Gadgets

The Sharp Aquos R7 from Japan is the antidote to terrible smartphone design

Aquos R7 phone

The Sharp Aquos R7 is the latest addition to our continuing series of “amazing phones you can’t purchase in the US.”

This phone will be available in Japan in July, and it proves that you can create a unique smartphone in this day and age. Sharp is known for its unusual designs, and the R7 corrects many of the perplexing design decisions made by other smartphone makers.

First and foremost, Sharp is sticking to its strategy of putting big camera sensors in its smartphones. A single 47.2 MP camera with a 1-inch sensor and a big lens dominates the phone’s rear. Sharp is giving people one giant camera, which has the potential to produce better-quality pictures. Most smartphone manufacturers ship three to four questionably useful smaller rear cameras on the back of their devices, but Sharp is giving people one giant camera, which has the potential to produce better-quality pictures.

A little 2MP sensor sits next to the massive camera sensor, but a Google translation of the product page refers to it as a “distance measurement sensor,” so it doesn’t sound like it can capture images.

The display is also something to brag about. Sharp’s 6.6-inch 27301260 IGZO OLED display boasts a best-in-class 240 Hz refresh rate. Best of all, unlike other Android flagships, the display is flat, rather than curved, which distorts the sides of the screen. No one has yet stated what advantages a curved display provides.

The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 will have to rise to the task of rendering Android at 240 frames per second (good luck with that). 12GB of RAM, 256GB of storage, and a 5000mAh battery are among the other features. A microSD card slot, IP68 dust and water resistance, a 12 MP front camera, and a USB-C connector are among the features. Sharp even included a top-mounted headphone jack.

Qualcomm’s “3D Sonic Max” fingerprint sensor is another intriguing technology that appears to be exclusive to high-end devices. This in-screen fingerprint sensor has a reputation for being quite large. Sharp did not disclose the sensor’s size, but earlier demonstrations have suggested that it is large enough to accommodate two fingers. The glass display, which offers no tactile indicator for where to place your finger, making it easy to miss the sensor and fail your fingerprint read. Making the whole thing bigger is a logical (albeit expensive) approach to improve the reliability of in-screen fingerprint sensors.

Since Qualcomm released this sensor in 2019, the number of phones that have used it has been in the single digits.

Overall, the R7 appears to be a pretty interesting slab phone that addresses most of the issues we generally find in reviews. A massive fingerprint sensor, a flat display, and a headphone jack? Please take notice, other smartphone manufacturers

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