Xx2 502SH

Sharp have just announced their additions to the Softbank Winter 2015/16 collection, earlier than typical for previous years, but just a week after announcing their Docomo devices. If you've seen the Docomo SH-01H and SH-02H, then you've also seen the Softbank Aquos Xx2 and Aquos Xx2 mini because they are, essentially, the same phones, just rebranded.

The Sharp Aquos Xx2 (502SH) follows the EDGEST line - extra thin bezel on the top and sides that makes the 5.3-inch Full HD high-speed IGZO display stand out and impress. And impress it should: the 120 Hz display refresh rate that no other device can brag promises to eliminate all movement blur, whether you're watching video or simply scrolling up or down.

The 13.1-megapixel main camera is a further upgrade in the RICOH GR-certified professional single focus digital camera series. It features a newly developed high-speed auto focus that is a combination of phase detection AF and contrast detection AF*. The camera has OIS (optical image stabilisation) and F1.9 aperture for low-noise night-time photography (BrightEye, real-time HDR, and Night Catch II). Like its predecessors, it can capture 4K2K video and 120 fps in Full HD and 210 fps in FWVGA resolution. Using frame interpolation technology, the SH-01H can capture super slow motion video of 2100 fps in FWVGA and 1200 fps in Full HD. Other features include the familiar Framing Advisor, the option to blur the background or foreground after taking the photo, the Photo Sphere and Panorama modes. The secondary camera is now 8 MP and features wide-angle 100-degree shooting for those selfie enthusiasts out there. The inner camera is also enhanced by a one-touch self-timer and face-detection AF.

The Aquos Xx2 relies on a 64-bit Qualcomm processor, the hexa-core MSM8992 which has two 1.8 GHz cores and four 1.4 GHz cores. The amount of RAM is 3 GB, the onboard storage space is 32 GB, expandable up to 200 GB using microSDXC cards.

The Aquos Xx2 now supports Advanced LTE for up to 300 MBps downlink accomplished by bundling the three supported LTE frequencies. Also supported is a dual-speed mode that allows simultaneous operation of LTE and Wi-Fi, as well as a smooth changeover mode for uninterrupted internet use while switching between carrier and wireless data.

Supported frequencies include:
GSM system (850 MHz / 900 MHz / 1800 MHz / 1900 MHz)
W-CDMA system (900 MHz / 1700 MHz / 1900 MHz / 2100 MHz)
FDD-LTE system (1700 MHz / 1900 MHz / 2100 MHz)
AXGP-LTE system: 2.5 GHz (only in Japan).

The Aquos Xx2 (502SH) is powered by a 3100 mAh built-in battery. 

This device, like its predecessors, features the Grip Magic sensors for convenient operation - but now there are four sensors, including one at the back, and one at the front - whereas the previous models had one on each side of the phone. On the rear panel, we also find a fingerprint sensor which allows easy unlocking and launching of selected applications.

The Clip Now feature found on the Aquos Crystal phones by SoftBank is now also available - it allows one to make a screenshot by simply sliding one's finger left-to-right along the top edge of the display.

Further features include a "small window with flip cover" mode that enables a reduced screen visible through the flip cover window and operation without opening the cover. Also available is the reduced screen mode to allow easy one-hended operation.

The question is, however, who needs a protective case any more? In the Aquos Xx2, Sharp have decided to use Corning Gorilla Glass 4 for the rear panel to guarantee a scratch-free rear surface as well.

The Aquos Xx2 is both waterproof (IPX5/8) and dustproof (IPX5).

Rather than a small dot-like LED indicator in the middle like in the SH-01G, there are now two illumination LEDs on each of the bottom corners - they indicate incoming calls, email, etc. and also light up when using the Emopa functionality.

The built-in Music app by Sharp can deliver an HD sound experience as it can play WAV / FLAC files of 24-bit at 48 / 88.2 / 96 / 176.4 / 192 kHz. Digital signal processing is ensured by AM3D's ZIRENE® SOUND engine to output realistic and powerful sound to both headphones or a Bluetooth speaker.

The Aquos Xx2 (502SH) measures 138mm × 73mm × 7.9mm, weighs 150 grams - which is a millimiter shorter, a millimeter narrower, and one gram lighter than the Aquos Zeta SH-01H. It is available in three different colours - purple, white, and black.

The Aquos Xx2 can receive and record Full Seg digital television. 

For further details, see the Sharp website.

* Phase detection autofocus was first introduced in Samsung Galaxy S5 and iPhone 6 and 6+. I do not know if theirs was also a combination of both, like on the Aquos Zeta SH-01H and the Aquos Xx2, or just the phase detection.

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