Here's an important public service announcement: Sharp has released a new Android phone that looks rather awesome. The Aquos mini SH-M03 is the latest mini version of the bezel-hating Sharp Aquos that made its way to Sprint a couple of years ago. As such, it has negligible bezels on three sides, which allows it to fit a regular iPhone’s screen size into a device only slightly taller than the iPhone SE.
Measuring 4.7 inches, the Aquos mini display has 1080p resolution and features Sharp’s IGZO tech, which the company claims is more power-efficient than conventional LCDs. More importantly, though, this phone dynamically adjusts its refresh rate, going from as high as 120Hz (twice the typical 60Hz, meaning 60fps) right down to just 1Hz when the screen is idling. So yes, it doesn’t just look futuristically advanced and lean. It is!
On the inside, there’s a Snapdragon 808 — the same processor as in the LG V10, Nexus 5X, BlackBerry Priv, and Lumia 950 — alongside 3GB of RAM and 16GB of expandable storage. Admittedly, that’s not the fastest or greatest chip on the market anymore, but it’s more than sufficient to deliver a smooth Android experience. The Aquos mini runs Android Marshmallow and has a 13-megapixel camera with an f/1.9 lens. All of that good stuff is encapsulated in a waterproof shell and powered by a 2,810mAh battery.
Regrettably, I see no indication of this phone ever making its way westward, as it seems destined to remain in its home market of Japan. As if to compound my sense of loss, Sharp has even come up with a quirky system that recognizes you squeezing the sides of the phone to perform basic actions. Maybe it’s all for the better, though, as these things never turn out quite as awesome as the first impression makes them seem. If you want to be adventurous and find out how good this phone is for yourself, the Aquos mini is on sale through Rakuten for ¥44,800, which is roughly $436.