Foxconn-owned Sharp tried its hand at “edgeless” smartphone designs years before it was cool (and before the Japanese company was acquired by Foxconn), unfortunately abandoning its own revolutionary ideas to draw inspiration from both Essential and Apple nowadays.

The newly unveiled Aquos R2 is obviously part of the former group, borrowing its small screen cutout at the top from Andy Rubin’s first solo effort while inexplicably retaining a large “chin” housing a fingerprint sensor.

That said, this is not an ugly device by any measure, with all the right curves in all the right places and a smooth glass back accommodating two vertically-arranged cameras. Sharp’s “twin camera” approach is certainly unusual, as the primary 22.6MP shooter is in charge of still images, with the secondary “dramatic” wide-angle lens and 16.3MP sensor focusing exclusively on recording super-high-quality videos.

That includes 4K home movies, and although the 6-inch “high speed” IGZO panel is not capable of playing content at that stunning pixel count, it’s still one of the world’s sharpest (no pun intended) displays of its size, with 3040 x 1440 (WQHD+) resolution.

The Sharp Aquos R2 supports both Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos technologies, as well as HDR playback, with a potent Snapdragon 845 processor under the hood, 4GB RAM, 64GB internal storage space, and a not-too-bad 3130mAh battery.

Android 8.0 Oreo unsurprisingly runs the software show out the box, with artificial intelligence leveraged to improve the performance and versatility of both the aforementioned rear cameras and a single 16.3MP selfie shooter. Unfortunately, we don’t know how much the sleek, robust and water-resistant phone is supposed to cost in Japan, and if a leaked product roadmap from last month is to be trusted, it’s going to be mighty hard to justify the Aquos R2, aka E-F1, European MSRP.




Adrian has had an insatiable passion for writing since he was in school and found himself writing philosophical essays about the meaning of life and the differences between light and dark beer. Later, he realized this was pretty much his only marketable skill, so he first created a personal blog (in Romanian) and then discovered his true calling, which is writing about all things tech (in English).

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