At approximately 5 ounces, the FX is actually slightly lighter than the roughly 5.96-ounce Motorola Droid and Droid 2. The FX is approximately 2.2 inches wide, 4.5 inches tall and 0.6 inches thick. That makes the Sharp FX slightly narrower and shorter than the Motorola Droid and 2, although just a hair thicker than those handsets.
The touch screen dial-pad has large, easy-to-use keys and the screen itself is very responsive. The backlit keys on the slide-out QWERTY keyboard are raised to help users text by touch, and they feel solid and well-made. In addition to the QWERTY keyboard, there are three navigation keys on the exterior bottom end of the handset. There is a headset jack on the lower left side of the phone, a volume rocker key on the upper left side of the phone, and a 2.0-megapixel camera on the upper back of the phone. On the right side of the phone, there is a lock key near the top to illuminate the screen and bring up animation that prompts users to unlock the screen. And there is a camera key on the bottom right side to activate the camera and camcorder.
Sharp doesn't make many cell phones for Americans, aside from the better T-Mobile-branded Sidekicks and Microsoft's failed Kin. Now Sharp is stamping its logo on the FX, a messaging and mobile TV phone on AT&T that attempts to bring some of the Sidekick's magic over from T-Mobile. Like other FLO TV-powered devices, the FX is a nifty little television set.
The Sharp FX looks a few decades old, with its cluttered design, sharp edges, and numerous accent grooves. The FX's flat membrane keyboard was too stiff, and somehow managed to feel cramped despite the large keys. Other calling features didn't fare that well either. Calls sounded fine through an Aliph Jawbone Icon Bluetooth headset. I couldn't test picture quality, thanks to a subscription snafu on my test handset. AT&T also requires a $20-per-month combination of messaging and data services with the Sharp FX. We're slightly less aggravated with the FX, because at least it offers two tricks the iPhone doesn't—broadcast mobile TV (at extra cost) and a hardware keyboard. The iPhone 3GS lacks mobile TV and a hardware keyboard, but it has a bigger screen, better call quality and reception, vastly superior music and video playback, can run over 200,000 apps, and can record 640-by-480-pixel videos at 30 frames per second.