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Sharp Aquos Hybrid 007SH Android clamshell phone set for US

Sharp's Aquos Hybrid 007SH clamshell Android phone is coming to the US, according to FCC documents just released. Fingers crossed for a UK release.

Sharp could be very close to launching its Hybrid 007SH clamshell phone in the US, according to documents that have shown up at the FCC and reported by Engadget.

We knew one Aquos phone was imminent, but the Japanese company had been rather cagey about exactly which handset would grace the world stage.

It's now clear that Sharp's latest retro clamshell effort will be the one leaving Japan. Nothing gets past the Federal Communications Commission, so it's a good indication of what gadgetry is about to hit the market.

We're not sure the Hybrid is the best export choice though, compared to the hot-looking SH-12C Android handset, with its 4.2-inch touchscreen and 3D cameras. That said, the quirky 007SH is no pushover.

Taking a closer look at the specs reveal some very tasty treats. First up, it's impossible to ignore that 16-megapixel camera. Yes, yes, it's not all about the megapixels, but c'mon, that's still impressive. Most other phone cameras pack 8- or maybe 12-megapixels and, aside from HTC rumours, this would be a mobile first.

The Hybrid has a 3.4-inch, 3D-capable touchscreen with 480x854-pixel resolution. That's no iPhone 4, but it's not far off. The screen can be flipped through 180 degrees and folded back on itself, allowing it to be used exclusively as a touchscreen phone, albeit a slightly chunky one. And it runs Android 2.3. It's even waterproof (within reason) which we're sure must be useful for someone.

It's certainly an interesting phone. There's something both retro and cutting edge about it, all at once. It's a Marmite mobile (only in shiny metallic blue and not sticky dark brown) -- some are sure to love it; others will think it's an impostor, pretending to be a touchscreen Android phone but all foldy-uppy with it.

We can't definitely say it's headed to the UK, but we'd really like to test it out.

What do you think? Is Sharp on to a winner with this one?