Hands-On: SHARP AQUOS R8s pro & AQUOS Sense8 First Impressions!

Fridges, microwaves, and televisions are just a few of the items offered by the SHARP brand. But beyond home electronics, the company also offers smartphones. Enter the AQUOS R8s pro and AQUOS Sense8, which are SHARP’s newest devices for 2024!

The AQUOS R8s pro arrives as the company’s flagship smartphone, armed with notable features for gamers and movie enthusiasts. Meanwhile, the AQUOS Sense8 touts itself as a practicality king, durable exteriorly and in battery life, whilst being lightweight. 

We recently got hands-on experience with both devices, so follow along as we delve deeper into what you can get with SHARP’s latest line of smartphones.

AQUOS R8s pro

The SHARP AQUOS R8s pro is an unassuming-looking phone. Clad in just a single black variant, there isn’t a lot you can glean just from seeing it, but SHARP is equipping it with big features internally.

Let’s talk about the display first. It has a 6.6-inch screen — a fairly generous size, but there are other features tied to it. It is a Pro IGZO OLED display, which SHARP says provides a 2,000 nit peak brightness alongside Dolby Vision and Atmos support. All of this suggests that this makes for an excellent device to binge-watch your movies and TV shows in one sitting, particularly since the phone comes with a massive 5,000mAh battery.

But that isn’t the biggest highlight of the display. That goes to the refresh rate, which goes up to 240Hz; a massive number for a smartphone. This performance is especially good for gaming, which is why SHARP eagerly let people try some Genshin Impact on it to showcase its prowess during our hands-on. Unsurprisingly, the gameplay was silky smooth, and the game’s vibrant colours showed well on the display too.

AQUOS R8s pro & AQUOS Sense8 Preview: AQUOS R8s pro Gaming
With the 240Hz screen refresh rate and Dolby support, the AQUOS R8s pro presents itself as the ultimate media and gaming device

One thing to note is that it doesn’t use the latest processor. Instead, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip powers the phone, which is still a reasonably powerful CPU. Plus, it comes with 12 GB of RAM. SHARP also touts a unique heat-releasing system to ensure performance stays consistent for gaming without overheating. 

On the back, rather than having its cameras off to one side as most phones do, the SHARP AQUOS R8s pro’s rear camera is smacked right into the centre. It isn’t a design choice I’m entirely sold on, but under the hood, there are some decent specs. And yes, it is just one camera—a 47.2-megapixel camera with a 1-inch sensor, to be exact. The other smaller camera circle off on the side is a depth sensor. 

With the 47.2 megapixels, you get sharper visuals from your shots, while the larger image sensor helps capture more light in darker environments. Among the features included with the cameras are Starry mode and Fireworks mode, which help capture stars and fireworks in the nightscape respectively. I wasn’t able to test out the camera’s night performance as it was a day event, but typical shots have sharp detail while veering towards a more natural look for the photos.

AQUOS R8s pro & AQUOS Sense8 Preview: AQUOS R8s pro Camera
The big feature of the rear camera is the large 1-inch sensor

Users can also equip external camera lens filters to enhance the look of their photos with the help of a case and connection adapter. One is a cross filter that turns light sources into a cross shape, providing a more dream-like look. 

The last two details I noted from my hands-on experience with the SHARP AQUOS R8s pro are that it uses an aluminium build and has a headphone jack. The aluminium build, despite feeling cheaper, contributes to a lighter weight for what is a big device. Meanwhile, it’s great to see a headphone jack in a phone in 2024.

AQUOS Sense8

While the AQUOS R8s pro may seem to be the one to look out for, being SHARP’s flagship device and all, the true star of the event was actually the AQUOS Sense8. 

If there were a modern version of the indestructible Nokia phone, this would be it. The AQUOS Sense8 may be similarly fitted with an aluminium body, but this phone is made to be sturdy—complying with 16 MIL military regulations.

Around the preview event, it almost seemed like a competition to try and break the phone. The first station was a drop test, and a representative demonstrated its ability to withstand a 1.2-metre drop onto a plywood plank. Multiple plummets onto the hardwood, and the phone was just as brand new.

AQUOS R8s pro & AQUOS Sense8 Preview: AQUOS Sense8 Drop Test
Drop test showing the AQUOS Sense8’s sturdiness

Another station showcased its waterproof capabilities, with the phone wholly submerged in water and still functioning. That isn’t all. On the right, there was another AQUOS Sense8 in a kettle with 45°C hot water—it simply ran as though it were normal. SHARP also says it works on the opposite end of the temperature scale, having subjected the phone to temperature tests ranging from -20°C to 52°C. 

But that isn’t even the most extreme showcase of its hardiness. For the last station, SHARP casually placed the phone in a dishwasher and let it be thoroughly blasted with water jets. I needed to squint to see through the soaked screen, but the AQUOS Sense8 indeed was still working through the glass. A representative there does say that SHARP does not recommend people do this; try telling JerryRigEverything about that.

Durability usually comes with increased weight, but the AQUOS Sense8 remains featherlight at 159 grams. To put that into perspective, they compared the phone’s weight to that of an apple—the phone was the obvious winner.

Sturdiness aside, the AQUOS Sense8’s specs line up with what you can get in the mid-range tier. The back features a dual 50-megapixel primary and an 8-megapixel ultra-wide camera system, while the front also uses an IGZO OLED display that measures 6.1 inches—no Dolby support here, though. Internally, the phone is powered by a Snapdragon 6 Gen 1 processor alongside 8GBs of RAM and likewise has a 5000mAh battery capacity.

Unlike the AQUOS R8s pro, the AQUOS Sense8 has three colour options: Cobalt Black, Light Copper (which has a pinkish hue), and Pale Green. Personally, I think the Pale Green variant looks the best. 

AQUOS R8s pro & AQUOS Sense8 Preview: AQUOS Sense8 Colours
Cobalt Black, Pale Green, and Light Copper variants on show


SHARP’s new smartphones offer many surprises, notably the AQUOS Sense8’s cartoonishly durable capabilities. The AQUOS R8s pro’s feature set also presents a unique proposition for gaming. It will be interesting to see how mobile gamers react to it.

The AQUOS R8s pro and sense8 are now available on the SHARP CocoroLife estore at S$1,099 and S$518, respectively. They will also be available at selected outlets of Best Denki, Challenger, Courts and Dealer stores islandwide from 3 June 2024.

Photos by Russell Loh of the DANAMIC Team.

Russell Matthew Loh

Watcher of films and player of games. Dabble with writing in between.

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