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Thread: Is the new Aquos K SHF31 flip phone running Android?

  1. #1
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    Is the new Aquos K SHF31 flip phone running Android?

    This is an educated guess I made and then found a Japanese website that also entertains the possibility -- so have we now got a flip phone with Android by Sharp!?

    The Aquos K SHF31 has a quad-core processor MSM8926 (4 x 1.2 GHz), 1 GB of RAM, a 3.4-inch QHD (960 x 540), 13.1 megapixel camera.

    The home screen has a Google search bar, has 4G (4G + 3G, no GSM). It's also got (almost) all of Sharp's latest camera features, such as HDR, Framing Advisor, Translation Finder (automatic translation using the camera), wi-fi tethering, full browser... All of these heavily imply Android. The K-tai Impress website speculates it has Android 4.4: http://k-tai.impress.co.jp/docs/news...19_684194.html

    The Sharp site or the AU site mention nothing of Android, however, so if true, it will likely be heavily customized and will not include Google Play.
    Last edited by cheeseus; 01-19-2015 at 06:01 AM.
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  2. #2
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    Interesting, I was wondering the same.

    In fact, out of the new phones announced, it's the most interesting, not because it might run Android but because the rest are just gimmicky phones or phones with paltry batteries.. lol

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    I was about to come in here and post about this when I found your thread Based on itmedia (Japanese) http://www.itmedia.co.jp/mobile/arti...9/news056.html this is an interesting phone indeed. It's running a heavily modified version of Android 4.4.x to turn the OS into a feature phone plus it has LTE support. So it's possible we could see more phones like this to move feature phones onto LTE. It'll be interesting to know whether like Nokia X OS (Android 4.2.x) you can sideload apk files or whether it is so modified (this is Japan of all places) that it has been stripped of all Android references.

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    I guess we'll find out within a few weeks, though as a galakei I do not expect any Lollipop goodness or real Android goodness. I think they're trying to get the last remaining 25% of under-60s and 75% of over-60s over to smartphones, with this (that's what they seemed to be saying on the TV news last night, as understood with my limited Japanese ability).

    PS: that 1410mAh battery though...... scares me

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    From the point of view of the general user, I don't think it makes much difference if the phone is running that Symbian or whatever OS flip keitais normally come with, or a heavily modded and stripped of functionality Android. You could do Google searches, use Gmail, use GPS and GPS-related applications, download apps from a customized store, change wallpapers, etc. with the previous OS as well. The only actual difference I see now is the full browser and the increased resolution. And maybe the automatic translation using the camera option.

    Things get different only from the point of view of more advanced users, e.g. some will try to find a way to root the phone (but will 99% fail because no Sharp-locked Android past 4.2 has been rooted), SIM unlock it (keeping fingers crossed!), and maybe side-load some "unauthorized" apps. All of this only truly matters for us, overseas users...

  6. #6
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    More news coming out of Japan http://www.itmedia.co.jp/mobile/arti...0/news116.html (Japanese) and it appears the OS has been stripped of the Google Play services.

    And cheeseus pretty much nailed it. It's not so much the OS, but rather the experience for the end user. It's pretty much a bridge phone, one step up from a feature phone, but not so advanced that it's a Smart phone.

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    One advantage of Android over whatever galakei OS: the apps (counter to what Cheesus said) - apps like Line are sooo popular here now, and can't be run on the old galakei, so this will be one galakei that can run Line (from the AU market/smartpass of course), and probably other such apps. So that's an advantage for galakei users, and an advantage for AU (they get to funnel people into smartpass and their own selected apps aka profit, instead of people getting apps from Google Play and letting all those juicy comissions get away from AU).

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    As good as the Sharp's Touch Cruiser technology may be, I don't like that there is not a touch screen :/

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    That seems like a pretty nice phone. Shame about the Google Play Services. Can you still use Google Maps without? Or do you need to rely on third party map apps?
    The touchpadkeypad thing is pretty slick.

    Does au by chance offer in store unlocking? If not, I hope the Russians can come up with an unlock

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    i was considering this phone to replace my htc m8 but with no google play and no touchscreen, it's a deal breaker. i guess i must continue to dream.

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    Here's a review from Engadget:
    http://www.engadget.com/2015/03/25/i...-phone-i-cant/

    Although the tone of the review is overall negative, it's mostly because the person was trying to use a non-smartphone like a smartphone.

    Points to take away: 3-4 days battery life. A few apps are installable, probably more from the AU Smartpass (I was told Smartpass was available, by a Yodobashi Camera AU store employee). Some commenters claim sideloading APKs works, too.

    Patrix.

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    i feel that that 99% of all flip keitai phones are made for a difference philosophy of use - only for the japanese market. and when we try and find ways to adapt these flip phones to our own philosophy of use, or anywhere not japan, the keitai is generally not functional because it wasn't made for anything but a japanese market.

    our only hope is someone will take the bells and whistles of android and manufacture a flip that isn't made by a japanese company because they simply have japan-only in mind. i hear whispers that sharp is going to release another android for docomo this summer, that may be what we should look forward to instead.

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    Quote Originally Posted by arcticreaver View Post
    our only hope is someone will take the bells and whistles of android and manufacture a flip that isn't made by a japanese company because they simply have japan-only in mind. i hear whispers that sharp is going to release another android for docomo this summer, that may be what we should look forward to instead.
    For what you're asking for, I'd recommend looking at a LG Wine Smart, I'm still surprised it hasn't made it Japan yet considering all the talk about how "gala-K" are making a come back. It has Android 4.4.x with NA 3G. I'm using the SK Telecom version (the KT one may also work, but I can't vouch for it) that I know has 3G for both T-Mobile and at&t. I don't really use it as a "Smart Phone" per se, and there are some problems with some apps because of the screen size and a physical keypad, but overall I've been happy with it. Battery life can become an issue, but luckily it comes with 2 batteries. Plus it nice to have something that's not a slate and it can be discreet as most people just think it's just another dumb phone.

    It'll be nice if Sharp did another flip Android phone, but according to an article I came across the Flip and Slider Hybrid phones Sharp did were a bit of a one off and didn't sell well, so it's unlikely we'll see another one. Of course most would blame poor execution (poor battery life and limited memory), but who knows never say never.

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    Quote Originally Posted by patrixl View Post
    Here's a review from Engadget:
    http://www.engadget.com/2015/03/25/i...-phone-i-cant/

    Although the tone of the review is overall negative, it's mostly because the person was trying to use a non-smartphone like a smartphone.

    Points to take away: 3-4 days battery life. A few apps are installable, probably more from the AU Smartpass (I was told Smartpass was available, by a Yodobashi Camera AU store employee). Some commenters claim sideloading APKs works, too.

    Patrix.
    I noticed that one of the links in the article sent you here: http://www.engadget.com/2015/03/13/j...eature-phones/

    I'm guessing you most likely can't visit the KDDI HQ, but that room seems kind of cool as a sort of K-tai museum.

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    Quote Originally Posted by altNz View Post
    It'll be nice if Sharp did another flip Android phone, but according to an article I came across the Flip and Slider Hybrid phones Sharp did were a bit of a one off and didn't sell well, so it's unlikely we'll see another one. Of course most would blame poor execution (poor battery life and limited memory), but who knows never say never.
    They were a bit of a one-off, back in 2011-2012. I was quite surprised actually to see this new Aquos K, so maybe it's the sign of more models coming. If it's still a one-off, it's quite a strange strategy, OR they have a half-baked strategy of trying to migrate Aquos K customers to a full smartphone at the next cycle(s)? lol

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