Sharp Aquos Crystal

posted Oct 14, 2014, 8:34 AM by Barny CK
It looks like Japanese companies want in on the smartphone bandwagon. But as always, theirs are always a class different, for better or worse. The Sharp Aquos Crystal is a collaboration between Sharp and Softbank Mobile. Recently, the phone was launched in the US with mixed reviews. 

For one, the Sharp Aquos Crystal is polished on the outside but underpowered on the inside.  Being a television producer, their key strength would definitely be the display. The phone sports a 5-inch, 1280 by 720 pixel, 293ppi display which stretches all the way to the top. In a glance, it almost appear frameless. Also, the US version comes with Direct Wave Receiver. What this means is that Sharp has removed the traditional earpiece for phone calls and instead emits sounds by vibrating the screen surface. The phone comes with a 8MP rear camera that can shoot full HD video at 30fps and a 1.2MP front camera with 720p video quality. Because the phone screen goes all the way to the top, the front camera is located at the bottom near the home button instead. This is somewhat awkward because the camera angle is from the bottom up which makes for some unflattering selfie shots. You know what I mean. 

Although the Sharp Aquos Crystal runs the latest Android KitKat 4.4.2, it is powered by a 1.2GHz 4 core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400, which is a far cry from almost all new smartphones which are running Snapdragon 805 that clocks in 2.7GHz. For storage, the phone has internally 8GB and it also comes with microSD card slot for an expandable space of up to 128GB. Phone RAM is 1.5GB and it's quite insufficient. I think the biggest disappointment is that the phone does not support GSM. GSM is widely used worldwide and I personally think Sharp was not wise to have left that out. 

All in all, it's really hard to see this phone succeeding in the vicious smartphone market, much less surviving in it. I kinda admire Japanese products but maybe they are compromising too much with this phone on too many areas. I fear, the lure of TV quality screen phones may not be enough to woo consumers over. Just look at Samsung. But as I always like to do, let's wait and see.