I recently upgraded my cell phone from a Sharp FOMA SH 700 to a FOMA SH 705i II. The phone is lighter, the camera has increased from 1.3 megapixels to 3.2 megapixels and the phone can be used overseas in Europe, Russia and even Saudi Arabia. There's a 50,000 yen limit on calls made while overseas, and the calls themselves are charged as international calls so charges are liable to be pretty hefty, as will the phone charges for people calling you.
Sticking with the same model means I don't have to re-learn the phone as most of the functions are identical, with the exception of built-in TV which runs on the One Seg channel. One Seg (1seg) is a newish mobile digital audio/video and data broadcasting service, that by use of Broadcast Markup Language, or BML, allows TV images and text to be displayed on the screen.
The phone costs 43,000 yen for which I took out a two year loan and insurance in case I lose it. I changed color from black to white, hoping it will be visible in the dark. Docomo let you register 5 frequently dialed nunbers for a 10% reduction on calls which I did and I upgraded my plan to hopefully cut down on my monthly bills.
The shop also took away my old phone (they are full of precious metals) but did punch a hole in it first so no personal data can be retrieved.
Having some Japanese language skills helps in dealing with the sales people, but on the whole the experience was fairly seamless and it's well worth dropping in to one of your mobile phone provider's stores to see if you really are getting the best deal available.
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Tuesday, May 20, 2008