Sharp AQUOS Crystal versus HTC One M8: first look

First impressions leave a lasting mark. That’s certainly true with smartphones, seeing that we’re naturally attracted to well-made, meticulously designed phones. Arguably one of the best in that department, the HTC One M8 is still one of the more prominent Android smartphones that is known most for its impeccable design – one that’s modern, while continuing to be premium in every way imaginable. Although it’s new to the scene, the Sharp AQUOS Crystal might be classified as a mid-ranger, but don’t let that notion fool you into thinking it’s going to be sub-par with its design.


Honestly, we can totally agree that these two Android-powered smartphones are memorable for their respective designs. Even though they’re different, they each bear their own unique set of qualities to make them a cut above the competition. The more we look at the two, the more it’s tough for us to concretely select a winner when it comes to design.

Naturally, the HTC One M8’s all-metal construction exudes a premium finish, more so than the matte plastic construction of the Sharp AQUOS Crystal – while giving it that sturdier feel in the hand. However, Sharp’s new phone amazes us for its unique quality of offering a very different looking edgeless display. HTC’s design for the One M8 is no doubt iconic, but we can say that the AQUOS Crystal has a distinct look of its own to stand out over other plastic-constructed smartphones.


Reading into their specs, we get more detail from the HTC One M8’s 5-inch 1080 x 1920 Super LCD-3 display. Well, it’s not to say that the 5-inch 720 x 1280 LCD screen of the Sharp AQUOS Crystal is bad, but it doesn’t have the same crisp details as we closely look at the HTC One M8’s screen. Nonetheless, from a normal viewing distance, it’s hard to tell which of them is superior.

Being a new player in the US smartphone market, we’re pleasantly surprised to notice the Crystal’s display flaunts several great qualities that rivals the panel used by the HTC One M8. In particular, they both have neutral color productions, wide-viewing angles, and strong brightness outputs – making them easy to view in all sorts of conditions. Obviously, the edgeless nature of the AQUOS Crystal’s display minimizes the amount of added real-estate to the phone, which makes it more compact in size – a truly remarkable quality to tell you the truth.


HTC pays more attention with its Sense 6.0 experience, since we feel it to be one of the more design-conscious custom interfaces for Android. Sporting a polished finish with everything, from its HTC BlinkFeed integration to the slick looking HTC widgets, there’s no arguing we prefer its presentation more than the stock Android 4.4.2 KitKat experience of the Sharp AQUOS Crystal.

Features-wise, there’s also no comparison between the two, as the HTC One M8 drives it home by providing several enhancement that deepen the overall experience. For example, its set of Motion Launch gestures are pretty useful in providing us quick access to some basic functions – like being able to quickly check the time, unlock the phone to the last thing we were doing, or voice dialing.

Processor and Memory

With its high-end, flagship status, the HTC One M8 benefits by having a more profound set of hardware – a speedier quad-core 2.3GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 SoC with 2GB of RAM. Meanwhile, it doesn’t surprise us to find the AQUOS Crystal outfitted with a mid-ranger esque quad-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor with 1.5GB of RAM. On the surface, the two offer nearly the same amount of responsiveness with basic tasks – like opening up apps, navigating through the homescreen, or surfing the web. However, we presume that the Sharp AQUOS Crystal might strain with more processor intensive stuff.

Unfortunately, one drawback for multimedia aficionados is that the AQUOS Crystal only comes with 8GB of internal storage – a stark contrast to the spacious 32GB offered by the HTC One M8, which can be supplemented thanks to its microSD card slot.


Now this is an interesting first look comparison, seeing that the Sharp AQUOS Crystal features a larger sized 8-megapixel camera – while the HTC One M8 has a 4-megapixel “Ultrapixel” camera. As much as we’d like to say that the higher count will attribute to more detail, it’s really tough to say until we actually snap similar photos and compare their qualities. However, we do feel as though that there’s more “fun” to be had with the HTC One M8’s camera, mainly because of its duo camera and the set of cool shooting modes/effects it has to offer shutterbugs.


As it currently stands, the HTC One M8 has already proven itself to be a viable contender in the competitive smartphone market. With its premium construction and high-end goodness quality, it’s constantly a device that’s always in the thick of things – even though it’s been available for some time now. On the opposite side of the spectrum, the Sharp AQUOS Crystal is entering the space with no established brand recognition in the US. However, Sharp might be able to dig itself a good foundation, since the AQUOS Crystal is priced competitively – while also astounding us for its unique edgeless display.

Related phones

iPhone 5s
  • Display 4.0" 640 x 1136 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 1.2 MP front
  • Processor Apple A7, Dual-core, 1300 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB
  • Battery 1570 mAh(10h 3G talk time)
One (M8)
  • Display 5.0" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 4 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 801, Quad-core, 2300 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 2600 mAh(20h 3G talk time)



1. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

Somehow Sharp made that dimple back look good :p

2. nebsif

Posts: 37; Member since: Jul 27, 2014

ur "solid" m8 is already chipping, gg, the bezel is strong in that one.

4. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

gg nw ez

12. vincelongman

Posts: 5745; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

And that is why more phones need to stop using aluminum Its soft, easy to scratch and chip Steel is much more durable

13. Ashoaib

Posts: 3309; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

I have seen aluminum chipping badly on my collegues iphone 5s.. luckily he broke his phone last week with an impact of fallen iron

16. medtxa

Posts: 1655; Member since: Jun 02, 2014

which is more scratch prone I wonder aluminum or polycarbonate?

22. vincelongman

Posts: 5745; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

They are very very similar, more or less the same

26. romeo1

Posts: 823; Member since: Jan 06, 2012

Scratches are easy to get on both but polycarbonate is more flexible so if you drop you phone it wouldn't dent as easily as aluminum. But aluminium feels more "premium". But the htc and sony phones made from polycarbonate also feels "premium" especially the xperia s with the nano coating

14. Ashoaib

Posts: 3309; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

m8 is looking like a phablet infront of sharp

17. medtxa

Posts: 1655; Member since: Jun 02, 2014

just see drop test for htc m8. just one drop and there is already scratch on the metal body, there is no way you can fix that. and you stuck with m8 metal chipping body forever. that's just really suck.

3. anuragudaybhat

Posts: 3; Member since: Nov 08, 2013

aquos with sense 6.0 might look awesome!!!

5. B-power

Posts: 258; Member since: Feb 22, 2014

May I ask why phonearena is comaring this mid-ranger to high-end phones. I know it has a very good design but what else is so good that it gets compared to high-end phones?

15. sgodsell

Posts: 7515; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

I think John V. went to the Sprint event and was carrying a HTC One (M8) to the event and using it as his daily driver. Actually you can see when he recorded the video comparison of the 2, that he was still at the event. So he did just that compare the one he had on him and the new Sprint Sharp device. I know you really can't compare a high-end to a mid-level phone like the Sharp. But you have to take it with a grain of salt as they say.

6. B-power

Posts: 258; Member since: Feb 22, 2014

Other than the price.

7. Python212

Posts: 363; Member since: Aug 13, 2014

Sharp AQUOS Crystal looks gorgeous! My beloved M8 looks like a damaged good next to it.

8. dorianb

Posts: 617; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

It's on Sprint, so fail. Tell me when the unlocked GSM version is available

9. drkarim

Posts: 19; Member since: Mar 29, 2014

Where is the speaker in sharp??

10. Genza

Posts: 576; Member since: Mar 12, 2014

The loud speaker is on the lower back side of the phone and they are using piezoelectric ceramic actuator connected to the phone’s screen module for the ear speaker. You can read this if you want to know more.

11. xplayer57

Posts: 34; Member since: Dec 24, 2012

Great article! That bezel less display *_*

18. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

If the aquous was 1080p with a s801 or s805 and thinner, I wouldn't care about the next Nexus. Too bad it's low end.

21. TheCynicalTechie

Posts: 78; Member since: Nov 19, 2012

They have a high-end version, it's will probably come to the US later.

24. cc2400

Posts: 74; Member since: Aug 21, 2014

they do have one. called aquos crystal x. 5.5" 1080p display, Snapdragon 801 chipset with a 2.3GHz processor and 2GB of RAM.

19. romeo1

Posts: 823; Member since: Jan 06, 2012

In videos on youtube it looked very uncomfortable to use probably because it has almost no bezel. I'll try it when its in the stores to see for myself. But i like the big bezel beneath so you can watch a movie comfortable

20. GalaxyS5

Posts: 430; Member since: Aug 05, 2014

I know it nearly has no bezels and it a piece of art and bla bla bla but frankly? it looks more like a 5 inch mini-tv than a smartphone, the M8 is huge for it's size but has many extras my only complaint and the main reason why I did not get an M8 was the camera and as i adore cameras my GS5 would seriously smoke the M8. back to the subject though, the M8 is really the better phone between these two but anyways gotta applaud sharp for this it's awesome

23. cc2400

Posts: 74; Member since: Aug 21, 2014

I really hope that it does well enough that we see more sharp phones here in the US. Sharp also makes a 5.5 version (named crystal x) of this phone, with even better internals. 1080p display, Snapdragon 801 chipset with a 2.3GHz processor and 2GB of RAM. And looking at them side by sice the 5.5in version is hardly any bigger!

25. a_tumiwa

Posts: 393; Member since: Mar 16, 2012

OMG 2 pretty design phones side by side. Apple and Samsung, please design something good like them!!!

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