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Sharp’s new phone is half Essential, half iPhone 8

Sharp keeps making smartphones with incrediblealmost bezel-free displays, and today it’s announcing another one: the Aquos S2.

The S2 looks like the exact average of a flashy phone in 2017. It has a 5.5-inch 2K screen that wraps around the front camera cutout, and the only real bezel is at the bottom of the display, where there’s room for a home button. Home button aside, the phone bears a strong resemblance to the Essential Phone, which was really the first to promote this style — even if it isn’t actually on the market yet.

There is one very weird quirk on the front of the phone, though: look at the top corners of the display. A typical phone would have perfectly square corners. And recently, smartphones have been switching over to slightly rounded corners. But for some reason, Sharp has chosen to cut off the S2’s corners.

Sharp Aquos S2

Curved display corners are sometimes made by covering up cut-off corners like what Sharp has made — that’s exactly what LG does with the G6, supposedly to make the display more impervious to cracking during a drop. So while Sharp is really offering more display area here by not covering it up, the actual look of it is a bit strange.

On the back, the S2 has a camera unit that looks an awful lot like what everyone is expecting to see on the next iPhone. It’s a dual-camera setup, with two f/1.75 lenses, placed vertically in the corner of the phone with the flash beneath them. That’s not to say that Sharp is borrowing from two unreleased phones, so much as the S2 seems to represent the median of many of this year’s phone trends.

Unlike Essential and the iPhone, though, the S2 is a distinctly midrange device. It comes in two models: the “standard edition” has a Snapdragon 630 processor, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage, and the “high edition” has a Snapdragon 660 processor, 6GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage. Both models have a 3,020mAh battery, a fingerprint sensor, and run Android Nougat. They appear to be on sale in China only, with pricing starting at ¥2499, or about $373 USD.

Sharp Aquos S2


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