Japan’s Hot Handsets – Winter 2016


Yesterday I wrote about the horrors of getting a prepaid data SIM in Tokyo. The other thing that sucks about visiting Japan is seeing all the sexy domestic handsets that you can’t use back home in North America—well, for LTE data, anyway.

Sexy handsets like this ARROWS ケータイ F-05G, which still runs the world’s first successful mobile Internet, NTT DoCoMo’s i-mode… Last time I checked there were still one or two English i-mode sites, like The Daily Yomiuri—since re-branded as The Japan News.

This particular Fujitsu-made flip is available in three colours; for me, ruby and gold is a hard combo to beat.


Older i-mode keitai are no less appealing, like this Sharp-made SH-07F. It’s available in four colour schemes, with green and black being my personal fave. The SH-07F was released way back in the summer of 2014, but is still available for purchase on DoCoMo’s site.


When it comes to Android-powered touchscreen slabs there are also a few unique designs, notably from KDDI’s au brand. First up is the “seawater resistant” TORQUE G02 by Kyocera. It runs an older version of Android (5.1) but has voice-over-LTE, along with Osaifu-Keitai®, KDDI’s mobile wallet.


There’s also the INFOBAR A03, the second Android-powered iteration of an older and, in my opinion, much more attractive candy bar phone. It still runs KitKat but come on, where else are you going to find a tri-coloured Android smartphone?

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