The majority of people these days have smartphones, but many people still use old style flip phones. The choices for flip phones, however, are far more limited than they used to be, so foreign language capable phones may not be available.
When it comes to smartphones, you will have many more choices, and a higher chance of the phone you want having foreign language settings. Be sure to check the placard by the phone model in the store to see if it has any languages other than Japanese listed. You can also check out the mobile service providers’ websites to get an idea of your options before you go to the store.
In this day and age, it’s a good idea to research phones anyway to make sure the one you get will last you 2 or more years.
In Japan, there is no such thing as a free phone with a new contract. You always have to pay, but the plus side to that is you can change your phone whenever you want, as long as you’re happy to pay the balance on the old one and pay for the new one.
In general, there are two ways you can pay for your phone: Up-front and Monthly. If you choose Up-front, be ready to pay ￥60,000 or more, though sometimes there are discount programs for this payment type. For Monthly payments, you will be allowed to choose the number of months you’d like to pay, typically in 12-, 24-, and 36- month plans available.
If you change your phone before you have paid off your old one, you will be given the option to pay off the balance up-front or continue the payment until it would have otherwise finished. Your new phone’s monthly payment will be tacked onto your bill as well, so keep that in mind.
Kakuyasu Smartphone is not a company, but a concept. It revolves around the use of unlocked Android phones that can accept any type of SIM card, and the use of a Free Sim card that can utilize the cell towers of any mobile service provider. If you already have an unlocked phone, you can just purchase the SIM. If you don’t, you can purchase an unlocked phone and Free Sim as a set. If you currently have a phone from au, Docomo, or Softbank, you will not be able to switch to Kakuyasu with the phone you’re currently using.
You can choose your monthly data cap, with available amounts as little as 500MB and often up to 10GB or more.
When you use a Kakuyasu Smartphone, you are not using proprietary mobile signals. You essentially borrow the signal of whatever tower is nearest you, so your monthly fee is closer to a type of rent. Because you are essentially ‘renting’ your reception, you don’t have to pay a lot of the fees that proprietary users pay.
・Plans that can be tailored to a minimum of 500MB of data per month for low-data users
・No cancellation fees
・More affordable phones than standard carriers
・SIM cards can be exchanged overseas for prepaid SIMs when you travel
・High-data users may exceed plan limits and be charged a lot
・No service centers for help or troubleshooting
・No LTE service – highest possible service is 4G
・May experience poor reception and slow internet
・No proprietary email address on your phone
・No high-end phones or iPhones: Low to Mid-range Android only
This kind of mobile service is ideal for individuals who have low data needs and don’t make a lot of phone calls, or someone who cannot commit to a standard 2-year contract at a regular provider. It is also a good solution for those who cannot afford or do not care to pay for standard phone service, children and teens who do not need full functionality, or seniors who just need basic service.
Electronics stores, large department stores, and online.
If you cannot find the section for Kakuyasu Smartphone, look for 格安スマホ (kakuyasu sumaho) or ask an employee.
|Keitaibangou||Mobile phone number|
|Bairingaru kinou||Bilingual functionality (foreign language settings)|