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Sharp GX30

 Sharp GX30 Open Discontinued
4th February 2004

Since the release of the GX10 a couple of years ago, Sharp have shown themselves to be one of the class leaders when it comes to designing high specification and desirable clamshell phones.

The Sharp GX20, released early in 2003 was, and still is, one of the best specified camera phones on the market with innovative features that set it head and shoulders above most of the competition.

There were perhaps a couple of things that could have been better, and with the forthcoming release of the GX30, Sharp have addressed almost all the shortcomings and zoomed back up to the top of the class.

Firstly, the similarities. The GX30 is still a fairly conventional looking silver clamshell with a layout that's instantly recognisable from the rest of the range. It still has a large 240x320 pixel colour display, and the size and weight is virtually unchanged from the GX20. The large, friendly navigation key is still unchanged and the phone retains the ease of use of it's predecessors.

However, the GX30 has several major improvements. One of the strengths of the GX20 was the VGA resolution camera. The GX30 goes better with a 1.1 megapixel resolution camera - the highest resolution of any phone currently on the European market - with three and a half times the pixels of the old model. The screen, although the same large size as the GX20, has been upgraded to 262,000 colours. Instead of a tri-band phone, the GX30 is a quad-band phone. The GX20 didn't have Bluetooth - the GX30 does. In addition to all of this, the GX30 takes SD memory expansion cards and can play MP3s. The GX30 also has a much larger external display than the older phone.

 Sharp GX30 closed The GX30 also supports WAP over GPRS, Java for games, polyphonic ringtones, infra-red and cable connectivity and has a multicoloured flash/torch.

In terms of specification, the GX30 has pretty much everything and beats the competition hands down. One of the few missing features in a POP3 email client, but also it's likely that the battery life will be a little short at around 3.5 hours talktime. And for such an impressive feature set, the GX30's styling is a little predictable and silvery.

Of all it's competitors, only combined PDA/handsets like the Sony Ericsson P900 and O2 XDA II come beat it in terms of screen resolution. The closest clamshell is the Samsung D410, but the screen size and camera resolution is not as good as the GX30.

We can expect similarly specified Sharp GX31 and GX32 phones sometime in May or June for markets outside of Europe.

The catch, as every, is that these phones are exclusive to Vodafone. This is an enormously important coup for Vodafone as the Sharp range is a key sales driver. Although the other major carriers also have exclusive phones, most of them are trust trying to keep up with Sharp. In return for this, Vodafone give Sharp a very high profile within its range, making it a profitable and useful arrangement for both.

In terms of the market, the GX30 is the first in a bunch of phones due in 2004 that have megapixel cameras or better. It's at this point that mobile phones will really start to compete effectively with low end digital cameras. Whoever knows what those clever people at Sharp might squeeze into the GX40?

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Sharp GX30 Provisional Specifications


Q2 2004


Quad-band GSM




240x320, 262k colours


1.1 megapixels


Standard clamshell
98x50x24 / 110 grams









Battery life:

3-4 hours talk / 10 days standby



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