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20,000 yen minimal FeliCa smartphone "Rakuten Mini" surprised by real machine impression-Engadget Japan version

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Rakuten Mobile will pre-sale its first independently developed smartphone "Rakuten Mini"startDid. Initially, it will be sold only in the Rakuten supporter program.

"Rakuten Mini" is a smartphone equipped with FeliCa [Osaifu-Keitai] and eSIM at a low price of 21,800 yen including tax. It also features a small housing, with a 3.6-inch display, comparable to a feature phone of the past.

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▲ Glossy back

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▲ The home screen has its own UI, and the icons are large and easy to use

When I touch the actual machine, it is smaller than expected. The body size is one or two times smaller than the iPhone 11 Pro and fits easily in the shirt's chest pocket. It weighs 79g, less than half the iPhone 11 Pro. The thickness is 8.6mm. The size is reminiscent of the ultra-small terminal "Palm Phone" and DOCOMO's "card mobile phone".

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▲ This size feeling even compared to the unbranded iPhone 11 Pro

▲ Color variations are available in three colors

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▲ Equipped with a strap hole at the corner

The worrisome thing about these small devices is character input. If the screen size of the touch panel is not large to some extent, there is a disadvantage that character input is difficult.

When I actually tried it with "Rakuten Mini", the screen was small, so there were many erroneous inputs before I was used to it. Frequent text exchanges on social media and messaging apps can be frustrating. However, even if the target of the device is assumed, it should not be a device for such users. That's enough for users who say, "Some messages can be exchanged occasionally."

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▲ Incorrect input increases due to small screen size

The camera is a single lens with 1600 pixels. I took a picture at work and got the following example.

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▲ Shooting indoors at night. Not a device that pursues camera quality

I haven't been able to set it because the actual machine has just arrived. Normally, terminals that support FeliCa tend to be expensive, and even in general cheap smartphones, terminals without FeliCa account for the majority. If you set up Mobile Suica etc. on this unit, you can also handle everyday cashless payments.

The feature is that it does not have a SIM slot but instead has an "eSIM". Actual behavior has not been confirmed, but the iPhone 11 and Pixel 4 equipped with eSIM also have the advantage of being able to use inexpensive local communication lines with just a smartphone operation when traveling abroad. It seems convenient if you can use the same way with "Rakuten Mini".

The problem with such an extremely small smartphone is the "shortness of the battery." This is because the space for physically installing the battery is limited. The battery capacity of the "Rakuten Mini" is only 1250mAh, less than half to one-third of a general smartphone. Although it has a small screen and low battery consumption, it is not suitable for browsing the Internet for a long time.

Despite the disadvantages of a small terminal, eSIM / FeliCa is installed at this size and price. In addition, it was surprising that "cheapness" such as sluggish operation was minimized.

To summarize, the appeal is "price", "FeliCa" and "feeling of size". The disadvantages are "character input" and "holding battery". It is not suitable for users who use smartphones thoroughly, but it seems that it can be recommended for users who can make calls and emails, sometimes SNS, and users who have two tablets and tablets.

As an aside, the device manufacturer is ODM vendor Tinno mobile [Shenzhen City Tenro Mobile Technology], and Tinno Mobile is also a company that manufactures Wiko brand smartphones with Wiko under its umbrella.

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