Sharp AQUOS Crystal Review

Sharp AQUOS Crystal Review
Sharp AQUOS Crystal Review
Sharp AQUOS Crystal Review
Sharp AQUOS Crystal Review
Sharp AQUOS Crystal Review
Introduction


Smartphones are becoming thinner, smaller, and more compact for their respective screen size than ever before – the qualities that companies focus on with each successive device they push out. In recent times, we’ve been introduced to the notion an “edgeless” display, where the gap surrounding the area outside of the display is reduced significantly to make it appear that that the display truly extends all the way to the edges. Sharp isn’t regarded as a premier player in the space, but its brand new AQUOS Crystal smartphone is undoubtedly turning heads with its amazingly engineered edgeless display. Coming with unique design and low cost make it one very interesting phone, so let's see how good it actually is.

The package contains:

  • microUSB cable
  • Wall charger
  • Start guide
  • Product safety and warranty information user manual

Design

Originality rears its head here, thanks in part to that “edgeless” look it’s sporting.

Besides the obvious with its edgeless display, the Sharp AQUOS Crystal etches out a design that’s refreshing unique, and not something that’s similar to something we already know. Instead, it sports a hard lined styled body design with what appears to be a metal trim bezel, which makes it feel solid in construction, despite its mostly plastic housing. At the same time, we have to applaud Sharp’s engineers for somehow trimming as much fat out of this phone – making it one extremely compact phone for its 5-inch display. To put this into perspective, the 4.7” iPhone 6 has the same width, but is longer, while the HTC One M8 which also houses a 5” screen has 17% larger footprint. The Crystal has record screen-to-size ratio of 78.26%, while most flagships offer about 70%.

Unlike its contemporaries, its power button is situated along the top right corner. Usually it’s placed along the right side for easier access, but seeing that it flaunts one compact chassis, we’re able to comfortably reach it with our finger. Looking around its metal trim bezel, it houses the usual set of ports and buttons – like its volume control, microUSB 2.0 port, microphone, and 3.5mm headset jack.

Interestingly, though, in order to achieve its unique “edgeless” quality, Sharp places the front-facing camera, light & proximity sensors, and notification light along the bottom edge of the display. And yes, there’s no earpiece speaker in this, but it instead employs a direct wave receiver that vibrates the entire screen to produce sound – similar to the bone conduction technology we’ve seen implemented by other phones.


Sharp AQUOS Crystal

Sharp AQUOS Crystal

Dimensions

5.16 x 2.64 x 0.39 inches

131 x 67 x 10 mm

Weight

4.97 oz (141 g)

Motorola Moto G (2014)

Motorola Moto G (2014)

Dimensions

5.57 x 2.78 x 0.43 inches

141.5 x 70.7 x 11 mm

Weight

5.26 oz (149 g)

HTC One (M8)

HTC One (M8)

Dimensions

5.76 x 2.78 x 0.37 inches

146.36 x 70.6 x 9.35 mm

Weight

5.64 oz (160 g)

Asus PadFone X

Asus PadFone X

Dimensions

5.67 x 2.85 x 0.39 inches

143.93 x 72.49 x 9.98 mm

Weight

5.29 oz (150 g)

Sharp AQUOS Crystal

Sharp AQUOS Crystal

Dimensions

5.16 x 2.64 x 0.39 inches

131 x 67 x 10 mm

Weight

4.97 oz (141 g)

Motorola Moto G (2014)

Motorola Moto G (2014)

Dimensions

5.57 x 2.78 x 0.43 inches

141.5 x 70.7 x 11 mm

Weight

5.26 oz (149 g)

HTC One (M8)

HTC One (M8)

Dimensions

5.76 x 2.78 x 0.37 inches

146.36 x 70.6 x 9.35 mm

Weight

5.64 oz (160 g)

Asus PadFone X

Asus PadFone X

Dimensions

5.67 x 2.85 x 0.39 inches

143.93 x 72.49 x 9.98 mm

Weight

5.29 oz (150 g)

To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page



Display

Edgeless takes a profound leap here, one that goes above and beyond what others have done previously.

For a company that’s most notable for its line of high-definition AQUOS televisions, we’re absolutely blown away by the display of the Sharp AQUOS Crystal – a 5-inch 720 x 1280 LCD panel (294 ppi). On paper, it’s nothing spectacular, especially considering that we’re in an age of QuadHD screens, but it’s marvelous for its “edgeless” design. Well, it’s technically not edgeless, seeing that there’s still a thin amount of space surrounding the left, top, and right edges of the display, but for the most part, it trumps what other companies have attempted to achieve thus far.

Beyond that, it’s certainly obvious that Sharp brings its expertise in making television sets to the phone – mostly because it’s sporting some high quality elements with its package. In particular, its color temperature of 6456 K is ideal, and one of the most accurate we have ever measured, almost matching the reference value of 6500 K. This means the white has extremely neutral and realistic look. Gamma is also great at 2.15, very close to the reference 2.2. When it comes to colors, though, it’s not necessarily one-hundred percent accurate, but the measured values for the most part are within the target range.



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37 Comments

1. sipha

Posts: 439; Member since: May 12, 2012

Your rating is just pure stupid, this phone should atleast hit a 9!!

3. TerryTerius unregistered

If a phone isn't effective at the most basic thing a phone is supposed to do (place calls) it's kind of expected its score will take a hit. But other than that, this is an amazing piece of kit for the price. If notching else, it blows away everything else in its price bracket in terms of design. I am a bit disappointed they used this design with such meh specs though. I get why, but it seems like a waste.

6. sipha

Posts: 439; Member since: May 12, 2012

i think they recognise that most people outside east asia wouldnt accept a high-end sharp smartphone.. So they just want to start at a place were they could fit!!

15. TerryTerius unregistered

Like I said, I get why they went the route they did. Still seems like a waste. I wasn't criticizing them. Just disappointed I can't buy one with internals worthy of its aesthetics.

13. Settings

Posts: 2943; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

In a market like Asia, specs are not the first thing in mind. Its the quality of hardware and the price.

37. max1c

Posts: 103; Member since: Oct 11, 2014

The con "Terrible call quality, due to the lack of a normal earpiece" is absolute bs. I have made numerous calls using this phone a the quality is no worse than any high-end smartphone​. You can buy one with "internals worthy of it's aesthetics". It's called Sharp Aquos Crystal X and you can find them unlocked on the web. Of course, they are not cheap but you can buy it if you want one.

4. proto

Posts: 59; Member since: Sep 12, 2012

no offense, but your comment is pure stupidity. i am surprise they gave it more than 8...

5. sipha

Posts: 439; Member since: May 12, 2012

The phone is $149 off contract with little to no compromise in a quality smartphone.. what else could you ask for, for that price??

7. dorianb

Posts: 617; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

Being able to hear in areas louder than a coffee shop

12. pwnarena

Posts: 1129; Member since: Feb 15, 2013

then insert the headset. with that price, it'd be wiser for you to be the one to adjust.

14. lsutigers

Posts: 832; Member since: Mar 08, 2009

.....

16. lsutigers

Posts: 832; Member since: Mar 08, 2009

A couple of things about this device. All Sprint LTE phones have a SIM card and are capable of international roaming on GSM networks worldwide. The Qualcomm chipset is definitely capable of it and I would be surprised if it was not enabled by Sprint, perhaps only in the Boost version but that is typically not the case as this is a Sprint Spark™ device that supports all of their LTE bands. Additionally, not mentioned in this review, the device supports Sprint Spark™ with HD™Voice along with Wi-Fi Calling, Sprint® Direct Connect® via Google Play app and Harman/Kardon LiveStage™ and Clari-Fi™ for improved sound. Leo Laporte reviewed the Harman/Kardon technology of the HTC One on Before you Buy episode 122. Unlike Beats Audio which is just a software EQ enhancement, the HK technology is hardware and software based which significantly improves sound quality.

24. Landmarkcm

Posts: 507; Member since: Aug 11, 2009

Lol. It doesn't even deserve the 8.5 it got!

29. fireblade

Posts: 717; Member since: Dec 27, 2013

$149 off contract. Enough said.. I think it's you who don't even deserve to comment here

31. Landmarkcm

Posts: 507; Member since: Aug 11, 2009

Well I'm going to waste a moment which is what I'm sure you wanted me to do with your "comment" If your going to bring up the price, My point is that there are better performing devices at or right around this same price point. And if you read my entire first comment Johns tests of this device especially the back speaker output are misleading and not correct! Therefore it does not deserve the score given here for it. Look at other reviews of this device on the web rating the camera too especially poor etc. I expected more even with the low price.

2. QWIKSTRIKE

Posts: 1457; Member since: Mar 09, 2010

No it should not, I played with this and it is laggy as he!!. Looks great... Too laggy for me.

8. ihavenoname

Posts: 1693; Member since: Aug 18, 2013

I watched MKBHD and Android Authority reviews, there seems to be some performance issues. Shame.

9. FarmerStyle

Posts: 37; Member since: May 17, 2014

The rating should be atleast 8,8 -_-

10. KonaStang4.6

Posts: 285; Member since: Nov 04, 2011

Good looking phone with meh specs. This would be cool if you want a phone with some good features but not a bloated price.

11. bob_monkeywarts unregistered

I like the design, but really... I'd rather get a OnePlus One or Moto G 2014.

17. wrm2013

Posts: 231; Member since: Mar 28, 2013

if Samsung made this exact phone it would have gotten a 7.5

18. Ziggy

Posts: 79; Member since: Oct 03, 2014

Yeah, the phone already has lag issues, add TW to it and done, you have a horrible experience.

19. RandomUsername

Posts: 808; Member since: Oct 29, 2013

Great phone, now give us a high-end version of this phone and release it internationally, please! :D

20. frustyak

Posts: 248; Member since: Mar 08, 2010

Since the bezels are so thin on the top and sides, I wonder if anyone is going to be able to make a protective case for it that doesn't interfere with your ability to see the edges of the screen or use the touchscreen on the side and top edges.

21. Landmarkcm

Posts: 507; Member since: Aug 11, 2009

Wow. Ok phoneArena, I am really starting to doubt you now & think there is other things like money or sponsorship from the companies influencing you! One of the main things that makes this device so lousy (even at the price point) is the back speaker output. No way it is a 72 db output level! & at least when I tested it, No equalizer apps were allowed to even try to work with it. Higher then the Nexus 5 which you put at 71db! NO WAY. I am using nexus 5 now & it is much louder and better. Also the camera is pretty bad on this sharp & the screen makes peoples faces look orange when watching videos. Final thing that rounds out this device which is bad, Is that it's running on Sprint's still garbage network. I can't believe I got hyped up for this thing. Besides the screen edgeless thing. There are much better devices then this. Even at the price point. Do not trust this review! John you need an overhaul of your testing methods, As they are not accurate!

22. medtxa

Posts: 1655; Member since: Jun 02, 2014

garbage talk! why should we believe you, lol

23. Landmarkcm

Posts: 507; Member since: Aug 11, 2009

Lol. I believe you are replying to my post..? If so you don't have to believe anything. I tested the phone by trying one one from Best Buy a couple weeks ago & I am glad I did without activating a plan with it. As what I said though is the truth :) The back speaker and camera are both crummy on this device! Two main important things to me at least. I wish they wouldn't have been & I may have considered one. But I am much happier on Tmobile anyway. As I like the flexibility of GSM.

25. medtxa

Posts: 1655; Member since: Jun 02, 2014

this phone is still very appealing for me design wise, I listen music from headset so speaker volume is never consent, and camera quality at this price is never deal breaker.

28. lsutigers

Posts: 832; Member since: Mar 08, 2009

Landmarkcn: Stop spreading misinformation, the screen, rear speaker and camera on this device are fine. The ear piece is new bone induction technology, not a conventional speaker. Finally, this phone supports Sprint Spark which is plenty fast, even if you are still in a non-spark market, Sprint has made many improvements to the network nationwide. This is a good phone for the $150 price tag. It's not a flagship dude...and it also does not have all of the issues you noted.

33. Landmarkcm

Posts: 507; Member since: Aug 11, 2009

Chill out. & also if you actually READ my post properly. I said nothing about the call volume part through the front receiver, Which when I tested it was actually pretty good. It's the speaker on the back that at least for me for watching youtube etc, was way to low! And I was pointing out again that there is now way that the testing method here giving it the decibel output rating it did can be true. I have found other faults in the measurements that PA uses in that category on other devices as well. I am glad you are a fan of this device and Sprint obviously, But where I am, Which is a major city where Sprint supposedly says I'm covered in LTE. It is still very spotty. Especially indoors the only carrier I cant even make a call with unless it was on the wifi. They are still like that in a lot of areas as the don't launch at 100 percent capacity. I also prefer GSM. The Aquos yes is a decent phone for the price, Again I just feel the review here is not accurate. Look at others on the net.
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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