Sharp AQUOS is a name synonymous with high-def LCD TV’s rather than GPS-enabled mobile handsets, but Sharp has moved the respected AQUOS name directly into the mobile landscape with the launch of the FULLTOUCH 931SH. Carried by Softbank in Japan, the 931SH has a 3.8-inch LCD touchscreen display boasting 1024 x 480 pixels that rivals the sharpness of notebook computers. With the narrowing profit margins in the LCD TV display market, I wonder if Sharp can make up the difference by moving AQUOS displays into much smaller form factors.
The touchscreen functionality even goes beyond that of the 3G iPhone ; a two finger touch will enable you to zoom in on a website, and the touchscreen is even used to focus the impressive 5.2 megapixel camera, which is further enhanced by an image stabilizer. Being launched in Japan definitely means the 931SH has a 1seg TV tuner, and it does, as well as GPS, HSDPA-based 3G and support for tri-band GSM, a motion sensor, Bluetooth, a magnetic compass independent of the GPS receiver, FeliCa-enabled mobile payments, and all the storage you could possible require through the use of microSDHC cards.
Available in black, red and silver, and pink-tinted gold, the FULLTOUCH 931SH will ship in Japan in late November, but like all the best toys, we probably won’t see this better-than-the-iPhone-3G handset outside of lucky Japan. Damn.