Things in Japan

Things in Japan

Oct 3, 2011

Quick impressions of the Softbank 007SH Sharp Aquos smartphone

I got a new phone to replace my old Nokia N73 whose battery is slowly dying. Always wanted to get a new Android smartphone, but I am wary of getting a bar shaped phone for I don't want the screen to be scratched to bits with the multitude of metal things I stuff my pocket with on a daily basis. The clamshell design of the 007SH caught my attention.

Another point I liked is the high resolution camera it has. I have found that having a reliable good resolution camera always handy with you is great when you need to take pictures anywhere of kids, scenery or the odd UFO.

So to the phone now:


Handset
OS Android 2.3
OLED display
WiFi 802b/g/n
Bluetooth 3
GPS
Osaifu Keitai (Mobile Payment System)
One-Seg TV
Infra Red
Emergency Earthquake Alert
HDMI output
IPX5/IPX7 Waterproof/Dustproof
Connectivity to Home Network Server
Removable storage
microSD card (2GB included, max 32GB)
RAM
512MB
Internal storage
275MB

Weight 123 g (140 g with battery)
Size 51.8 x 113 x 18.8-1.3 mm (clamshell Size closed, without protruding parts)
Continuous Talk Time
230 minutes (3G)
230 minutes (GSM)
Continuous Standby Time 
300 hours
Continous TV time
5 hours
Charging Time
140 minutes 

Battery
Voltage 3.7V 
Battery Type Lithium-ion 
Capacity 820 mAh 
34.2 x 47.1 x 4.6 m

Normal flip open position
The screen can be flipped and turned 180 degrees (like Linda Blair's head in The Exorcist!)

The screen can only be flipped one way to the left

transformer toy?


Hey! I'm a smartphone now!

A 12 sec. video of the flip



In Japan many phones have the One-Seg TV tuner. Although the reception where I am is good enough for me not to have to pull the antenna out, I find the antenna is quite fiddly for my short nailed fingers to pull out. had to use the tip of a pen to do it.

Antenna down
Antenna up
TV mode On
My impression so far:

Pros:

* Clamshell format, water & dust proofing helps protect it from the element. I had the phone quite wet from working outside on a rainy day installing a TV antenna while using a spirit level app for it and it was working fine. I haven't tried dipping it in water yet though.

* Screen visibility is good even under bright light. Picture quality of movie files from home server whilst on WiFi is quite good.

* It's not an iPhone :)

* Camera resolution is good. Highest quality setting sample below:

Click for full size image
Cons:

* Battery life could be better. Playing nonstop Angry Birds I only managed a little over 3 hrs.
* Haven't found info on how to root it yet.
* External speaker sometimes not loud enough
* No user facing camera, there's only one camera (the main 16M pixel one)

Update 2011/10/1

Updating to Android 2.3.3 official Softbank update caused problems with WiFi dropouts and laggy screen. Haven't found way to revert yet. Guess have to wait for another update.

Update 2011/11/14
New software update fixed the earlier problems with wifi and sluggishness. phew!

Update 2012/06
WiFi broken! Just wont activate at all. Took it to Softbank, had a loan of the wonderful HTC Desire HD for a few days while the 007SH was being repaired. Came back okay with updated software which was a different version from the updates pushed to it by Softbank.

Final opinion of the 007SH. I like the idea of a hybrid flip/slab form, but my main gripe with it is the very small internal memory, battery life and sluggishness. Hope the newer 104SH with Android 4Sharp Aquos 104SH will be better. Am starting to like HTC & Samsung products better now.

Update 2013/01/03
WiFi broken again! Last time I'll ever get a Sharp phone. Next is HTC desire HD or Motorola RazrM!

2 comments:

  1. I was looking into buying this phone. I really want a clam shell phone with android capability.
    What do you mean by sluggishness? Also did it not come with an sd card? If you weren't playing angry birds continuously would it last longer?

    Thsnks!

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  2. @KuriPuri Gregoo

    Hi there. Well I think if the clamshell format is important to you, the 007SH wouldn't be a horrible phone but there are other similar Japanese phones that are also water resistant (which is common spec here) that may perform better.

    What I mean by sluggishness is due to the phone only having 256MB of internal memory and a slowish cpu, once you have installed a few apps you'll find yourself running out of room quickly, and if you have a couple of apps running it just makes it worse.

    You'd also get the Force close error much more often when the above happens. Sometimes even with only 1 other app running, when I try to open a cpu intensive app like the camera, it takes forever for the camera to be active and if it's the video camera set on HD recording, then the recording would get choppy.

    Overall, I think if you will only use the 007SH as mainly a telephone & not as a mini computer (but isn't that the point of a smartphone?) it should be ok. My impression is that it was designed to be a "crossover" phone for customers who are comfortable with their "old" non-smartphones and wean them over to smartphones.

    Hardware wise it's not bad, I've noticed that the WiFi reception is slightly better than my new phone the Fujitsu Arrows 201 http://mb.softbank.jp/en/products/fujitsu/201f.html which I would write a review about soon.

    Software wise, it seems like Sharp was still at the beginning of their learning curve designing smartphones, you can also spot some translation errors in places. I hope they have done better since.

    Regarding battery, most days it would get down to about 40% in the evening but thats with WiFi and GPS mostly off and only a few minutes browsing and phone calls.

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