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printed July 22, 2014
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Review: Sharp FX

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The QMD lineup at AT&T is a puzzling mix. They all have QWERTY keyboards, and some have touch screens as well. The FX falls into this latter category. I suppose the primary target for QMDs -- tweens and teens -- might like the SMS/MMS and IM capabilities, and not care much about the weak (and costly) email support.

I have a harder time believing that same demographic is going to be as happy about the limited support for social networks, such as Twitter, Facebook and MySpace. Yes, they'll be able to read what their friends are up to and post their own updates, but the real interactivity of social networks is missing here.

The phone also fails at a lot of the basics. Phone calls were inconsistent, data speeds were slow, and the screen was just not competitive.

The camera produces fair pictures, but offers no frills whatsoever (perhaps it is a good thing there's no native Facebook picture support?). The video camera is so bad it is almost not worth using.

The music player works fine, though it, too, has no advanced features. The web browser is downright awful, one of the slowest I've ever used.

Still, there are some redeeming qualities to the FX. It has a good keyboard, and battery life is decent if you don't watch any mobile TV. It may a bit big, and the slider a bit loose, but otherwise the hardware controls work well.

For my money, the $99 price tag makes the FX a no-go. AT&T offers a wide range of QMDs for free, or much cheaper than the FX's price tag.

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