updated 07:55 am EDT, Tue March 30, 2010
Sharp's IS01 takes cues from MIDs, smartbooks
KDDI became the last Japanese carrier to adopt Android on Tuesday with the addition of the unusual Sharp IS01. A "communicator" rather than a phone, the handheld is unique in having the 5-inch, 960x540 display of a MID (mobile Internet device) but the notebook-like design and 1GHz Snapdragon processor of a smartbook. Sharp suggests it can be used solely with thumbs and gives it multi-touch in addition to a trackball.
The Android 1.6-based device depends mostly on its EVDO Rev A-based 3G for data but has 802.11g Wi-Fi and can even make CDMA phone calls in a speakerphone mode. It's also the first Android device to support 1Seg TV tuning and carries both a 5.3-megapixel rear camera and a front 0.4-megapixel unit for conversations. Sharp has given it just 4GB of internal storage but promises room for more with a microSDHC slot.
KDDI is unveiling the IS01 very early and may not have the publicly available version ready for the au network until early October. A developer-oriented version, the JN-DK01, ships in May. Pricing should be settled closer to the respective ship dates. [via Impress]