Sharp camera phone first with optical zoom

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It is always worth keeping tabs on what Vodafone is up to in Japan, largely because what it launches there tends to find its way over to Europe a year later.

So we note with interest that Sharp has unveiled a new camera phone that’s the first in the world with an optical zoom.

As any photographer will tell you digital zooms are largely a waste of time. Optical zooms however do let users get closer to subjects without sacrificing too much image quality.

The phone, the V602SH, is surprise, surprise, a clamshell models that features a two mega pixel camera. Another neat feature is the ‘Swivel Style’ design that allows the LCD screen to be reversed 180 degrees.

A rather more frightening facility is that the V602SH boasts a karaoke mode that enables its owner to hook the phone up to a TV for sing-along sessions. Also on boards is a music player and Bowlingual’s wonderful dog bark translator.

We reckon that Vodafone will have one more major Sharp GPRS camera phone launch before it really starts to shove subscribers in the direction of 3G. So, maybe the Sharp GX40, due for arrival in, let’s hazard a guess, Spring 2005, will feature a two mega pixel snapper and an optical zoom.

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