Two months ago Sprint announced that they would be the official launch partner for a new comer device from Sharp. The Sharp AQUOS Crystal as it is aptly named is rather interestingly design Android powered phone with a very unique edge-to-edge screen that dominates the upper section of the phone.
The AQUOS Crystal offers up an edge-to-edge 5-inch screen with a resolution of 1280 x 720. It packs a 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400, 1.5GB of RAM, 8GB internal storage and a micro SD slot with support for a 128GB card. The device offers a 2040 mAh battery that is rated for 13 hours of talk time. As for photos, you get a 8MP rear camera with flash and a fairly standard 1.2MP front facing camera. (Yes, it is down at the bottom.) It also launches with Android 4.4.
Sharps big push is the AQUOS Crystal design. However, in their promo video for the device, they spend a great deal of time talking about the camera software and the audio. In the audio department the AQUOS Crystal boasts Harman/Kardon LiveStage technology mixed with CLARI-FI. The CLARI-FI technology is said to restore all types of compressed digital music back to their original sound quality. Another sound achievement, or difference compared to other devices in the market, is how you hear your calls. There is no earpiece speaker. Rather it uses the entire screen panel as a speaker. They call it a direct wave receiver.
On the camera side of things Sharp has put some pretty cool features inside. You get the usual smile detection , panorama shot and sequential shot options, but you also get framing advisor and night catch. Framing advisor helps new, and seasoned, photographers use various grid overlays to set up image composition.
Kind of cool really. Night catch will brighten backgrounds and the subjects to help you take better shots in low light situations.
Overall the Sharp AQUOS Crystal packs quite a few things that make it a stand out device. Possibly the most impress thing is that the device is listed for $149.99 with Boost Mobile and is available today. The press release lists that it is also available for the same $149.99 price tag for Sprint Pre-Paid, but I am not seeing on the pre-paid site just yet. However, it is live at Best Buy and will be at Radio Shack on October 21st. It will be making its way to Sprint on October 17th for $0 down and monthly payments of $10. The suggested retail price is $239.99.