A Review of The Sharp Aquos Crystal

Last updated: January 2018.

The Sharp Aquos Crystal Review

A1 (1)

With display sizes growing larger, thin bezels are an important element that can keep the device manageable.  We are still a while away from bezel-less phones but one company that is coming close is Sharp with their Sharp Aqous Crystal.

With a unique design that features ultra-thin bezels, the Sharp Aquos stands out in the mid-range smartphone market.  While this phone is not without issues, for its low price, it is a device to consider.

Design

  • The front of the Sharp Aquos Crystal has practically no bezels around it’s display. The only one is the bottom chin, which is rather large, but this is necessary to get a mostly bezel-less design.
  • Since there is nothing on top, the features usually found there were moved to the bottom, including the camera and notification LED.
  • As the camera is placed on the bottom, this can take getting used to as, if you want to take a selfie you’re going to have to hold the phone upside down.

A2

  • There is no earpiece on top. To hear voice calls, the Sharp Aquos Crystal has a digital wave receiver.  The digital wave receiver makes the display vibrate and these vibrations become sound.  By placing your ear anywhere in the display, you can hear the other person speak.  This technology works very well.
  • The back cover is removable and by removing it you can get to the microSD slot and a SIM Slot. The battery isn’t removable though.
  • A3
  • The volume rocker of the Sharp Aquos Crystal is placed on the left side while the power button and headphone jack are on top. The micro USB port is on the bottom of the device.
  • The Sharp Aquos Crystal gives a great in-hand experience. It feels small and compact in your hand and is easy to operate one handed.

Display

  • The Sharp Aquos Crystal has a 5-inch display. The display has a 720p  resolution for a pixel density of 294 ppi.
  • This is standard for mid-range smartphones and it offers a decent picture with good saturation and contrast. The viewing angles are good as well.
  • The content can go from edge to edge due to the thin bezels and this ensures that playing games or watching videos on the Sharp Aquos Crystal is very immersive.
  • A4

Performance and Hardware

  • The Sharp Aquos Crystal uses a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor which clockes at 1.2 GHz. This is backed with a Adreno 305 GPU with 1.5 GB of RAM.
  • While you start out with 8 GB of internal storage, you can expand this to 128 GB with a microSD card.
  • The processing package of the Sharp Aquos Crystal is quite common to mid-range phones and provides decent performances.
  • For basic activities, the Sharp Aquos Crystal does perform as well as expected. But, the performance can slow down if you are using the device for extensive gaming or multitasking.
  • While performance isn’t bad, it’s not the best, especially considering the available processing package.
  • Battery performance also leaves something to be desired. The Sharp Aquos Crystal uses a 2,040 mAh battery.  It is very difficult to get a full day of use.  Even with light usage, there’s only about 3 hours of screen-on time.

Camera

  • The Sharp Aquos Crystal has a 8 MP rear camera that has an LED flash. It also has a 1.2 MP front camera.
  • Software is nice. When you open it initially is seems clean and simple to use.  But it actually has a lot of available settings including different filters and scene modes which let you play with the shot and get it exactly to your liking.
  • Unfortunately, photo quality is poor. Shots taken are muddy with soft details and much noise, even if the lighting is good.
  • Colors are bad and even HDR can’t improve the washed out feel,

Software

  • The Sharp Aquos Crystal uses Android 4.4 Kitkat with only a few software additions.
  • Has Harman Kardon’s Clari-Fi audio which is an enhancement to be used when using headphones or Bluetooth.
  • Clip Now is a feature that enables you to capture a screenshot by swiping the top of the display
  • Frame Effect makes the screen glow or flash at the ring of an alarm or if your phone is plugged and charging. You can also make the screen glow on the edges when the phone is turned on.  This feature looks great with the no-bezels design.

 

Currently, the Sharp Aquos Crystal is available as a pre-paid smartphone from Sprint for around $149.99.  It is set to come soon to both Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile.  The Sharp Aquos Crystal can only connect to CDMA networks but it does allow you to use Sprint’s Spark network for internet.

At only $150, the Sharp Aquos Crystal is a great smartphone to consider, especially if you’re on a budget.  While the phone can be improved in terms of its camera and with its battery life, it does perform well.  What makes it stand out the most is its unique design language.  Sharp has been the first to achieve almost bezel-less design and this is something that could become a design norm in the future.

A5 (Final)

What do you think of the Sharp Aquos Crystal?

JR.

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