japan

Sharp’s Evangelion Android phone is fan service done right

I'll admit, I was a little skeptical when I read that Sharp and NTT DoCoMo were releasing a modified version of the Japan-only AQUOS SH-06D to coincide with the release of the latest Neon Genesis Evangelion movie. "That's nice," thought I, "it'll probably be a mildly lame tie-in with a themed case and a few ringtones, like the R2-DROID-2." Yeah, apparently not. Fan site EvaGeek.org got a loot at a preview for the upcoming device, and the level of thought and care that's gone into it is astounding.

Sega plans Android release for MMORPG Phantasy Star Online 2

Android gaming has finally come into its own, and major publishers are starting to take notice. This includes gaming legend Sega, which has graced Android with its Sonic the Hedgehog and Super Monkey Ball franchises, along with a few others. But they're not anywhere near finished yet: Pocket Gamer reports that Sega's online RPG franchise Phantasy Star Online will be heading to Android in late April as a closed beta. Phantasy Star Online 2 will be released for Windows, PlayStation Vita and iOS as well. The good news is that the game will be free (with in-app purchases). The bad news? It's only confirmed for Japan so far.

Panasonic ELUGA headed to Japan March 29th, Europe soon after

Panasonic's most exciting mobile product in years is the ELUGA (and its big brother the ELUGA Power) spotted at Mobile World Congress, by the sheer novelty that it'll actually be available outside of Panasonic's home country of Japan. It'll stop off there first, though: NTT DoCoMo has announced that it'll make the phone available on March 29th as the NEXT series P-04D. (See, it's not just US carriers that give phones new names for no reason.) After that, it'll head for Europe in April, where the ELUGA Power is already stocked for pre-order. If you're a European who's miffed at the prospect of getting the phone later, take comfort in the fact that your phone won't be colored purple like NTT DoCoMo's.

Sony Tablet S and Tablet P ICS updates coming in April for Japan

Trying out your shiny new Tablet P on AT&T, only to wish it had an operating system that wasn't nearing a year out of date? Then you're in luck: Sony has announced that it'll be pushing out the Ice Cream Sandwich update to both the Tablet S and Tablet P in April, making good on its earlier promise. The bad news is that it's only confirmed for Japan at the moment; those with WiFi-only Tablet S machines in the US and elsewhere will have to wait an indeterminate amount of time to get their hands on the update.

Sharp RW-T110 tablet has Gingerbread and lots of cheek

What's more annoying than a brand-new Android device that's running an OS version behind? One that's running two versions behind, with no clear reason for doing so. Sharp's just unveiled their RW-T110 tablet for the Japanese business market, and as the title suggests, it's running Android 2.3 Gingerbread out of the box. For the sake of completeness, I'll note that Gingerbread was released in December of 2010, and Ice Cream Sandwich's open source code was published just over four months ago by Google. Nice try, Sharp, we'll see if you can product a tablet and tablet OS combination next year.

NTT Docomo prepares Evangelion-themed Android phone

Attention: if you've got a EVA-01 toy limited edition collector's statue sitting on your desk, a poster of Rei on your wall and a NERV theme on your phone, you probably want one of these. Japanese carrier NTT Docomo has teased a special edition Sharp AQUOS SH-06D phone for fans of Neon Genesis Evangelion, the popular 90s-era anime and head trip. Like approximately 65% of Japanese cartoons [citation needed], Evangelion is about gigantic fighting robots  and presumably the phone takes the theme from the futuristic interfaces found on the show.

RPG classic Final Fantasy III comes to Android, but only in Japan

Ready for some classic role-playing? Then break out your pocket translator (insert "there's an app for that" joke here). Gaming giant Square Enix has released Final Fantasy III, widely considered to be one of the all-time greats of console RPGs, for Android. The bad news is that it's limited to Square's in-house market at the moment, and region-locked to Japan. You can't even pull some build.prop mods to get around it in Android Market/Google Play, since there's no app to be had in there.

Sony MT27i “Pepper” leaked via advertising

Apparently the triple-pronged attack of the Xperia S, P and U phones unveiled at Mobile World Congress wasn't enough for Sony. A new Android phone, this one with the codename "Pepper", has appeared in an otherwise nondescript online ad. There's not much information in the leaked ad, but you can spot Xperia S-style NFC tags, indicating that the new phone will have NFC capability at the very least. The render was spotted by Blog of Mobile, who guesses that the new phone will slide somewhere in between the U and P models already unveiled.

NEC shows off its Android MEDIAS hardware for MWC

First it was LG, now another initiated manufacturer is giving us the goods before the big show. Japanese OEM NEC has displayed a trio of new high-end MEDIAS phones set to make their public debut at Mobile World Congress next week, All three are relatively large devices (especially for the Japanese market) running Ice Cream Sandwich, and all of them appear to be in the prototype stage. The interest is mostly academic for us since NEC rarely makes its hardware available outside of Asia, but at least one of the phones will strike a chord with those who love to see unique form factors. Impress Watch caught a look at them in an early press event.

Eden Tab packs MIUI onto a retail tablet… in Japan

For the most part, custom ROMs are the territory of modders and high-functioning enthusiasts, with one very important exception. Chinese manufacturer Xiaomi has the MI-One, a smarptohne sold at retail and through carriers that packs the popular MIUI custom ROM instead of stock Android. Now the MI-One is joined by a tablet sibling across a short sea: the Eden Tab, a 7-inch WiFi tablet that's being prepared for sale exclusively in Japan. Like the Mi-One, the Eden Tab will run MIUI instead of standard Android.
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