Monsters from Asia: the newly announced Sharp Aquos mini is a compact powerhouse


Compact smartphones are a dying breed in the Android realm, especially if you're looking for a one hand-friendly but powerful device. With the exception of Sony and its Z Compact line, most every other manufacturer has deserted the field, focusing instead on larger high-ends. Thankfully, the likes of Japanese Sharp continue to remind us why that's a shame.

Released just yesterday for pre-paid local carrier Rakuten Mobile, the Sharp Aquos mini SH-03H is strikingly efficient in terms of its physical footprint. This is the result of both the (relatively) petite 4.7-inch, 1080 x 1920 pixel resolution display, but also competent, bezel-shunning engineering. In numbers, the phone measures at the pocket-friendly dimensions of 4.96 x 2.59 x 0.35 inches (126 x 66 x 9 mm). At 4.2 oz (120 g), the latest Aquos mini is also pretty lightweight. This means over 73% of the surface area of the phone is utilized by the screen compared to about 65% with the iPhone 6s and a little over 70% with the Xperia Z5 Compact. And yes, like the latter, Sharp's latest is also dust-tight and water-resistant (IP68 certification).

On the inside, the Aquos mini SH-03H earns the above title of a powerhouse, though it probably won't impress specs nerdists. The phone is equipped with a hexa-core Qualcom Snapdragon 808 processor with Adreno 418 graphics processor and 3GB of RAM. Storage is listed at 16GB, though microSD card expansion is available.

As for the camera combo, we've got a 13.1-megapixel main snapper with wide, f/1.9 lens, an LED flash, and optical stabilization. The camera is capable of slow motion video up to 2,100 frames per second, though that's obviously a (rather convincing) software effect more than anything. Up front, the Aquos mini SH-03H is equipped with a wide-angled, 5-megapixel selfie snapper with a field of view of 83 degrees.

All of the above is powered by Android Marshmallow on the software side, and a 2,810 mAh cell on the hardware one.

Finally, Rakuten Mobile offers the Sharp Aquos mini SH-03H to locals for the equivalent of about $20 per month, stretched out over two years. Outright, the phone costs about $435. Not a bad deal for a device this rare.

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21 Comments

1. combatmedic870

Posts: 986; Member since: Sep 02, 2015

Looks great!

11. zeeBomb

Posts: 2318; Member since: Aug 14, 2014

Basically a more aesthetic Z5 Compact. Japan phones should come to select carriers in NA man.

2. Jimrod

Posts: 1605; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

The original Aquos Crystal looked awesome, this is still pretty though. It's a shame more mainstream phone manufacturers aren't making top spec devices this size any more...

3. dimas

Posts: 3382; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

Damn beastly mini phone, good job sharp! Why don't you just have an online shop for the international community if you don't want worldwide physical distribution? Even if you sell 2000 or 5000 units, you won't have big loses thru internet.

4. LikeABauss

Posts: 29; Member since: Mar 03, 2015

Would look better without the branding on the front. Companies are worried that people won't know it's them, but I guarantee you - when you make a phone that unique, it will get talked about without needing to carve your name on it's face...

5. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

great screen-to-body ratio for that compact size.. and its almost as small as iPhone SE.. they even manage to put 2810mAh battery on it :D

6. sissy246

Posts: 7124; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

Nice little phone

7. UglyFrank

Posts: 2194; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

Why the S808 though?

12. combatmedic870

Posts: 986; Member since: Sep 02, 2015

Probably price point.

17. shahrooz

Posts: 792; Member since: Sep 17, 2013

could've gone for 650 or 652. 808 needs to stay where it belongs.

8. jvardon

Posts: 38; Member since: Apr 28, 2012

If only they sold this on the international market. Android needs more powerful compact devices - the Z5 Compact can't be the only option.

9. adecvat

Posts: 646; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

120HZ display, first for mobile

15. Wiencon

Posts: 2278; Member since: Aug 06, 2014

Could be really battery hungry Overall it looks awesome, much more appealing than Z5C They need to start offering those internationally

10. Settings

Posts: 2943; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

Koreans phones are most likely big and flashy and full of gimmicks. Japanese phones are just simple, compact, and stylish.

13. Fona13A unregistered

Not to derail the discussion but out of any fanboys I hate are the ones who think a 6.6'' Phablet is some kind of masculinity symbol. Consumers like this are why we get Sub-7'' thigh armor phones. 'Phablets' are the next popped-up collars.

20. TerryTerius unregistered

I don't think anyone really sees that as a masculinity symbol, but some people do have a large hands. And others just like the extra screen real estate for media consumption.

14. middlehead

Posts: 458; Member since: May 12, 2014

If it was 32GB I'd try to import it, old processor and all. I'm finally having enough overheating issues to ditch my Z5c, and the closest match I could get was an S7.

16. drifter77

Posts: 402; Member since: Jun 12, 2015

I forsake my Z3C after a year of annoying overheating, seems the Z5C is following on the steps of its predecessor. Get the S7, the Exynos chips are power efficient and you will feel the difference. My Note 5 never heats up even when gaming... only slight heat on quick charging.

18. aReefer

Posts: 52; Member since: Mar 21, 2015

I love Sharp displays. I have an Igzo FHD on my Meizu M2 Note and I have to say it's amazing. I just shattered it and I'm actually going to pay to have it replaced rather than upgrade to the M3 Note specifically because I love that Igzo panel so much. Great natural colour, great sunlight performance, great low brightness performance, just a great panel overall. I'm guessing that this Aquos will be even better, and I hope that they do well with it. Sharp could use a winner, and they seem to have some pretty innovative designs for their phones. Yeah, many may not have hit the innovation/desirability sweet spot for a while yet to reach mass appeal, but I hope that they get there eventually.

19. lakki369

Posts: 114; Member since: Apr 10, 2015

Damn you sony... Damn you... Go to hell and rest in peace for killing the compact series...!!!!

21. RodrigoFreijanes

Posts: 58; Member since: Apr 05, 2013

Bezel less is awesome, but needs design and equilibrium. Bottom bezel should be tiny too.

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