Rakuten, the increasingly diversifying Japanese e-commerce giant, is looking to establish its own independent mobile network. The company intends to apply for part of the 1.7GHz and 3.4GHz spectrum rights in Japan when the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications opens applications for those frequencies early next year. Presently, Rakuten operates an MVNO using leased capacity from market leader NTT Docomo. Alongside second and third-place carriers au and SoftBank, the three companies effectively hold control of the Japanese mobile network. Read More
We've been taking a close look at some of Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo's 2013 offerings: LG's flagship Optimus G Pro, Panasonic's similar Eluga X, and the dual-screen NEC MEDIAS W. DoCoMo announced three other phones at the same time, all of which are at the head of their manufacturer's lineups. We've already seen Sony's Xperia Z, Xperia Tablet Z, and Huawei's Ascend D2. Fujitsu's ARROWS X F-02E matches up to both, more or less. In the more mid-range areas are Sharp's Aquos Phone EX and a new 10-inch tablet from Huawei.
Fujitsu ARROWS X F-02E
The ARROWS X F-02E (not to be confused with the earlier F-10D and F-05D models) is the latest in a smartphone family that hasn't seen much action outside of Japan. Read More
There have been a few cautious entries into the world of dual-screen Android devices from the likes of Kyocera, Sony, and Samsung, but Japanese manufacturer NEC is hoping to leave these efforts in the dust with their new smartphone. The MEDIAS W has a form factor that's distinctly different from any yet seen in the Android world: two 4.3-inch screens in equal resolution, side-by-side. It's a bit like a smaller, inverted version of the Sony Tablet P turned 90 degrees, or the old Microsoft Courier concept shrunken down.
The MEDIAS W was revealed in prototype form at Mobile World Congress 2012, almost a year ago. Read More
In case there was any doubt that 5 inches is the new standard for Android superphones, Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo has removed all of it with a new hardware series. Right at the top of the list is a new device from Panasonic in their relatively young Eluga family, this one christened the ELUGA X P-O2E. The 5-inch LCD screen is naturally 1080p, and hides a 1.5Ghz quad-core Snapdragon Pro processor, and a 13.2 megapixel camera. Colors are a flat black and a more interesting teal, as seen below.
Other specifications include an increasingly pedestrian battery capacity of 2320mAh, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of storage (with a little over 8 dedicated to the system), LTE, and Android 4.1. Read More
When the specs of the supposed LG Optimus G Pro leaked last week, it seemed almost too good to be true – like one of those fanboy wishlists you see populating forums and sub-Reddits across the web. Now Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo has announced the device as part of its DoCoMo Next 2013 Spring lineup, and the reality matches the leak quite well.
The LG Optimus G Pro will be following the trend of big and beautiful screens. It's another 5-inch 1080p display, and the bezel is razor thin. There is a faster 1.7GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro inside to push all those pixels, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of storage with a microSDXC card slot, and a massive 3000mAh battery to keep it all chugging along well into the night (well, maybe the late afternoon). Read More
The Optimus G on Japan's Docomo network is an interesting device, as it ships with a mandatory access control system that basically prevents remounting system, reading boot, executing tasks with root privileges, and things of that nature. Thus, the root process for this version of the Optimus G was a tricky one.
A backdoor found by Android hacker giantpune will be used, which allows the bootloader to be unlocked, a modified boot.img to be flashed, and some security features to be disabled – ultimately allowing root access to be achieved.
Now that you have the basic idea down – a couple of noteworthy things:
- Graphical glitches will occur while in the bootloader.
Panasonic is set to enter the high-end smartphone market in Europe and Japan in the coming weeks with the waterproof and dustproof Eluga.
We first saw the Eluga at Mobile World Congress last month, and although it looks like a great phone on paper, with a dual-core CPU and qHD display, it disappointed us when we went hands-on. Nevertheless, this is still big news for the European market, where Panasonic isn't known as a smartphone brand at all. The waterproof feature is sure to give the phone a head start against its competitors; in case you didn't know, it tends to rain a lot in England... Read More
If you didn't quite make it to Daily Steals' awesome deal a couple of days ago and still want to get your hands on an unlocked Galaxy Nexus at a crazy discount, Negri Electronics has you covered.
The online electronics dealer is offering the 16GB unlocked Galaxy Nexus for just $459.99. It's worth noting though, that the units being sold by Negri have NTT Docomo branding (meaning a teeny tiny logo near the bottom of the backplate). Negri is also sure to point out that this model is, in fact, of the Yakju variety, and will come with Android 4.0.2.
In case you need some reminding, here are the Galaxy Nexus' key specs one more time:
Pure Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich experience
16GB internal storage
1.2GHz dual-core processor
4.56" 720p HD Super AMOLED display
5MP rear shooter (and 1.3MP front-facing camera)
If you think getting a Galaxy Nexus for a cool $290 discount is something you'd be interested in, just head over to Negri's sale page here and place your order. Read More
Although the official launch of Google and Samsung's first Ice Cream Sandwich phone is still a few hours away, Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo has prematurely confirmed the existence of the Galaxy Nexus. In a tweet sent out a few hours ago, @docomo stated that it would be "among the fastest" to launch the handset, when it becomes available in November.
Rumours have already surfaced indicating that Google's latest flagship phone will come to Verizon on November 10th and will cost $299.99. However that is more likely to be the earliest possible launch date and there has been no confirmation of these rumours. Read More
If rumors are to be believed, NEC's newest Android phone - the MEDIAS E-04C - will be the world's thinnest smartphone at 7.7mm when it launches this Thursday. It has only been a short time since Sony Ericsson launched the razor-thin Xperia arc and Samsung crowned its Galaxy S II phone as the "world's thinnest smartphone," but at 8.7mm and 8.49mm at their thinnest points, respectively, these phones look positively obese in comparison.
According to Akihabara News, Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo will be announcing its new spring collection later this week, but apparently someone could not wait and leaked photos of NEC's newest offering to Japanese blog Ameba. Read More