When yesterday we reported about the announcement of the Sharp Aquos Crystal and Sprint’s upcoming “Take the edge off” event in New York, we had a feeling that the two were somehow connected. And we weren’t mistaken. Earlier today during the said event Sprint confirmed that it will be adding Sharp’s new offering to its portfolio. The phone also will be coming to Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile later this year.
Sprint unveils the Sharp Aquos Crystal
The Aquos Crystal will be available for purchase on August 29th with pre-order possibly starting today. Wondering how much you will have to pay to get your hands on the phone? Not that much actually. Suggested retail price is set at $239.99 and Sprint will offer the handset for $0 down (plus tax) with 24 monthly payments of $10 with Easy Pay. Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile customers will be able to grab the handset for $149.99 with no contract required.
What sets the Aquos Crystal apart from other mid-range phones, and high-end too for that matter, is its incredible screen-to-body ratio. The screen takes up as much as 78.21% of the front panel which was possible to achieve thanks to virtually non-existent top and side bezels. That said, the phone’s 720p display measures 5 inches diagonally but the device itself has dimensions comparable to the Moto G which features a 4.5-inch screen.
The Aquos Crystal also comes with a few cool features aimed specifically at music lovers. To start with, it packs a Harman Kardon sound effects engine when in headset mode, with support for “Clari-Fi” which is technology used for restoring of information lost when compressing music. The phone also offers “LiveStage” streaming, native compatibility with the Harman Kardon ONYX Studio Bluetooth speaker and Direct Wave Receiver technology, which uses the display panel to create sound for phone calls.
Powered by a 1.2 GHz Snapdragon 400 processor, the Aquos Crystal sports 1.5 GB of RAM and 8 GB of internal memory expandable up to 128 GB via microSD slot. For photography experience the device has an 8-megapixel main camera with 1080p video capture and a 1.2-megapixel user-facing shooter which is located below the screen. The 2,040 mAh battery may seem on a low side; however, thanks to Sharp’s IGZO technology used in the display, the phone will be able to deliver up to three days of usage time. The OS of choice for the Aquos Crystal is Android 4.4.2 KitKat.
Sharp’s very first Aquos phone released in the US will come with a new service called App Pass which is sort of an app renting option. It works in a very simple way. Your monthly bill is increased by $4.99 and the extra cost goes towards the purchase of a wide selection of premium apps such as OfficeSuite 7 Pro, Camera Zoom FX, Minuum Keyboard, CamScanner, Color & Draw for Kids and more.
The Aquos Crystal together with App Pass is the result of cooperation between Softbank and Sprint. Since the relationship is still pretty fresh, it’s hard to tell how it will develop; however, for now it looks very promising.
more info: Sprint