Sharp announced a new line of devices called Aquos Crystal, which will be available at Japanese carrier Softbank, and in the USA through Sprint. It’s nice to see Sharp expanding beyond Japan, as most of their recent releases were aimed at domestic consumers. Now, thanks to the partnership with Sprint, this interesting smartphone will become available for American consumers, as well.
The Aquos Crystal will feature full-screen designs which are quite impressive. As many early reviewers have said, the 5-inch Aquos Crystal smartphone is a new mid-range device unlike anything else in the US carriers’ lineups. However, it comes with a single big appealing feature and that’s the almost bezel-free unusual design. Also, perhaps the fact that it’s going to sell for just $239 without a contract could be another appealing fact.
The Aquos Crystal comes with a 5-inch, 720p edge-to-edge display and there is virtually no bezel surrounding the screen. As some tech journalists have already said, this is basically the first smartphone that we can truly call “edge-to-edge”. However, it seems that the Aquos Crystal is a little thicker than most smartphones today.
It runs Android 4.4.2 KitKat, comes with a 1.2GHz quad-core processor, 1.5GB of RAM and 8GB of storage with a microSD card slot to expand on the internal storage. Sprint users will get HD voice, Wi-Fi calling, Harmon Kardon audio enhancements, and support the faster Spark LTE network. David Owens, senior vice president-Product Development for Sprint, said the following:
“The combined power of SoftBank and Sprint will bring our customers this high-end device for an extraordinarily value. We are thrilled to welcome Sharp to the U.S. wireless market. AQUOS Crystal will quickly become a must-have smartphone, showcasing Sharp’s strength in display technology.”
There’s also an Aquos Crystal X version with larger, 5.5-inch, 1080p phablet-style phone with a higher-end Snapdragon 801 processor. However, this model will sell only to Japanese buyers. Because of the ‘borderless display, the smartphone will feel smaller in your hands. Sharp says the smartphones were developed in conjunction with SoftBank and Sprint. Softbank has recently bought Sprint for approximately $21.6 billion, so this could be just the beginning of Japan-made smartphones invading the American market.
Sharp is obviously not in the top league of smartphone makers in the US, but it has been releasing interesting high-end handsets in Japan for years; and we only heard about them in the news, without having the chance to buying them. If you ask me, the Aquos branding is a little bit misleading, as it could make you believe that it comes with waterproof capabilities, such as the recently launched Sony Xperia M2 Aqua.