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Thread: Sharp Aquos SH01G - Best New Phone?

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    Sharp Aquos SH01G - Best New Phone?

    I started researching this phone and found the features to be pretty stunning...and outside of the camera resolution, it appears to beat the just announced Galaxy S6 almost across the board, aside from the fact it's more unique looking.

    Has anyone brought this phone over from Japan and given it a real hands-on test?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bocastephen View Post
    I started researching this phone and found the features to be pretty stunning...and outside of the camera resolution, it appears to beat the just announced Galaxy S6 almost across the board, aside from the fact it's more unique looking.

    Has anyone brought this phone over from Japan and given it a real hands-on test?
    Camera resolution is not the most important feature of a camera. If you read the SH-01G camera details, you will see that it beats not just the S6 but every other phone camera that exists. Not only does it have optical image stabilization and the world's best low-light performance with F/1.9 aperture lens but [quote the description I've posted on my website] "the new lens is tested by RICOH GR and is GR Certified as a "professional single focus digital camera". The lens has high-resolution and high-contrast homegeneity from the centre to the periphery, which makes digital image correction of chromatic aberrations and distortions unnecessary for the simple reason that there are none!"
    Sharp mobile devices database & tips for Sharp smartphones: http://sharp.cheeseus.org
    Selling: Near mint Sharp SoftBank 005SH: SIM unlocked, permanent root, 16 GB microSD, leather case
    Selling: Sharp Aquos Phone 007SH – The Hybrid, SIM-unlocked, permanent root, 16 GB microSD, optimised.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cheeseus View Post
    Camera resolution is not the most important feature of a camera. If you read the SH-01G camera details, you will see that it beats not just the S6 but every other phone camera that exists. Not only does it have optical image stabilization and the world's best low-light performance with F/1.9 aperture lens but [quote the description I've posted on my website] "the new lens is tested by RICOH GR and is GR Certified as a "professional single focus digital camera". The lens has high-resolution and high-contrast homegeneity from the centre to the periphery, which makes digital image correction of chromatic aberrations and distortions unnecessary for the simple reason that there are none!"
    The most important feature to me on a phone is the camera because I'm using the camera as a replacement for an everyday walk-around P+S (I rent high-end cameras and lenses for specific purposes when needed) - would you rate this phone camera higher than the Sony 20mp phone cameras?

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    Sharp best new phone? Never.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bocastephen View Post
    The most important feature to me on a phone is the camera because I'm using the camera as a replacement for an everyday walk-around P+S (I rent high-end cameras and lenses for specific purposes when needed) - would you rate this phone camera higher than the Sony 20mp phone cameras?
    I can't say how these two compare because I haven't got either. I am just quoting what Sharp describe a first-of-its-kind advancement in phone cameras. I believe this innovation will help make higher quality images but what is better for me is not necessarily better for you.

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    Thanks for the feedback. Aside from the 'butler' system that is Japanese only and won't work outside Japan, what other features of the phone will not work outside Japan or with a non-Docomo SIM card? I read that Sharp phones will not update outside Japan - is this a real issue? My Docomo S4 behaves in the USA the same way a local S4 would except for the over-air TV

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    Quote Originally Posted by bocastephen View Post
    Thanks for the feedback. Aside from the 'butler' system that is Japanese only and won't work outside Japan, what other features of the phone will not work outside Japan or with a non-Docomo SIM card? I read that Sharp phones will not update outside Japan - is this a real issue? My Docomo S4 behaves in the USA the same way a local S4 would except for the over-air TV
    The butler is fun to have walking around your screen even if its full functionality is unavailable. It will still show missed calls, SMS/email, and it will change appearance during holidays. But when you click on it, you'll see the annoying message that a Docomo SIM is required.

    Sharp phones will not normally update outside of Japan. A hack was invented for older models (SH-09D to SH-08E and maybe some newer, but not the SH-01G as far as I know -- check my website for a link to the app and description) that allowed them to update, which is great because the updates fix some issue or other. At some point you might need to send the phone to Japan to get it updated in case an important update or an upgrade to a newer Android version is released. But the phone should work normally even without these updates.

    There are some other apps that will not work outside of Japan but nothing you'll miss. You can disable and sometimes uninstall most of them.

    Something that you might want to get working but will find difficult to do is voice operation. In older models, only voice commands spoken in Japanese could be registered and executed. But if you manage to learn a few Japanese words and actually get this to work, you'll be sure to impress those around you

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    Quote Originally Posted by cheeseus View Post
    The butler is fun to have walking around your screen even if its full functionality is unavailable. It will still show missed calls, SMS/email, and it will change appearance during holidays. But when you click on it, you'll see the annoying message that a Docomo SIM is required.

    Sharp phones will not normally update outside of Japan. A hack was invented for older models (SH-09D to SH-08E and maybe some newer, but not the SH-01G as far as I know -- check my website for a link to the app and description) that allowed them to update, which is great because the updates fix some issue or other. At some point you might need to send the phone to Japan to get it updated in case an important update or an upgrade to a newer Android version is released. But the phone should work normally even without these updates.

    There are some other apps that will not work outside of Japan but nothing you'll miss. You can disable and sometimes uninstall most of them.

    Something that you might want to get working but will find difficult to do is voice operation. In older models, only voice commands spoken in Japanese could be registered and executed. But if you manage to learn a few Japanese words and actually get this to work, you'll be sure to impress those around you
    Are there any ideas to get 3g or 4g working in the USA? I can only get 2g working on at&t

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    Quote Originally Posted by cottle515 View Post
    Are there any ideas to get 3g or 4g working in the USA? I can only get 2g working on at&t
    2G and 3G should work normally, if you've enabled them in the settings (network mode). If 3G does not work, this means AT&T's 3G frequency in that region is not supported by the phone. 4G will not work outside Japan because it has an additional lock put in by Docomo which is not removed when you SIM unlock the phone.

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    I have 2g but not 3g. I've tried multiple apns and live in a decent sized city but I'm not sure what bands atnt uses here. If I select the 3g/lte option in the network type it kills my service.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cottle515 View Post
    I have 2g but not 3g. I've tried multiple apns and live in a decent sized city but I'm not sure what bands atnt uses here. If I select the 3g/lte option in the network type it kills my service.
    I've been using my Docomo Galaxy S4 for over a year on both ATT and Fido in Canada - I always get HSPA+ in both places and in virtually every location I travel to. What frequencies does your phone support? If it includes 850, then you should be fine on ATT. Did you contact the seller to troubleshoot what might be wrong?

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    Quote Originally Posted by cheeseus View Post
    2G and 3G should work normally, if you've enabled them in the settings (network mode). If 3G does not work, this means AT&T's 3G frequency in that region is not supported by the phone. 4G will not work outside Japan because it has an additional lock put in by Docomo which is not removed when you SIM unlock the phone.
    I thought unlocked is unlocked...can a Docomo shop override the LTE lock when they unlock the phone?

    I am still deciding between the SH03G and the HTE J Butterfly 3 - I would just take the HTC phone, but their camera reputation is horrible which concerns me. At least the phone is GSM and appears to have the right frequencies for ATT LTE if we can get the LTE unlocked.

    The SH03G on AU is a mystery...it looks like an amazing phone, advertises a great camera, but when I checked the AU roaming partners, they list Sprint and Verizon, which tells me this might not be a GSM phone? Maybe AU won't lock LTE like Domoco, or block hotspot usage like Docomo, so perhaps that's not a bad thing if I can get this phone on one of the Verizon MVNOs, but I would prefer GSM service.

    Not being able to update anything outside Japan is a big hassle, and even when I'm in Japan, I assume I can't update it without a AU SIM card and service plan?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bocastephen View Post
    I thought unlocked is unlocked...can a Docomo shop override the LTE lock when they unlock the phone?

    I am still deciding between the SH03G and the HTE J Butterfly 3 - I would just take the HTC phone, but their camera reputation is horrible which concerns me. At least the phone is GSM and appears to have the right frequencies for ATT LTE if we can get the LTE unlocked.

    The SH03G on AU is a mystery...it looks like an amazing phone, advertises a great camera, but when I checked the AU roaming partners, they list Sprint and Verizon, which tells me this might not be a GSM phone? Maybe AU won't lock LTE like Domoco, or block hotspot usage like Docomo, so perhaps that's not a bad thing if I can get this phone on one of the Verizon MVNOs, but I would prefer GSM service.

    Not being able to update anything outside Japan is a big hassle, and even when I'm in Japan, I assume I can't update it without a AU SIM card and service plan?
    I think you are confusing the models... SH-03G is a Docomo phone.
    Docomo phone models go like this: [two-letters-for-manufacturer]-[two-digits]-[one-letter-for-series], e.g. SH-01G.
    SoftBank models go like this: [three-digits-for-series-and-model][two letters-for-manufacturer], e.g. 402SH.
    AU models go like this: [two-letters-for-mnanufacturer][one-letter-for-series][two-digits-for-model], e.g. SHV32.

    It is little likely that Docomo will unlock the LTE, unless required by the Japanese Ministry of Telecommunications, so if you want LTE, you should get the HTC - not a Japanese version, though.

    You can update a Docomo/SoftBank/AU phone in Japan easily if you there's an active USIM (service plan, yes) by the respective operator inside the phone.

    The Docomo frequencies are as follows:
    GSM system: 850 900 1800 1900
    3G system: 850 900 1900 2100
    4G system: 850 1900 2000 1xEV-DO.

    The Softbank frequencies are as follows:
    4G system: FDD-LTE (900 MHz / 1.7 GHz / 2.1 GHz) + AXGP (2.5 GHz)
    3G system: W-CDMA (900 MHz / 2.1 GHz)
    GSM system: 900 MHz / 1800 MHz / 1900MHz.

    SoftBanks are not unlockable, neither are AUs. Only Docomo.

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    Hi and thanks for your response. I'm stumped. I contacted kyoex who simply stated it should work. The sh-01g has the following frequencies. Any further help is appreciated.

    2G Network : GSM GPRS EDGE 850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz
    3G Network : UMTS HSDPA UMTS 800, 850, 2100 MHz
    4G Network : LTE 800, 1500, 1800, 2100 Mhz

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    Quote Originally Posted by cheeseus View Post
    I think you are confusing the models... SH-03G is a Docomo phone.
    Docomo phone models go like this: [two-letters-for-manufacturer]-[two-digits]-[one-letter-for-series], e.g. SH-01G.
    SoftBank models go like this: [three-digits-for-series-and-model][two letters-for-manufacturer], e.g. 402SH.
    AU models go like this: [two-letters-for-mnanufacturer][one-letter-for-series][two-digits-for-model], e.g. SHV32.

    It is little likely that Docomo will unlock the LTE, unless required by the Japanese Ministry of Telecommunications, so if you want LTE, you should get the HTC - not a Japanese version, though.

    You can update a Docomo/SoftBank/AU phone in Japan easily if you there's an active USIM (service plan, yes) by the respective operator inside the phone.

    The Docomo frequencies are as follows:
    GSM system: 850 900 1800 1900
    3G system: 850 900 1900 2100
    4G system: 850 1900 2000 1xEV-DO.

    The Softbank frequencies are as follows:
    4G system: FDD-LTE (900 MHz / 1.7 GHz / 2.1 GHz) + AXGP (2.5 GHz)
    3G system: W-CDMA (900 MHz / 2.1 GHz)
    GSM system: 900 MHz / 1800 MHz / 1900MHz.

    SoftBanks are not unlockable, neither are AUs. Only Docomo.
    The Softbank and AU phones can be unlocked by the new law, but they can hold certain models back for 6 months. Some vendors like Kyoto Exports arranged a deal with their partner shops to unlock some 6 month phones earlier for a higher fee.

    Do you have the frequencies for AU? It appears the J Butterfly 3 is a AU phone and maybe it's not usable in the US on any carrier which would be disappointing.

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