Sharp isn't exactly a household name in the smartphone industry but they are a significant player behind the scenes in the supply chain. The company also happens to make their own line of handsets under the Aquos brand, some of which can be rather innovative at times.
The latest example worth sharing is the Sharp Aquos R Compact. As the name suggests, it's smaller than most of today's flagships, packing a 4.9-inch IGZO display with a resolution of 2,032 x 1,080 and a refresh rate of 120Hz.
That's a reasonably impressive display in its own right but what really makes the Aquos R Compact stand out from the crowd is how much inspiration it draws from another well-known smartphone. I'm of course referring to the Essential Phone from Andy Rubin's new start-up.
As you can see, the camera notch at the top is nearly identical to what you'd find on Essential's device. Sharp's phone is also nearly bezel-less around three sides but a sizable bezel is used on the bottom and does house a physical home button (versus the virtual button on the Essential).
Display aside, you're looking at a largely mid-range phone at best that's powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 SoC, 3GB of RAM and 32GB of local storage. Other noteworthy specs include a 16.4-megapixel rear-facing camera, an 8-megapixel selfie shooter up front, USB Type-C connectivity and Bluetooth 5.0 - all running Android 8.0 Oreo with a custom overlay.
The Sharp Aquos R Compact will be offered in your choice of black, silver, white or gold come December. No word yet on pricing or availability outside of Japan.