Design firm frog bringing ‘redefined Android experience’ to future Sharp handsets


Are you ready for yet another customized Android skin? Say hello to Feel UX, the product of a collaboration between design firm frog and Sharp. The new user interface is destined for future AQUOS handsets, which means we may never see it outside of Japan — a shame as usual, since several AQUOS phones would be desirable to many living outside the Land of the Rising Sun. Unique to the newly designed software is a retooled lockscreen that provides access to photos and widgets without the need to unlock the device, a “real-time weather display motion experience and animation,” and a new-look homescreen.

While it’s hard to say the entire experience is completely without inspiration from other current Android UIs floating around out there, it does look like a lot of work went into making Feel UX original and unique. Hopefully we’ll get some hands-on time with it in the future. For now check out the above video and below press release for more details.

frog Redefines Android Experience

The new Sharp AQUOS smartphones with Feel UX, designed by frog, will be available in Japan summer of 2012.

TOKYO, June 17, 2012 /PRNewswire-Asia/ — Leading design and innovation firm frog today announced that it has partnered with Sharp Corporation (Sharp) to create “Feel UX”, a new Android smartphone experience that is easy to use, highly personalized, and visually stunning. The collaboration brings together a global interdisciplinary team of strategists, designers, and engineers across both companies to design a distinctive and meaningful connected experience for the next generation of Sharp’s AQUOS smartphones.

According to global business analytics firm comScore, four out of five mobile phone users in Japan currently own a feature phone. However, in February 2012, the number of purchased smartphones surpassed the number of feature phones over the same period. This signals an ever-increasing importance for handset manufacturers to design and develop compelling and differentiated smartphone experiences for consumers.

“To capture the expanding market of smartphone users, we wanted the new Sharp AQUOS handsets to be a unique kind of Android experience, to look and feel different and standout from competitors,” said Paul Pugh, Vice President, Creative, Software Innovation at frog. “By simplifying the interaction model and reducing clutter through a more curated experience, it will be immediately apparent to customers how to use the phones and make them more personal. In addition, the design caters to current Android users by giving them new tools to organize and optimize their handsets, while personalizing the phone in ways not previously possible.”

The newly designed “Feel UX” for Sharp’s AQUOS smartphones will be available in Japan during the summer of 2012 and include the following features:

Personalized and innovative lock-screen experience, allowing users to browse photos and widgets without unlocking the devices
Real-time weather display motion experience and animation
Desirable, gender-neutral palette and visuals
Streamlined, curated home space to smoothly manage applications, widgets, and shortcuts

“frog was chosen as Sharp’s innovation partner because of the company’s unique combination of consumer insights, strategy, design, and software engineering capabilities,” said Itsuki Kouchi, Division Deputy General Manager, Global Product Development Center at Sharp. “Through our collaboration with frog, we have adopted an advanced approach to Android’s concept, features, and philosophy, creating a distinctive device that will ultimately increase the life of the product and enhance customer satisfaction.”

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  1. The Phone itself with that nearly all-screen-no-bezel design sure looks sexy!

  2. I’m sure it’ll be way different when they actually get this on a phone.

  3. i like the eveything except for the ugly ui around the apps wtf really

  4. Looks like there are some really cool options from the lock screen. Also, really like the scrollable home screens.

  5. My android experience is practically complete with stock, except for that I want a “guest login” option. A unique pincode that I can give to my friends whenever they just want to take a photo, play a game, view a limited part of my gallery, listen to my music, surf the web without being able to download anything and no way to buy apps/or use any other service that can cost me money.

    1. Brilliant idea, sir! You might consider submitting that to Google as feedback.

    2. I’m pretty sure that “profiles” has already been introduced with the CM9 and also AOKP. If you go into settings, you should see an option similar to what your described.

    3. I just use an applocker to lock apps that I don’t want friends going on, messaging, emails and such

    4. What app do you use to set all these permissions?

    5. I’ve been dropping the “guest account” idea all over, no one seems to want to bite. I like privacy on my phone, and at the same time, if a family member wants to use the phone, there should be a separate account!

  6. I actually thought Frog design was bought by apple…maybe they just outsourced to them as well. they helped design all the iphones and macbooks. they are known for industrial design…

    1. No, but they have done a lot of work for Apple in the past. They do beautiful work, to be sure!

  7. I think it’s very sexy UI that they came up with. I’m not sure it’s for me, but it can be very easy to use UI for people who aren’t very good with tech (or could be kind of confusing for them as well). Also, it looks like it has tiles like Window phones. I think it’s pretty cool overall and refreshing. Too bad I’m still in love with the Sense 4.0 UI. But wouldn’t mind to give it a try.

  8. little known fact is Apple consistently uses outside design firms for their products. At least Sharp acknowledges it.

  9. Next…..

  10. That actually looks very cool to me. If they can make it work as smoothly as it looks in the video, I might be interested.

  11. If it was just releasing in Japan, then why would they bother wasting time doing a promo advert in English. Oh snap.

    Sharp starting to sell good phones outside of Japan will be like Morpheus getting Neo out of the Matrix. “Welcome…. to the real world.”

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