Monsters from Asia: Sharp mini SHL24, an ultra-compact, 4.5-inch powerhouse from Japan


It's only been a fortnight since we last gazed eastward, but considering the phone we'll be highlighting today, that's fourteen days too many. Courtesy of Japan's struggling Sharp, the unfortunately named mini SHL24 is an overly impressive device, as it offers one seriously high-end package all around. But the real standout feature of the 4.5-inch mini SHL24 is its extremely compact size. 

At 124 x 63 x 9.9mm, 115 g (4.88 x 2.48 x 0.38 inches, 4.05 oz), Sharp's phone is almost as compact as the 4-inch iPhone 5s, which measures in at 123 x 58.6 x 7.6, 113 g (4.87 x 2.31 x 0.30 inches, 3.95 oz). These figures are mighty intriguing, especially if you consider that the phone is IP57-certified, meaning it's water- and dust-proof. These record dimensions are achieved thanks to an excellent, 75% screen-to-bezel body ratio. Speaking of bezels and screens...

The Sharp mini SHL24 is one peculiar-looking handset. The top bezel is almost non-existent, giving the device a rather headless look. On the sides, bezel is minimal, while the extra fat is primarily piled at the bottom. And while this looks to be an ergonomic, one-handed device, this kind of design may not appeal to everyone, though it's still best you hear the rest of the SHL24's specs sheet before dismissing it.

First order of discussion is obviously that gorgeous, 4.5-inch 1080x1920 pixel (489 ppi) IGZO display. The elusive tech from Sharp itself has received a pretty serious backing from none other but Apple, and yet it would appear that Cupertino is hogging the entire supply, and we're still unaware of the exact properties of the tech. Supposedly, it's lighter on the battery than your traditional IPS display, though we'd like to confirm that for ourselves. But hey, who cares when you have such a staggering amount of pixels to play with? That's just crazy dense. Anyways...

Last but certainly not least, the LTE-enabled mini SHL24 comes packing a potent 2.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 chip, 2GB of RAM, and a 13.1-megapixel, super-wide f/1.9 aperture camera unit, which should come in handy once the lights are out.

So how much does this little gem cost? As far as we know, the mini SHL24 is only available with Japan's KDDI, and the carrier has it up for grabs at 60,480 yen, or about $590 contract-free. Not at all a bad deal, considering that rival Sony's Xperia Z1 Compact is priced above that in most parts of the world. Unfortunately, Sharp distributes its wears almost exclusively in Japan, so international buyers are mostly out of luck.

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21 Comments

1. CX3NT3_713

Posts: 2361; Member since: Apr 18, 2011

Wow, that is compact!! I'm liking the blue one

19. GamePlayer

Posts: 51; Member since: Jun 06, 2013

Yeah... if only that bottom bezel was gone... it would have been the king of compact phones.

2. Duketytz

Posts: 534; Member since: Nov 28, 2013

My OCD is going to screw me if I buy this phone. But anyway looks like compact really means compact and not downgrade.

3. Lt.Green

Posts: 397; Member since: Mar 13, 2014

Wonder why they didn't make the bottom bezels as thin as the top, would've been perfect.

4. Duketytz

Posts: 534; Member since: Nov 28, 2013

I'm guessing their front facing camera and various sensors are at the bottom. Since it seems like there isn't any much space at the top.

13. Chinda3

Posts: 31; Member since: Mar 14, 2014

Agreed, top bezel is perfect but bottom bezel ruins it.

5. andhraking17

Posts: 59; Member since: Jul 06, 2013

there is no front camera to it, which is a big drawback.

8. mr2009

Posts: 34; Member since: Mar 26, 2013

i think there is front camera on the bottom right..

10. Finest

Posts: 90; Member since: Aug 16, 2013

There is a front facing camera at the bottom right part of the phone. Sharp always puts it there im using a 104sh.

6. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

Sharp is awesome! Their displays in every department are absolutely stunning!

7. pwnarena

Posts: 1129; Member since: Feb 15, 2013

it actually has a 5.2" brother with a similar design and is water-resistant and dust-proof - the sharp aquos 320sh

9. SonyPS4

Posts: 347; Member since: May 21, 2013

Sharp should sell their smartphone worldwide.

12. royalsovereign

Posts: 37; Member since: Mar 01, 2014

I agree,they make excellent phones,much better than LG.

11. vuyonc

Posts: 1091; Member since: Feb 24, 2014

The Z1 Compact finally gets some proper competition. Interesting :)

14. faizan-sharif

Posts: 98; Member since: Jun 26, 2013

why do nt they sell worldwide, they do have their network, their LED's are available in most parts of the world then y not mobiles?

15. fireblade

Posts: 717; Member since: Dec 27, 2013

beautiful UI

16. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

If the top and bottom bezels were symmetrical and it was thinner, I would probably import it.

17. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

If this phone is a monster - then, the CoolPad 9976A must be a GODZILLA...

18. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

Sorry, 4.5 inch screens are too small - they should had made it a 5.5 inch screen...would had been awesome, I bet...

20. clarkjeferson

Posts: 67; Member since: Dec 22, 2013

The only way to order this is from Kyoex.

21. najib1312

Posts: 155; Member since: May 08, 2013

Wow, they actually put the volume keys below the display! Logically thinking, thats actually quite handy.

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