By >Daimaou - G.G-B
[Review] Fujitsu F-04B, a brilliant hardware running on an “Under-whelming” OS
Introduced first as a prototype at CEATEC 2008, then later announced in November 2009 to be finally launched in Japan early April 2010, the Fujitsu F-04B is the best Japanese phone so far… However, this claim comes with a big fat asterisk that we will try to cover later on this review.
For years Japan has built its reputation on making the best looking and the most Amazing phones ever, however, those times are well behind us as it seems that the Japanese Handset manufacturers are rather more interested in producing huge numbers of handsets rather on working on a few ones in order to make them truly fantastic.
Sure Japanese mobile phones still do possess some sort of “aura” across the World, but these phones still do struggle to have success overseas, and companies such as Samsung, LG, HTC and now also including Apple have started to teach to the Japanese makers on every single level, from the cheap dumb phone producers to the fully-fledged Smartphone producers, that, yes, Japan is no longer the coolest kid around. And the Fujitsu F-04B is for us the best example of Japanese Manufacturers’ defeat in this Area.
A Unique Style and a Unique Hardware
Unlike many other phones, the Fujitsu F-04B, brings a unique approach to the business that was not yet tried before. Simply put the overall concept and idea behind the F-04 is breathtaking.
The F-04B is the result of pure engineering beauty and full of neat ideas that will put to shame the all mighty iPhone.
Not only the F-04B is a descent looking phone, but it also includes many impressive features ranging from a Bluetooth removable keypad, which can also be used as a handset while giving you the possibility to use its main body for other tasks, to the additional video projector module, and its accelerometer that gives you endless gaming options.
As far as we are concerned, the Fujitsu F-04B is the best piece of hardware ever made that feels just right in the hand and that is potentially capable of blasting everything away… Think about it for a second… You shoot a lot of pictures with your F-04B, and want to share them with your friends or want your parents to enjoy them when you visit them. At that point, the F-04B, instead of just allowing you to show your pictures on its screen in the conventional way, lets you display them on the wall just as you would do with a real video projector… This does not only apply for Photos, but also for the Movies that are stored on your F-04B and for the very basic TV programs that can be accessed via its 1Seg TV Tuner.
Wanna have fun? Why not using the very same setting and play games with friends thanks to its Bluetooth keyboard turned for the occasion into a Bluetooth remote… Want even more? Well, guess what the very same remote can be used as a Wii-mote letting you enjoy “Wii Sport” like games with friends.
A Unique Hardware, an Horrible Software.
Being technically a little wonder, the F-04B brings an amazing user experience but only on the paper, as the reality is, my dear friends, quite the opposite. Let’s put it simple, Japanese companies are excelled in almost everything except in building good OS and good UI when it comes to tmobile phones. Yep, here it is I said and for the past 8 years I have been living in Japan I have never had the chance to enjoy or play with a nicely done UI on a Phone.
Built without any relevance or harmony between different pages or applications installed on the phone, the overall experience is sluggish and at its best messy. Passing from one application to another, your experience rates from low to acceptable, and you struggle to find any consistency in the OS of this mobile phone.
And if you are not lost in the pages-long, cumbersome and different menu, you will also have to fight against the evident lack of power and optimization slowing you down. Even worse, both the Mobile browser and the so-called “PC Web Browser” are just plain slow taking “ages” to load a simple website.
The Video below is intentionally accelerated up to 200% in order to make it as short as possible, however, even a 200% you will see how slow the F-04B UI is…
I feel deeply sad both for Fujitsu and the F-04B, as I wrote earlier, the overall concept of this phone is fantastic and the team of engineers/staff behind the concept should be praised for their efforts, however, the people who came with the F-04B UI and optimization should really start to look at what others including Apple, Palm, Google and even Microsoft are offering on the market in order to learn how to build up a descent OS.
So unless Fujitsu and other Japanese manufactures start building their own descent OS or else license others, we will continue to see the consumers in Japan shifting more and more to the Non-Japanese manufacturers.