Freetel is bringing its Japanese-designed phones to the US

Ever heard of Freetel? The relatively new Japanese handset manufacturer has been offering sleek, affordable phones in its home country and touts the quality of Japanese design and manufacturing in its devices. At CES, the company announced that it’s bringing its device lineup into North America.

Freetel’s phones are unlocked and will have LTE capabilities. The first three devices that will make it over the Pacific are the company’s flagship Kiwami, the Miyabi, and the Priori3. The phones will be available in the first quarter of 2016. Most of the company’s phones have a rectangular-slab look featuring sharp edges, and the backs of the devices are reminiscent of OnePlus devices.

The Kiwami qualifies as a phablet at 6 inches and offers a wide QHD display. The company says it has a 2K display and a 3,400mAh battery to keep it juiced up. It supports fast-charging technology so it won’t take too long to fully charge. It’s powered by an octa-core processor, but the company hasn’t listed exactly which one. The Kiwami has a 21-megapixel rear camera, an 8-megapixel front one, 3GB of RAM, and a fingerprint sensor — all for $389.

All the devices coming to the U.S. will run Android 5.1 Lollipop — and the company’s vice president and director of global business development, Eugene Yoshioka, told Digital Trends that Freetel will likely bring updates as soon as the latest version of Android is stable. That being said, don’t expect to see Android 6.0.1 on these devices in the coming months.

Another budget option coming to the U.S. is the Miyabi — a $199 5-inch smartphone with a 1,280 x 720p IPS display. It has a quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, and comes with a 13-megapixel rear camera and a 5-megapixel front-facing one. Given its smaller size, it obviously has a smaller battery, which comes in at 2,200mAh.

The 4.5-inch Priori3 is the company’s cheapest offering, with a stunningly weak resolution of 854 x 480p. The device only has a slightly smaller 2,100mAh battery compared to the Miyabi, a quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM, a 2-megapixel front-facing camera, and an 8-megapixel rear camera.

The company also has two Windows phones in its lineup, but it doesn’t seem like the company will be bringing them to North America anytime soon. It is however, bringing the Musashi towards the end 2016. The Musashi is an interesting device as it’s a Android-powered flip phone — the likes of which we have seen already, so it’ll be interesting to see what the device can offer when it arrives.

The devices should work on U.S. GSM carriers, and the company has plans to bring its devices to retailers and other carriers. You’ll be able to buy the phones on Amazon and the company’s website, The company’s website also says it is planning to launch in more countries as well.

Specs are all talk, so we’ll have to wait until we can get a hold of these devices to see if they can really offer a solid experience for such low price points.


The Palm has been revived, and is now available in the U.S. and U.K.

A reboot of the classic Palm is finally here and it's tiny. It syncs to your phone and acts as a secondary device -- with a feature to help you disconnect from technology. The Palm will be available exclusively through Verizon for $350.

The Nokia 8.1 is a Pie-powered midrange phone that’s not coming to the U.S.

Nokia's latest addition is the Nokia 8.1, a good-looking phone with a huge display, powered by the Snapdragon 710, and a claimed two-day battery life. But it won't be coming to the U.S.

No, OnePlus won’t be first with Snapdragon 855, and 5G phone may cost $850

OnePlus will be among the first companies to put the new Snapdragon 855 processor into a phone, and will also release a separate and more expensive 5G phone in 2019 with the help of U.K. network EE.

Atomic-colored BlackBerry Key2 LE arrives just in time to bring holiday cheer

TCL teased that it would release two new BlackBerry phones with keyboards this year, and it has stayed true to its promise. The company announced its latest handset, the BlackBerry Key2 LE, at IFA 2018 in Berlin.

New Galaxy S10 leaks showcase display sizes, confirm headphone jack return

While we still may be months away from an announcement, there's no doubt about it: Samsung is working hard on its successor to the Galaxy S9. Here's everything we know about the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S10.

Android 9.0 updates to stretch into 2019 — will your phone get a slice of Pie?

Android 9.0 Pie has been released. But is your phone getting Android 9.0 Pie, and if so, when? We've done the hard work and asked every device manufacturer to see when their devices would be getting the update.
Product Review

The iPad Pro is the best tablet ever. But don't sell your laptop just yet

Apple has unveiled a big redesign for the iPad Pro, slimming down the bezels, adding Face ID, and the ability to attach and charge the Apple Pencil. All of this comes at a high cost however, as the iPad Pro starts at $799.

LG G7 owners experiencing dreaded bootloop will have to wait a few days for fix

If you’ve picked up LG’s flagship and it’s not behaving itself, then you might find a solution here. We’ve rounded up the most common LG G7 ThinQ problems and tracked down workarounds and possible fixes.

A render video gives us a 360-degree look at the midrange Pixels

The Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are considered to be two of the best Android smartphones, but it looks like Google could be prepping a midrange line. Say hello to the Pixel 3 Lite and Pixel 3 Lite XL.

Honor to out-megapixel the competition with 48MP camera on upcoming View 20

After its phenomenal success with the View 10 in 2018, it looks like Honor is getting ready up the ante with its forthcoming Honor View 20. Here's everything we know about it so far.

Xiaomi is preparing to set records with 48-megapixel phone camera

Bigger doesn't always mean better, but it certainly makes headlines. Chinese mobile giant Xiaomi is set to release a phone camera with a staggeringly large 48 megapixels on a single sensor.

Patent highlights Apple's sky-high ambitions for AirPower wireless charger

At its September event last year, Apple unveiled the AirPower -- its new wireless charging mat that will allow you to charge multiple devices at one time. It has not yet been released. Here's everything we know about the device so far.

Check out the best Green Monday deals for those last-minute gifts

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone, but that doesn't mean you've missed your chance of finding a great deal. We're talking about Green Monday, of course, and it falls on December 10.

Google Fit app finally gets a widget, among other new features

Google Fit hasn't received any new features since its redesign. This week, the company is rolling some new tools; users will be able to add a widget to their Android home screen, adjust the intensity of their workouts, and more.