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NTT DoCoMo’s Android phone is just a third of an inch thick

Feb 24, 2011 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 5 views

Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo says it will start selling an Android 2.2 phone that's claimed to be the world's thinnest, at just a third of an inch. The NEC Medias N-04C phone will be joined on the network by Sony-Ericsson's Android 2.3-based Xperia Arc SO-01C phone and LG's Optimus Pad L-06C tablet, the latter running Android 3.0 on an Nvidia Tegra 2.

For years, NTT DoCoMo was a major force in the spread of mobile Linux, and it was the chief supporter of the Linux-based LiMo platform, selling a variety of LiMo-compatible phones from Japanese consumer electronics firms NEC and Panasonic. NTT DoCoMo now offers Android phones, including the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10, and, now, NEC's Medias N-04C.

NEC Medias N-04C

The newly tipped NEC Medias N-04C will go on sale on Mar. 15, and the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc SO-01C — a slightly different version of the previously announced Xperia Arc — will be available on Mar. 24, says the carrier. LG's previously tipped Optimus Pad L-06C tablet will launch in late March, NTT DoCoMo adds.

All three Android devices are said to be compatible with the BeeTV video distribution service for Android smartphones that NTT DoCoMo will launch on Mar. 24 with a monthly charge of 315 yen ($3.80).

NEC Medias N-04C

The Medias N-04C is touted as the world's thinnest 3G smartphone, measuring 127 x 62 x 7.7mm (5.0 x 2.44 x 0.30 inches), and weighing only 105 grams (3.7 ounces). The device also appears to be NEC's first Android phone. The phone launches with Android 2.2 and will be upgradeable to Android 2.3 this July, says NTT DoCoMo.

Medias N-04C in white

(Click to enlarge)

The processor is not listed on either the NTT DoCoMo or NEC pages, but AkihabaraNews, which confirmed the Medias N-04C's 7.7mm thickness at the NTT DoCoMo launch event today, says it's an 800MHz processor. Despite this fairly modest clock rate for a four-inch phone, the site says that the phone "is pretty fast and everything runs smoothly without hiccups or slowdowns."

The phone ships with a 2GB, presumably internal, microSD card, as well as a 32GB microSDHC card, says NTT DoCoMo. The four-inch screen offers 854 x 480 pixel resolution and Corning Gorilla Glass for greater impact resistance. A five-megapixel camera provides a quick-shot photo function that enables consecutive shots every 1.1 seconds, says the carrier.

In addition to its HSDPA/HSUPA-ready 3G radio, the Medias N-04C provides 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1, and GPS. In addition, the phone offers One-Seg mobile digital terrestrial TV support, infrared communications, and a "Osaifu-Keitai" NFC mobile wallet for short-range digital transactions. (Presumably, the wallet will not be activated until the phone upgrades to the NFC-ready Android 2.3 in July.)

Medias N-04C showing its 7.7mm profile

The battery is said to offer 250 minutes talk time for both 3G and GSM, as well as standby time of 360 hours (3G) and 250 hours (GSM). Software includes Flash 10.1, music and video players, plus applications available on the DoCoMo market site and a "Medias Navi" site, says the carrier.

Xperia Arc SO-01C

The Xperia Arc SO-01C appears to be a Japanese-focused version of Sony Ericsson's Xperia Arc. When the phone was announced at CES last month, it was touted for its thin, 8.7mm profile, which has now been bested by the NEC Medias N-04C.

This SO-01C model, however, is a bit larger at 125 x 63 x 10.9mm (4.9 x 2.5 x 0.43 inches), ranging up to a maximum thickness of 11.4mm (0.45 inches). Weight is listed at 118 grams (4.16 ounces).

Sony Ericsson's Xperia Arc SO-01C

NTT DoCoMo touts the phone for being the first handset compatible with its enhanced extra-high-speed cellular service, which is set to launch in HSDPA service areas in June, offering a maximum downlink of 14Mbps.

Like the Medias phone, the Xperia Arc SO-01C ships with a 2GB microSD card, as well as a 32GB microSDHC card, says NTT DoCoMo. Otherwise, the specs appear to match those of the Arc phone announced last month.

NTT DoCoMo does not list the processor, but Sony Ericsson said it's a 1GHz model supported with 512MB RAM. The 4.2-inch capacitive, multitouch display offers 854 x 480 pixel resolution and is made of shatter-proof, scratch-resistant glass. Like the Xperia X10, the Arc offers a feature-loaded 8.1-megapixel camera.

Connectivity includes assisted GPS, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi. The Xperia Arc offers a USB port, a 3.5mm audio jack, and an HDMI port with DLNA compatibility, letting users share HD video with an HDTV. According to NTT DoCoMo, talk time runs from 340 minutes (3G) to 390 minutes (GSM).

At CES, there was some confusion as to whether the Arc was running Android 2.3 or the as yet to be announced Android 2.4, but DoCoMo says 2.3 for the SO-01C.

LG Optimus Pad L-06C

LG's Optimus Pad L-06C appears to be a Japanese version of the Optimus Pad announced earlier this month. Powered by Android 3.0, the tablet features an unusual sized 8.9-inch display that helps bring the weight down to 620 grams (4.16 ounces). Despite the smaller size, it offers the resolution of a 10.1-inch tablet, at 1280 x 768 pixels, and provides a 15:9 aspect ratio.

LG's Optimus Pad L-06C

Once again, NTT DoCoMo's specs are kind of thin, but they appear to match those of the Optimus Pad announced by LG. The tablet runs on a dual-core 1GHz Nvidia Tegra 2 processor, and features both a five-megapixel camera and a front-facing two-megapixel webcam.

According to LG, the tablet's five-megapixel camera offers stereoscopic capability like the recently announced LG Optimus 3D phone. However, since the Optimus Pad lacks the phone's glasses-free 3D parallax barrier screen technology, users cannot view 3D content on the tablet's screen without 3D glasses.

Features listed by LG earlier this month include HSDPA/HSUPA, 802.11n, Bluetooth 3.0, A-GPS, a microUSB 2.0 port, and a 3.5mm audio jack. An HDMI 1.4 port offers DLNA support, and there is also an accelerometer, gyroscope, and compass, says LG.

NTT DoCoMo lists dimensions of 9.56 x 5.9 x 0.5 inches (243 x 150 x 12.8 mm), with the thickness growing on one side to 14.1mm (0.55 inches).


The NEC Medias N-04C will go on sale in Japan on Mar. 15, while the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc SO-01C will arrive Mar. 24, and LG's Optimus Pad L-06C tablet is due to ship later that month, according to NTT DoCoMo.

Specs for all three NTT DoCoMo Android devices may be found here and here.

A translated NEC page for the Medias N-04C may be found here. The AkihabaraNews hands on story on the Medias phone may be found here.

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