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Nine new NTT DoCoMo phones offer Linux, LiMo

Feb 18, 2009 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 36 views

NTT DoCoMo is distributing nine new NEC and Panasonic handsets that comply with the LiMo (Linux Mobile) Platform. Designed for its 46-million user Japanese HDSPA FOMA network, the phones all support up to 7.2Mbps downlinks, and most offer touchscreen, Bluetooth, and GPS.

(Click for larger views of the NEC DoCoMo Prime series N-01A phone)

The nine new LiMo phones are part of a new wave of 22 DoCoMo phones introduced over the last few months, including models from Fujitsu, Sharp, and other vendors. The phones supplant earlier 90Xi and 70Xi series handsets, such as the 906i and 706i. LiMo announced the nine new phones this week, along with its new R2 release, and six new members for the now 54-member mobile middleware consortium. The nine new LiMo devices bring the number of commercially available LiMo handsets to 33, says the LiMo Foundation. Like these new handsets, the majority of LiMo handsets have been NEC and Panasonic phones destined for DoCoMo users (though Motorola's many recent Linux phones have also been touted as LiMo-compliant).

NEC's N-02A and N-03A Style phones

The new DoCoMo phones all offer support for NTT DoCoMo's FOMA High-Speed 7.2 Mbps HSDPA network. Some models add 3G high-speed international roaming, says NTT DoCoMo. Some have touchscreens and Bluetooth, and some offer Adobe Flash Lite, easier ugprading, as well as batch downloads and data transfers.

As usual, the DoCoMo phones are divided into different series that offer fairly similar specs, even when built by different manufacturers. The series are:

  • Style series — Offered in a variety of fashionable designs and colors, the Style models offer GPS and Flash Lite support, as well as video and music playback. They also support terrestrial digital broadcasting. The N-02A and P-02A models offer Bluetooth.
  • Prime series — This successor series to the DoCoMo 90Xi series typically includes higher-end phones with 800 x 480 touchscreens and touch sensors. All the Prime models listed below offer GPS, Bluetooth, and Adobe Flash Lite support, as well as video and music playback, and support for terrestrial digital broadcasting.
  • Smart series — Designed for “adults” (in other words, no goofing around), the Smart series emphasizes the slimness of the handsets, with all four models measuring 13mm or less in thickness. All the Smart models listed here provide Adobe Flash Lite support, as well as video and music playback and support for terrestrial digital broadcasting, but there's no GPS capability, and only the N-04A has Bluetooth.
  • Pro Series — NTT DoCoMo also provides several BlackBerry like “Pro series” models from Nokia and other vendors, but none of them offer LiMo support.

DoCoMo Smart series N-04A
(Click to enlarge)

The latest LiMo-compliant handsets from NEC are said to include:

  • DoCoMo Prime series N-01A — The NEC's touch-enabled N-01A (pictured at top) features Synaptics ClearPad 3.2-inch, 480 x 854-pixel touchscreen, as well as Synaptics Enhanced Gesture Recognition (EGR) technology. EGR is said to enable single-finger gestures like Tap, Double-Tap, Press, and Flick, plus multi-finger gestures, such as Pinch. The N-01A measures 4.4 x 2.0 x 0.7 inches (113 x 50 x 17.6mm) and weighs 4.9 ounces, or 139 grams. The phone supports microSD cards of up to 2GB and microSDHC cards of up to 8GB, says NEC, and comes in Misty Lavender, Precious White, Fine Black, and Passion Pink.
  • DoCoMo Style series N-02A — This slim 4.3 x 2.0 x 0.5-inch (109 x 50 x 12.9mm) phone weighs 3.7 ounces (106 grams) and offers a 5.2-Mpixel camera and Bluetooth. Its 3.2-inch TFT LCD display provides 480 x 854 resolution, and there's also a tiny OLED sub-display. The N-02A supports microSD cards of up to 2GB and microSDHC cards of up to 8GB, says NEC.
  • DoCoMo Style series N-03A — This design collaboration with confectionery chef Pierre Herme may look good enough to eat (especially in Apricot Orange), but it may go down a bit hard. Measuring about the same as the N-02A (both models are pictured above), measuring 107 x 49 x 12.9mm, it offers a slightly smaller, lower resolution 3-inch, 240 x 427 display and a 2-Mpixel camera. Other colors include Chocolate Brown, Vanilla White, Macaroon Pink, and Cassis Blue.
  • DoCoMo Smart series N-04A — The sleek, slide-style N-04A (pictured above) measures only 4.1 x 2.0 x 0.5 inches (103 x 49 x 12.9mm), and weighs only 4.2 ounches (120 grams). Equipped with a 3-inch 480 x 854-pixel TFT display, it provides a 3.2-Mpixel camera and Bluetooth, and supports a 2GB/8GB SD memory capacity.

Panasonic Prime P-01A
(Click to enlarge)

The latest LiMo-ready handsets from Panasonic Mobile Communications include:

  • DoCoMo Prime series P-01A — This Panasonic model (pictured at right) is the only new DoCoMo phone covered here that lacks both a touch panel and touch sensors. The P-01A sports a “double-open” design in that it opens both sideways and lengthwise for convenient portrait and landscape views. Slightly smaller and lighter than NEC's Prime “01A” model, at 108 x 50 x 16.9mm and 122 grams, the phone boasts an impressive 640 hours of standby time using 3G, as well as 200 minutes of talk time. In addition to its 3.1-inch, 480 x 854-pixel display, it offers an OLED sub-display, and there's a 5.1-Mpixel camera. The handset supports microSD cards of up to 2GB and microSDHC cards of up to 16GB, says Panasonic.
  • DoCoMo Style series P-02A — Panasonic's slide-style P-02A is a quite bit thicker than NEC's Style phones, measuring 4.4 x 2.0 x 0.7 inches (112 x 50 x 17.9mm), and it weighs considerably more at 4.8 ounces (137 grams). It offers a 3.1-inch, 480 x 854-pixel TFT display, and like the P-01A, provides 2GB/16GB microSD support. The phone also offers a 5.1-Mpixel camera and Bluetooth, and is available in Sapphire Pink, Diamond Black, Pearl White, and Emerald Green.

    DoCoMo Smart series P-05A
    (Click to enlarge)

  • DoCoMo Style series P-03A — Like the P-01A, this “double-open” handset opens both sideways and lengthways. Slightly smaller and thinner (14.7mm) than the P-02A, it also offers a smaller 3-inch, 240 x 427-pixel display, but unlike the P-02A it offers a sub-display, and it's OLED-based. The phone's memory support is the same, but its camera offers only 3.2-Mpixel resolution, and it comes in only white, black, and pink.
  • DoCoMo Smart series P-04A — The sleekest new DoCoMo of them all, the flip-open P-04A measures 4.3 x 2.0 x 0.4 inches (110 x 50 x 9.8mm) and weighs only 3.7 ounces (105 grams). It ships with a 3-inch, 240 x 427-pixel TFT display, offers a 3.2-Mpixel camera, and supports 2GB/16GB of SD memory.
  • DoCoMo Smart series P-05A — Identically sized as the P-04A, the no-nonsense P-05A (pictured above) also shares the same display and memory configuration, but lacks a camera and is limited to a single Ma Bell-esque color: Solid Black.


All nine of the new LiMo-compliant DoCoMo phones are available now for FOMA network users, says NTT DoCoMo. More information may be found at this NTT DoCoMo page.

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