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Sharp GX40 Confirmed

 Sharp GX40 Available now
13th January 2006
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We've been waiting for the Sharp GX40 for well over a year now and we finally got confirmation last October that the GX40 was actually coming out with some details from the FCC about the specifications of this new handset.

Finally, Vodafone and Sharp have confirmed the existence of the GX40 due for imminent launch in several Vodafone areas, including Greece, Malta and Swisscom in Switzerland.

The Sharp GX40 is a long awaited handset - and we do mean long awaited. Ever since the Sharp GX30 (the first commercially available 1 megapixel camera phone in Europe) was announced two years ago, people have been interested in seeing what would be next in the GX range. The GX30's predecessor, the GX20 introduced Sharp's excellent QVGA (240x320 pixel display) back in 2003. So, the assumption was that the GX40 would follow on quite quickly and would probably be based on the Japanese V602 - a 2 megapixel device with a swivelling display. But it wasn't to be, Sharp and Vodafone then concentrated on the Sharp 902 3G phone - the class leading 3G phone when it came out - followed by the Sharp 903 with a 3.2 megapixel camera. It looked for all intents and purposes that the Sharp GX40 would never actually arrive.

 Sharp GX40 But.. here it is. It's a tri-band GSM phone with a 1.3 megapixel camera, miniSD expandable memory (up to 512Mb), an MP3 player, Bluetooth and external media controls. The main display is a 2.0 inch 240x320 pixel panel (which actually slightly smaller than the GX30), plus there's a web browser and email client. The GX40 weighs 98 grams and has just under 4 hours talktime. There's a small external display that can be used in combination with the GX40's multimedia functions to make it a practical portable media player, and the GX40 includes an FM radio too.

It appears to be a pretty competent device, and there seems to be a general lack of clamshell handsets with good MP3 players and expandable memory, so it fills a niche in the market.

 GX40 closed The GX40 doesn't look like a bad phone - it is however an anticlimax. Bizarrely, many of the features on the GX40 are not as good as the handsets that came before it. For example, the Sharp TM200 had a 2 megapixel camera in a GSM phone, where the GX40 only has 1.3 megapixels, and the Sharp GX30 had quad-band GSM, a camera flash and slightly larger display. Although the GX40 scores well in areas such as multimedia playback, it doesn't stand up well against the likes of the Sony Ericsson W800i.

It's not really what we'd hoped for.. after all, handsets such as the GX20, GX30 and 902 were pretty much the best handsets on the market when they were launched.. these were devices that pioneered many technologies and features and were class leaders. So the GX40 had a very tough act to follow, and unfortunately it's not quite as great as we had hoped.

Exact pricing is not known, but we estimate that the GX40 will cost around 350 before subsidy and taxes, pricing it about halfway between the Sony Ericsson K750i and Motorola RAZR V3. The indications are that the GX40 should be available during early Q1 2006.

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Sharp GX40 at a glance

Available:

Q1 2006

Network:

GSM 900/1800/1900

Data:

GPRS

Screen:

240x320 pixels, 262k colours

Camera:

1.3 megapixels

Size:

Medium clamshell
93x46x23mm / 98 grams

Bluetooth:

Yes

Infra-red:

No

Polyphonic:

Yes

Java:

Yes

Battery life:

4 hours talk / 12 days standby

 

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