One of the greatest things about Android is that phone makers can cram the software into whatever hardware they like. It’s also one of the worst things about Android, as proven by Sharp’s upcoming Android clamshell phone.
This abomination, dubbed the Aquos Hybrid 007SH, hides a 3.4-inch display underneath one of its swiveling, flipping halves. On the opposite panel is a numeric keypad and a directional pad. This isn’t the first clamshell Android phone around — LG’s Genesis has a second screen on its underbelly and a full QWERTY keyboard — but it’s the first to fashion itself after the flip phones of yesteryear.
Form factor aside, the Aquos Hybrid 007SH has a 1 GHz processor, a 16-megapixel camera (okay, that’s impressive), a front-facing camera and 3D display support. So technically, the phone is not too shabby.
And I will admit that the rise of smartphones has denied me one simple pleasure that dumbphones once provided: the ability to end a phone call by slapping the clamshell shut. It was, for a time, the modern equivalent of emphatically slamming a landline phone onto its receiver, but it’s since been replaced by daintily tapping a virtual “end call” button. Still, I’d happily give up a dumbphone’s tactile pleasure all over again for an ultra-thin, touch screen slab.
Sharp’s Aquos Hybrid 007SH is due to launch in Japan in mid-June, but it may eventually make its way overseas as well. Be afraid.