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Cellphones Hardware

Fujitsu's Latest Mobile Phone Splits In Two 140

angry tapir writes with news of Fujitsu's new phone which is taking the sliding phone keyboard a step further by allowing it to detach completely. "The F-04B was announced as part of NTT DoCoMo's new line-up and is scheduled to hit Japanese shelves in March or April next year. At first glance it looks like a conventional slider cell phone: grab onto the bottom of the phone and a numeric keypad slides out. But decouple a catch and the entire back half of the phone can be pulled off."
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Fujitsu's Latest Mobile Phone Splits In Two

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    I can do the same thing with my iPhone and a hacksaw... big deal

  • Video demo (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Xerfas ( 1625945 ) * on Friday November 13, 2009 @02:51PM (#30089974) Journal
    • by garcia ( 6573 )

      Thanks for the video, that helped:

      1. They don't seem to hold it side by side with anything I am familiar with but it looks really really thick in the video.

      2. Why can't phones, like the iPhone, work with a bluetooth keyboard out of the box?

      • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Xerfas ( 1625945 ) *
        1. It looks very large in her small hands and a bit too thick for my taste, but then again there is a projector and probably one battery per part of the phone which takes extra space.

        2. I guess it's because then Apple would have to make a keyboard themselves which was locked somehow so that it was the only BT KB that the iPhone could use. I mean otherwise people could use the BT for something more useful then what we can do today with it and that would be bad in apples eyes.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Duradin ( 1261418 )

          Ya, it really sucks that I have to buy special Apple brand BT headsets to work with their products.

          Oh, wait. It doesn't because I don't have to.

          Really, this sort of drivel gets insightful? Go go /. Apple Hate!

          I'm just hoping Android makes it big so I can watch /. turn on their once favorite underdog.

          • Ya, it really sucks that I have to buy special Apple brand BT headsets to work with their products.

            You mean like this sort of thing []? Yes, I realize that isn't referring to a BT headset, but it is a case of Apple locking down peripherals.

            GP might have been a bit on the trollish side, but you're not exactly helping your own cause by responding in kind.

          • Yeah, Android is not a brand and it's not locked down to a brand.
            Android just wants to be free.
            Oh, and to do everyone's mothers.
            So Android just wants to be free and do everyone's mother.
            Oh, and dominate the world.
            But that's absolutely it. The freedom, the thing with the mothers, and world domination.

            If we can work up a deal with Nvidia there should be 3-D images of it all available on your phone soon.**

            **Image quality will be excellent. Quality of mothers may vary. We assume no responsibility for e
          • He's talking about keyboards, not headsets. Kind of different.
          • by Xerfas ( 1625945 ) *
            I think I was misunderstood. I'm a mac user, I got an iPhone. But there is a reason to why Apple wont open up BT more then they have and my guess and only a guess is that they don't want to make sure that every single BT keyboard works with the iPhone.
            Lets say that they do open it up and suddenly people with keyboard xyz says but this doesn't work with my iPhone, Apple is crap buhu!
            That would only be bad press.
            I wrote nothing about BT headsets.
            Android looks good, so does Maemo, well on papers because I
            • You've never met an iPhone user.

              If apple released a completely botched BT KB stack, and 90% of the keyboards didn't work with it, the only people blaming apple would be the people who don't even HAVE one. The apple users would just say that 90% of BT KB suck!
      • 2. Why can't phones, like the iPhone, work with a bluetooth keyboard out of the box?

        That would a usability nightmare. The screen's too small for you see if you put it down and type without holding it. A full keyboard is too large for you to hold it and a screen at the same time. A roll-up membrane keyboard would have to hold a bluetooth radio and a power source, making it impractical as well.

        I understand that people don't like the touch-screen keyboard (believe me, I hate it too) but a BT keyboard would

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Aldhibah ( 834863 )
          I can't disagree with the assertion that it is a usability nightmare more. I have a small, portable, foldaway keyboard for use with my Ipaq 2215. The keyboard has tray to hold the PDA and it is not difficult to read when sitting on a desk. I used the device for taking notes all the way through law school and it was far more portable and convenient to have on your desk at the same time as a textbook as compared to a laptop.
        • There are a lot of ways that a good device could be built. I can think of two plausible ways, and I don't even own a cell phone.

          1. There are a number of keyboards designed for efficient one-handed use. With a bluetooth-capable one-handed keyboard you could set the keyboard on your lap and hold the screen up near your face with your other hand.

          2. Some people prefer the tiny thumb keyboards most smartphones have to the iPhone's on-sceen 'board. A device for someone like that would basically be a bluetooth-

        • Sometimes the goal isn't trying to use an iPhone like a desktop computer.

          For example, part of my job in the next year will be to get an inventory system that makes heavy use of barcodes to work with an iPhone. If I could get a bluetooth barcode scanner to act as a keyboard wedge and go through standard bluetooth keyboard functionality, it would save me the trouble of having the learn the hardware access API.

    • I thought the idea sounded interesting, but that thing is huge! It reminds me of a cell-phone from the 70's or early 80's...

      • by Xerfas ( 1625945 ) *
        I think it reminds me of NEC N940 from 2004 in size: []
      • Re:Hello 1980... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by dgatwood ( 11270 ) on Friday November 13, 2009 @03:30PM (#30090586) Homepage Journal

        Well, that's partly because a cell phone is the wrong implementation for this sort of thing. I thought about doing something similar a few years ago, but for a laptop. You have a keyboard that hooks into the bottom of the screen, forming a screen-protecting lid to carry it around. When you unlatch it, the hook parts flip upside down and lock into place, forming a keyboard stand. Another stand flips out of the back of the screen to hold it up. This way, you have the simplest, least breakable hinges with no wires running through them. That would eliminate what is probably the second most common cause of laptop failures behind hard drive crashes.

        • I was thinking that if Apple came out with a tablet that's the approach they would take, a removable keyboard so the device could be lighter to carry around.

          I just hate devices of this (PSP like) size, they are inconvenient enough to carry that you might as well have a laptop sized device with a far bigger screen. There's no way that is pocketable.

        • by IICV ( 652597 )
          You mean like the Touch Book? [] I'll be excited about that thing if it lives long enough to spawn another hardware generation.
        • by ScoLgo ( 458010 )

          You mean something like this piece of double-sweet goodness []?

        • Well, that's partly because a cell phone is the wrong implementation for this sort of thing.

          Fluke has new multimeter that does this .

    • by Gerzel ( 240421 ) *

      I'm still wondering what functionality it brings. Why do you want that much bulk? What does it give you the ability to do other the detach keyboard?

      • Also, it appeared to me that you _have_ to detach the back to expose the camera's lens. That's not exactly convenient.

        • by Drathos ( 1092 )

          It looked to me like if you slid the keypad down, it would open up a window for the camera to see through. Take a look at the back half when she has it fully open.

    • So if one hand has to hold the screen how are you even going to use the keyboard? I'm completely lost on the supposed advantage of having the screen detach from the keyboard.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        It is so that you can lose one part and have to purchase a replacement for it, only to find it in your couch months later.
  • Now I've got another piece of the phone I'm going to lose in the couch. Along with the remote and loose change.
    • Exactly, I don't want my phone to go to break down into 2 (or more) pieces. Just another set of connectors to go bad, as well as another part to get lost. But it's gimmicky, so maybe it'll sell.
  • From TFA: "Fujitsu also plans to offer an optional projector unit that can be clipped onto the bottom of the phone in place of the keyboard to project images on a nearby flat surface." Really? Doesn't this seem a bit much for a phone? Or is there a demand I don't know about to have a projector on your phone? I guess it *could* be useful for someone making a presentation of some sort, but I'd think a computer or an actual projector would be better..
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by PitaBred ( 632671 )
      People already use their phones to watch movies and show pictures to people and such. A projector would let you do it for a wider audience. Life isn't just about business, you know ;)
    • Re:Projector? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Friday November 13, 2009 @03:30PM (#30090588) Journal

      Doesn't this seem a bit much for a phone?

      A modern phone has 128MB or 256MB of RAM, up to around 32GB of flash, a 600MHz 32-bit CPU, an OpenGL 2 ES GPU, an video processing unit that can encode (and decode) 720p H.264 in real time, a network connection that can deliver 3-7Mb/s anywhere or 54Mb/s on a WLAN and bluetooth for local input. It has better specs than the workstation I was using just a few years ago and similar specs to the desktops that a lot of non-geeks that I know are still using.

      • Eh, to be fair 600MHz is pretty low. Granted, offloading any and all DSP helps make things feel a lot faster, but 600MHz was new over 10 years ago. That's like a slow P3. Now, I know a bunch of people still using P4s (1.5-2GHz) from 02-03ish, and those still work fine.

    • by sznupi ( 719324 )

      Mobile TV supposedly took off in Japan. And picoprojector (or whatever devices based on TI DLP tech are called these days) might be quite good for that...

    • by mrops ( 927562 )

      Your comment reminds me of the quote "640kb should be enough for everyone"

  • Just what I need (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gyrogeerloose ( 849181 ) on Friday November 13, 2009 @02:54PM (#30090032) Journal
    Another part to get lost. Cool.
  • Sometimes people say "we CAN do this", but should say "we SHOULDN'T do this". Sounds like a touch screen phone with an optional keypad. The only interesting use case they presented was if you are concerned about health issues of keeping phones near your head. Sounds to me like they would have been better off actually bundling and blue-tooth headset with a standard touch phone. On the other hand, it kind of makes the phone sound like a break apart robot, and we all know the Japanese are big into robots. Mayb
    • by snowraver1 ( 1052510 ) on Friday November 13, 2009 @03:10PM (#30090266)
      The only interesting use case they presented was if you are concerned about health issues of keeping phones near your head.

      I overheard a conversation on Monday of this week. Some guy (who I would concider rather intelligent) was talking about cell phone waves. He was saying that (wet) grass would reflect cell phone transmissions. He then made the leap that if you were to make a call from a grassy field, you were essentially being bombarded by cell phone waves because "each blade of grass is like a tiny antenna". The amount of misinformation about cell phones is extremely misleading. It makes me mad...
      • by tftp ( 111690 )

        Some guy (who I would concider rather intelligent) was talking about cell phone waves. He was saying that (wet) grass would reflect cell phone transmissions.

        He is correct. What else a conductive surface can do to an incoming wave?

        if you were to make a call from a grassy field, you were essentially being bombarded by cell phone waves because "each blade of grass is like a tiny antenna"

        Generally no, though a case can be made to show this as true. Why true? Because a 1/4 wavelength vertical, combined wi

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Nerdfest ( 867930 )
      Another good use would be talking on the phone while looking something up or taking notes. This is fairly common, and the only way to do it with most smart phones is with speaker phone, which doesn't work in noisy environments, and is generally poor in quiet ones (the phone picks up the loud noises of key or screen presses). Of course, a Bluetooth headset would accomplish the same thing.
  • Sounds like the best of both worlds so far, being able to operate with just the phone half, or even use the keyboard half like a bluetooth headset.

    But can both halves be used at once for a home-made three-way? Does keeping the entire package together yield better battery life? How long till we've got video calls where we're talking on the keyboard and watching video on the main phone? What about texting while talking on the phone? Inquiring teenagers want to know!

    • "If using the keyboard half of the phone to make or receive a call it's possible to use the top half of the display to, for example, check e-mail or take a picture." It seems like if you can check email while making a call, texting while on a call shouldn't be that much different.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      ... all while driving!

    • Sounds like the best of both worlds so far, being able to operate with just the phone half, or even use the keyboard half like a bluetooth headset.

      Weird. I would have thought that a keyboard doesn't give very good audio output when using it like a bluetooth headset. Also, it wouldn't fit very well in most people's ears.

  • Goody. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kheldan ( 1460303 ) on Friday November 13, 2009 @02:58PM (#30090088) Journal
    Now you'll have TWO overpriced batteries to replace instead of just one!
  • by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Friday November 13, 2009 @02:58PM (#30090098) Journal

    Sweet, it's just like the Enterprise. This will come in handy in case of a warp core breach.

  • by dtmos ( 447842 ) on Friday November 13, 2009 @03:00PM (#30090118)

    Or, "...and can be reassembled."

    I've had far too many phones that split in two, or otherwise fell apart.

  • No, see... the feature would be if both sections vibrated. That way you could have each half in separate pockets for 100% vbration coverage.

    Oh right- like YOU'VE never let a call ring long when it's on vibrate in your front pants pocket...
    • Maybe your phone rings long enough for this to be of any use to YOU, but I can't make mine ring long enough to bother.

      • Maybe your phone rings long enough for this to be of any use to YOU, but I can't make mine ring long enough to both

        I couldn't find the completely appropriate "IT Crowd" clip to suit this comment (the one with the modified mobile phone) but this will make a decent substitute. []

  • by MentlFlos ( 7345 )

    How useful is this when you are stuck with the little lens on the camera?
    • Because the 12 megapixels on this phone are more than the 3 megapixels that the iPhone has, so it's 4 times better.

      You actually expect the consumers to understand that the lens is the most important part of a camera? GIGO
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by maxume ( 22995 )

        That's kind of a terrible way to say it, sticking a $5,000 lens in front of a $5 sensor wouldn't make the sensor work any better.

    • by Zerth ( 26112 )

      It'd allow you to take four 3 megapixel pictures in extremely rapid succession.

  • To bad the link just goes to an advertisement page that doesn't load and there isn't even a picture of this wacky new phone. Oh well, I guess I just don't care that much.

  • If I pull hard enough, the cord for my keyboard will come off. Should this also be a selling feature?

    The summary doesn't note if their keyboard works once it's been yanked off.

  • by TheModelEskimo ( 968202 ) on Friday November 13, 2009 @03:16PM (#30090398)
    In the video, the girl mentions that for example, you can detach the screen while on a call, and then use the screen part to look through your address book or do other stuff. That's one case where I can see it being handy. Overall it feels like a gimmick, but maybe there's someone out there who is just dying to have this functionality. Japan's technology markets have always gone for this notion of technology fitting your purposes, whereas in the U.S., for example, you have limited choices to which you must tailor your use.
  • It's always nice to see the phones we're not getting.... : (

    I'm still sore about the Dell Android phone that's not being released in the USA []

  • I thought that this would be really cool until I saw a video of it. That phone is quite thick.

    I found a website that lists the dimensions as: "11.4 x 5.1 x 20.4 cm and weight is about 173g."

    For reference, an iPhone is 11.6 x 1.2 x 6.2 cm and weighs 135g. The Droid is 11.6 x 1.4 x 6.0 cm and weighs 169g.

    I can't think of anyone who will want to carry something that thick around in their pocket. Even if you split it in half, both halves are still going to be thicker than either the iPhone or the Droid
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I call BS. There's no way the phone in the video is 5cm thick.

      • by Again ( 1351325 )

        I call BS. There's no way the phone in the video is 5cm thick.

        It sounds about as attractive as my laptop battery if it.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by alvinrod ( 889928 )
        Here's the link to the website [] where I found the measurements. I haven't found any other sites to back that data up, so it's possible that the listed values are incorrect.

        After doing some more searching, another site [] gives these values: "114x51x20.4 mm" it would appear that the first site goofed up when converting between cm and mm. If this site is correct, the phone is still pretty fat (in my opinion), just not nearly quite so much.

        Based on the numbers from the first site, the phone would actually b
        • by Virak ( 897071 )

          The numbers from Docomo's own site [] agree with the ones there (and also note that it's 19.6mm at the thinnest point).

        • by kklein ( 900361 )

          Your, quite frankly, appalling metric mistake notwithstanding (my iPhone is not 6cm thick!!!), living in Japan as I do, allow me to offer some insight:

          Phones here are frickin' thick, bulky, and godawful to carry. This is one of the main reasons I was so excited for the iPhone. I can carry it in my pocket and I don't have a giant brick bulging out of my ass. I can sit down comfortably with it in my pocket.

          There is a rather-unfounded belief in the geekworld that Japan is technologically advanced, and that

          • by Tacvek ( 948259 )

            The United States Postal Service still uses carbon-less copies (You know, the carbon copy format without the black page with the carbon) for at one of it's optional services (The copy is for a receipt as the main portion is affixed to the package or envelope in question.

            Also Japan does have top of the line phone related services, even if the average phone lags behind the US, and many phones found in the US do have equivalents there (I'd be very surprised if they did not have a Motorola Razr equivalent for e

    • by zalas ( 682627 )
      The official website ( claims that the display part of the phone is only 9 millimeters thick, and the photos do not show the keypad part being much thicker than the display. This phone apparently also has a pico projector built in.
  • The only problem is I can only do it once...
  • Why? What is gained by allowing a phone to split in half?

    This is a serious question: I can't RTFA because the web site is apparently overloaded at present. (And I can't listen to the video as I have no headset or speakers).

    • by Tacvek ( 948259 )

      Well, the slide out portion of the keyboard is a rather typical phone keypad, but the part that faces the back of the phone proper has a miniature qwerty keyboard (with several layers of shift-style modifiers. The separated keyboard communicates with the main phone by Bluetooth, and includes speaker and microphone so it can be used as a handset while allowing you to continue to use the screen to control phone features.

      The phone proper also has speaker and microphone of course. So one can leave the keyboard

  • by Hasai ( 131313 ) on Friday November 13, 2009 @03:47PM (#30090788)

    That's nothing: My wife can make ANY phone split into multiple parts. All she does is fling it to the ground when she can't immediately figure out how to work it.

    Also; TV remotes, house thermostats, lawn mowers....

  • 'sup dawg I herd yo like gimmicks wo we split yo phone in two so you can gimmick while yo gimmick.
  • It's not exactly the same, but the phone comes with an expansion port built in and a keyboard you attach to it. They plan to release other hardware expansion devices for it over time.;lst []

  • by PPH ( 736903 )
    Now I can lose half of my phone!
  • Since is a bit bogged down, try Engadget: Fujitsu's splitting F-04B cellphone gets tested, found to contain no Energon cubes []
    • Alternate, Fujitsu's F-04B cell phone (black) []

      Full details of the handset are yet to be announced but NTT DoCoMo said it measures 11.4 centimeters by 5.1cms by 20.4cms and weighs 173 grams. Standby time is 600 hours in WCDMA mode and 400 hours in GSM mode while talk time is 300 minutes and 330 minutes respectively.

      The screen resolution is 480 pixels by 960 pixels, it has a bilingual (Japanese and English) interface, built-in Felica contactless smartcard and the camera has an impressive 12.2 megapixel resol

  • Can I talk into one part and hold the other part up to my ear?

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