Reader question: What’s the best phone to use in both Japan and the US?

Pocketables reader Mark recently wrote in to ask us what the best option would be for a friend of his who needs a decent Android phone that can work in both the US and Japan, with a Japanese user interface:

A friend here in the US travels to Japan frequently and would like an Android mobile phone that she can use with a US carrier and when in Japan, with Softbank or another carrier. She would maintain two accounts if necessary, but perhaps a less costly option would be to purchase air time out of contract when in Japan. If she has to swap out a SIM card, I think this will still be fine.

Her needs don’t include high speed internet – just calling, text messaging, and voicemail. The UI should be Japanese.

Are there good Android mobile phones available for this purpose? Has anyone else done this on a small budget?

Since none of us are too familiar with Japanese phones, carriers, and mobile plans, we thought it might be best to turn this over to you – our readers. What’s the best solution you can think of for Mark? Let us know in the comments below, and if you have a similar question you’d like to ask our readers, please get in touch.

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John F

John was the editor-in-chief at Pocketables. His articles generally focus on all things Google, including Chrome and Android, although his love of new gadgets and technology doesn't stop there. His current arsenal includes the Nexus 6 by Motorola, the 2013 Nexus 7 by ASUS, the Nexus 9 by HTC, the LG G Watch, and the Chromebook Pixel, among others.