DoCoMo D800iDS - Direct and Smooth

With all the hype about the iPhone and a delayed release in Japan I was counting the days before I saw some of it rub off here in Japan. I didn't have to count too many days, since the D800iDS was announced by DoCoMo.

There have been a few other handsets with completely virtual stylus-free UI's in Japan. I recently worked with a guy that had an old mono-lcd KDDI handset with no mechanical controls except a manner-mode button on the side. I was especially interested in the D800iDS because I have come to love the design of the Mitsubishi 900i series. Slim sliders with huge screens and lots of extra features. KDDI seems to think it's pretty cool, too. Two AU handsets by Toshiba (W52t) and Sanyo (W51SA) coming out this spring look quite similar to it.

Anyway, the D800iDS looks pretty cool, if not a little prototypish. I wonder if it is just a coincidence that it came out on the iPhone's heels. Probably not. At first I thought the DS stood for "Dual Screen", but apparently it stands for "Direct and Smooth". The keypad area is a touch screen where contextual menus are displayed. Keypad and phone menu icons are displayed depending on what application you are using. There is a drawing program and handwriting recognition (similar to that found on the AU W42SA). There is also "Two-Touch" kana entry, as the contextual keys change when you select a kana to enter. This would be cool, since entering "se" (せ) for example takes at least 3 or 4 key presses.

I should be receiving one of these at work soon, so maybe I'll have more to say about it later.

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