Winds Of Change?

Wouuuuh! the new DoCoMo phones just came out and I am blown away (for the first time in 4 years!); they have managed to 1-up ALL of the recent AU phones! My jaw is on the ground!
The Sony-Ericsson has a 3!! inch screen + a 1.5in sub-display (and a dual Mini SD !!! / Memory Stick Duo Pro slot) and at least 6 of them do GPS and most have 3MP AF cameras and can send mail attachements of up to 2!! MB (against 500kb in AU)…
*puts head in freezer & goes to buy more exclamation marks from the corner shop*

OK, more details later (I need to sleep) but I was on the market for a new phone, and hadn’t really been impressed by the latest AU collections (hence my silence) and the long-awaited “number portability” freedom operation (“take your number with you when you change carrier”) is 11 days away…
I have a feeling I may be taking my business to DoCoMo real soon!

OK, so I can now confirm that the 903i series has introduced 11 new phones.
6 are the main usual models, that get updated everytime, and 3 have a TV and 2 others do high speed data.

Well, I have to admit that nothing comes close to AU phones. The DoCoMo phones are usually bricks, where each new iteration can barely be distinguished from its previous incarnation.

The main 6 phones now have a GPS (and only them), that’s a 100% improvement over the previous collection. With that comes the usual pedestrian navigation assistance services (similar to AU’s Naviwalk) powered by both Navitime and Zenrin Map. And then you get the Anshin Navi to spy on your kid’s whereabouts, as well as another new service to locate your phone you lost last night when you were so drunk!
All 6 phones are bilingual.
All 6 phones have a 3+ MP camera. 2 of them are CCD, the others are CMOS (arguably of lower quality)
That means they all qualify for a phone that I could use!

– none of them come with Edy pre-installed, but of course they come with IC chips and you can play with their mobile credit card DCMX, and the new QuikPay service that seems to want to compete with Edy, SUICA etc… and I guess you can install Edy later, on your own.
– the NEC comes with T9 input engine, which for foreigners that email a lot in English comes handy (if you’re tired of punching your keypad like it’s 1998)
– you can send emails of up to 2MB, against formerly 500KB.
– oh, and that great Push-Talk service that was launched to incredible PR with the 902i series…? well, you’ll have to scroll down ALL the way to the bottom of the presentation of the 903i series to find a mention of it… To be fair, AU’s Hello Messenger didn’t fare much better.

I am very interested in the SH903i.
It’s got a nice 2.8in Aquos screen.
It’s the only phone with an autofocus 3.2 MP CCD camera, and a twist-and-fold screen (a must for shooters like me).
The camera launches automatically, and in full widescreen, when you twist-and-fold the screen. That’s a great touch, instead of having to do the twist thing and then launch the camera.
And a quick photo effect screen (white balance, light, resize) that you can access on the fly (smth the W41CA doesn’t have and did really badly and killed my use of the camera where I had to dig into a sub menu, select the effect I wanted to use, click, then confirm that I wanted to use it (duh!!) click etc…)
It also seems to be their thinest model.

the void
Well I have never been a DoCoMo customer before, so don’t know what I am up against. Don’t know anything about their pricing, don’t know about their customer service, don’t know how slow data transfer is compared to WIN phones, don’t know about their coverage, don’t know how easy it is to write in English on the phone, don’t know how easy the menus are to handle, don’t know how easy it’ll be to convince Akiko to follow me to DoCoMo so wecan still enjoy the Kazoku Waribiki etc…

Any ideas?

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    Based in Paris & Tokyo, Paul Baron is a senior product manager for hire. Ex-@AQworks. Co-founder of cultural platform Tokyo Art Beat.
    Service design, interaction design, startups, user research.
    Posts a few times a decade since 2003.

    Visit for the full site.

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