NTT DoCoMo beats out Samsung with thinnest Android phone

The NEC Medias N-04C may not have one of those snazzy smartphone names like the “Galaxy S II” or the “Xperia Arc,” but it beats out both of those super-slim phones with a measurement of just 8 millimeters thick.

Previously, Samsung boasted that its Galaxy S II was one of the slimmest Android smartphones, with a thickness of just 9 millimeters. Sony Ericsson’s Xperia Arc matched that, but NTT DoCoMo’s new entrant, which was just announced in Japan, is the new record holder.

It’s a way for DoCoMo, which doesn’t have huge brand recognition, to garner some attention. That’s important in today’s Android market, with dozens of smartphones out there trying to get a name for themselves.

The Medias N-04C has a 4-inch display and weighs just 105 grams. It also has a mobile wallet feature built-in. In Japan, mobile payments have swept through on a much wider scale than in the US, so the N-04C embeds functionality directly in the internal software. It also has a TV tuner and a 5-megapixel camera.

The phone has Android 2.2 pre-installed, but DoCoMo says it will be upgrade-eligible for version 2.3, and will get that upgrade this year.

The company didn’t say whether or not it plans to bring the phone to other countries, or what price it plans to sell the device at in Japan. The device will be released on March 15.