. True enough the grain patters are unique out of the limited 15,000 to be made.

The phone is made by Sharp, so it incorporates all of Sharp’s goodies – MobileASV display incorporating AQUOS technology and the snappy Symbian interface.

LYNX 3D SH-03C

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Another smartphone made specifically for the Japanese market is the Sharp LYNX 3D SH-03C. It also incorporates all of the Japan-specific features found in traditional keitais.

SH-03C runs on Android 2.1, but its greatest strength is the 3D capability, both in display and capture. In this respect, it’s much like the IS03 from au by KDDI. The SH-03C supports video and photo capture in 3D mode using its 9.6MP CCD camera. It can also convert 2D images to 3D. 720p HD video is also supported. In further integrating with other hardware around the home, the SH-03C supports transfer of video recorded using a Blu-Ray disc recorder to the phone for viewing, as well as DNLA standard to stream its contents wirelessly.

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