Fujitsu Arrows Prototype Hands-On At CES 2012See all photos
So, a few caveats: the phone we got a chance to look at is only a prototype and it was shielded behind perspex when we went on our super-secret mission to the show floor -- with all of these specs subject to change. Currently though, the spec list looks like most people's How Would You Change wish-list. It's packing nVidia's Tegra 3 quad-core CPU and a "shadowcore," a low-power fifth core that's designed to conserve battery life for undemanding tasks. It's packing an LTE modem, runs Android 4.0 on a 4.6-inch "HD" display (no word on resolution) and has a 13.1 megapixel camera that'll shoot down to an ISO of 25600 'round back. If this phone retains those specifications when a finalized design arrives at Mobile World Congress, it's going to be seriously impressive.
We got to see and play Riptide GP (below) on the device using a Logitech wireless controller that was showing off the graphics performance of the Arrows. We have to admit, we were impressed: gameplay was smooth, responsive and didn't look like crap when it was spanned onto a HDTV. So far it's expected to carry HDMI-out and DNLA as standard, but the company couldn't confirm if there would be any deeper integration with its computer or peripheral offerings.
Fans of our coverage of Fujitsu's domestic offerings will know we're slightly obsessed with Sukkiri Alarm, Beauty Body Clinic and Karada Life -- the "health and beauty" apps that come bundled on NTT DoCoMo. It seems like the company won't be bringing them over to the west, stating that it'll "tailor the apps" relative to the market. There is potential for some other e-health apps we've not seen to come on the device -- along with NX UI, an "enhancement" to Android's now mandatory Holo theme. When asked about potential for the company to produce a Windows Phone version of the device, the response was that it was "considering all options, but the only stated model runs Android" (translation: "no").
Fujitsu's approaching carriers in the US and Europe to try and bring the Arrows flagship to the west, but it's in the hands of the networks to decide if they wanna bite. Certainly it would be difficult for them not to find a space in their lineups if the phone delivers upon the promise we've seen here today. The high-end phone will be demonstrated in a more complete way in March ready for a summer launch in Japan, with the potential for an autumn launch in the west, assuming a network decides to give it a go -- we'd suggest sending a couple of angry emails to your carrier of choice to try and sway that decision.
Dana Murph Contributed to this report.