If you need further proof of how the Japanese keep the best to themselves, then here's yet another fine example to fuel your jealousy. Sharp's recently launched AQUOS SH-01D is one of the few -- if not the first -- Android phones that feature optical image stabilization, and this is all thanks to the company's new 12.1 megapixel, 1/3.2-inch CMOS camera module. The demo videos are plenty impressive, but naturally, we had to see for ourselves to really believe it, so playstyle.hk kindly lent us an SH-01D for a quick and dirty hands-on.

As per typical NTT DoCoMo Android phones, our SH-01D suffered from minor lags due to the heavy OS customization; but leaving that aside we dug its 4.5-inch 1,280 x 720 ASV display and its overall build quality. We then quickly moved on to the camera: while image stabilization is available for both photo and video modes, don't expect it to fully compensate your shakiness -- you'll see below that we ended up with a few slightly blurry stills at night, which isn't surprising; but regardless, we got plenty of vibrant colors in most cases.

The stabilization is more noticeable in video mode, and it's definitely more effective than the Droid RAZR's implementation -- we got some sample clips after the break for your viewing pleasure. There's no telling when other phones will get this technology, but if you want a taste of the future then you can grab an SH-01D from playstyle.hk for HK$5,500 or about US$708.
Gallery | 15 Photos

Sharp AQUOS SH-01D hands-on


Gallery | 9 Photos

Sharp AQUOS SH-01D sample shots


With optical image stabilization (please choose 1080p playback for best result):



Without optical image stabilization (please choose 1080p playback for best result):



Single-hand shake test (please choose 720p playback for best result):