The SH-M08 is the SIM-free version of the Aquos Sense 2 that appeared earlier on Docomo and AU by KDDI. This SIM-free version can be used with any of the virtual mobile network operators in Japan (and the world over, of course).
Rakuten Mobile, one such VMNO, has already announced it will be offering the SH-M08, releasing it as soon as 27 December 2018. In mid-January 2019, a special-colour version will become available, cardinal red. The Aquos Sense 2 will be priced at 29,800 yen before tax for new contracts, cheaper for model change.
Another virtual mobile network operator, Internet Initiative Japan (IIJ), announced on 23 December 2018 that it too would be offering the Aquos Sense 2 SH-M08. A special-colour version will be offered by IIJ, too: French pink. The price will be the same as above.
The Aquos Sense 2 SH-M08 comes with a 5.5-inch IGZO panel with a resolution of 2160 x 1080 pixels (FHD+) and an 18:9 aspect ratio. The frame has been further decreased in comparison with the 2017 Aquos Sense model (SH-M05), thus increasing the display area by some 23%. The display utilises Sharp's Rich Color Mobile Technology found on all recent devices and adopted from their Aquos TVs. The display corresponds to the digital cinema standard (DCI-P3) wide-colour gamut. The built-in video player application also supports virtual HDR for movie playback for both downloaded/streaming content and self-made videos. High-resolution audio playback (WAV/FLAC) is also supported.
The display panel being an IGZO with the touch sensors built-in, this not only leads to energy savings but also allows smooth use with wet hands.
The rear camera is 12.1 megapixels, with a large pixel sensor (25% increase compared to the SH-M05), and has, for the first time in the low-end series, the AI Auto functionality for automatic selection of the optimum shooting mode by recognising the subject and scene being shot. The aperture size is f/2.0, which isn't bad for a low-end smartphone. The ProPix image processing engine is utilised, which only reappeared on Sharp phones with last season's Aquos R2. Phase difference auto focus (PDAF) and contrast auto focus work in unison to ensure high-speed focusing on moving objects. The rear camera is equipped with shake reduction but only for still images.
The front-facing camera has an 8-megapixel wide-angle sensor with a new function called Aquos Beauty that supports various adjustments for pretty selfies. The background blur feature that was previously only available on the main camera has now been introduced for the selfie camera, too. The front-facing camera is equipped with shake reduction but only for still images.
The Aquos Sense 2 has an all-aluminium body for extreme rigidity and is, like all other Sharp phones, waterproof and dustproof.
The familiar Grip Magic sensors are present in the Aquos Sense 2, as well, enabling auto screen lighting when the phone is held and keeping the backlight on while holding it, while preventing screen rotation.
It is powered by the Snapdragon 450 processor that has 8 cores each clocked at 1.8 GHz – this is a downgrade from the previous Aquos Sense model which used the mid-range Snapdragon 630. The operating memory is 3 GB and the on-board storage is 32 GB, expandable by microSDXC cards to up to 512 GB.
The Aquos Sense 2 SH-M08 supports the full range of radio frequencies, as follows:
LTE: Band 1 (2.0 GHz) / Band 3 (1.7 GHz) / Band 5 (850 MHz) / Band 8 (900 MHz) / Band 12 (700 MHz) / Band 17 (700 MHz) / Band 19 (800 MHz) / Band 26 (800 MHz) / Band 41 (2.5 GHz);
3G: Band 1 (2.0 GHz) / Band 5 (850 MHz) / Band 6 (800 MHz) / Band 8 (900 MHz) / Band 19 (800 MHz);
GSM: 1900/1800/900/850 MHz.
The Aquos Sense 2 supports the now standard Wi-Fi modes: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac at both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. Also supported are NFC A/B and Felica.
It features Bluetooth 4.2 and NFC. The fingerprint sensor is mounted on the device's chin and doubles as a Home button. A menu setting makes it possible to hide the navigation buttons from the display and use the fingerprint sensor instead, a slide left, slide right, and press actions supported for Home, Back, and Recent Apps.
The phone is also equipped with the Face ID owner recognition system.
The Cocoro Emopa personal assistant AI feature is, as usual, available in all Sharp phones – now in its latest and greatest version 9.0, sadly, still only in Japanese. The Roboqul rotating charging stand can be purchased optionally.
The Aquos Sense 2 has a 2700 mAh battery pack, and thanks to various optimisations, power consumption has been reduced by an approximate 21%.
It ships with Android 8.1 Oreo. Pursuant to Sharp's updates and upgrades policy, the Aquos Sense 2 is guaranteed to receive up to two new OS versions and regular security updates for a period of 2 years.
The Aquos Sense 2 SH-M08 measures 71 x 148 x 8.4 mm (thickest part is 9.4 mm) and weighs 155 grams. It is offered in 4 colour versions: white silver, nuance black, ash yellow, and urban blue.
Date added/updated: 23 December 2018 – 12:12
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