The Sharp Aquos Crystal will be also available on Sprint's prepaid brands Virgin Mobile (in Black) and Boost Mobile (in White). In both cases, the Aquos Crystal will be priced at $149.99 (approximately Rs. 9,100).
The highlight of Sharp's new Aquos Crystal smartphone is the nearly bezel-free touchscreen on device. The smartphone also sports Harman Kardon audio technologies.
The Aquos Crystal comes with a 5-inch S-CG Silicon LCD HD (720x1280 pixels) edge-to-edge display. The smartphone runs Android 4.4.2 KitKat out-of-the-box, and is powered by a 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 (MSM8926) coupled with 1.5GB of RAM. It comes with built-in 8GB storage, which is further expandable up to 128GB via microSD card.
The smartphone sports an 8-megapixel rear camera, while there is a 1.2-megapixel front camera also onboard. The rear camera comes with features such as scenery modes, framing advisor, night catch, HDR, Panorama, sequential shots, and shutter detect. Interestingly, the Sharp Aquos Crystal features the front-facing camera at the bottom of the front panel of the handset; something we also saw in the Sony Xperia ZL.
Sharp's Aquos Crystal packs a 2040mAh battery, which is rated to deliver up to 13 hours of talk time, while it measures 131x67x10mm and weighs 141 grams. The smartphone supports Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, Micro-USB, 3G, and 4G LTE connectivity options.
The Japanese electronics giant has sought to include some interesting audio features for Aquos Crystal users, with Harman's Clari-Fi audio restoration technology, and LiveStage signal processing for a 'lifelike headphone listening experience'. Sharp is also touting the Clip Now feature, which lets users take screenshots with a swipe and save them with an embedded URL for easy sharing.
Commenting on the launch, Yoshisuke Hasegawa, Executive Managing Officer of Sharp Corporation said, "US consumers have long trusted the Sharp Aquos brand to deliver exceptional picture quality. We are thrilled to introduce the first smartphone from Sharp's groundbreaking Aquos line of devices to be available in the US, with the launch of the Aquos Crystal Smartphone in the U.S. and Japan. The already successful Aquos brand is taking another step forward among US consumers by adding the Crystal smartphone, which marries innovative technology with a vibrant display, as customers have come to expect from Sharp Aquos products."While there are numerous interesting smartphones launched by Japanese and Taiwanese manufacturers in the far east that never see global availability, Sharp's Aquos Crystal marks one of the few such devices to make it to foreign shores. The move clearly shows Softbank's backing in Sprint, and the launch statement of David Owens, senior vice president-Product Development for Sprint, echoes this, "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 US wireless market. Aquos Crystal will quickly become a must-have smartphone, showcasing Sharp's strength in display technology."