NTT Docomo

Japanese carrier NTT Docomo has announced its summer 2011 lineup, which includes nine smartphones -- eight of which are Android.  The offerings from Sharp, NEC, LG, Samsung and Sony Ericsson are chock full of cool features that never seem to make it out of Asia, like infrared data exchange and mobile wallet.  Even more interesting is that they all will ship with Gingerbread, another feature that seems slow to make it's way to North America.

We've already seen the Xperia Acro, will launch in June or July, and the summer fun kicks off on May 20 with the Sharp AQUOS SH-12C, which is billed as an "Android smartphone with 8.0-megapixel 3D twin cameras. LCD panel and image processor based on AQUOS technology for high-resolution images."  Hit the break to see the smartphone portion of NTT Docomo's press release, and the source link for more information.

Source: NTT Docomo

NTT DOCOMO Unveils 24 New Mobile Devices
— Including biggest and most diverse lineup of smartphones —
 

TOKYO, JAPAN, May 16, 2011 --- NTT DOCOMO, INC. announced today its 2011 summer lineup of 24 new mobile devices for launch on or after May 20, including nine smartphones, the largest and most diverse collection of smartphones ever released by DOCOMO, plus a wide variety of feature phones
compatible with DOCOMO’s i-mode™ mobile Internet platform, as well as mobile Wi-Fi® routers for DOCOMO’s Xi™ (read “Crossy”) LTE extra-high-speed service.

The smartphone lineup offers user-friendly features for tethering, mobile-wallet (Osaifu-Keitai™) and infrared-based data exchange, plus downlink speeds up to a theoretical maximum of 14 Mbps starting from early June. The lineup also boasts the world’s first wirelessly chargeable smartphone. All Android™ smartphones, including the globally popular Xperia™ and GALAXY models, are preinstalled with Android 2.3.

DOCOMO’s new lineup meets a broad range of needs for mobile users in Japan:
  • Numerous i-mode services and technologies available for smartphones, including Area Mail™ disaster information service, i-channel™ push-based information service and Melody Call™ ringback tones.
  • Smartphones offering enhanced convenience and operability thanks to the new “docomo Palette UI” feature for easy sorting, searching and management of apps.
  • Eleven high-spec, i-mode-compatible feature phones equipped variously with 3D screens for dynamic viewing, HD-quality cameras and much more.
  • The i-motion™ video-clip distribution service for FOMA™ 3G feature phones now offers 50 MB capacity for both long and high-definition video. Batch downloads of various content are possible with DOCOMO’s new “content package” service.
  • Two mobile Wi-Fi routers compatible with DOCOMO’s Xi-brand LTE service, offering fiber-optic-level mobile connectivity for wireless devices. LTE service will include Japan’s six largest urban metropolises by July and other large cities including prefectural capitals by March 2012.
The new models and their planned launches are as follows:
docomo Smartphone (9 models)
AQUOS™ PHONE SH-12CMay 20Android smartphone with 8.0-megapixel 3D twin cameras. LCD panel and image processor based on AQUOS technology for high-resolution images.
Optimus bright L-07CMid JuneEquipped with a world’s brightest display*. Body is 9.5 mm thin and weighs only 112 g. Interchangeable rear cover comes in 3 colors.
GALAXY S II SC-02CLate JuneAndroid smartphone with 4.3-inch SUPER AMOLED Plus display. Powerful 1.2 GHz dual-core CPU enables fast app launches and stable video.
MEDIAS WP N-06CJune or JulyWaterproof Android smartphone in world’ first 7.9-mm body**. Mobile wallet, infrared-based data exchange andone-seg TV. Premium model designed with appliance brand amadana.
BlackBerry® Bold™ 9780June or JulyFeaturing the new BlackBerry OS 6.0 for faster, richer web browsing.
Xperia™ acro SO-02CJune or JulyAndroid smartphone with mobile wallet, infrared -based data exchange and one-seg TV features. 4.2-inch “Reality Display” delivers brilliant, crystal-clear images.
F-12CJuly or AugustAndroid smartphone features Bright Color Liquid Display and voice-enhancement capability for extra-clear audio. Designed in collaboration with luxury luggage brand Globe-Trotter.
P-07CJuly or AugustStylishly beautiful Android smartphone with 4.3-inch touchscreen. Screen position of keypad and touch-speed selector can be customized for easy one-hand operation.
AQUOS PHONE™ f SH-13CJuly or AugustFirst smartphone capable of wireless charging*** merely by placement on top of a pad. Compact body is both dustproof and waterproof.
*As of May 13, 2011, according to LG Electronics Japan.
**Among 3G mobile phones as of May 13 2011, according to NEC CASIO Mobile Communications, Ltd.
***Requiring no other accessory, and among smartphones of IEC-member/Taiwanese makers as of May 15, 2011.

 

 
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This is the sort of thing that bugs me: why is it that these phones are all available in Japan and a lot of other countries, but not in the US? And on top of that, these are all shipping with 2.3 Gingerbread, and yet so few phones are available with it here in the States; even brand-new US devices (most of them lately) are still shipping with 2.2 Froyo. That's just wrong...