A couple weeks back I passed my 2 years in Japan milestone, and why is that exciting exactly? Because it marked the date in which I could purchase a new phone, with my old contract having ended.
For my first 2 years in Japan I owed an iPhone 4s, for the first year it was great….. then iOS7 came along and crippled the device to the point where it was almost unusable. Towards the last few months I used the iPhone it would constantly crash every 2 minutes or so even when I was doing simple activities like writing posts on FB. Not to mention the fact I was forced to carry an external battery every where I went as the iPhone would last 3 hours at best. In sort……
But this is not that kind of blog, so I’ll leave that there.
When the end May rolled around it was time to decide upon a replacement for my brick of an iPhone, at that time realistically there was only 2 choices considering I wanted nothing less than the best model on the market.
As it turned out Japan made up my mind for me since the HTC ONE M8 is still yet to be released here, so I decided upon the Samsung Galaxy S5 and have never looked back.
At the moment the Galaxy S5 is available with both Docomo and AU however I decided to go with the former. Now the way new models are released in Japan is kind of stupid, instead of simply coming out when they are available in the rest of the world, phones in Japan are held back until the beginning of a new season so they can all be released together…… frustrating if you are waiting for that new model to say the least.
Above is the 2014 Docomo Summer Lineup, as one can see the Galaxy S5 is the standout model of the bunch (only in Japan would a Disney phone be a popular model ^^;)
If you would like to see more info about the plans available with Docomo for the Galaxy S5 you can find it HERE.
Now I ain’t no tech reviewer so I’ma leave that up to CNET but I can simply say that after using it this past month the Galaxy S5 is a work of art,the screen is beautiful, it takes amazing photos, battery life is great and its the most powerful phone on the market…… yeah it seems I have become an Android fanboy.
Also as a fun lil note exclusive to Japan the Galaxy S5 comes in a pink model, needless to say I passed on that option.
Ok so on to the meat of the story. I headed over to a large Docomo store bright and early on a Saturday morning, having heard an English speaking staff member worked that particular store. To my dismay it was her day off but determined to come home with a shiny new Galaxy 5 that day I fleshed out my options.
Now my Japanese has progressed to the point where I can have basic conversations however the technical words one might come across when discussing contracts were way over my head. Fortunately DoCoMo in fact has a very convenient translation service, the lady at the desk called up a translator for me upon my request.
The service was extremely efficient with guy on the other end of the phone negotiating all the details of the contract and explaining every aspect of it to me.
There are a wide array of services you can mix and match to suit your needs, they can be found on the DoCoMo website HERE.
If you intend to keep the device and stay with Docomo for Type Xi Plan Ninen will come with lower monthly charges than the basic Type Xi Plan.
When signing up you must select a monthly data download package of either 2GB or 7GB with the later only being an additional 1000円 per month (おすすめ). In addition you can also choose whether you would like to pay exorbitantly if this cap is exceeded for additional data while retaining LTE speeds or be throttled to 128kbs with no charges (this will make your smart phone…… dumb till the data resets).
There are a good half dozen charges that stack on top but at the end of the day with 7gb download, handset repayments, insurance and no free calls expect to pay about 7500円 a month for this model. This is quite reasonable all said and done, considering DoCoMo foots 85% of the bill of the 110000円 handset simply for being signing up as a customer with them.