Mar 30th, 2010

Aside from the beautiful Japanese women in the picture below, something immediately jumps out at me – the form factor of the device shown on the left.

sharp-android-smartbook

It’s an Android device produced by Sharp, tentatively called the ISO1, that will launch on Japan’s second largest carrier – AU by KDDI. I can’t help but be terribly jealous of the form-factor, not necessarily because of the size, but more because the clamshell reminds me of the LG Voyager that once upon a time had my heart.

sharp-iso1

If you’re a regular Phandroid reader, you may recall some of my pleas to produce a Voyageresque Android. But let me put my emotions aside – the Sharp ISO1 has some features itself that make it a very attractive Android in its own right:

  • 5-inch touchscreen
  • 960×480 resolution
  • 5.27 megapixel camera
  • front facing 0.43megapixel camera
  • TV tuner
  • FM Transmitter
  • Wi-Fi b / g
  • IRDA support for Blu-Ray
  • Bluetooth
  • 4GB of internal memory
  • Snapdragon processor (1GHz)
  • Android 1.6
  • 227 grams
  • 83 x 149 x 17.9 mm

Cool lineup of specs, and despite the device’s “homely” looks when opened, I find myself oddly infatuated with the keyboard. Especially after seeing the relative size to the hand in the photo – although who knows how big that particular person’s hands are:

iso1-keyboard

With all the mobile convergence going on, its hard to pinpoint what exactly you call a device. Is it a phone? A MID? A smartbook? A tablet? Maybe a netbook? I’m not exactly sure whta the ISO1 is, but without a screen on the outside of the clamshell, its definitely a MID/Smartbook, and I guess we’ll have to wait and see how AU positions it.

iso1-front

It’s hard to get a grasp for what the Sharp ISO1 is all about unless you position it against other devices to take a look at its advantages/disadvantages on a typical use scenario. Here it is next to the HTC Magic and iPhone 3GS:

iso1-compared

Yeah. It’s a monster. Definitely not something you’ll be carrying around in your pocket unless you’re Shaq, but definitely something that could come in handy and is – outside of your pocket – still pretty darn portable. It’s hurt by the lack of multi-touch support but overall we really like the idea.

iso1-open

The developer version of the device, called the JN-DK01, will allow for alterations of the OS and deeper access to the system itself. Both versions should be made available in June and I’m wondering how the Japanese market feels about this. So far, the HTC Magic is the only Android phone available in the country, unless I’m mistaken. And if I am please correct me in the comments!

[Via itmedia, akihabaranews, sharp, crunchgear]

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