While SoftBank were the first and only operator to announce the first of Sharp's OLED screen phones, the Aquos zero, last year, they are now the last one to do this. But they have and the Aquos zero2 is coming to Japan's second largest operator towards the end of January 2020.
The Aquos zero2 (906SH) sets a new display standard even as other manufacturers are struggling to catch up with the previous one: while Aquos flagships have had 120 Hz display refresh rates since 2015, Samsung has only now managed to bring forth a 90 Hz display with its 2019 Galaxy S11 model.
Inserting one black frame between each of the 120 frames in the new OLED screen, Sharp have effectively achieved 240 refresh cycles per second, virtually eliminating any afterimage effects that may still have been observable by very keen eyes in 120 Hz models. This also leads to a dramatic improvement in touch performance – something phone gamers should find is giving them great advantage. The official announcement claims touch-screen response has seen 80% improvement.
And it's some impressive display, too: 2340 x 1080 px resolution, 6.4 inches, OLED. But it's also capable of reproducing 1 billion colours, like the Aquos R3, which is another one of those "world's first" things Sharp regularly offer: TrueHDR 10, which means a true 10-bit colour-depth display that can only be found on professional designer monitors.
The OLED display is "flexible" – not in the sense of "it allows the user to bend it back and forth" but that it has been curved in the factory when installed. It rises from both the left and right sides towards the centre, has a "curved shape" that helps create a more natural touch experience, making the display an actual 3D object. This innovation has just (2nd October 2019) won Sharp one of eleven of "2019 Good Design Awards".
One thing that Sharp are only now introducing, with the Aquos Zero2, lagging behind even some Chinese manufacturers, is the fingerprint sensor built-in the display.
The Aquos zero2 has a dual main camera. Unlike in other manufacturers, where both cameras work in conjunction complementing each other, Sharp's approach is to have a dedicated video camera and a dedicated photo camera.
The main (rear) photo camera has a 12.2-megapixel, back-illuminated, stacked-type CMOS sensor with an aperture size of f/1.7 and 78° wide-angle lens, high-speed auto-focus (full phase difference), optical image stabilisation, and improved image quality engine (ProPix2) that features shooting subject stabilisation for elimination of blur. It can create Sharp's AI Live Story.
The second sensor is responsible for video capture and is 21.1 megapixels, back-illuminated, stacked-type, f/2.4, 125° super-wide-angle, electronic image stabilisation sensor that uses the same ProPix2 engine. It features both the AI Live Shutter (automatically taking the best photo while recording video) and the AI Live Story (automatic creation of a short music video that features the shot video's best moments – imagine an AI-made movie trailer).
The inner camera is not impressive: 8 MP, auto-face focus, background-blur, auto skin blemishes correction.
All of this is naturally powered by Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon 855 processor and 8 gigabytes of RAM. Built-in storage memory: 256 GB. It can be expanded using microSD of up to 512 GB.
Wait a minute... Did I say this is the world's lightest phone of size 5.5 inches and above (again)? Yes, it is: while last year's Aquos Zero used aramid fibre for the back panel, its successor has reinforced glass. While the official site doesn't discuss the materials utilised yet, I suspect the side frame is again made of magnesium alloy. It would have otherwise been impossible to achieve this new world record: measuring 158 x 74 x 8.8 mm, the Aquos zero2 weighs a total of 143 grams! Last year's Aquos Zero was 146!
Like the Aquos zero, the zero2 has a special heat-dissipation design that is combined with two charging ICs allowing comfortable charging while playing games without turning the phone into a hot furnace.
It's not all super cool novelty, of course. The device is equipped with the now standard a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi speed modes, Bluetooth 5.0, Osaifu-keitai/NFC, face authentication (if you don't like fingerprints).
The Softbank 906SH model supports the following radio frequencies:
LTE (FDD): 2600 (B7) / 2100 (B1) / 1900 (B2) / 1800 (B3) / 1700 (B4) / 1500 (B11) / 900 (B8) / 850 (B5) / 800 (B18 / B19) / 700 (B12 / B17 / B28) MHz,
LTE (TDD): 3500 (B42) / 2600 (B38) / 2500 (B41 / AXGP) / 1900 (B39) MHz,
W-CDMA 2100: (I) / 1900 (II) / 1700 (IV) / 900 (VIII) / 850 (V) / 800 (VI / XIX) MHz,
GSM: 1900/1800/900/850 MHz
Sure it's waterproof and dustproof, this is Sharp. Were you expecting anything else?
The SoftBank version will only be available in "astro-black".
Initially released running Android 10, the Aquos zero2 received an upgrade to Android 11 on 27 January 2021.
Date added/updated: 27 January 2021 – 06:52
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