Just announced, and available from mid-November 2014, is a new beast of a phone from Sharp and DoCoMo, the Aquos Zeta SH-01G.
It comes flaunting a 5.5-inch Full HD screen built using the "idling stop" technology, a.k.a. IGZO display to help achieve long single-charge life, certainly aided by a 3,300 mAh battery. The SH-01G is of the EDGEST series that has very thin bezel on the top and left and right to allow for 81% of the phone's real estate to be occupied by the screen. The device makes use of the recently introduced PureLED backlight technology for realistic colour delivery. To deal with the potential inconvenience of the very large display, the SH-01G, like the previous collection's models, has the "reduced screen mode" which allows one hand operation.
One particularly exciting display feature is the EDGEST Effects: During operation, a wave of gentle soft light rolls near the the screen edges.
The big news, however, comes in the camera department: the SH-01G reintroduces the Optical Image Stabilisation functionality that we dearly missed in the previous collection. But there's more: the new lens is tested by RICOH GR and is GR Certified as a "professional single focus digital camera". The lens has high-resolution and high-contrast homegeneity from the centre to the periphery, which makes digital image correction of chromatic aberrations and distortions unnecessary for the simple reason that there are none!
The 13.1 megapixel sensor is now capable to taking wide-angle photographs. Building on the multifocal shooting in some previous models, the SH-01G now allows for post-shooting image manipulation from the three different focus points: foreground, middle-ground, and background, to create different focus images similarly to the Lytro camera gadget. The camera also comes with the now familiar Real-Time HDR and Framing Advisor features. And Night Catch II + BrightEye for the world's best low-light performance with f/1.9 aperture lens. And there's also the Continuous Shooting mode triggered by simply holding the shutter button - but newly introduced is the "multi-display support" for continuous shooting which allows displaying multiple photos in the same screen for easier selection of the preferred image.
But wait, did I mention the SH-01G can shoot 4K2K videos?
The Aquos Zeta is capable of playing WAV and FLAC audio formats (96kHz/24bit to 192kHz/24bit) delivering a true high-fidelity listening experience. This is augmented by DTS Surround and aptX audio codec for high-quality wireless sound transmission.
FullSeg digital TV as well as NOTTV can be watched and recorded on the device - but that's of little relevance for those of us who will be using the SH-01G outside of Japan.
Supported is simultaneous connection to LTE and Wi-Fi (dual-speed mode) for uninterrupted smooth-change high-speed downloads when, say, you're watching HD video and travelling.
The user interface has also got some new features: the "reduced screen mode" mentioned above is supplemented with the ability to move the onscreen keyboard to te left or right, to adjust the spacing of the navigation keys in the bottom menu, to move left or right the screen unlock keyboard.
The Grip Magic function is here as well: control backlight on/off and screen rotation by simply holding the device. A new feature is the Inform Vibe, which will produce a vibration pattern to let you know if you have any missed calls or received new messages while travelling in noisy areas.
The Grip Magic functionality is also linked to privacy: if the "Simple secrecy for incoming calls" option is enabled, during an incoming call only the caller's number will be shown to hide from prying eyes. You need to hold the phone in such a way as to trigger the Grip sensor and the caller's photo and name will be shown. The same gesture can also turn off the sound of an incoming call or alarm. Of course, the long-time familiar VeilView is, as usual, a standard feature.
The Aquos Zeta SH-01G features the Hexa Grip Shape build, too, first introduced in the SH-04F, for securely holding the phone eliminating the chance of slippage. The familiar LED notification is positioned next to the front camera and is called "Prism".
There is nothing amazing about the hardware driving all the cool things described above, which is why I've left it for last: a quad-core Qualcomm MSM8974AB processor humming at 2.3 GHz should be just enough for all your mobile needs, supplemented by 2 GB of RAM, 32 GB of built-in storage space, expandable by up to 128 GB microSDXC cards.
Other features include: VoLTE, quad-band LTE (2 GHz / 1.7 GHz / 1.5 GHz / 800 MHz), Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac at 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz (not full coverage, though), Bluetooth 4.0, Infrared, Wi-Fi/Bluetooth/USB tethering, Mobile Wallet, Fast-charge and even Rapid Charge 2 function, depending on the charger you buy, as well as emergency power-saving.
The SH-01G is waterproof (IPX5/IPX7) but not dustproof.
The Aquos Zeta SH-01G measures 141 mm x 76 mm x 8.9 mm, with its thickest part bulging at about 9.5 mm (where the amazing camera lens is).
The battery capacity 3300 mAh. In combination with the IGZO display tech, it feels as if I'm back to pre-smartphone times. Standard usage (sync is only disabled between 1 AM and 8 AM) guarantees, at a minimum, four full days! While writing this, my battery is currently showing 55% and 3 days and 18 hours.
It is available in indigo, coral, white, and cyan colours.
The Disney Mobile SH-02G is the same phone, the only difference being that the illumination LED is not in the centre, but has been moded to the side. The SH-02G did not receive the upgrade to Android 5.0.
Date added/updated: 6 December 2017 – 18:50
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