This week Japanese carrier NTT Docomo announced its spring releases, including a number of Android handsets and tablets that will be released over the next four months. There are four interesting additions here that could also see a worldwide release date – the Sony Xperia Tablet Z, the LG Optimus G Pro, the Pansonic Eluga X and the NEC Medias W. We’ll have a brief look at each, starting with that beautifully thin Sony tablet.
Sony Xperia Tablet Z
The Sony Xperia Tablet Z is the counterpart to the newly announced Xperia Z smartphone and a solid upgrade over last year’s Xperia Tablet S. The new tablet is incredibly thin, at just 6.9 mm, but still offers a great deal of power. That includes a quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, 2 GB of RAM, 32 GB of storage and all the usual connectivity options. The tablet’s screen is also much improved from its predecessor, with a 10.1″ 1920 x 1200 display. Finally, the tablet is both waterproof and dustproof, as was the case for the Sony Xperia Z.
LG Optimus G Pro
There’s a new standard for flagship Android smartphones: A 5-inch 1080p display. We’ve seen such phones from HTC, Huawei and Sharp, and now it’s time for the other major manufacturers to get into the game. The LG Optimus G Pro fits the bill, and is backed with a more powerful Snapdragon S4 Pro processor than its predecessor, with a boost from 1.5 to 1.7 GHz. Among the normal specifications, there’s one stand-out feature: A 3,000 mAh battery that has made the phone a relatively thick 10 mm. LG have also updated the software, with the ability to have small floating apps like notepads and calculators and to record video from both cameras simultaneously.
Panasonic Eluga X
The Panasonic Eluga X is another 5-inch 1080p handset. Unlike the G Pro, it includes the water and dustproofing that Japanese handsets are famous for and sports a much thinner form factor courtesy of a smaller 2200 mAh battery. The Eluga X is a little less powerful too, with the 1.5 GHz Snapdragon S4 Pro, but has the same 2 GB of RAM. The most interesting thing about the Eluga X is that is due to arrive at the end of the month in Japan, meaning that it could see a worldwide debut at the Mobile World Congress in February.
NEC Medias W
This is definitely the weirdest smartphone out of the bunch. It’s a dual-screen device, with the two displays folding together or existing on the back and front of the device. That gives you a combined 5.6″ display on a relatively small (albeit 12 mm thick) device, and you can do more interesting things too. For example, you can have the same video playing on the front and back, or put the two displays side by side and having two applications running simultaneously. The Medias W is listed as a global device but isn’t likely to see a worldwide release, so it could be a good import target if you fancy a funky phone.
NTT Docomo have definitely done well here, with four flagship devices that’ll definitely attract a lot of attention worldwide on top of the low and mid-range devices that’ll be on interest to local markets. Hopefully, we’ll see more information on these devices’ worldwide ambitions at the Mobile World Congress at Barcelona in February.