The idea of the separable phone has actually been around for a while, but only in conceptual form. Recently, however, NTT DoCoMo has been making waves by introducing (and releasing) a real version into its lineup, the Fujitsu F-04B Prime Series, on March 26.
It’s actually an incredibly simple concept, and somewhat of a surprise that it hasn’t surfaced or become reality sooner. The concept of the separable phone is that you can have two (or more) pieces of the phone that are wirelessly connected. In a day and age of combining devices into one, it may seem a little silly to do this, but it actually makes quite a bit of sense on several angles.
Let’s go over some things you can do with a separable phone:
- Browse the internet on one piece while using the other piece to talk on
- Use one piece as a gaming console and the other piece as the control or Wiimote (ie. steering wheel in a racing game)
- Attach several different types of accessories on the main piece, in an interchangeable fashion
- Attach a pico projector for presentations and watching movies (can be used on screens up to 66-inch)
- Take pictures remotely — use one piece as the camera and the other piece as the remote
And these are just a few ideas. Certainly the concept can be expanded out in an endless number of ways. But the important thing is that this is actually now on the market; the separable phone should have become available on NTT DoCoMo as of yesterday.
So here’s ultimately how the setup works. The phone itself is an ultra-thin 3.4″ VGA touchscreen smartphone that measures at 9.8 mm thin, and can easily utilize a bluetooth keyboard or full numeric keypad on a separate piece. That extra piece easily attaches back onto the phone whenever you’re done using it. Check out the video below to see exactly how everything attaches and detaches, and what else the phone can be used for. Additional attachments are sold as accessories, such as the projector module.
Its other defining feature is the 12.2 MP camera that graces the phone.
Below you’ll see the video demonstration as well as a full gallery, followed by the full press release.
So, where do we go from here? We don’t know, but we’re excited to find out.
Here is the full press release from NTT DoCoMo:
Tokyo, March 23, 2010 — Fujitsu today announced that its new docomo PRIME series F-04B mobile phone will be available from NTT DOCOMO, Inc. in Japan beginning March 26, 2010.
The F-04B features the world’s first(1) separable handset, allowing the display and keyboard units to be detached from each other. By detaching the phone’s keyboard from the display, users can easily send e-mails or search their address book while talking. When the display is attached to the keyboard, the phone slides open and close. Since the display has a touch-screen, it can operate independently from the keyboard allowing the phone to take whatever shape that best suits the user’s needs. A projector unit (sold separately)(2) is also available, which makes it possible for users to view mobile phone contents on a large screen, adding scalability to the handset.
To keep up with advances in mobile-phone functionality and services, Fujitsu have offered such unique and innovative designs as the rotate-screen sliding phone. The new docomo PRIME series F-04B is based on a “freestyle design” concept, allowing it to be used in whatever way the user wants—as a familiar slider phone, or with the keyboard detached from the display, or as a slim 9.8-mm touch-screen device. The detached mode gives users an unprecedented ability to have phone conversations while using the screen to look up phone numbers, check schedules, read/send e-mails, browse the Internet, and watch “One-Seg” TV broadcasts. This flexibility opens up entirely new ways of using the phone.
The keyboard unit can be used either as a numeric keypad or a QWERTY keyboard for faster typing. The revolutionary keyboard unit contains its own microphone and speaker allowing it to be used on its own for phone calls. The display unit can also be attached to a projector unit enabling users to view mobile phone contents, such as one-segment TV, photo albums, and other documents, on a large screen of up to 66?. Other optional units for attaching to the screen will be introduced in the future, extending the phone capabilities even further.
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