What is a Smart Phone?

Some visitors ask us questions like "What is a smartphone?" and "Should I buy one in Japan or just bring mine?" To understand what a smartphone actually is you first need to understand that there are 3 classes of portable devices.

Firstly there is a cellphone. These communication devices connect to a wireless communications network through radio waves or satellite transmissions. And provide the function of voice communication and SMS (short message service.)

What is a Smartphone?What is a Smartphone?

What is a Smartphone? It's Not a PDA.

Then there is the class of PDA (personal digital assistant). The functionality of PDA combine computing, telephone/fax, Internet and networking features. A typical PDA can function as a cellular phone, fax sender, web browser and personal organizer. These devices are usually pen-based but as this technology has changed they now have keyboard versions.

Given this you might think,"Well then, what is a smartphone?" It basically is a hybrid of a cellphone and a PDA. It's chief function is more similar to a cellphone than a PDA. Smartphones  functionality includes the storage of information, e-mail functionality some moderate program installment and of course mobile phone functionality all built into one hand held device.

The most expensive way of getting your internet needs met while being in Japan is to use your standard carrier but then you get whacked with roaming charges etc. So what many people do is to get a prepaid phone. SoftBank sells them and they range from 3,000  to 8,000 yen.

Probably the most common route to using your Smartphone is to buy a Japanese SIM card. You can use them if your phone is unlocked.The big three carriers are NTT Docomo, KDDI au, and SoftBank Mobile. You can also rent a phone but this is really not a viable option if you'll be staying in Japan for a while. Especially if you're going to Japan to teach English and so will be there for quite a stint of time.

Another thing to keep in mind is that there are tons of public WiFi places where you can jump on the net. Airports for starters.

  • Narita International.
  • Tokyo International (Haneda)
  • KIX (Osaka)
  • Fukuoka Airport.
  • Sapporo New Chitose Airport.
  • Chubu International.

Also many convenience stores have public WiFi. Mostly the big chain stores like  7-Eleven, Lawson and Family Mart. Not all of them have free WiFi but most do. Also large chain coffee houses like Tully's and Starbucks usually have free Wi-Fi. Not wishing to be left behind, Ito Yokado, Sogo, Seibu, Denny's also give free access.

Believe it or not now many train stations especially in Tokyo also offer  free access. Here is a list of them.

The free Wi-Fi access points are growing all around Japan. Places like Shibuya and Ginza have good coverage as well. Some of most often heard complaints are slow speed and unreliable connections.

Also it is good to keep in mind that there are security risks and privacy invasion issues as well. So if you are using free Wi-Fi hotspots make sure not to use personal data like credit card numbers or logging into your e-mail. Free WiFi is not the same as owning your own portable WiFi. If you want to know the dangers of using free Wi-Fi you might want to read up on portable Wi-Fi as a way or staying connected during your stay in Japan while keeping your personal data safe.


Return to Main Page From What is a Smartphone

Advertise Here
Get Noticed
Get Traffic 
 Grow 
Find out more here

FREE E-Book. Speed Learn Japanese & Get Our Newsletter on Japanese Proverbs and Cool Expressions.


Recent Articles

  1. Find Teaching Jobs Abroad

    Nov 17, 19 06:33 AM

    Find Teaching Jobs in Japan on our Teaching Jobs Abroad Page. Full-time & Part-time Listings for Jobs All Over Japan. Teaching Jobs added almost daily.

    Read On

  2. A Skype Interview is Often the 1st Step to an ESL Job. Tips to Ace it.

    Nov 14, 19 09:21 PM

    Hiring managers often use a skype interview as the first step to screening applicants. Here's advice & tips to help you ace the interview and nail the dream job

    Read On

  3. English Teaching in Japan - Answers to the Most Common Questions Asked

    Nov 08, 19 01:02 AM

    English teaching in Japan - it is a big step. We've begun listing some of the most common questions visitors ask us.

    Read On

  4. Not so Good 1 year and I'm Out

    Nov 05, 19 08:45 AM

    In my first year, I had to work six days a week. Some months I had only two days off. 2. There was a point where I did 30+ hours of overtime, but I got

    Read On

  5. Stories of Teaching in Japan - A Rant Needs an Edit

    Nov 05, 19 05:05 AM

    My experience here has been great over all for my personal development. I've always been a late bloomer and slightly introverted when on my own. I went

    Read On

  6. Find Teaching Jobs Overseas in Japan. Part-Time ESL Jobs Country Wide

    Nov 05, 19 03:21 AM

    Find Teaching Jobs Overseas and Experience Japan Through a Teacher's Eyes! Big Bustling Cities Like Tokyo or Seaside Undiscovered Gems Like Nikko!

    Read On

  7. Portable-Wi-Fi in Japan vs Free Options to Staying Safe & Connected.

    Aug 24, 19 07:34 AM

    Portable-WiFi in-Japan. Super convenient but definitely not for everyone. Portable-Wi-Fi isn't exactly cheap but worth it if you are a person on the move.

    Read On