This week’s official announcement regarding the release of the DROID DNA from HTC continued a trend we have seen of manufacturers pushing the limits of screen size and resolution. The DROID DNA’s 5-inch 1080p display produced by Sharp is certainly an eye-catching feature of the new handset. Sharp appears to want to be able to get in the market with its own device sporting the top of the line LCD they produce, which is why they are working on a Sharp Aquos SH930W smartphone.
Rather than creating a top of the line device, Sharp is trying to create a mid-level market smartphone by scaling back on some other features. The two biggest changes include dropping back to a 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S3 processor and removing the LTE bits. Along with the big screen, Sharp is stuffing in 32GB of memory to offset the other changes. According to sources, much of this work to control costs and bring the Aquos out of the top tier is to make it attractive in the Russian market where it is scheduled to launch in late November. By reducing costs, Sharp expects the Aquos will sell in the 22,000 ruble range ($694 USD), making the 1080p capable device cheaper than many 720p competitors that tend to sell at 25,000 rubles ($789 USD) or more.
Will this strategy pay off for Sharp? Russian web site Mobile-review wanted to know and got their hands on a pre-release version of the Aquos for a closer look. Their results showed the Snapdragon S3 tended to get bogged down when playing 1080p video or some games as the processor could not keep up in supporting such a large display. However, the device did seem to perform at an acceptable level when completing routine tasks. It may have been helped by the fact that it was running a plain Android version without Sharp’s Feel UX on top. Sharp seems to think buyers will be focusing more on battery life, camera capabilities, and pricing and will not be bothered by concessions made.