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Review of Sharp's SX862 with WVGA display

Review by Samuel Chan on Monday July 14, 2008.

sharp sx862 · cell phone reviews · sharp news · cell phone news · samuel chan

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Sharp is known for its AQUOS LCD TVs, but not many people would know that the company is actually the top cellphone manufacturer (by volume) in the Japanese domestic market. Since the 903 (SX833) released long ago, Sharp's exported devices have been depressingly uninteresting. Now the SX862 has come to fill this void, so we take a look to see if it still manages to wow us like the Sharp 903 did three years ago.

Before we proceed, we would like to stress that the SmarTone-Vodafone Sharp SX862 is different from the Japanese Softbank 920SH in software and hardware; for instance the FeliCa electronic money and One-seg digital broadcast support are gone. The SX862 hardware is however comparable to the Taiwanese FarEasTone Sharp WX-T92 with only subtle software differences.

Physical Aspects

At first glance, the SX862 looks like just another flip phone, but a lot bigger than those from European manufacturers, measuring 50mm x 110.6mm x 18mm (2.0" x 4.4" x .7"). The whole device is constructed with hard lines, and the design is quite minimalistic. There' a step at the front which forms part of the Cycloid screen mechanism. Directly below the step is a small external display, and further down you'll find an LED event indicator. The device's loudspeaker is mounted behind a slit on the hinge, so that it's easier for you to hear when watching videos. The power and USB port is found on the bottom of the phone, with the infrared port and flat-type handsfree jack on the left side of the device. This leaves the volume keys, microSD slot, and shutter button on the right. Upon turning over the phone, you will find the device's camera lens and flash.

Unlike the 920SH, the SX862 is completely covered with glossy aluminum-plastic, with the exception of the camera module's textured surround. The device easily attracts fingerprints, but luckily is reasonably scratch resistant. With its excellent build quality and a weight of 120g, the SX862 doesn't feel like a toy, especially when you flip it open - the mechanism is very solid. Compared to Nokia flip phones, the opening angle of this phone is a lot wider. When you flip open the SX862, you'll find a resting point at approximately 110 degrees, before opening completely to 160 degrees. That resting point is used for watching movies with the device on a table.

Thanks to Sharp's new mobile-ASV technology and anti-gloss surface, the 3.2" screen's color reproduction is magnificent, even under sunlight. Compared to Nokia N-series devices, photos on the SX862 look fantastic, with very natural colors. This is probably due to the display's 6-color filter, compared to the conventional 3-color filter. Putting size and color aside, the resolution is also the highest in the industry at 480 x 854 pixels. This is even higher than that of the Sony Ericsson Xperia X1. This extra resolution is really appreciated when browsing full HTML sites and watching DVD-quality movies.

In view of the increasing demand for multimedia content, Sharp has included their Cycloid screen mechanism to allow users rotate their screens to landscape. The Cycloid mechanism is different from those found on rival devices, which simply rotate the screen on one pivot. Sharp has created a more complex double-axes arc for their screen to glide. The end result is a perfectly centered widescreen that looks like a mobile TV, with moving parts feeling very smooth and sturdy. In short, the screen on the SX862 is jaw-dropping, probably a year ahead of non-Japanese phone manufacturers.

As expected from Japanese cellphones, the keypad is large and comfortable. The d-pad could be a stretch if you have small fingers, but the spacing and tactile feedback are just right. The keys don't get slippery even after prolonged typing, and the metallic finishing over the d-pad is definitely welcomed. The backlight is a subtle and comfortable lilac color that should please most people, but the d-pad could do with being better lit.

All in all there is little wrong with the SX862's design, you just have to settle with the size if you want a screen this large. The only disappointment to be found is the plasticky finish.

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Amjad Hussain @ 1:56:34AM EDT on Monday September 28, 2009

Dear sir
1)Can i watch TV on it?
2)FM Radio available or not.


Amjad Hussain

About the author

Samuel Chan
Sam Chan is MobileBurn's roving reporter and reviewer in Hong Kong, where he has access to all sorts of toys the rest of us just can't have.

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