Recent progress of the coherent light synthesis technology has brought the generation of single-cycle pulses within our reach. To exploit the full potential of such a single-cycle pulse in any applications, it is highly important to obtain the full information of its electric field. Here we propose a novel pulse characterization scheme, which enables us to determine not only the intensity and phase profiles of ultrashort pulses but also their absolute carrier-envelope phase values. The method is based on a combination of frequency-resolved optical gating and electro-optic sampling, which can be extended to a self-referencing scheme to determine the electric field evolution of few-cycle ultrashort pulses. We have experimentally demonstrated the technique to characterize sub-single-cycle infrared pulses, and numerically studied the capability of the scheme to incorporate a self-referencing technique and to extend the wavelength range to visible region.