S1

Scheduled to roll out sometime in late February 2017 is Y!Mobile and SoftBank's second iteration of an Android One device. Behold the Android One S1.

Android One is a line of devices targeted at new users of smartphones, mainly from emerging countries markets, where the design and development of the device is handled by Google, and the manufacturing is managed by an OEM such as Sharp. In Japan, marketing is done by the carrier (SoftBank's Y!Mobile MNVO).

This is why you should not expect to find much of Sharp's high-end stuff in the Android One line. In the S1, we see some minor improvements from the first device, the 507SH, in the series laucnhed in mid-2016. The display is still 5 inches diagonally, but the resolution is now Full HD (1920 x 1080 px), not HD. What gives it a true competitive edge is Sharp's IGZO technology that guarantees 3 or 4 full days of use in a single charge of its 2,530 mAh battery.

Oddly, the Android One S1 is powered by a lower-performance processor than the 507SH: whereas the Snapdragon 617 (MSM8952) found on the older device has four 1.5 GHz and four 1.2 GHz cores, the Snapdragon 430 (MSM8937) on the S1 has four 1.4 GHz and four 1.1 GHz cores; both processors were released in September 2015.

The amount of RAM stays the same: 2 GB, which should be just enough considering that the Android One line lacks all the SoftBank/Docomo/AU rubbish apps that you can't uninstall and that take up lots of operating memory. No change in the onboard store space either: it's still 16 GB, of which some 8.5 GB are free to the user. This can be expanded using microSDXC cards to up to 256 GB.

The Android One S1 has the same camera sensor, too: a 13.1 MP CMOS that is no match for the GR-certified lens, optical image stabilisation, low light F 1.9 aperture shooters found on carrier-subsidised models. Nevertheless, Sharp claimed that the earlier 507SH should fare rather well in low-light conditions, so we'd expect the same from the next model, too.

The inner camera on the S1 is now 8 MP, which is a step up from the 5 megapixels of the 507SH. Both feature wide-angle shooting.

The device supports VoLTE, Wi-Fi a/b/g/n standards, Bluetooth 4.1, but no infrared. It works on LTE and 3G frequencies only:

[4G] 900 MHz · 1.7 GHz · 2.1 GHz · 2.5 GHz
[3G] 900 MHz · 2.1 GHz

The Y!Mobile Android One S1 is waterproof (IPX5 / IPX7) and dustproof (IP6X). It also supports quick charge (using a compatible charger), and Google backup. One Seg digital TV and NFC, available on the previous model, have now been scrapped.

The device runs a clean Android 7.0 Nougat and will receive monthly security updates and upgrades from Google regularly (not clear for how long).

It measures 69 × 143 × 8 mm (width × height × depth) and is offered in four different colours: white, black, rose-pink, and turquoise.

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