DoCoMo's Premini II S: Lightweight Phone Fun
Beyond an exercise in miniaturization, the Premini was originally envisioned as a second handset for business people and fitted out with just the bare necessities of voice and email. Cameras are increasingly a work place taboo so the Premini were lens-less. The little handset became an instant media darling and sold reasonably well. Second generation Premini II began to shed its business suit exterior debuting with a new sportier design, easy grip casing, a camera and memory stick added more functionality.
The new Premini II S is equipped with a 1.3 megapixel CCD camera, iMode mobile net access, bar code reader, iappli application download software for games, and audio player functions. Though it’s not in a league with Apple’s iPod or the Sony Net Walkman, NTT is positioning the Premini II S in the DoCoMo Music series of handsets since the memory stick allows for music downloads from CD/PC. Through June 30th the company is running a campaign with the Beams clothing and accessory design firm to win a Premini II S wearable arm case for active music listening. The handset weighs in at 99 grams, has talk time of 140 minutes and a 1.9-inch QVGA screen.
Competitor KDDI has been pulling in a lot of cool points for its mobile content portals like EZ Game Street, fab phones from the au Design Project (Talby and Penk) series and new interactive exhibits at the Harajuku-based KDDI Designing Studio.
A print campaign is in full swing showing the colorful Premini II S series phones in the hands of fashionable young men and women. Realistically it is doubtful whether new colors alone will edge the Premini out of its second-class status. There are many more hardworking, fun and functional phones out there particularly in the 901iS series. Like another summer staple, cotton candy, the Premini II S is pretty but may leave consumers feeling a little empty.
— Gail Nakada