Japan’s Hot Handsets – November, 2016

Yodobashi Umeda

Sure, my last post on this subject was less than a year ago, but things move fast in the super-futuristic tech utopia that is Japan. And I never miss a chance to visit.

For this past vacation the girlfriend and I passed on Tokyo for Osaka. Its DENDEN Town might not be the same all-out assault on your senses as Tokyo’s Akihabara district, but there’s a Yodobashi store just a short subway ride away, and it’s just as much of a mobile mecca as anywhere else in the country.

Just like the Yodobashi in Tokyo, the Umeda store has its bottom two floors devoted to mobile phones and accessories. So let’s see what’s new!

Nexus 5X

Nexus 5X

This one caught me off-guard. The new Pixel phones were nowhere to be seen, but I saw at least two big displays—one at Yodobashi and another at Bic Camera—devoted to Google’s 2015 bargain-basement Nexus. But as Android Authority reports, Japanese carriers continue to sell these things at their full retail price. Eep.

NuAns Neo

NuAns NEO

Believe it or not, this is another 2015 release, covered by The Verge last December. This Windows 10-powered phone went on sale last February, and seems to be aimed at the fashionable salary man who doesn’t want to hide his sidearm in a case. It’s worth having a look at the product video for this device:

I especially like how you can mount your transit card inside the phone for easy tap-and-pay on the bus or subway. You can read more about the NuAns NEO here.

FREETEL MUSASHI

FREETEL MUSASHI

An affordable Android-powered flip phone with touch screen? Yes, please!

This is one that I’m going to have to keep an eye on, as Michael Fisher reported from MWC earlier this year, FREETEL is planning to bring its unlocked phones to the U.S. (and hopefully Canada):

Unfortunately it looks like the Musashi will be the last in line for export. In the meantime you can read more about it here.

And lest you hardcore keitai fans think you’ve been forgotten, here are a pair of honourable mentions…

AQUOS K SHF33

AQUOS K SHF33

I found this gold/emerald green combo to be quite fetching. This VoLTE handset is available on KDDI’s au network.

DIGNO 502KC

DIGNO 502KC

Blue and black works for me as well. Find out more about this Kyocera-made keitai on its Y! Mobile web listing.

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