Sharp’s new Aquos Crystal smartphone is likely Sprint’s announcement tomorrow

It’s been quite a while since we’ve heard noise from Sharp in the mobile arena, but if their latest press release is any indication they could be the manufacturer behind Sprint’s latest smartphone. The Japanese company has announced the Sharp Aquos Crystal, a 5-inch smartphone with a “frame-less structure and crystal display.” They also have “crystal sound,” and other cheeky cliches you can expect them to exploit in their marketing campaign for the thing.

Sharp-Aquos-Crystal

The press release mentions that the model is a joint development between Sprint and Sharp, and that we can expect to see it launch for the former’s parent carrier Softbank in Japan. A United States launch is also “expected” says Sharp, and we can’t imagine tomorrow’s Sprint event in New York City is bringing us anything other than the Aquos Crystal. Sprint’s original event invite urged us to “take the edge off,” likely alluding to the device’s edge-to-edge display, and was designed with some of the very same styling you see in the wallpaper of the Aquos Crystal above.

Here are the known specs of the thing so far:

  • 5-inch 1280 x 720 edge-to-edge display
  • 1.2GHz Snapdragon 400 processor
  • 1.5GB of RAM
  • 8GB of internal storage
  • Android 4.4.2 KitKat
  • Harman-Kardon audio
  • Battery life advertised for up to 3 days (2,040 mAh)

Not the most exciting spec sheet we’ve ever laid eyes on, but not the most terrible either. The press release mentions that pre-sales begin tomorrow and that the device will launch on August 29th, though it wasn’t clear whether those dates were for Softbank, Sprint or both.

Sharp also revealed the Aquos Crystal X, which is the smartphone I’m betting we all wish Sprint was getting instead of the entry-level offering mentioned above. This bad boy is a 5.5-inch device with 1080p resolution, a Snapragon 801 processor, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage and more. It’s also adopting Sharp’s whole “crystal display and sound” qualifications, so it should turn out to be a nice option for folks who are looking for something different.

Sharp-Aquos-Crystal-X

Unfortunately the Aquos Crystal X is only planned for a Japan launch at this time, though they didn’t immediately rule out availability in other regions. They also don’t expect the device to be available until after the year turns, so there’s a chance things could change by the time it’s ready to launch. We’ll just have to hope Sprint makes an effort to get this bigger, more powerful brother onto their network at some point next year.

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  • J Cav the Great

    Harman-Kardon sound?! This is very tempting. If the Harman-Kardon M8 would of been released on Magenta I would of bought it in a heart beat. I ♥ Harman-Kardon!

    • EarlyMon

      Root and add the HK adsp and libraries to your T-Mobile M8, not difficult.

  • O’s Fan91

    The main problem I see with edge to edge is that holding a phone in your hand will make the touchscreen think you are constantly touching the sides. In a similar manner, I dont see how you can put a case on one. I hope I’m wrong on both accounts!

    • Del373

      It shouldn’t be too much of a problem so long as you just hold it by the sides. That’s how I hold my Galaxy Nexus anyway.

      • Tony Lai

        But Galaxy Nexus doesn’t have a screen that wraps to the edges.

    • J Cav the Great

      Those are valid points. A case would be a challenge looking to see what they think of….

  • Tony Lai

    Great design of the phone… more Japanese-only phones need to start coming overseas…

  • John Wisner

    The Snapdragon 400 processor seems to be last year’s model. Brand new phone should have a brand new 64bit process; just saying.

    • JaswinderSinghJammu

      Depending on the price it might do really well.

    • J Cav the Great

      SD400 should be okay with KitKat and Android L though… Android has evolve to the point where you dont need top tier specs to have a stable smooth experience… At least for stock android versions sans skins….

  • ac

    Oh man, put top tier specs in the Crystal, and it would be a hot seller. The Crystal X could compete, but not everyone seems to like the bigger phones.

    • No_Nickname90

      5 inch is a sweet spot for a frameless phone. Notice you said people don’t like “bigger phones” and not phones with larger screens.

      I think this phone could feel as small as a 4.5′ inch phone.

      • ac

        Yup. That is exactly what I meant. Whenever people have commented, since the Note series was released the biggest complaint is the physical size of the device, not necessarily the screen. LG changed the game with the G2 and G3.Sharp offering the crystal x with 5.5 screen, in a smaller form factor than the G3, could be a huge hit, if it were offered in the US. But that looks like a Japan exclusive. Phone Arena has the dimensions listed for the Crystal X and it is so close to the dimensions of the LG G2. A little wider and thicker, but height about the same. That is pretty awesome.

  • C-Law

    The kind of specs that will make the phone feel somewhat sluggish, especially in two years time. I feel like it may hurt Android’s image more than help it

    • jmscar82

      …who keeps a phone for 2 years?? haha..

    • Durin123

      Agreed. I have a friend who had a terrible experience with a very sluggish Android phone (not sure which). She had a cheap Android phones in ’09 and’ 10 and it drove her crazy, right into the iPhone’s arms. Before Ice Cream Sandwich (and especially before Honeycomb) Android made people upset with how it ran.

  • aranea100

    How hard is the screen? Without any bezel I’d think that any fall will result in cracking of the screen.

  • Sora

    Great, with more people (hopefully) using sharp, more ways to root, cuz sharp has a very locked down boatloader, (I’m sure softbank insists upon it)
    But sharp really needs to be more diligent with os updates if it wants to compete outside of Japan…1 update in 3 years isn’t going to cut it.

    My last phone was a mid ranged sharp on softbank (this reminds me of it) and a few things drove me crazy after 2 years, the extremely low internal storage (8 gigs is a little low, my phone was like 300-500megabites) little to none updates on software/OS, I couldn’t use wi-fi unless mobile networks were on (3g). Now I no longer use softbank, and have a high end phone with 64gigs of internal memory, 2 gigs of RAM, etc.
    I am sure sharp has changed some things since my old sharp but I doubt updates have changed.

  • Daniel

    Glad to see some Sharp phones making it out of Japan, I think they look awesome and welcome their presence in the EU/NA smartphone market!

  • No_Nickname90

    What is Harman-Kardon audio and why would I want it? I noticed it came with the HTC One M8. Now I’m seeing it in this budget phone.

    I see it’s a mix of hardware and software. Is the sound quality up there with Bose? I’ve never heard of them until it was bundled with the HTC One M8. Hmm…

    I’d like to test this power.