Sharp launches a clamshell smartphone in Japan, nabs a feature from BlackBerry

Sharp launches a clamshell smartphone in Japan, nabs a feature from BlackBerry
Yesterday, we talked about how the newest craze among the population in Japan is not some overly-complicated smartphone, but – on the contrary – the good old-fashioned flip phones. It seems that Sharp has been keeping a good eye on the tendencies in the country, as the company has now responded in kind – by releasing the Aquos K SHF31 – a flip smartphone mix.

Powered by a Snapdragon 400, 1 GB of RAM, has 8 GB of expandable (to 32 GB) storage, and a 1,410 mAh battery, the Aquos K SHF31 glows with a 3.4” display with 540 x 960 pixels stretched across it. It runs on Android 4.4 KitKat, which, naturally, has a skin deployed over it, in order to accommodate the physical form, and controls, of the phone.

Speaking of the controls, the Aquos K SHF31 sports a feature, still unique for handsets – while its buttons are physical, they do allow touch control, meaning the user can swipe over the keyboard in order to control the display, instead of having to reach for (and smudge up) the display all the time. This is a feature, which the BlackBerry Passport has been so far unique for, but may pick up and become a trend with some niche devices.

The handset obviously tries to do just enough to cover the needs of flip phone users – basic telephony and text / email services – while keeping a slight edge, by bleeding into smartphone category. This is not the first clamshell smartphone we've seen – Samsung likes to cater to the classics, too, however – it does so by providing flagship-class hardware in the flip casing. Its latest Galaxy Golden 2 is packed with a 2.5 GHz Snapdragon 801, 2 GB of RAM, 16 / 3.7 MP main and front cameras, and an external / internal display combo – both 3.9" big, sporting a 720p resolution.

Do you think the flip-mania may bleed over from the Asian markets? Would you rock a clamshell if they do?

source: IT Media (translated) via GSMDome



1. tigermcm

Posts: 861; Member since: Sep 02, 2009

maybe its the same rectangle phones day in and day out that makes me like this phone

2. kaikuheadhunterz

Posts: 1157; Member since: Jul 18, 2013

I prefer a Motorola Razr or Nokia X7-like design

3. meanestgenius

Posts: 22850; Member since: May 28, 2014

The touch enabled PKB that BlackBerry has pioneered is a great feature. I can definitely see others adding it, albeit in niche markets.

4. vedraj

Posts: 77; Member since: Oct 04, 2013

Yes I definitely would.. It was my dream to use a flip phone... But sadly when they were in trend I was too young to have one... But now I had thought that I'd never fulfill my dream... And now I'm happy After hearing about the recent trend....

5. vedraj

Posts: 77; Member since: Oct 04, 2013

I just hope Sony and other Big manufacturers get to the trend

6. defcon888

Posts: 39; Member since: Nov 03, 2014

It won't catch on in the states until Apple tells it's cult members that it is cool and they MUST get it. I like the design concept actually...but here is a dumb many people need a dedicated number pad?. I know we still call on our phones, but do we need a dedicated keyboard for just that?. It seems like wasted space. Maybe make the bottom numeric keyboard area a screen and you swipe away the dialpad if you don't want it and you are left with another homescreen. Just a thought!

7. corporateJP

Posts: 2458; Member since: Nov 28, 2009

The white one is boss. Nice phone. Love to see more manufacturers go back/get on board with this.

8. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3192; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

My favorite clamshell was the BB Style 9670. Too bad it was on Sprint, I could only endure them for 2 months. Bold-esque full qwerty on a clamshell is what did it for me. Maybe if it had a touchscreen like the 9900 I would have suffered with Sprint a little longer.

9. meanestgenius

Posts: 22850; Member since: May 28, 2014

I had The Style as well when I was on Sprint. Great design. Horrible network.

11. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3192; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

How Sprint is still #3 is beyond me. I guess it doesn't say much about T-Mobile, they suck in Miami and upstate New York.

12. meanestgenius

Posts: 22850; Member since: May 28, 2014

Agreed. Sprint should be at the bottom of the barrel.

14. g2a5b0e unregistered

You have to remember that two years ago, T-Mobile was 16+ million customers behind Sprint. The Metro PCS merger (9.3 million customers) & 8 or so consecutive quarters of growth later, they are less than 1 million behind. Mark my words, Sprint will be #4 once the Q1 2015 numbers are announced.

10. GeekMovement unregistered

Sharp knows how to design a flip phone.

13. MacWiNux

Posts: 128; Member since: Jan 07, 2014

sharp and panasonic makes great flip phones and durable as well

15. GeekMovement unregistered

I agree, they're quite stunning!

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.
FCC OKs Cingular's purchase of AT&T Wireless