Found this and wanted to share it:
If I stay on AU I'll probably upgrade to a new Arrows at some point.. Heck they even got the fingerprint reader now at the back! Wooo!
I had a Digno, it was a solid device but HORRIBLE camera. So horrible I was always carrying with me my Sony Xperia Ray just in case I needed to take a good picture... I'm not sure if they improved that with their new Urbano.
Arrows Z has the same camera hardware as the Xperias did last year, so it's encouraging.
Haven't watched the videos yet, since I'm in a noisy café and need to save on my battery usage, however does the new Urbano include Kyocera's earpiece technology where they try to make the bones vibrate instead of making soundwaves? I read about that for one of their new USA phones, and I saw something that might indicate that on the AU webpage but it was hard to decipher
Yeah, it's called "Smooth Sonic Receiver."
I shot that video, it's a really cool phone (though the screen is terrible) and the bone conduction technology works amazingly well.
Just saw the Diginfo video about the new Urbano, Arrows Z and Aquos Serie.. Pretty cool things on them, like the Arrows Z has a shake-back feature where if you lie down with the phone and the screen rotates to landscape, you shake it to go back to portrait. Privacy mail seems cool too, dunno if I'd bother though.
Meanwhile the Serie's launcher seems to be super super laggy, not smooth at all.. wonderful. Good thing launchers can be changed lol.
I like everything else about it though.
well after using my Arrows Z it is difficult to go back to less sharp screens, I wasn't disputing that .. But damn if that thing (ISW11F) gets in the sunshine, it's tough to make anything out even at full brightness. Digno was way better on that one front alone and I miss that.... My Xperia Ray fares very well in sunshine too. So something's definitely off on the Arrows Z (ISW11F) screen when the sun shines on it... I hope they improved that with the ISW13F
Long time lurker and I think I only posted once years ago with regard to an iPhone 2g... <.< >.>
I actually tend to go back and forth between Japan a fair bit and finally broke down and bought a new phone this trip back last week after holding onto my old Sharp flip for about 6 years. Ended up with the Urbano Progresso since the bone conduction thing seemed rather intriguing and quite practical if it actually worked. Sure enough, it works quite well and I've found that it is quite effective not only for speaking but also for hearing. Arguably from a phone usage standpoint, it is the best phone that I've ever used. Callers find me audible when I'm whispering on the train before ending the conversation and I can hear people very clearly while on the platform even with trains wizzing by. Phone also feels very good in hand with a bit of heft and very good textured plastics on the orange model (which I went for). I believe the pink one had a glossy back... Although this is a personal thing, I find the predictive text system on the JP android keyboard to be very VERY effective not only for Japanese but ALSO for English. I find myself being able to write emails on this phone far more efficiently than on my Atrix using Swype as the words I'm looking for tend to show up more frequently in the word selection boxes. I'm wondering if there is a way to get those onto an Atrix... <.< >.>
Couple of things that drive me a bit batty are that the back and menu buttons are reversed from my CM7 Atrix here but I'm guessing that's a byproduct of using ICS. That and the volume/power keys are on the opposite side (left in this case) and rather close together, although they feel different so that's less of an issue. Kind of wish I was a south paw as it would solve a lot of problems. The home button also brings the phone out of sleep so that has led to some annoying pocket activity until I sorted out the pattern lock. (^^;;) Other issues were that battery life wasn't all that great as the battery size is something like only 1500 mAh battery so I ended up getting one of those battery extender things to toss in my day bag. Solved the problem when I was over there. Screen was pretty good (very visible in daylight when set to full brightness and the auto brightness is pretty snappy), camera was better than average but not on the level as my old Sharp flip in terms of image quality. Obviously megapixel and video were nicer but the colors just weren't as impressive. As an aside, WiMax in Tokyo is pretty sketchy at times but running data over your connection totally destroys the battery (see above). It gets annoying at times but in the end, it's not the end of the world as I'm rarely on the phone when I'm in Tokyo as everyone ends up emailing anyway.
Despite all the drawbacks, I find myself being the happiest with this handset purchase compared to the last few phone's I've had over here. Most have been UI or hardware issues that were such massive tradeoffs that I kept hoping for something that would solve the majority of issues without causing new ones. In the end, the phone does have its problems but most are relatively easily fixed or are non issues given the situation where the phone is intended to be used.
A couple of things of note. The lady at the au shop had said that the phone was SIM free and basically described exactly what an unlocked phone would do: i.e. toss in any SIM and set the radios in Android and you are good to go. Unfortunately, this doesn't seem to be the case back in the States (I'm in Los Angeles). Using a microSIM from a friend's iphone4s, I get the dreaded USIM not recognized thing. Figure that I have to have the SIM lock removed but I'm not entirely sure what the process is to do that and if there are any adverse effects in terms of the phone locking itself to another microSIM and me having to clear it again when I head back to Tokyo. The good news it that the phone on the Global Passport setting DOES recognize the ATT network which happens to be my carrier here. I just hope that there is a way to get it to recognize a microSIM. In retrospect, I totally forgot to ask them to perform a "SIM lock clear" service that costs 2100 yen but I'm not sure if that will do the trick. Anyone here that might know if that would solve the problem? I'm heading back there in a couple of weeks again so I figured I should try to get everything sorted before I leave so I can get it sorted on this trip. It's not the end of the world if the phone doesn't work here but of course I would prefer if it would. (^_^) To anyone that could shed some light on this, I'd be extremely grateful. _(._.)_
If people want pics, I'll try to take some later this week.
Nice review, penpen! I'm glad the new Digno screen is still highly viewable in sunlight like the Digno I had for a couple of months. Bone conduction tech sounds interesting.
I'm not sure how usable AU phones are on other networks, AU is one of those CDMA carriers, and is Japanese to boot, so I wouldn't expect having an easy time using it on other providers. in fact I should try my korean or canadian SIMs in my Arrows Z just to see...
Can't wait to see pics and hear more experiences!
Normally I wouldn't even bother about with an au phone but the fact that the phone is a Global Passport CDMA/HSDPA/GSM combo and the fact that it even recognizes the ATT network leads me to believe that it MIGHT be possible assuming there is some way to unlock the device to accept a standard SIM card. One can hope right? d(^_^)b
I'll try to snap some pics later in the week. I'm in the middle of a couple of deadlines so after those clear out, I'll post some pics up. Any specific requests?
Yeah when AU says SIMFREE, they mean, you can use other AU simcards in the phone, besides the one which was assigned to your phone
Pew Pew Keitai Lazer~~~~
But not a regular SIM card, only the au RUIM cards, correct?
iPhone 5 [64GB|Black] | HTC One X LTE | NTT docomo N-06C
Yeah a AU UIM only
Sorry for the massive delay in posting. Below are some pics I managed to snap briefly. I really gotta change the lights in my room to something with a bit more neutral lighting. Everything comes out too yellow for its own good. The middle photos I ended up shutting off the energy saving feature so I could show the active wallpaper. I guess the most annoying/tantalizing photo in the entire set is the second to last one where it shows that AT&T right above the KDDI. ^_^ That and the last pic is of my favorite app when I'm in Japan to save me time/get me to where I'm going on time. d(^_^)b
A couple of interesting realizations lately. If I set the phone to roaming to connect to the local phone network BUT disallow data packets outside of wifi, for whatever reason I suddenly get push email through my ezweb.ne.jp account. I'm not entirely sure how the notification gets pushed along as the phone system without using data or else I'm getting charged roaming fees and I won't be very happy in a month when I get my bill. ^^;; For now, I think I'll enjoy it as I am able to keep in contact with my friends over in Tokyo. Maybe someone here has any experience with it and can save me from massive roaming charges if that is what is happening right now. _(._.)_
Thanks for the responses earlier in the thread. I take it the USIM slot cant even accept a standard SIM card properly? I tried shoving in an iPhone4s microSIM without damaging the terminals but I'm not keen on doing it again assuming the connectors are different.
Kyoex: Does au have a system similar to Docomo where they do unlock phones for a fee? I've tried reading up on it on the web and there doesn't seem to be much outside of KDDI's stance of "there is no benefit for unlocking" stance. I understand that the phones seem to use a two way form of authentication where the phone checks the card and vice versa? Would that ultimately prevent any sort of generic unlocked mode from existing outside of hypersim solutions or other similar hacks? Too bad Android doesn't have control of the hardware on that low of a level. -_-;;
Thanks for all the info guys and let me know if you want any close ups of images of particular apps or stuff under the battery cover.