Sharp is not a name you hear very often in the mobile world, but their name is more common than you might initially think. They are a manufacturer of a number of components, most notably displays, and they’ve been pumping out some interesting new display tech recently that looks like it’s finally ready for production. First we have MEMS, which you might have heard of, as it looks like it’s going to finally show up this year in products. Then of course we’ve got IGZO, a new display technology that’s supposed to be incredibly power efficient because it can cut power to the display and still show whatever is on screen, sort of the way e-Ink works on a Kindle. IGZO is what we’re concerned with here, as it’s actually being used in two upcoming Sharp products: the Aquos Pad and the Aquos Phone Mini. Japanese carrier KDDI looks to be carrying both of these devices, and is the reason we know about them now as well. Both devices feature an IGZO display and an EDGEST design, which means almost zero bezels on the top, left and right sides of the device.
Starting things off is the Aquos Phone, a product line that we haven’t seen in years now, and it’s making a rather big comeback. Sporting all the latest hardware including a 2.2GHz Quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor, 2GB of RAM and a 1080p 4.5-inch IGZO display, this phone will easily compete with the best of them out there. The pixel density on the screen alone is a rather insane 489 pixels per inch, and the photos from the 13 megapixel camera should look rather beautiful on that display too. The phone comes in 4 different colors and Sharp is actually allowing the user to adjust the screen color tone via Hue/Saturation/Value sliders in the settings. You’ll also find a fairly small 2120 mAh battery inside, which may not mean much if the display is as power efficient as it sounds, and a standard 16GB of internal storage space. It’s also running Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, which is rather unfortunate, but hopefully Sharp updates that soon after release.
The tablet features a rather unique design for tablets thanks to the EDGEST design language. The Aquos Pad SHT22 has a 7-inch 1920 x 1200 IGZO display, and features all the same internals as the Aquos Phone. The only difference being that it has a 4080mAh battery to last you practically forever, and the ability to add more storage via a MicroSD card slot. What’s really interesting here is that all the same camera optics and software are included in the tablet, changing the idea that a tablet just shouldn’t be used for pictures. Of course this thing is a rather small 104 x 173 x 9.9 mm, which is considerably smaller than even the Nexus 7’s frame at 114 x 200 x 8.6 mm, so you won’t look like a complete doofus using it to take pictures anyway.
Both devices feature the same camera, and the camera itself has some new features that we haven’t seen much before including a “Bright Lens” with an f/1.9 aperture, which is considerably better than most smartphones that feature an f-stop at well over 2.0, and should help in both low-light situations and getting more things in focus at once. BrightEye image processing furthers that situation by giving better shots in low light conditions, and there’s even image processing to help smooth zoomed in shots called “Beauty Zoom.” The camera is able to start up in an extremely quick 0.4 seconds, which beats most cameras out there quite handily. Both devices are also IP57-certified water resistant, which means you should theoretically be able to take them in the pool or out in the rain and get some awesome shots. Both devices are Japan-only right now, and there’s no telling whether or not we’ll see these make it outside of Sharp’s home country.