My Sharp 770SH

Deciding to buy one or working out how to use one? Find out how a Sharp 770SH can work for you.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Sandisk Memory Card from Moby Memory

Ordered on Sunday night and the delivery came on Tuesday morning. It's just what every owner needs: a 512mb micro SD card increases your Sharp 770SH's memory by 102%.

I went for a 512mb card after being warned that the 1gb card wasn't recommended by the manufacturer. I've also heard cases of where earlier Sharp phones have performed perfectly well with a larger memory cards but likewise where other brands have proved incompatible. I chose not to take risks with my precious 770SH - I didn't want to find out that this model was an exception to the rest of the Sharp line.

After unpacking and inserting the new memory card I found 512mb more than enough for my needs - saving photos taken on the camera, storing a couple of albums of MP3s and the occasional video clip. If you want more than that, for example if you want to watch full length movies and such, you might not be fully satisfied with this.

That's my feeling as a user, here's what the retailer says:

"The 512MB card has enough space to store:-up to 6000 [640x480] Photo files-approx. 16 albums of music or 5 hours [MP3 at 96kbps ABR] (or ~25% more in .AAC format !)"

They also explain that:

"MicroSD offers all of the benefits of Transflash card, but in a much higher speed format. microSD is the new replacement standard for Transflash. As an extension of the existing SD card standard, the micro-SD card allows mobile phone developers to design ultra small devices. The micro SD memory module can be inserted into the supplied SD adapter and used in other SD-enabled devices like digital cameras, PDAs etc."

The price from Moby Memory was £14.49 including VAT plus £1.20 for Royal Mail recorded delivery. A nice addition to their service is that they 14 day money back guarantee as well as the manufacturer's five year warranty.

But what am I forgetting about? Ah yes, it comes with the SD adaptor so you can put it into your PC if you have the appropriate slot. I don't so I've been transferring data direct from my handset to my laptop via Bluetooth. Now I love doing that, but as Lix will tell you, it's slow doing it that way compared with the SD adaptor method.

I've said enough here, maybe I'll leave criticising the Handset Manager software until my next entry. (Let's face it, Handset Manager works okay but it looks like they left it to their summer experience trainee to design it.) more...

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Camera Test 3: Indoors (Still Life)

Still testing out the capacity of the Sharp 770SH camera, I decided to take some still life pictures. The subject is an odd object but full of colours at least.

The photograph on the left is taken at 960 x 1280 dots. The one on the right at 120 x 160. Both are on the Superfine setting which does seem to pick out more detal than the Fine and Normal settings. Unless you're shot on memory space there doesn't seem to be much use in setting taking higher quality more detailed shots.

Myself, becoming more snap-happy, I've changed the camera settings to Auto Save so that there's now no need to manually save them after being prompted to do so.

Another point to mention, isn't it nice not taking pictures of the insides of your pockets? That happened all the time with my old Sony Ericsson. Not so with the Sharp, as a flip phone with no external buttons other than the volume control, as long as it's closed there's no risk of forgetting to lock it and sending off random messages of trouser lining. more...

Friday, July 21, 2006

Data Cable for the 770SH

From the comments I read here and on various forums, it seems like the data cable is the holy grail of the 770SH. Nobody, Sharp and Vodaphone included, seems to take responsibility for its retailing.

There is a solution that's become apaprent, however. Among others, Foxx notes that:

'The data cable is the same as many vodafone/sharp handsets, like 903sh, 902sh, 703sh, 550sh, GX29, GX30i, etc. I've asked my friends who owns any of them, all negative. None of them has that legendary data cable XN-1DC30.'

Also, Anonymous says:

'I use my old sharp gx30 data cable it works fine with the 770sh.'

My own feeling is that while it might well be okay to use the same cable as ones made for other models, what I want is one that has some reassuring text on the packaging that says, 'For use with the Sharp 770SH'. As an ever protective owner, I'm very reluctant to unite my pure and virtuous Sharp with just any old accessory that comes a-courting.

So anyway, I'm looking to buy a XN-1DC30 data cable now. My question is, can anyone recommend an online retailer I can purchase one from? Preferably one you've used before. more...

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Camera Test 2: Exposure Setting

Look at the difference between the two shots below and I'll tell you how the top one turns out to be a cleaner and clearer shot. There was no Photoshop wizardry involved, it relies only on adjusting one of the 770SH's very easy to use settings.

Both pictures were taken last week at about six in the evening. The location is the River Wear, opposite St Peters Campus, part of Sunderland University where I study.

Tip: Click on the pictures to enlarge them and you'll see the difference more clearly.

The bottom photo, the darker one, was taken with the exposure level set to normal (zero) whereas the top one, I increased it to the maximum (+2). To do this is easy, Menu> Camera> Options> Exposure, then use the up/down keys.

You might want to use this because there'll be times when your pictures look too dark. Why? The 770SH doesn't have a flash but as you can see changing the exposure level can to some extent overcome this. (Ok, my disclaimer: if you want to take pictures in the dark then no amount of fiddling with the settings is going to help!)

As with Camera Test 1, I set the 770SH's settings to their maximum in order to get the best photograph possible; that's 960 x 1280 dots, picture quality set to 'super fine' which created, in this case, a jpeg of 335 kb.

The real testament to the Sharp 770SH is that despite the user's lack of artistic vision, technical skills or digi know-how, the 1.3 mega pixel camera takes a pretty decent picture.

Next up in the camera testing series is Camera Test 3: Still Life (Indoors) more...

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Bluetooth for the Sharp 770SH

Just how cool is Bluetooth? Very cool. And how cool is using Bluetooth with your Sharp 770SH? Out of this world cool.

As a mobile phone amateur I’ve previously had no experience of using Bluetooth devices but since I got started with the 770SH I've discovered that a basic grasp of how it works is really essential.

Important actions like transfering data, be it music, video or whatever, is dependent on the Bluetooth function. If you want to send data from your handset to another phone or a computer, or any other type of Bluetooth device this is the method you'll use.

Ah, ok...there is an alternative but you're not going to like it because it's not at all cool. The alternative is to open up the back of your phone, take out the battery (thus switching it off obviously), remove the memory card, insert the memory card into a reader and then to your PC. And what if you don't have a memory card? (I still haven't bought one yet.) Well you're pretty stuck if you haven't - the data will be on the SIM card and so you'll need a SIM card reader. All that's not very cool is it? And to my knowledge, there's no data cable available for the 770SH (somebody please correct me if I'm wrong).

To transfer data via Bluetooth you go to Settings>Connectivity>Bluetooth>Switch On, and then pair your 770SH with another device by first searching for other Bluetooth devices and then selecting the one you want to swap data between. From there it's drag and drop of files and folders from My Items.

I've made that process sound long-winded by describing it step by step but once it's set up the two devices can remember each other and then you can swop files between them any time you choose.

What's the drawback to this? For me it was that my laptop, although less than a year old, doesn't have Bluetooth technology. I wanted to do things like share my address book and send pictures and video to be saved then viewed on my hard drive. To overcome my technology short coming I bought a Belkin Bluetooth dongle from PC World for £15. It fits in any USB2 port and takes about 10 minutes to install.

One thing to mention is that I bought a Class 2 device, which is cheaper than a Class 1 but the only difference is the range. 10 metres is adequate for most people. Are there occassions when you'll be 100 metres away from the other device when you want to send data? Maybe, fooling around or perhaps working in the office but I can't imagine mny useful applications for this. Save yourself a few quid I'd say.

I haven't gone into the details of using the Bluetooth in the 770SH, but ask me a question about it and I'll have a shot at answering.

Finally, thanks to the anonymous poster who reminded me of the issue of data tranfer that led to this entry. more...

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The Cons: No. 2

Font size when sending SMS can’t be adjusted without changing the message into a more expensive MMS.

This is something that keeps cropping up in forums as a criticism of the 770SH but I'm not sure it's a very significant minus point. In my opinion, the normal font size is perfectly adequate for people with average eyesight.

However, as with the lack of active flip for people with a hand disabilty, the font size issue is a negative point for any users with a sight disability. The difference is though, the handset allows you to easily rectify the problem: you simply increase the font size. The drawback here is that you increase the price of the text. Vodaphone charges 12 pence for text messages and 36 pence for multi-media messages.

To try and provide some evidence regarding the font size I've added the picture on the right. Click on the picture to see a larger version. I must warn you though, unfortunately the quality of picture doesn't really do the phone justice. Hopefully what it does do is illustrate normal font size and the ample space on the screen.

To read more discussion about the font size of the 770SH handset, check out the reviews at

If anyone has a solution to the text size problem that doesn't involve turning the message into a SMS, please do let me know. more...

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The Pros: No. 1

2.2 inch LCD screen means everything's crystal clear and there's no need to squint.

What I can tell you is that this is the brightest and clearest screen display I've seen on a mobile phone. What Sharp will tell you is that:

"The 770SH incorporates the Mobile Advanced Super-V LCD, a proprietary technology originally employed by AQUOS LCD TVs. This unique advancement offers a finely contrasted and broad viewing angle, thus you get a vibrant colour display whether you're viewing in bright sunlight or a dark room. In addition, the LCD captures both vertical and horizontal views with precision, so you always get brilliant moving and still images."

But what else I can say is that the visual display is pretty clear on it from all angles and your grubby fingerprints don't show up. Probably I don't notice my own oily marks because the screen is so bright, although the brightness can be adjusted if necessary. Possibly you'd want to dim it down a little to save on battery (and this phone does have battery issues - look out for The Cons No. 3).

Other things that matter to you and me but which designers tend to forget about is robustness. Yes it looks great but is it going to get easily damaged? My impression is that it's unlikely because the thick layer of plastic covering it (I mean over the screen itself) protects it well. I peeled off the thin temporary plastic (or is it silicone?) covering to try to take a shot of the screen and now that won't go back on so it's as vunerable as it'll ever be.

But let's not worry about that, phones are for day-to-day use not admiring, right? more...

Saturday, July 08, 2006

The Cons: No. 1

No active flip means that you have to open the handset manually.

It’s a pretty minor drawback unless you are (a) engaged in some other activity (carry something heavy, gripping your bicycle handle bars while eating an ice-cream etc) and trying to answer a call; (b) are one-handed or have a hand disability of some sort.

In either case it is possible to open the phone with one hand, it just takes a little dexterity. The fact that the 770SH is missing this feature is quite likely because leaving it out reduces the use of internal space as well as the overall weight of the handset and battery use. At this point I’ll stop stating the obvious. more...

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Don’t forget your memory

Your Sharp 770SH comes free with a Vodaphone contract but the other thing to factor in is that there’s only 5mb of internal memory in the handset.

I’m currently looking at SandDisk Transflash cards – one make of MicroSD Card that’ll supply the memory needed to store pictures and music.

Having invested in neither a digital camera nor an MP3 player, the 770SH needs to do the job of both as well as all those chore-like phone calls. more...

Camera Test 1: Landscape Shot

The specs show the camera is capable of 1.3 mp shots but what does that mean? Certainly when I tried asking sales staff at various Vodaphone stores I found out that it equates to 'not bad' and 'good for taking pictures of your mates in the pub'. Eventually one salesman showed me the 770SH in action but only a picture on the screen. That sort of demonstration does't tell you what a photo would look like uploaded onto your PC or printed out at home.

Well here it is, click on the picture to see it enlarged and print it out if you want to see the quality.

This photo taken from my apartment window shows Sunderland University in the distance. It's taken at the phone's maximum settings - 960 x 1280 dots, picture quality set to 'super fine'. With these settings you get a jpeg of 440 kb. Taking about six of these sized pictures will fill your handset's memory (better start thinking about that memory card purchase). more...

Sunday, July 02, 2006

First impressions

The Sharp 770SH arrived with me by next day special delivery. Vodaphone were true to their word: delivery within four days. (To discuss the handset properly, Vodaphone have to be mentioned – it’s exclusive to their network.) I had ordered online but of course you can also purchase instore, however, the monthly tariffs are more favourable with online purchases: about £5 cheaper on all the deals.

Inside the box:
1 Sharp 770SH handset
1 Lion battery
1 AC recharger
1 SIM card
1 Set of headphones
1 User manual

The SIM card was deceptively glued to the side of the box so it took about 10 minutes before I found it and figured out how to insert it. The first thing that’s apparent when you go to assemble it is that there’s no memory card (I spent a while looking at the holding clip wondering how the SIM would fit in their before I noticed another slot behind the battery). Instantly you start to wonder how much is that going to cost.

The good news though, is the battery comes precharged so it was ready for use right away. However, I don’t think it was full of juice because after playing around with it for a short time I had to plug it into the mains.

Colour. As the photos show, it’s silver. The only aspect that disappointed me was that only the front part is actually metal, while the back cover is plastic. One reason I had edged over to the Sharp camp away from Motorola was that the casing seemed more sturdy and that with the metal exterior it would prove more durable.

Also, I’d red that the handset comes in red, black and silver. There was no option when ordering but I think silver is the best. (Did anyone buy that red Ferrari model? Come on, red is for cars not phones.)

Overall I’m satisfied at this stage: delivered on time, well packaged, well presented and ready for use. more...