Japanese Cell Phones

My keitai
A couple of weeks ago I finally invested in a Japanese Keitai(cell phone).

Smartphones are becoming more and more popular in Japan, but the trusty flip-phone still has a strong following, with many people still preferring it over an iPhone or Android device, although AU(one of the big phone networks) has recently stopped making phones so this trend could be changing.

You also see many people carrying both around, using their smartphone as more of an internet and email box than an actual phone. In fact, its not out of the ordinary to see people out and about fumbling with a flip-phone, smartphone, MP3 player and even a handheld game console. Personal preference I guess, these days our phones do everything, but the battery life isn’t great and sometimes the solution isn’t quite as good as a separate device(I hate the iPhones camera load delay!) so personally I’m starting to lean towards separate devices again, how about you?

Which do you prefer? One device for everything, or separate devices?

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Softbank 002p
Unwilling to commit to an expensive 2-year contract, I headed to Softbank to pick up a cheap prepay phone. Softbank have 2 prepay models, the cheaper Samsung 740SC(¥5000) or the slightly pricier Panasonic 002p(¥8000) – both are available in white and black. I chose the 002p in black – mainly for the extra features which I’ll go into shortly.

002p / iPhone 4 comparison
Next to an iPhone, this cell is huge! When open it’s pretty much double the height of my smashed Apple device, albeit not as wide. It doesn’t feel uncomfortable to use though, in fact having a device with buttons again is pretty refreshing! You can get tons of stickers and charms to personalise your keitai – I’ve attached a Rilakkuma eating a burger charm – seemed pretty fitting 🙂

Japanese Keitai - Emoji and animationsJapanese Keitai - Emoji and animations
The messaging system comes with a ton of emoji, both animated and static. Many people over here include these little icons and pictures in not only text messages, but tweets, emails and facebook updates too. There are plenty of other options for your messages including background colour, font size/colour/alignment plus a range of animation options so you can make some pretty funky stuff!

Before I mentioned a preference for separate devices, that’s not to say flip-phones are shy on features! My fairly entry-level device has all of the following:

  • Text messaging / emails
  • 3.2 megapixel camera
  • Multicoloured notification lights when closed
  • Alarm, calculator, barcode reader and all that stuff
  • Flash player
  • Audio and video player
  • Twitter app
  • Ebook reader

As I’m only prepay, some of the top-level features like the internet browser aren’t available, but oh well!

Japanese Keitai - TV!
But this is the 002p’s killer feature, digital TV! I’ve missed the madness of Japanese television so it’s a great feature for me, and I can now watch TV on the train home from work. It even has subtitle options and a TV Guide!

It’s a little old-school, but I love my keitai 🙂 Another reason to love Softbank – their excellent TV adverts featuring Otosan the dog and the Shirato family.

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