At the tail-end of January, Japanese carrier NTT Docomo announced their new lineup of Android devices (11 in all), one of which included the dual-screened foldable NEC Medias W. We’ve seen handset designs like this before with the failed launch of the Kyocera Echo and Sony Tablet P. That being said, we weren’t expecting too much from yet another dual-screen Android device, but after our hands-on with the NEC Medias W, we were singing a different tune.
The Medias W utilizes two 4.3-inch qHD displays on the front and back of the device that open to create a wider, near tablet-like experience. Honestly, it’s perfect for users who’ve been eying larger Androids like the Galaxy Note, but don’t want to sacrifice the benefits of having a smaller phone. In execution the Medias W offers the benefit of extra screen real estate that trumps even the Galaxy Note, giving a better Android tablet experience than that of a big phone.
NEC’s tweaked their software — which is a mostly stock Android experience by the way — to display either extra content on both screens, or separate content (email conversations on one list, and an open email on the other) depending on preference. It’s all quite genius and executed better than we thought. Take a look at our hands-on video below for a demonstration and see for yourself if 2 screens are better than one.
While the Medias W is currently available in Japan, NEC announced the global variant of the device at MWC 2013 meaning it should work rather well with AT&T bands, sans LTE of course. With a dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor (MSM 8960), 1GB of RAM and a 2,100mAh battery, the Medias W may not have the horsepower to appease most Android spec-nuts, but this one trick pony may win over those looking for something different from the traditional Android experience (myself included).