After smartphone manufacturers brought us curved displays, equipped smartphones with more RAM than you can find on most laptops, put superb speakers along with amazing audio hardware, and introduced dual cameras on the back, they had to do something else in order to pique the market’s interest. Well, this year is a year of full-screen phone design, the latest trend started with the Galaxy S8 and the LG G6 and continued with Andy Rubin’s Essential Phone. It seems even Apple joined the party since the upcoming iPhone 8 (or whatever it’s called) will also feature a full, edge-to-edge design with minimal bezels around the screen. But the problem is that all those models are flagship phones that cost a pretty penny. If you don’t want to spend more than $500 on a smartphone you couldn’t get yourself a bezel less phone, until now. Japanese smartphone maker Sharp (now owned by Foxconn) unveiled its Aquos S2, a smartphone with a full-screen design that cost less than $400.
This isn’t the first model with an edge-to-edge screen made by Sharp. The smartphone manufacturer already has lots of full-screen phone models under its belt. You probably remember the Sharp Aquos Crystal, which debuted three years ago and was one of the first models to come with a bezel less display. In fact, the Aquos S2 is the company’s 29th full-screen model (although this sounds impossible it is actually correct). The phone features an edge-to-edge screen with just one small curb on the top where the front camera is placed, looking a lot like the Essential Phone.
Also, the top display corners aren’t curved, like on the LG G6, but angular, diagonally cut, which looks a bit weird. But since the top of the display (the part where the front camera is at) will probably be used for notifications (like on the Essential Phone and the iPhone 8) this won’t hurt the phone’s usability.
The screen features a ultra-wide resolution of 2,048 x 1,080 and a screen-to-body ratio of 87.5 percent (for comparison, the Galaxy S8 features a screen-to-body ratio of just under 85 percent). On the back you can find a dual camera setup constituting out of one 12MP – f/1.75 aperture size and huge, 1.4µm pixels for superb performance in low light conditions – and one 8MP camera capable of making amazing depth-of-field effects. The front faced camera has 8MP and f/2.0 aperture size.
As for the chipset powering it, Sharp decided to use Snapdragon 630 and Snapdragon 660. Although they are mid-range processors, both can offer lots of power and should provide a hassle and hiccup-free experience. Not powerful as the latest Snapdragon 835, but more than enough for an average user. The device is equipped with either 4GB of 6GB of RAM, enough for even the most demanding users.
The smartphone is to debut in China, with the Snapdragon 630, 4GB or RAM and 64GB storage version costing $370. This is way below the usual full-screen smartphone prices so if you want an edge-to-edge screen phone but don’t want to spend lots of money on it the Sharp Aquos S2 is the one for you. The more powerful version (Snapdragon 660, 6GB of RAM, 128GB of internal storage) can be yours for $520. At the moment the manufacturer doesn’t plan on releasing the phone in western markets, but that may change in the future.