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Japanese carrier unveils smartphone with two screens

January 23, 2013|By Salvador Rodriguez
  • The NEC Medias W is a dual-screen smartphone slated for a mid April release in Japan.
The NEC Medias W is a dual-screen smartphone slated for a mid April release… (NEC )

What's better than a 5-inch screen smartphone? How about a smartphone with two screens?

Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo announced its spring lineup of new phones, and among them was the unusual Medias W by NEC, which has two 4.3-inch screens with 960 by 540 pixel resolutions each.

At first glance, the Medias W looks like a regular phone, but its back can flip to the front around a hinge on the right side of the device to make one large display that is roughly the equivalent of a 5.6-inch screen, according to Engadget.

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That allows for some unusual but potentially productive new ways to use smartphones.

When texting or making a call, it would make sense to keep the Medias W folded, but it would be helpful to use both screens when surfing a website, looking at a maps app or multitasking with two apps at once.

According to the Verge, which has a cool hands-on video of the phone, the Medias W can also be used halfway unfolded in a tent-like stance so that two people can watch the same movie or video comfortably while sitting across from each other. Unfortunately, though, most apps won't work on both screens at once.

Besides its dual screens, the Medias W has an 8-megapixel rear camera and runs on a 1.5 GHz dual core processor and uses Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, the second most recent version of the Google mobile operating system. Engadget also says the phone has 16 GB of storage and a microSD slot.

The Medias W is slated for a mid-April release in Japan, but there's no word on whether it will make its way to the U.S.

NEC isn't the first company to experiment with dual screens, but so far other devices with similar features have not caught on. If the Medias W can become a hit, we may start seeing more phones with two or more folding screens in the future.

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