501SH / 504SH

It has been a while since SoftBank released a flip phone - since the Premium 301SH in November 2013 - but it seems interest in the traditional style keitai is picking up, now that they use Android, albeit a heavily customised one, as its OS.

The new Aquos Mobile (AQUOS ケータイ) is released under the 501SH model name but you will not find this on either the Sharp, or the SoftBank website.

The SoftBank Aquos Mobile 501SH has the same 3.4-inch screen flip phones have had for a few years now as that seems to be the affordable maximum for a traditional keitai. The screen resolution is stunning: QHD (540 × 960 pixels). On the back of the main display is a small Organic EL display (21 x 96 dots) which shows incoming calls, messages, email, alarm and other information.

It is powered by a quad-core 1.1 GHz processor, has 1 GB of RAM, and 8 GB of onboard storage that can be expanded to up to 32 GB using microSDHC cards.

Supported radio frequencies include W-CDMA (900 MHz / 2.1 GHz) and GSM system (900 MHz / 1800 MHz / 1900 MHz). The former should ideally ensure 21 Mbps downlink and/ 5.7 Mbps uplink speed.

A serious disadvantage of the Aquos Mobile is that there is no Wi-Fi... I know, I know, how stupid is this?

The phone has an 8 MP camera that is capable of shooting "bright images of high sensitivity and low noise in low light" but there's no word on the F-value. The maximum resolution video it can capture is HD (1280 x 720). 

The body of the phone is entirely metallic, 2 different metallic surfaces in fact that are supposed to "produce a sense of quality", according to the manufacturer's website. The keypad buttons have an arc-ridge shape for comfortable use.

The Aquos Mobile 501SH, like all other recent flip keitai, has the LINE chat and calls app built-in (needs to be downloaded), as well as a full browser. Your net-surfing experience is hardly going to be amazing, though, for the lack of touch screen and screen rotation. Don't we miss the old keitai that could rotate 180 degrees for both comfortable navigation (in-phone and online) and camera use - not to mention those 12 or 16-megapixel high-quality CCD lenses.

This Aquos Mobile 501SH is water- (IPX5/7) and dust-proof (IP5X). It has Bluetooth ver. 4.1, and Infrared. One-Seg television is supported.

The built-in battery capacity is 1410 mAh. The phone weighs 124 grams, measures 51 × 113 × 17.6 mm when folded, and is available in white, gold, pink, turquoise, purple, red, navy, and black.

The same phone only rebranded for Y!mobile was released in the beginning of December 2015 under the model name 504SH.

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