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in Japan--buy Android MID, or phone?

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by skyyspam, Aug 23, 2011.

  1. skyyspam

    skyyspam Lurker
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    I will be in Japan for almost two years. I want a nice android smartphone, but unfortunately, US phones don't work in Japan, and vice-versa. So, it makes no sense for me to invest in a phone here (nevermind the yen-USD exchange rate).

    However, I've been dying for a replacement for my 6-year old PDA (Dell Axim X50v), and I'm willing to spend $500-ish on a similar-sized device that runs a modern version of Android. I need something to read a few ebooks at night, play some across-lite puzzles, and perhaps browse the web via wifi.

    I'm considering buying a Photon 4g, as it sports QHD resolution, and has many other neat features I find enticing. Obviously, I'd be using it with NO contract, but I think the wifi would still work, which would be enough to hold me over for my stay in Japan (I am REALLY needing a replacement for my PDA!). I'm doubtful that the GPS would work, as it advertises "aGPS", meaning "no REAL GPS" if I'm correct. That, and I doubt google maps would work without 3G/4G for the map image downloading.

    Finally, every non-contract Photon 4G I've found online comes with that limiting "Sprint" caveat. Would this phone, even a non-contract version, be limited to Sprint's networks and data plans when I ever return to the USA?

    If there's a better solution, such as one of those Archos MIDs, please let me know. I'm at a loss for ideas right now.
     

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  2. Yeahha

    Yeahha Usually off topic
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    Even the non contract phones would be tied to sprint. If you are looking at a MID you should also check what type touch screen they have. I was looking for one a while back and found most have resistive touch screens which was a deal breaker for me. I settled on the cowon d3 and I really am happy I paid the extra cash for it.
     
  3. Guamguy

    Guamguy Android Expert
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    US phones do work in Japan, but they have to be unlocked. Also, sales reps in those carriers are not very cooperative too to help you getting them to work because two things, they are dumb, second, they have an agenda which is to make you buy their carrier phones.

    The US phones that will work in Japan will only do so with Softbank, and using the optional 2100 band frequency of those phones. You have to research the specs carefully, you will find out many, but not all, US phones do have a 2100 band. Then when you are in Japan, you might have to know how to set up Softbank's own APN settings into the phone to get 3G data.

    To make it short and easy for you, yes, the Motorola Photon does have an optional 3G UMTS (3G GSM) frequency at 2100, which works with Softbank.

    The Softbank APN settings are in:

    APN for Internet & MMS .apk for Softbank users in JAPAN - Android @ MoDaCo


    "will start with the easier part - setting up APN for Internet Connection:
    1. Go to Settings > Wireless Controls > Mobile Networks > Access Point Names
    2. Long press empty space or press menu and select Add New APN
    3. For internet input:
    Name:Open Softbank
    APN: open.softbank.ne.jp
    Proxy: <not set>
    Port: 8080
    Username&#65306;opensoftbank
    Password&#65306;ebMNuX1FIHg9d3DA
    Server: <not set>
    MMSC: <not set>
    MMS proxy: <not set>
    MMS port: <not set>
    MCC: 440
    MNC: 20
    APN type: default
    In order to use that you should have a data-plan package like pakehoudai (paketto sihoudai) or you risk to get a huge bill in the end of month."
     
  4. takeshi

    takeshi Android Expert
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    aGPS is "real" GPS. If it doesn't use GPS satellites to determine your location it isn't GPS. Tower triangulation is not GPS and vice versa. aGPS is just assisted for a faster initial fix.

    Data requirements come from your app, not the GPS receiver. If you need a nav app with locally stored maps then get one. CoPilot and Navigon are the usual suspects but there are other options out there as well.
     
  5. skyyspam

    skyyspam Lurker
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    Jesus--this forum's extremely knowledgeable. Thanks for the awesome replies!
     
  6. geetechfever

    geetechfever Well-Known Member
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    If so, I would like to pick up a tablet with combined phone features through 3g network. As major models of this kind tablets are unlocked, it's much more convenient.
     
  7. skyyspam

    skyyspam Lurker
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    I'd consider up to a 7" tablet--I'd want something that's holdable with 1-hand, while lying sideways on my bed, trying to fall asleep at night. There don't seem to be many 7-inch honecomb tabs out there right now.
     

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