Why it matters to you
Sharp’s previous full-screen phones have paved the way for future smartphone design, and we are expecting the Aquos S2 to do the same.
Sharp may be a company best known for its televisions but over the years, it made some pretty significant contributions to smartphone design as well. There was 2014’s innovative Sharp Aquos Crystal, which you could say popularized the trend toward bezel-less handsets we see today. The company recently announced it will reveal the latest product in its full-screen line, the Aquos S2, at an event in Beijing on Tuesday.
Not much is officially known about the Aquos S2, though Sharp says the phone utilizes free-form display technology to curve the screen around the speaker and front-facing camera. The Essential PH-1 was designed in a similar way and the latest iPhone 8 images indicate Apple also carved a small space out of the top of the screen to house those components.
Sharp describes the Aquos S2 as having “slim bezels on three sides,” with a screen-to-body ratio of nearly 85 percent. A leaked render below shows the potential fit and finish of the final product. Xiaomi’s Mi Mix, a popular full-screen smartphone at the time of its launch last year, managed a ratio of around 84 percent — though its successor is rumored to improve the display’s footprint significantly.
Over the years, Sharp says it has been able to further its full-screen designs with emerging technologies, like bone conduction audio that works in place of a dedicated earpiece and “waterfall” glass that seamlessly blends the edges of the display with the sides of the device. For the Aquos S2, it is expected to add another advancement — a fingerprint sensor built into the screen. This has also been considered one of the iPhone 8’s defining features throughout the rumor cycle and was publicly demoed for the first time by Vivo in June.
All that said, we still do not know most of the details surrounding the Aquos S2. Historically speaking, Sharp has not demonstrated a willingness to adopt Qualcomm’s top-of-the-line processors. The Aquos Crystal offset its premium design with mid-range specs, and the same could be true this time around. It has been rumored that the Aquos S2 will debut alongside another lower-end device known as the S1, though Sharp’s teaser mentions only the former.
Unfortunately, like most of Sharp’s full-screen phones, there is no indication we will see the device make it to western markets. The company says it will launch just a week after the reveal on August 15 in China. Still, the Aquos S2 will likely pave the way for future smartphone design, so we will update this story with more information following the announcement.