Sharp AQUOS sense3 plus review

Content

  1. Introduction
  2. TECH SPECS
  3. Equipment
  4. First impressions. Design
  5. Camera
  6. As a conclusion

Smartphone review SHARP AQUOS zero2

In difficult economic conditions, manufacturers of modern phones, rushing to meet a potential buyer, are ready to sacrifice any principles. Unlike its competitors in the Japanese market, Sharp has been able to adjust to the volatile market by offering the local budget AQUOS sense3 line of smartphones at the end of last year. The collection consists of four models united by one design, a metal, shock and water resistant casing, inexpensive Qualcomm Snapdragon 630/636 processors and a 4000 mAh battery.

Smartphone review SHARP AQUOS zero2

The most affordable and simple model in the collection was AQUOS sense3 basic, equipped with an eight-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 processor, 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of user memory. Sharp AQUOS sense3 lite has already received 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of ROM. Further along the hierarchical ladder follows its extended and at the same time the most purchased version of AQUOS sense3 with a dual main camera and a slot for 2 SIM cards. Sharp AQUOS sense3, optimal in terms of price and combination of characteristics, aroused genuine interest among lovers of inexpensive smartphones. All three models combine an economical 5,5 ″ IGZO FHD + display with a compact 167 grams body.

Smartphone review SHARP AQUOS zero2

A peculiar highlight of the new line is the “most powerful” AQUOS sense3 plus with a display enlarged to 6 “, 6/128 GB memory and stereo speakers. It also has a slot for 2 SIM cards and a 4000 mAh battery, which does not prevent it from setting records of autonomy among its own kind. And it was this model that came to me for the test today.

Immediately I would like to dot the i’s so that you do not have a false idea of ​​the hero of today’s review, and at the same time dispel the myth that salaries in Russia are small and life is prohibitively expensive. You have to understand that Japan is not a cheap country. Those who have ever been to this island know how much it costs, for example, the same food. I’ll give you potatoes as an example. At the end of July, its price was 95 yen, which at that time was equal to about 65 rubles. Now attention. This is the cost of one potato! Moreover, by the end of the month the price had grown to 105 yen (~ 73 rubles).

Smartphone review SHARP AQUOS zero2

Yes, salaries there, of course, are not the same as in Russia or the former CIS countries, therefore, against the general background, the price of 40 thousand yen, which, for example, Japanese operators ask for the AQUOS sense3 model, does not seem so high. It is precisely because of the price gap between Japan and Russia that Japanese smartphones sold exclusively in Japan can seem unreasonably expensive.

Smartphone review SHARP AQUOS zero2

The entire AQUOS sense3 line is designed for not the richest Japanese with modest technical requirements. Buy AQUOS sense3 plus, first of all, is the one who prefers a bigger screen and more powerful sound, but does not want to pay for the flagship. According to the manufacturer’s idea, the user’s perception of high-quality stereo sound and video on a 6 ″ display becomes radically different. The ability to use two SIM cards at once in Japan is now more relevant than ever. Local operators do not seek to please their subscribers with optimally tuned tariffs, often forcing them to pay extra money for missing services. Many subscribers of the Big Three (NTT Docomo, Softbank, Au) believe that their operators are in a kind of price collusion, raising the cost of services. Most are bound by debt, paying for expensive iPhones for years. The system of subsidizing phones in Japan is very developed. Against this background, in recent years, the activity of virtual MVNO operators has been growing, which offer the same thing, but for less money. It is for this reason that Sharp has rushed into the budget segment, which has never been possible before.

Smartphone review SHARP AQUOS zero2

TECH SPECS

Surprisingly, out of everyone I showed this phone to during testing, few people paid attention to its seemingly not the most modern appearance: thick bezels, large indents at the top and bottom of the display, a metal frame and a glass back wall. The current AQUOS sense3 series for the first time has received protection according to the military standard MIL-STD-810G (Method 516.8: Shock-Procedure IV), which allows these phones to withstand a drop from a height of 1.2 m onto a metal surface. Sharp had never made shock-resistant smartphones before. However, only 5.5-inch models in this series have this advantage. Sharp refused to make AQUOS sense3 plus shockproof for some unknown reason. However, as a bonus, its owner gets IP68 water and dust protection. In 99% of “Japanese” it has been on by default since the late 90s.

Smartphone review SHARP AQUOS zero2

I would not recommend playing modern 3D games on it. Spoil the experience of both the phone and the games themselves. Sharp AQUOS sense3 plus is an excellent long-playing midrange with an optimal set of hardware and functions: a 6-inch FullHD + IGZO display with an aspect ratio of 18: 9, an eight-core Qualcomm 636 processor with a peak frequency of 1.8 GHz, 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of user memory (there is another version with 64 GB ROM), dual main camera 12 + 13 MP shirik, front 8 MP, fingerprint scanner, FaceID, full-featured NFC and 4000 mAh battery. It seems to me that the manufacturer could try to fit a bigger battery here, but, apparently, there were reasons for that – not to do this. One way or another, in conjunction with an economical IGZO matrix, the phone produces amazing results in autonomy. In my working mode (1-1.5 hours of daily phone calls, a lot of social networks on mobile and Wi-Fi Internet, mail, camera, music via Bluetooth), it confidently lasts for about two days.

AQUOS sense3 plus is running under the current version of the Android 10 Q OS. The interface is completely Russified out of the box. So far only Sony, Panasonic and Sharp have this bonus. Fujitsu and Kyocera smartphones continue to bend their Anglo-Japanese line.

Smartphone review SHARP AQUOS zero2

The SIM-free version of AQUOS sense3 plus with the ordinal index SH-M11, which came to my test today, is sold by Japanese virtual MVNO operators. This model has a slot for 2 SIM cards, while, for example, AQUOS sense3 plus for operators of the big three (Softbank and Au) has a slot for only one SIM card. On “MegaFon” the phone can catch 4G without any problems. The used SIM card format is nanoSIM. Both options support work with memory cards up to 512 GB.

Sharp offers a choice of three body colors: black, white and silver.

Smartphone review SHARP AQUOS zero2

Smartphone review SHARP AQUOS zero2Smartphone review SHARP AQUOS zero2
  • Operating system: OS Android 10 Q
  • Standards support: GSM, 3G, LTE
  • Support for 2 SIM-cards: Yes
  • Processor: 1.8 GHz, eight-core, Qualcomm Snapdragon 636
  • RAM: 6 GB
  • ROM: 64/128 GB
  • Display: 6 ″, FullHD +, 2220 × 1080 pix, IGZO, aspect ratio 18: 9, 16 million colors
  • Main camera: dual, 12 + 13 MP, CMOS, 4K video recording, autofocus, LED flash
  • Front camera: 8 MP, CMOS
  • Memory card support: microSDXC up to 512 GB
  • The fingerprint scanner
  • Face ID
  • GPS / GLONASS
  • NFC
  • Wi-Fi a / b / g / n
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • 3.5mm headphone jack
  • USB Type-C
  • Fast charging function
  • Water-, moisture-, dustproof housing (IPX5 / IPX8 and IP6X)
  • Battery: Li-Ion, 4000 mAh
  • Dimensions: 160x75x8.7 mm
  • Weight: 175 g

Smartphone review SHARP AQUOS zero2

Equipment

The Japanese continue to lead the battle for the title of “the world’s most stingy phone makers.” If the version of AQUOS sense3 plus for 2 SIM-cards comes with a fast 3-ampere charging, then the operator’s counterparts from Softbank and Au, as usual, are deprived of such a royal bonus. Apart from a short instruction in Japanese, there is nothing here.

Smartphone review SHARP AQUOS zero2

First impressions. Design

The Plus feel is akin to what I got from the regular 5.5-inch version of AQUOS sense3. Today’s copy differs only in its dimensions and weight. A classic brick with a large display and 32 grams of weight difference lies confidently in the hand, resting its plump, slightly rounded metal sides against the fingertips. The back wall is made of glass with rounded edges. Unfortunately, the manufacturer does not say anywhere what kind of glass is worth here. It is logical that such material will not be able to withstand a fall without critical consequences. But, thanks to the glass cover, the phone is more confident in the hand.

Smartphone review SHARP AQUOS zero2

Sharp AQUOS sense3 plus has a 6 ″ display with a resolution of 2220x1080p and an aspect ratio of 18.5: 9. The matrix is ​​made using IGZO technology, which, in practice, ideally allows you to bring autonomy up to 3-4 days. The screen is covered with 2.5D Gorilla Glass 5, but for penditic and insecure users, I would recommend using a protective glass.

Smartphone review SHARP AQUOS zero2

According to the developers, the realistic image quality is achieved thanks to the Rich Color Technology Mobile. The previous generation of IGZO screens did produce an incredible picture. The difference was visible to the naked eye, especially during photography and video shooting. It can be seen that Sharp has definitely worked in this direction.

Smartphone review SHARP AQUOS zero2Smartphone review SHARP AQUOS zero2Smartphone review SHARP AQUOS zero2

The top edge above the screen houses an 8MP front camera, an earpiece, proximity / lighting sensors and an indicator light. I personally did not have any questions about the quality of the speaker. The interlocutor is heard clearly and loudly.

Smartphone review SHARP AQUOS zero2

The fingerprint scanner in the form of a separate touch button is located under the screen. The speed of the scanner does not raise any questions. It can also act as a multifunctional menu control button. In this case, the touch buttons disappear from the screen.

Smartphone review SHARP AQUOS zero2

At the top there is a microphone and a 3.5 mm headphone jack. Since I have been actively using wireless analogs for the past few years, with each new model I realize that the fact of having such a connector has become completely useless for me personally, although, of course, for someone it will obviously be indispensable.

Smartphone review SHARP AQUOS zero2

A hybrid slot for a SIM card and a memory card is hidden at the top left side. It’s nice that the manufacturer has taken care of the convenience of its use. Instead of a hole requiring a special needle or paper clip on hand, one of the ends of the plug has a small technological recess that allows you to easily remove the slide with your fingernail.

Smartphone review SHARP AQUOS zero2Smartphone review SHARP AQUOS zero2

At the bottom there is a microphone, USB Type C connector and a speaker used to create a stereo pair. In my opinion, the volume level in the speakerphone mode is more than sufficient. But the quality does not differ for the better when compared with the same Huawei P20 Pro, which I usually use for such comparisons. The Japanese clearly lacks bass, and in general the meatiness of the sound. However, it is worth recalling that in Japan it is not customary to make a loud announcement in public places, so phone calls are often not a priority for them.

Smartphone review SHARP AQUOS zero2

On the right side are the power and volume buttons. The location is perfect for them.

Smartphone review SHARP AQUOS zero2Smartphone review SHARP AQUOS zero2

The glass rear wall of AQUOS sense3 plus resembles the back of the once flagship AQUOS R3. A uniform black glossy smooth surface without any admixtures of metallic and other gradients adjusts to a calm mood. A minimum of emotions!

Fingerprints are the eternal companion of such surfaces. For those who have special experiences about this, I recommend getting an original case in advance.

Smartphone review SHARP AQUOS zero2

At the bottom, the company logo and model index are barely visible.

Smartphone review SHARP AQUOS zero2Smartphone review SHARP AQUOS zero2

Camera

Considering the level of the smartphone, I did not expect anything outstanding from the AQUOS sense3 plus camera. However, I had to radically change my mind as soon as I saw the first results of her work: realistic color reproduction, excellent detail in the places of focus and uniform blur without noticeable distortion between the subject and the background, the absence of any sand in places with low light levels, and even in the dark. I made myself believe in every possible way that a smartphone, cheap by Japanese standards, could take pictures this way. Previous generations of Sharp smartphones in the middle segment were radically different in this indicator.

Smartphone review SHARP AQUOS zero2

The main camera consists of two lenses: a standard 12.2 MP photo (f / 1.8 aperture, 27 mm focal length, electronic stabilization) and an ultra wide-angle (123 °) 13.1 MP (f / 2.4 aperture, 16 mm focal length, electronic stabilization). The first has really fast autofocus. It even seemed to me that it works much faster than its counterparts used on the flagship AQUOS zero2 and AQUOS R5G. The focusing speed can be estimated in the video below. The maximum photo resolution is 4000x3000p.

Sample Photos:

The quality of the video was no less pleasing. It is possible to record 4K with 30fps and stereo sound. FullHD video is recorded at 30fps and 60fps. Electronic stabilization works, albeit not very efficiently, but in all video modes. Realistic crisp images only “decompose” at maximum magnification. 8x zoom and stabilization are clear disadvantages of the AQUOS sense3 plus camera. Nevertheless, this quality is more than enough for everyday photo and video shooting.

Smartphone review SHARP AQUOS zero2

Video examples:

As a conclusion

In general, Sharp offered a good budget employee for relatively small money by its standards. Yes, the Japanese have a peculiar understanding of “beautiful”, and sometimes it takes forms like today’s AQUOS sense3 plus. Not having the most up-to-date appearance, the device wins with its autonomy, the presence of a large and at the same time practical display in every sense, a sufficient amount of memory and, in my opinion, excellent photo and video quality. The presence of a slot for 2 SIM-cards, full Russification and support for 4G outside of Japan adds a few more points to the “Plus” piggy bank. Yes, there are some questions about the processor and camera, but these are more nitpicking than significant remarks. What do you think of such a representative of the Japanese middle segment? Write in the comments.

Smartphone review SHARP AQUOS zero2

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Dmitry Provorov (obrakin@gmail.com)

Published – 19 August 2020

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