NTT DoCoMo announces 12 new mobile devices for the spring, launches Smart Home initiative

Change of season? You can bet NTT DoCoMo has an armload of new devices to announce -- it's almost a tradition. This time around, the Japanese carrier has revealed 10 new smartphones, two tablets and a mobile WiFi hotspot. Large, 4.5 to 5-inch displays and quad-core processors pepper the entire spring smartphone line, but there are a few notable standouts, including the previously leaked LG Optimus G Pro, Huawei's Ascend D2 and the NEC Medias W -- a curious dual-screen smartphone we first saw at MWC 2012. DoCoMo fills its tablet quota with the Sony Xperia Tablet Z and a carrier branded device called the dtab, a 10.1-inch WiFi slab apparently built for DoCoMo's Smart Home initiative. Don't let the name run away with your imagination -- the Japanese carrier is focusing on sharing music, video and digital content between smartphones and other home electronics, not automating your apartment.

The dtab is compatible with a handful of carrier exclusive services, such as the dmarket and DoCoMo cloud. It's not technically part of the carrier's mobile line, but DoCoMo had one more announcement for spring: an HDMI dongle. The SmartTV dstick gives HDTVs access to the carrier's dvideo, danime store and dhits services, and can be controlled with via smartphone or a similarly named tablet. Spring hardware will start hitting Japan on January 25th with the Aquos Phone EX, and continue to roll out through March. Read on for the official press release.

Update: Apparently, we're looking at a different Ascend D2 than the one we saw at CES, one with a smaller screen (4.7-inch 720p vs. 5-inch 1080p) and battery (2150mAh vs. 3000mAh).

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NTT DOCOMO Unveils 12 New Mobile Devices
- 5 Models to Link with Home Electronics and Play Full-HD under New Initiative -

Products & Services

TOKYO, JAPAN, January 22, 2013 --- NTT DOCOMO, INC., announced today its 2013 spring lineup of 12 models that will launch in sequence beginning on January 25. The lineup includes 11 smartphones and tablets, plus one mobile Wi-Fi® router. For maximized ease of use, the models feature upgraded versions of numerous popular functions introduced in the 2012 winter lineup.

Some of the new and prominent features of the lineup include:
•First DOCOMO smartphones capable of full-HD for superb high-definition video.
•Compatible with DOCOMO's Xi™ ("crossy") LTE service for max. downlink of 112.5 Mbps (some areas), the fastest LTE connection in Japan as of January 21.
•A large selection of models featuring quad-core CPUs for increased enjoyment of mobile games and videos.
•Many models running on Android™ 4.1.
•Large-capacity batteries (2,000mAh or more) for power-thirsty users.
•Smartphone model with special safety and security features for preteens.

Also announced today was "docomo Smart Home," an all-new initiative for sharing videos, music and other content between smartphones and home electronics, realizing a convenient new way to enjoy high-definition digital content both at home and on the move.

As part of this initiative, the new spring lineup offers the "dtab," a Wi-Fi-dedicated tablet with special features for DOCOMO services such as the dmarket™ portal, and the "SmartTV dstick," a small flash drive-like HDMI device for enjoying movies and animation from dmarket, etc. on large-screen televisions.

In addition, new functions have been added to the Twonky™ Beam app, which enables DOCOMO smartphones to play full-HD digital-terrestrial and broadcast-satellite programs that are stored on the user's Blu-ray™ recording devices at home.

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