Freetel, a mobile device manufacturer based in Japan, is bringing a budget option and a midrange offering to the U.S. and Canadian market.
We first heard of Freetel’s promise to bring some of their devices to western shores at CES 2016 earlier this year. The company offers sleek, affordable phones in Japan, and touts the quality of Japanese design and manufacturing. Most of its devices run Android, but it does have a Windows Phone handset.
The phones aren’t new devices, as they have been available in Japan, but out of its portfolio of phones, only two are now available in the U.S. and Canada. First up is the Kiwami, the company’s flagship device.
At 6 inches, the Kiwami is a phablet , but thankfully the IPS display comes with a resolution of 2,560 x 1440 pixels. It’s powered by an MediaTek’s MT6795 octa-core processor with 3GB of RAM. The device comes with 32GB of internal storage, and has a MicroSD card slot in case you want to upgrade to up to 128GB.
The rear camera on the Kiwami has 21 megapixels, and the front-facing camera has 8 megapixels. The number of megapixels do not correlate to how well a camera performs, however, so we’ll have to test the device out.
The Kiwami runs Android 5.01, and the last time we spoke to the company’s vice president and director of global business development, Eugene Yoshioka, he said Freetel will bring along updates as fast as it can. Regardless, don’t expect to see Android 6.0.1, or even the upcoming version of Android N, on this device any time soon.
The device also features a 3,400mAh battery capacity, fast-charging technology, Corning’s Gorilla Glass, and a fingerprint sensor — all for $389.
Priced at $99, the Priori3 is Freetel’s budget-friendly device. That means its specs aren’t that spectacular — it only has a resolution of 854 x 480 pixels, but it’s a little more manageable on the 4.5-inch screen. It’s powered by MediaTek’s MT6735M processor with only 1GB of RAM, and it comes with a measly 8GB of internal storage. There is a MicroSD card slot, though, so at least you can expand it.
The 2-megapixel front-facing camera and the 8-megapixel rear camera are unlikely to impress, but at least the Priori3’s 2,100mAh battery should keep the device charged for a while.
Unfortunately, both devices are only compatible with GSM networks, which means they’ll only work on carriers like AT&T and T-Mobile. The unlocked Kiwami and Priori3 are available for purchase now on Freetel’s website.
The company announced that another flagship device, the Rei, is also slated to arrive in the U.S. sometime this year.