Samsung’s display division may have been the sole OLED panel supplier for Apple in 2017, yet there are strong indications that things are about to change this year. Recently, it became clear that LG Display could be taking a piece of the iPhone pie in 2018, but if a new report is anything to go by, other manufacturers also harbor ambitions of providing panels for future Apple smartphones.
This year, we saw the first mobile devices with 120 Hz display refresh rates — they were the Apple iPad Pro 10.5 and iPad Pro 12.9. That’s double the usual 60 Hz refresh rate that’s out on most devices. What does it translate to? Smoother animations and a perception of a faster, more accurate response to the user’s touch inputs.
But what if we told you that there are phones out there that have 120 Hz displays? Yup, a couple of Sharp’s Aquos models have the high refresh rate. But, as you are probably guessing, they are only sold in Japan, as is often the case with Sharp’s high-tech handsets.
Just last week, Sharp announced the Aquos S2 — an upper-midrange handset with almost no bezels from all sides, save for a chin with a home button at the bottom. The Aquos family of devices was among the first to achieve that “tri-bezelless” look, but they haven’t been sold much outside of Japan. The only Aquos that reached Western markets was the Crystal, which was officially available through Sprint.
Anyway, with everyone doing crazy thin bezels this year, Sharp needs to up its screen-to-body ratio game a bit. And it seems it has.
An unknown “Sharp Aquos flagship” has been leaked …
Sometime today, we expect Sharp to officially introduce its new flagship model, the Sharp Aquos S2. The handset is equipped with a 5.5-inch edge-to-edge display carrying a 1080 x 2048 resolution, which means this is not the premium model with the 4k screen that we were looking forward to seeing this week. Instead, this is most likely model number FS8016, which is powered by the Snapdragon 660 SoC. We expect the chipset to carry an octa-core 2.2GHz CPU.
Apparently, there will be different versions of the phone. One will come with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of native storage, while another model …
In China, a Weibo account belonging to Luo Zhongsheng, a senior vice president of Foxconn Technology Group, reveals photographs that allegedly came from the soon to be unveiled Sharp Aquos S2. More on that in a second. Images of the handset itself show a stunning edge-to-edge screen that
resemble some of the renders that have been leaked for the Apple iPhone 8. Two to three different variants of the S2 are expected.
Model number FS8016, rumored to be priced at the USD equivalent of $519, will carry a 5.5-inch display with a 1080 x 2048 resolution. Powered by the Snapdragon 660 chipset, …
Wow! Seriously, look at Sharp’s brand new phones and tell us 2017 hasn’t been an extra special year for smartphone design! We always counted on the Japanese firm to lead the bezel-less movement, as it’s always had a thing for making minimally framed phones – even back when the technological means to do so weren’t really there.
4K is everywhere at CES 2015, but that makes it common, not cool. You know what’s cool? 8K — a screen with four times the pixels of 4K, and Sharp just announced a TV that can display. On the spec sheet, Sharp’s set is a 4K TV. Indeed, the company calls it the Sharp Aquos Beyond 4K Ultra HDTV and it careful not to use the term “8K” in describing what its 80-inch set can do.
But there’s some pixel magic going on: The TV is one of Sharp’s Quattron models, meaning every pixel has four subpixels instead of the usual three, adding yellow to the red, green and blue trio. The set has a total of 66 million subpixels — 42 million more than a normal 4K TV, and all of those subpixels can be individually controlled.
Similar to PenTile screens on some smartphones, Sharp’s clever TV can allow pixels to “borrow” subpixels from their neighbors, increasing the overall sharpness (the company has done this before with full HD TVs that can simulate 4K), also called pixel splitting. The result is a display with an effective resolution of 7,680 x 4,320, which is — you guessed it — 8K.
Technically it’s not actual 8K, which is why Sharp avoids the term. It’s really “virtual 8K,” but Sharp claims the set is the highest-resolution 4K UHD TV you can buy.
There’s also the sticky point that there is no meaningful amount of content available in 8K, so to get the benefits of the tech, you’ll be relying mostly on Sharp’s proprietary Revelation Upscaler, which converts 4K and lower resolutions to the higher pixel count.
The TV also includes Sharp’s Android TV-based smart-TV platform, which brings Google Play apps to your TV screen.
There’s no price or release date for the Aquos Beyond 4K Ultra HDTV, but Sharp says it’ll be available in late 2015.
Sharp will also be demonstrating an actual 8K TV at the show, but that model will be a prototype.