Sharp's new AQUOS R2 smartphone comes with a dedicated video camera

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Sharp probably isn't the first brand that springs to mind when thinking about high-end smartphones, but over the years the Japanese manufacturer has released a few quirky devices. The newly announced AQUOS R2 falls squarely into that category, being the only smartphone—as far as we are aware—that comes with a dedicated video camera.

The new Sharp comes with a dual-camera setup on the back (so far, so normal) but instead of using it for improved low-light image quality or zoom capabilities, the AQUOS R2 reserves a 16.3MP unit exclusively for video recording. Stills capture, meanwhile, is performed by the 22.6MP camera on board.

The video module records 4K footage with an ultra-wide angle lens that features a 135° field of view. Electronic video stabilization reduces the viewing angle somewhat, but the camera still produces a nice cinematic look, as you can see in the sample video below.

An AI-powered function automatically captures still images during video recording, and on the front there is a 16.3MP front-facing sensor for selfies and video-calls.

All other specs are truly flagship smartphone worthy. The device features a 6.0-inch "notched" display with 19:9 aspect ratio and 1440 x 3040 pixels resolution, the OS and apps are powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chipset and 4GB of RAM, 64GB of internal storage can be expanded up to 400GB via a microSD card slot, and all components are wrapped up in a IPX5/IPX8/IP6X body.

If it delivers in terms of image quality, with its super-wide-angle video camera, the AQUOS R2 can be an interesting option for vloggers and other amateur video shooters.

The LG G6 and V30 are, at least currently, pretty much the only other native super-wide smartphone camera options out there, but the image quality of the super-wide camera lags noticeably behind the main module. We'll be curious to see how the AQUOS R2 stacks up.



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