Sharp Announces Galapagos, the First 3D Android Handset
Sharp Electronics, the company that engineered the autostereoscopic display soon to be found on Nintendo’s 3DS, has applied their glasses-free 3D innovation to two Android-based devices–the Galapagos 003SH and 005SH.
The bad news is Japan is the only lucky country that will get the phones in the forseeable future. The good news? A touchscreen phone with glasses-free 3D capabilities finally exists (to those that were waiting).
Both Galapagos devices will ship with Android 2.2 (Froyo) and are powered by the popular 1GHz Snapdragon processor. They will pack 3D-capable displays stretching to 3.8 inches and 800 x 480 resolution. The 003SH also comes with a 9.6 megapixel camera, while the 005SH settles for 8 megapixels, although both are capable of 720p video.
The form-factor is strikingly similar to the original Motorola Droid. The slate hardware style and full Qwerty keyboard combined with a sharp, edgy design definitely draws comparisons to the smartphone that put the Google OS on the map.
From the views we have of the keyboard, it too appears to be as mediocre as the Droid’s was, although I do like the physical Android shortcuts. Including a D-pad in the keyboard is a total waste of space, but certainly not a dealbreaker. The screen resolution is surprisingly unimpressive given the amazing 3D innovation invested in the screen, but resolution numbers can be deceiving.
Bundled with the devices are several 3D content deals in place, such as the one with Capcom that will see Mega Man, Resident Evil, and Ghosts ‘n Goblins titles coming preloaded on both handsets.
Japan’s Softbank network will carry both the 003SH and the oo5SH, The 003SH will ship in December, to be followed by the 005SH in February. It’s puzzling why the more powerful, feature-packed model will be released earlier than the less impressive 005SH, but the Japanese market is lucky to be carrying both of these incredibly attractive phones in the near-future.