SH-M02

The Aquos SH-M02, scheduled for 20th October 2015, is the second smartphone by Sharp that is not tied to any operator (released SIM-free) and is actually an MVNO release of the Aquos Ever SH-04G that came out in the summer of 2015.

Sadly, Sharp's MVNO phones are a tad underwhelming (consider the first SIM-free phone, the SH-M01). The Aquos SH-M02 has 5-inch screen of the EDGEST series but with the humble resolution of 1280 x 720 px. It has the same S-PureLED backlight and colour-filter system as all other recent models so screen quality should be perfectly on par. The display even has the fancy EDGEST effect where the user can choose among several lighting effects triggered when the screen is turned on, when there's an incoming call, or when charging begins.

The camera is 13.1 megapixels and has the Night Catch feature for low-light photography but the aperture size is, expectedly, not the F1.9 value that carrier-branded models flaunt. Real-time HDR is supported as well as time-lapse photography (1 to 10-second intervals). Other features include the Framing Advisor that does indeed help achieve a better image composition, and the continuous shooting feature, as well as Photosphere and Panorama shooting. The inner camera is 2.1 MP with face-detection and one-touch self-timer. The main camera can capture video of up to Full HD (1920 x 1080 px).

The Aquos SH-M02 does not use the IGZO display but Sharp still promise that thanks to their low-energy consumption display and the Eco-Tech function, you can last three days in a single charge. The battery size is 2,450 mAh so that is a reasonable promise, depending of course on usage intensity. The battery also supports rapid charging.

This SIM-free phone relies on the Qualcomm MSM8926 processor which has four cores working at 1.2 GHz, and on 2 GB of RAM. The onboard storage (ROM) is 16 GB so you are very likely to need a microSDHC card to expand that to up to 32 GB (SDXC is not supported).

The Aquos SH-M02 supports LTE and 3G frequencies only:  LTE: 2.0 GHz, 1.7 GHz, 800 MHz, 1.5 GHz and 3G: 2.0 GHz, 800 MHz, 800 MHz. VoLTE is also supported.

While Bluetooth (4.0) and infrared connectivity are supported, Sharp have removed the digital television antenna, so no Full Seg, or One Seg here, not even NOTTV. The wireless module supports b/g/n modes but only in the 2.4 GHz range.

The device is water-proof (IPX5 / 7) and has a capless structure, meaning the 3.5 mm audio jack and the micro-USB port are uncovered but you needn't worry they will leak. Of course, certain conditions apply but Sharp's water-proofing has never failed to work unlike some other brands ;)

The Grip Sensor is also present in the form of the Bright Keep functionality that prevents the backlight from turning off while holding the phone in such a way as to cover the sensors located on both sides of the body; I have personally found this to be very convenient. Also supported are: Sweep ON and Shake OFF for turning the phone On/Off, "Off by putting into pocket", Quick Silent (flip the phone to silence the incoming call ring), and Mobile Light (every Sharp phone has it - press and hold the Volume Up button on a locked screen to turn on the flash light).

The installed OS at the time of release is Android 5.0. Knowing Sharp, it is unlikely to expect any version upgrades.

The Aquos SH-M02 is only available in white (black front, white back), measures 134 × 71 × 9.9 mm and weighs 145 grams.

In the beginning of November 2015, the phone will be also released as the SH-M02-EVA20 in an EVANGELION design to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the epic anime series.

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