No, you don't need to turn the Sharp Aquos Crystal around to take a phone call

No, you don't need to turn the Sharp Aquos Crystal around to take a phone call
For those among us that were not aware of the way Sharp makes smartphones, the Aquos Crystal was quite unsettling at first. We remember when we first started paying attention to the company's outland-ish, bezel-less phones some time ago -- they looked like something straight out of a Sci-Fi flick.

Now, whether you'll end up liking the Sprint-bound Aquos Crystal is a matter of taste. Our observations so far are that people either downright love the design, or outright reject it. Either way, it's undeniable that Sharp is creating intriguing hardware, but we noticed that quite some people were worried about the practicality of it.

Unsurprisingly, top on that list is one simple question: "Where the heck is the earpiece?!". That's understandable, for the Crystal appears to have skipped on such an essential piece of hardware. In fact, so big is the confusion, that many thought that what is actually the loudspeaker on the bottom is really the earpiece, and that you'll have to turn around the entire phone in order to take calls. The answer, however, is different.

See, the Aquos Crystal really doesn't have an earpiece on the top like pretty much every other phone on the planet. But you won't have to turn it around to pick up a call. Instead, the company is using a direct wave receiver which actually vibrates the entire screen in order to create sound, a bit like bone conduction headphones (e.g. Google Glass).

One pro for that approach (apart from untying the hands of the design and engineering teams) that Sharp is fond of bringing up is that it doesn't matter where you place your ear, so long as it is on the screen. Regardless, we can't help but wonder about call quality. What's more, seeing as the proximity sensor is located on the bottom, the Crystal's software is basically forced to lock the screen during calls to prevent misclicks, and we still don't know how well that will work in the long run. But, hey, those are questions that will be answered another day. For now, just relax knowing that you won't look a fool whenever talking on the Crystal.



Related phones

AQUOS Crystal
  • Display 5.0" 720 x 1280 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 1.2 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 400, Quad-core, 1200 MHz
  • Storage 8 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 2040 mAh(13h talk time)

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30 Comments

1. Ashoaib

Posts: 3309; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

thats innovative

3. techperson211

Posts: 1280; Member since: Feb 27, 2014

Now this is amazing!! Innovation at it's finest!!! Kudos Sharp!

17. itsdeepak4u2000

Posts: 3718; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

Keeping mum about the innovation unlike Apple. Though I'm more concerned about call quality and battery life as it uses a direct wave receiver which actually vibrates the entire screen in order to create sound.

12. AnTuTu

Posts: 1622; Member since: Oct 14, 2012

Great device by Sharp :)

21. Sealblaighter

Posts: 430; Member since: Jan 26, 2014

Hi! Do you want to buy a good quality made in Japan smart phone? Well, I can help you! There are some sites, from where you can buy smart phones from the largest Japanese carrier, Ntt Docomo. You can go and visit kyoex(dot)com.(I can not post links).

26. SamDroid unregistered

How much do they pay you?

30. Sealblaighter

Posts: 430; Member since: Jan 26, 2014

Nope, I am just a huge Japanese smart phone fan. :D Why they would pay me if they do not want to enter in global markets(at least not yet)?

2. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

Now THAT'S COOL I wonder how the quality is though.

4. amiaq

Posts: 509; Member since: Jun 30, 2012

Ahh glad other company do this first rather than apple start claiming it is their invention and patent it.

5. techperson211

Posts: 1280; Member since: Feb 27, 2014

That's what I'm thinking when I wrote down my comment. Hahahaha +1.

6. HugoBarraCyanogenmod

Posts: 1412; Member since: Jul 06, 2014

Phone from Japan is a big NO for me

7. mixedfish

Posts: 1567; Member since: Nov 17, 2013

Too bad for you, it's made in China.

10. xperiaDROID

Posts: 5629; Member since: Mar 08, 2013

LOL...you're just a troll. People in China buy Sony phones as well and they didn't say the same as you. You should go out more often, there are probably many things you don't know about.

11. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

I don't know what your Chinese government propaganda says, but Japanese people don't what anything bad for you. Just the fact that you were in war in the past makes you hate them? Dude. Finland has been enemies with basically all of its neighbours. And now what? We're the best friends even with the mighty Russia, because we know that they are extremely important for our economy for example.

22. Sealblaighter

Posts: 430; Member since: Jan 26, 2014

Hate is not healthy, do not forget what I said. Just forget the past. Japan is now "punished", because they do not want to marry and have children. At this rate, the population will be only half within around 30 years.

27. Ashoaib

Posts: 3309; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

do you need to speak it out and show your foolishness... if you dont like japan, no problem, dont like but plz dont spit it out infront of us (PA users)

8. deamzdoll

Posts: 2; Member since: Sep 17, 2013

the bottom of the phone is kept like that for Apple to eliminate it in future and declare a patent for a complete bezel less device,i really wonder!,when they can apply directwave technology for the earpiece,its questionable why they failed to hide the visible sensors panel at the bottom,microphone can be placed at the frame build,similarly the proximity and image sensor too under the screen,couldn't understand the logic in full,they developed the bulb and still saying a candle is better then the bulb.

9. twens

Posts: 1184; Member since: Feb 25, 2012

All this is going to hurt android OEMS at the midrange level. Anyways, it will only force them to make better phones. The screen only can make you take this over some flagship devices.

13. Cyberchum

Posts: 1111; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

one of the pros of small bezels is compatibility/one handed usability. Now the bottom bezel is a big NO, half of it could've gone to the top. Don't get me wrong, it's a nice device but it could've been better. I don't know how this will look in a case, hope the frame is made of Kevlar or carbon fiber.

14. Zapp_B

Posts: 31; Member since: Jun 02, 2014

I became obsessed with this phone the moment i saw it.

15. xondk

Posts: 1904; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

Definitly new and interesting, however I see some practical problems. And I seem to recall somewhere being mentioned that the vibrations can give durability problems, could be that they have fixed it though. As for the misclick thing while calling, a lot of telephone services, or support phone numbers require you to enter numbers to get to the right destination, Hopefully there is practical way of doing this that doesn't trigger the proximity sensor constantly or what it has. So it is going to be interesting once this phone gets into the hands of consumers and they can give feedback, since I have absolutely no clue if this kind of phone will be practical for actual phone usage.

16. irbaaz

Posts: 175; Member since: Mar 27, 2014

It has been a long time when i read a article about that technology Now seen it on phone , really appreciable..

18. osaFromJava

Posts: 35; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

Sharp is The Thing in japan.. You know..JAPAN..the holy land of technology. No wonder they make such innovative phone

19. tomn1ce

Posts: 248; Member since: Mar 12, 2012

Nice piece of hardware and about time that sharp brings their smartphones to the USA. I hope this is only the first of many to come. Nice price, $250......

20. JC557

Posts: 1925; Member since: Dec 07, 2011

I thought the Kyocera hydro or something used a similar tech in lieu of an earpiece. Some reviewers managed to still get decent call quality through a helmet.

23. JEverettnow

Posts: 228; Member since: Mar 11, 2013

This is shaping up to be a solid midrange phone. You can't get much better for $250. I can't wait until they ship it to us so I get to use it. Hopefully sales are good so they send us the 1080p version as well. I'm wondering if Son and the new CEO of sprint are going to start bringing phones in from Sony and other manufacturers.

24. amats69

Posts: 1527; Member since: Nov 12, 2012

this phone is so weird (headless) ..lol but kudos to sharp for that innovation!

25. Rocket

Posts: 705; Member since: Feb 24, 2014

Nice phone, great price :)

28. gigaraga

Posts: 1454; Member since: Mar 29, 2013

This phone is actually more revolutionary than i thought. Really nice.

29. Venkatramanan

Posts: 327; Member since: Aug 15, 2014

@gigaraga, i really surprise by seeing your comments. i thought You will praise only the innovations are done by Samsung. Anyway i like it. Keep it up.

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