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 Sharp TM 100 Sharp TM 100

Discontinued
22nd April 2004

At Mobile Gazette, we're big fans of Sharp's GX range - the GX30 is probably the best clamshell camera phone going, in our opinion, and even last year's GX20 still comfortably beats most of its competitors in terms of features. So, the announcement of an exclusive handset for T-Mobile, the Sharp TM 100, is definitely something worthwhile.

Well.. the Sharp TM 100 is certainly an unusual looking phone, looking a little like the offspring from a romantic liaison between a Siemens SL55 and a Sony Ericsson T610. It would be uncharitable to call it "ugly" - but the TM 100's set square straight lines seem rather harsh when compared to the curves of the GX series. In addition, the placement of controls around the main navigation keys looks awkward and unattractive. Sharp have never been terribly good at competing at looks, and the TM 100 is no exception.

Before we consider the Sharp TM 100's other attributes, it's worth considering where this sits in the T-Mobile range. At an estimated price of 430/270 SIM free, and 180/110 on a basic contract, the TM 100 is about the same price as the Sony Ericsson T630 or Nokia 6220, so pretty much the upper end of the midrange of camera phones.

So what does the TM 100 have that sets it apart? Well, the main feature is the excellent 320x240 pixel display in 262,000 colours, which appears to be identical to the one found in the GX30. This is a higher resolution screen than the one found in the Sony Ericsson P900, but it's much smaller, meaning that the TM 100 boasts the sharpest display in any mobile phone (if you'll excuse the pun).

 Sharp TM100 Camera The camera is only a VGA-resolution device, but it does have a macro lens, making it similar to the camera found in the GX20 - there's a digital zoom too. While not the best camera available, it is easily better than many of its competitors in the class, and is certainly a better unit than the one found on the T630. Sharp manufacture the screen and camera themselves.

As you might expect, this is a tri-band GPRS capable phone. There a WAP 2.0 browser built into the TM 100, and it supports standard email protocols. The TM 100 runs Java for games and other applications, supports MMS messaging, polyphonic ringtones and also has a built-in speakerphone. There's a set of organiser functions built into software, plus an integrated video player.

Internal memory is 2.5Mb which is enough for a few reasonable quality photos. Unlike the GX30/GX32, there's no removable memory. Connectivity to a PC is through USB cable or infra-red, but not Bluetooth. Physical dimensions are 100x49x22mm, and weight is 105 grams.

The Sharp TM 100 is tightly integrated into T-Mobiles t-zones service for additional content, downloads and value added functions.

It's clear that the TM 100 is not a candy bar style GX30, as technically it's closer to the GX20, but still this is quite an impressive handset. The high-quality screen and good digital camera make it stand head and shoulders above most of the current competition - and to be honest, the technical features outweigh the slightly stark looks.

It's clear that the T-Mobile/Sharp strategy for the TM 100 is almost the same as the Vodafone/Sharp strategy  for the GX series - the networks got a top notch exclusive mobile, and Sharp get a prominent place in the network's advertising. Now.. if only Sharp could learn to make their phones prettier..

 

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Sharp TM 100 (Sharp TM100) at a glance

Available:

Q2/Q3 2004

Network:

GSM

Data:

GPRS

Screen:

240x320 pixels, 262,000 colours

Camera:

640x480 pixels

Size:

Standard Sliding "candy bar" format
100x49x22mm, 105 grams  

Bluetooth:

No

Infra-red:

Yes

Polyphonic:

Yes

Java:

Yes

Battery life:

Not specified

 

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