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Sharp's new compact smartphone could be a slayer, but it comes with two notches

If you already hated one-notched phones, you ain't gonna like this...

Published onNovember 15, 2018

The Sharp Aquos R2 in a promo render.
  • Sharp has launched the Aquos R2 Compact in Japan.
  • It will pack a 5.2-inch display, Snapdragon 845 chip, and a top and bottom notch.
  • A U.S. release is unlikely.

Sharp has revealed the Aquos R2 Compact, in Japan. The small form factor device, revealed earlier today on Sharp’s website (via Reddit), will be released in Japan next January.

The Aquos R2 Compact includes a 5.2-inch, Full-HD+, LCD display, Snapdragon 845 chipset, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of  storage. It also comes with a 22.6MP rear camera, 8MP front camera, and a 2,500mAh battery (which is fairly small but understandable given the device’s size).

The Sharp Aquos R2 in a promo render.

It’s a small fry, with its dimensions coming in at 131 × 64 × 9.3mm and weighing just 135g. The Aquos R2 Compact will also launch with Android 9.0 Pie to join the less-than-0.1 percent of phones currently running it.

Basically, the Aquos R2 Compact is a (seemingly) powerful smartphone with slim bezels, small frame, and the latest version of Android. This presents a unique and exciting prospect for Android; however, I fear these strengths may be overshadowed by talk of its double-notch setup.

The Sharp Aquos R2 in a promo render.

The bottom one of these includes the R2 Compact’s fingerprint scanner and the top one houses the front-facing camera sensor. It’s a take we haven’t yet seen on Android, though it’s no great surprise: Google rolled out Android notch guidelines which suggested we’d see such handsets somewhere down the line.

Given how the original Aquos R compact’s chin looked, I have no problem with Sharp trying to improve this for the second generation model. That being said, I can’t see the extra display area around the bottom left and right of the device adding much in terms of usability or in a visual capacity.

The Sharp Aquos R2 in a promo render.

In other words, I can’t imagine the experience would be tangibly different if Sharp had squared-off the bottom bezel and left a single notch at the top. Judging by the graphic above, it had already shrunk that bottom bezel significantly.

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There’s no word on price or availability yet, but the original handset cost the equivalent of around $370 and didn’t officially land on U.S. soil. The situation may be largely the same for the Aquos R2 compact.

What do you folks make of the R2 Compact? Let me know in the comments.

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