** This is now an out of date story – for details on the Sharp/Vodafone GX30 click here **
Regular TF readers will know that we are huge fans of the Sharp GX20 camera phone. This, the latest incarnation of the Becks phones, boasts a superb colour screen that’s streets ahead of its rivals in terms of colour rendition and clarity. We also love the way it is so simple to use and takes great images.
We have however found a camera phone that might even supersede the GX20 in our affections. So cure fanfare for the Sharp GX30!?
Ok, so the model number says J-SH53 and yes it is a Japanese phone that has been on sale for several months. We are however convinced it provides the template for the next generation of European GSM Sharp camera phones for a number of reasons.
1 We know that Sharp has a phone called the GX30 that is set to debut early next year
2 This phone is available via J-Phone (the Vodafone-owned Japanese network)
3 All the enhancements are of the type we’d expect to find on an upgrade of the GX20
4 Someone fairly high up in Sharp Germany confirmed that a version of this phone, with a few minor alterations, would be on sale in 2004.
Anyhow, enough of the gossip on to the phone. Its main features are;
One mega pixel integrated digital camera – which will almost certainly make it the first phone capable of taking this level of images to go on sale in Europe
2.4 inch screen with QVGA (240 x 320) resolution (this is the same as the GX20). However the screen has 260,000 colours screen – much more than the 65k offered by the GX20. Also the second front screen has been upgraded too in that it now boasts 65,536 colours and is 1.2-inches in size.
MPEG4 video capture with up to ten seconds of sound
Secure Digital (SD) card slot – for saving images and storing music
MP3 player/voice recorder – an obvious addtion once the SD card slot is in place
256KB Java application storage capacity – a real boon for gamers
Dimensions 50 x 98 x 24mm
Weight Approx. 115g
We spent twenty minutes playing with the handset recently and were knocked out by its performance and level of features. The GX20 delivered a breakthrough in that it was the 1st camera phone with a screen capable of doing justice to the images it took. With one mega pixel images and SD card storage you really can think about leaving your camera at home.