Sony Xperia Z1 f (Xperia Z1 Mini) and Samsung Galaxy J officially announced in Japan
Oct10

Sony Xperia Z1 f (Xperia Z1 Mini) and Samsung Galaxy J officially announced in Japan

Three days ago, a leak suggested that the small version of the Sony Xperia Z1 was headed to Japan under the moniker Xperia Z1 f, and that it would be joined by the Samsung Galaxy J in Docomo’s roster. That’s been made official today. In designing a ‘mini’ version of its flagship, Sony thankfully opted to go a different route than Samsung (the company that first did such a thing with the Galaxy S III Mini from last year) and HTC. Whereas the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini and the HTC One Mini come with mostly midrange specs, the Xperia Z1 f is basically every bit of its larger sibling that Sony could cram into that smaller frame. Which makes it an extremely interesting proposition if it will ever launch anywhere else – since it’s been a pretty long while from when we last saw a 4.3-inch smartphone with top of the line specs. The Xperia Z1 f has a 4.3-inch 720p HD touchscreen, a 20 MP rear camera, a 2 MP front camera, a 2.2 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, 2 GB of RAM, 16 GB of built-in storage, a microSD card slot, all the usual connectivity options, and a 2,300 mAh battery. It runs Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, and, like the Z1, it’s waterproof and dustproof. For now, this handset is exclusive to Docomo, Japan’s largest carrier, where it will be out in December in black, white, pink, and lime. But we’re hoping it will make its way to other countries soon, preferably under a different name. The updated Samsung Galaxy S4 that was rumored for a while this summer has become reality. It’s called the Galaxy J and it too is only available in Japan right now. It has a 5-inch 1080p Full HD Super AMOLED touchscreen, a 13 MP rear camera, a 2 MP front camera, a 2.3 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, 3 GB of RAM, 32 GB of internal storage, microSD card support, all the usual connectivity options, and a 2,600 mAh battery. It runs Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. So in a nutshell, the Galaxy J takes the S4’s form factor and size and inserts the Galaxy Note 3’s guts into it. A nice prospect for many, surely, but for now one that’s limited to Japan. Maybe we’ll see it get out of there soon, but nothing’s certain at the moment. The Galaxy J will be in stores in Japan before the month is over, and it will be offered in pink, blue, and...

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Sony Xperia Z1 f (Honami Mini / Z1 Mini) confirmed for Japan. Samsung Galaxy J leaks
Oct07

Sony Xperia Z1 f (Honami Mini / Z1 Mini) confirmed for Japan. Samsung Galaxy J leaks

Every sane person in the world is hoping that Sony isn’t actually going to name the ‘Mini’ version of its Xperia Z1 flagship Xperia Z1 f. However, that’s getting more likely by the day. It’s a near certainty for the company’s home market of Japan, at least. That’s because over the weekend some pictures of DoCoMo’s upcoming smartphone lineup have surfaced, and they clearly show the phone previously codenamed Honami Mini (and nicknamed Z1 Mini by many) as the Sony Xperia Z1 f. So unless someone went to the extreme trouble of faking these shots that show a catalogue for Japan’s biggest carrier, the Z1 f name is 100% real. All we can do now is hope that Sony won’t use that elsewhere. Keep your fingers crossed. Alongside the image you can see above, a few details about the Z1 f arrived. First off, it will be offered by DoCoMo in four colors: black, white, pink, and lime. And once again, we get specs. The Xperia Z1 f should have a 4.3-inch 720p HD touchscreen, a 2.2 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, 2 GB of RAM, 32 GB of storage space, and it will run Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. It will be waterproof and dustproof, and its dimensions are 127×64.9×9.4 mm. Obviously, some of the specs may be altered slightly for the handset’s debut outside of Japan. Inside that DoCoMo brochure we also find a smartphone that we haven’t previously heard anything about: the Samsung Galaxy J. This looks like it’s a cross between the Galaxy S4 and the Galaxy Note 3, one that’s tailor made for DoCoMo or the Japanese market (that might explain the J). Of course, there is a slim chance we’ll see this elsewhere, perhaps rebranded, but don’t hold your breath just yet. Not that we wouldn’t want to have it as an option in other markets, mind you. The Samsung Galaxy J comes with a 5-inch 1080p Full HD touchscreen, a 2.3 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, 3 GB of RAM, and will run a yet-unspecified version of Android Jelly Bean. It will be offered in pink, white, and blue. The chipset and RAM amount are straight out of the Galaxy Note 3, while the screen size and overall size of the J scream more ‘Galaxy S4’. The design looks like it was inspired by both of the Korean company’s current flagships as well. Via Datacider Via...

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Samsung Galaxy Nexus II, LG Optimus Nexus, and Sony Xperia Nexus all coming this year?
Aug21

Samsung Galaxy Nexus II, LG Optimus Nexus, and Sony Xperia Nexus all coming this year?

A while back a rumor did the rounds that said that Google would launch no less than five different Nexus smartphones this fall, to celebrate five years having passed from the initial Open Handset Alliance announcement. However, months went on and we’ve heard nothing about any new Nexus smartphone. Until today, that is. Earlier the Samsung GT-I9260 leaked, and it looked like it would be but a minor revision to the Galaxy Nexus. Now some leaked documents that allegedly come from NTT Docomo, Japan’s biggest carrier, show no less than three Nexus devices on the way for this year. There’s the Samsung Galaxy Nexus II, which we can assume is the GT-I9260, but also the LG Optimus Nexus, as well as the Sony Xperia Nexus. Of course, these are just the Nexus phones that are headed to NTT Docomo. Google may actually announce five devices, and NTT may have picked just three of those for its upcoming lineup. Or this could all be fake information. We can’t be sure just yet. But if Google does go through with a multi-manufacturer, multi-device Nexus launch this fall, it will be interesting to see how Samsung, Sony, LG, and the (supposed) others will differentiate their respective handsets. Via Android...

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LG Optimus it (L-05D) arrives in Japan on June 30 with dual-core Qualcomm S4 processor
Jun26

LG Optimus it (L-05D) arrives in Japan on June 30 with dual-core Qualcomm S4 processor

Ready for yet another LG smartphone called Optimus something? Well, here you go then. The Optimus it (better known by its model number L-05D) is currently on its way to Japan, where it will be sold exclusively by NTT Docomo, that country’s leading carrier. The LG Optimus it, strange name aside, is a pretty run-of-the-mill affair in terms of specs. The only thing really standing out is the dual-core 1.5 GHz Qualcomm MSM8960 Snapdragon S4 processor. The smartphone also has a 4-inch 480×800 IPS touchscreen, an 8 MP rear camera, a 0.3 MP front-facing camera, 1 GB of RAM, 8 GB of built-in storage space, microSD card support, 2G, 3G, and 4G LTE connectivity, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and a 1,650 mAh battery. It runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Docomo will commence sales of this device on June 30. You’ve been able to reserve one to pick up when it’s available ever since June 22. The LG Optimus it will be out in white, black, pink, and purple (all colors seen in the image above). Via +D...

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NTT Docomo showcases transparent OLED screen that has touch sensors on both sides
May31

NTT Docomo showcases transparent OLED screen that has touch sensors on both sides

Your weekly dose of tech that could be pervasive in the future, or it could forever be an interesting concept comes from Japan. You might quickly want to add ‘Where else?’ to that, yet the truth is that the land far away has in the past few years ceded some of its cool credentials to South Korea, Taiwan, and China. Leave it to NTT Docomo, one of the mobile companies with the highest R&D budgets in the world, to impress us (in association with Fujitsu this time). During Wireless Japan 2012, the two companies showed a transparent OLED screen that has touch sensors on both its front and its back. Translation? A transparent screen that can be touched on the front, on the back, or on both sides at the same time. This takes ‘multitouch’ to a whole new level. The feature was demonstrated using a Rubik’s Cube game. If only the front of the screen was touched, then the whole cube would move. But if the back of the screen was touched while sliding one’s finger across the front of the screen, only a portion of the cube would be affected. Another demo use-case is sliding down the Android notification area, which can be done on the back of the screen without obscuring any of the on-screen elements. Watch the video above to get a glimpse at what this screen can do. For now, the display is quite small, a 2.4-inch 320×240 unit. It clearly has to get larger to be of any use in the ‘real world’. Also, it’s not very bright at the moment – another thing which has to change in order for this tech to ever become mainstream. Still, those advances will probably come in the next few months or years. The question then becomes: would you like something like this to be part of your next smartphone? Via DigInfo...

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LTE-focused mobile CPU joint-venture set up by Samsung, Fujitsu, NEC, Panasonic, and NTT DoCoMo axed
Apr02

LTE-focused mobile CPU joint-venture set up by Samsung, Fujitsu, NEC, Panasonic, and NTT DoCoMo axed

Back in December, Samsung joined quite a few Japanese companies in declaring that they’re working to create a processor joint-venture that would be focused on designing LTE-capable chipsets for mobile devices. Alongside Samsung, Fujitsu, NEC, Panasonic, and NTT Docomo (Japan’s largest carrier) were supposed to invest in this new company. NTT Docomo set up a wholly owned subsidiary called Communication Platform Planning Co., Ltd. (CPP) with the sole goal of preparing for the formation of the joint-venture company which now isn’t going to exist anymore. So CPP has been effectively dissolved, NTT Docomo has announced. The agreement between the aforementioned companies has been terminated, and CCP’s liquidation process will end in June. The reasoning for this move is intriguingly simple. The participating companies had set the goal of reaching a consensus on the details of the envisioned company by March 31, 2012. That simply hasn’t happened. We’re guessing each of the companies had its own vision about the joint-venture, and as such they simply weren’t able to come to an agreement on what and how to do. Hence, the joint-venture will be no more. One could conceivably think that these companies must have been able to at least agree on extending the previously established deadline for the consensus reaching. However, their not doing that and preferring to scrap the whole plan instead clearly points out the fact that the differences in vision between them were simply too big to plausibly overcome. So on the day that a new joint-venture is being announced in Japan (Japan Display Inc.), another one just bit the dust. Life goes...

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Samsung Galaxy Nexus to be released in Japan on NTT DoCoMo December 2nd
Nov30

Samsung Galaxy Nexus to be released in Japan on NTT DoCoMo December 2nd

It seems as though the US will be the last country to finally receive the Galaxy Nexus on a dedicated carrier. The device is already available in Europe and is now ready to hit Japan. NTT DoCoMo will be carrying the GSM version of the Galaxy Nexus starting Friday, December 2nd. If you are unfamiliar with the Galaxy Nexus, it spots a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor, a 4.65-inch Super AMOLED display with 1280×720 resolution, 32GB of internal storage, NFC support, and a 5 megapixel camera with 1080p HD video recording. The Galaxy Nexus will run on Android 4.0 or Ice Cream Sandwich. NTT DoCoMo has yet to state a price for the device despite listing its release date. We will keep you updated on the status of the Galaxy Nexus around the world. NTT...

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Sharp AQUOS SH-01D heading to NTT DoCoMo with 3D HD display
Nov29

Sharp AQUOS SH-01D heading to NTT DoCoMo with 3D HD display

After we heard the other day that NTT DoCoMo would be offering the Samsung Galaxy S II LTE, we have more good news to customers of the Japanese carrier. The Sharp AQUOS SH-01D will be available December 2nd according to press release issued by the carrier. Although it lacks the LTE support of the Galaxy S II LTE, the Sharp AQUOS SH-01D still packs quite a punch with its 12.1 megapixel camera in the rear, a 1GHz dual-core processor, a 3D-capable 1280 x 720 ASV display, and Android 2.3. The device is also water-proof. It is unlikely that this device will be hitting the States even though it recently visited the FCC. We will keep you updated on the status of the Sharp AQUOS SH-01D. NTT...

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LG Optimus Pad will launch in Japan first, on March 31
Mar28

LG Optimus Pad will launch in Japan first, on March 31

The LG Optimus Pad (also known as the T-Mobile G-Slate in the US) is finally going to start shipping later this week. The tablet will first become available in Japan from NTT DoCoMo, a carrier that will launch it even before T-Mobile in the US (that has yet to even confirm a release date). NTT DoCoMo has announced today that the LG Optimus Pad will be sold in its stores starting on March 31. However, it’s possible that not all stores will have the tablet from the beginning, because of logistics delays caused by the tragic earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Once the device reaches Japanese stores, perhaps it will slowly start to become available in other countries as well, either unlocked or from carriers. It will be about time, that’s for sure. In case you need a quick reminder of its specs, the LG Optimus Pad has an 8.9-inch capacitive touchscreen, dual-5 MP cameras with 1080p 2D recording and 720p 3D recording (though, because its screen isn’t autostereoscopic, you will need 3D glasses to view those 3D recordings on the tablet itself – or you could just pump it to your 3D-enabled TV via HDMI 1.4). The show is being run by an Nvidia Tegra 2 dual-core 1 GHz processor, and the display has a resolution of 1280×768. There’s also a front-facing 1.2 MP camera for video calls, as well as built-in 3G and Wi-Fi, as you’d expect. The Optimus Pad runs Android 3.0 Honeycomb. Via Android...

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Japanese consortium to launch new mobile app platform for Symbian and Linux smartphones
Apr26

Japanese consortium to launch new mobile app platform for Symbian and Linux smartphones

At least six Japanese companies have teamed up to create a new mobile application platform targeting Symbian and Linux mobile operating systems. The group consists of NTT DoCoMo, Renesas Electronics, Fujitsu, NEC, Panasonic Mobile and Sharp. As to why these six particular companies decided to work with each other, it’s still not clear. But current mobile phone manufacturers Fujitsu, NEC, Panasonic Mobile Communications and Sharp can save a lot of time and money by not having to rely entirely on their own individual resources to develop basic application-processing functions, that much is certain. The group promises improved processing speeds for high-quality video and enhanced 3D graphics processing for advanced mobile multimedia functions. The platform they are working on will be offered to mobile phone manufacturers around the world, and this is scheduled to happen by late 2011 to early 2012. At the moment, they are only working on compatibility for Symbian and Linux smartphones, but open mobile operating systems like Google’s Android are up for consideration. Via...

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