We’ve had a couple of days checking out Sharp’s new SH930W Aquos phone. This 5-inch Android smartphone comes in a unibody design and support for dual-SIM functionality.
The Aquos SH530U comes in a fairly huge slab of polycarbonate body with a design that closely resembles that of the One X from HTC (not exactly the same but close). The unit is actually pretty thin (9.9mm) and lightweight (168g) despite its size.
The unibody design is fully enveloped in a glass and polycarbonate material with a slightly matte finish.
The hardware configuration did not really give justice to the nice design and large screen. In fact, I was so surprised that the resolution is merely 800×400 pixels, stretched into the 5-inch display.
The low pixel density is very evident when using the phone — images are a bit pixelated, colors are a bit washed out and brightness is a little dull. The size and design are actually really good but it was spoiled by the lackluster display.
Sharp Aquos SH530U specs:
5.0-inch LCD display @ 800×400 pixels, 187ppi
MediaTek MT6577 1.0GHz dual-core Cortex-A9 processor
20GB internal storage
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
GPS w/ aGPS support
5MP rear camera
Li-Ion battery 1950mAh
Android 4.0.4 ICS
The Aquos SH530U looks like a premium flagship phone trapped in a mid-range hardware.
The solid, unibody design allowed for a thinner form factor and the SIM card slots are found at the bottom end at the back. A hidden compartment reveals two SIM slots — one is slot-loading and the other comes with a tray or cradle.
The huge speaker grills sits at the lower end at the back as well along with the Sharp logo. Sound quality is good and volume is pretty loud too.
What is intriguing is the custom UI used by Sharp in their Aqous phones. It runs on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich but the UI was made to make access to apps and widget very simple (almost iPhone-y simple).
There are three home screens that you scroll horizontally — one for Apps, one for Widgets and one for Shortcuts. There is no App Drawer since the homescreen already shows all the apps. To navigate between home screens, you swipe sidesway; to navigate thru the Apps, just scroll down.
At first you’d kind of get confused with the navigation because this doesn’t look like the typical Android UI. You’d look for the soft buttons for the home or even wonder where the app drawer is. Of course, one you have access to Google Play, you can always change this with one of your favorite launchers like Go EX Launcher.
Sharp is selling this unit in the local market with a suggested retail price of Php12,800.