Sharp Aquos Crystal

Sharp and Softbank have announced a pair of new Android phones initially confirmed for Japan that quite literally have to be seen to be believed. If you like the idea of no side and top bezels on your phone, then this is the one for you. The Aquos Crystal follows a more TV-like design with all the non-screen parts of the front of the phone dropped to the bottom leaving the rest to be all screen. And it's pretty stunning looking. Better yet, it should be coming to the United States.

The key (and very roughly translated) part of the press release reads as follows:

"AQUOS CRYSTAL" is a co-development model of Sprint and Softbank Mobile, it will be released on August 29 in Japan. In addition, it is expected to be released in the United States.

Remember, too, that Sprint has an upcoming "take the edge off" event in New York on August 19 and given this it's a pretty strong possibility that the Aquos Crystal is what we'll be seeing there.

So, what exactly are we looking at? There are two models of the phone, one at 5-inches and one at 5.5-inches known as the Aquos Crystal X. Since this won't be making it to Japan until after December this year, the chances are we'll be seeing the smaller version in the U.S.

The smaller Crystal has a 1280x720 resolution display and Harman/Kardon audio. It's powered by a Snapdragon 400 CPU and 1.5GB of RAM with Android 4.4.2 KitKat. So, we're not looking at a new top of the line offering but potentially a very stylish, solid mid-range effort. The larger 5.5-inch phone ups the screen resolution to Full HD 1080p.

We'll be live from New York on August 19 for the Sprint event, so stick around to see more!

Source: Sharp (translated)

 

Reader comments

The Sharp Aquos Crystal is stunning and U.S.-bound

74 Comments

OMG!!!! THIS IS STUNNING!!!! I may just get another account just so I can have an excuse to use this along with my planned Note 4 purchase!!! This has got to be a joke or a prank right?! Those specs aren't impressive, but I don't care. I will have this.

Sharp:

I don't usually make bezel-less phones, but when I do, I ruin it with a monster chin.

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Yeah, because misspelling "coming soon" is a dealbreaker, man. No way am I interested in their products NOW!

It kind of takes away the professionalism for me. It's like seeing iPodd on Apple. Looks knock-off-ish, no? :p

Looks really nice, but I'll pass. No bezels mans I'm going to be accidentally hitting everything unless I hold it from the bottom only

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That's been my issue with the LG G2 for a long time now. I have a meaty palm that is constantly hitting the lower right of the screen when I go to tap on anything on the left of the screen. I prefer some bezel to prevent that.

Yeah, I'll be waiting until the other OEMs start doing the same thing before I consider an edgeless phone like that

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Where's the ear piece? Do you have to take all calls on speakerphone? Looks pretty cool, yet very impractical for real world use.

In the first link. It mentioned 3 day long battery life. This must be a translation error, or one big battery.

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3-day battery life has been a common marketing thing for the recent Sharp and Fujitsu phones. I'm not sure anyone actually gets 3 days but the battery life has been better since late 2013 than it has ever been, on these phones...

This looks like all those concept renders of iPhones people kept making every year about the next gestation of iPhones. Im glad it's actually becoming a reality, and on android.

Edit: ok saw the video, it has a solid back so it's not totally like those old iPhone renders. Still looks really cool.

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Wonder if the earpiece is at the bottom... or maybe they using the bone induction tech found on kyocera phones?

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Really cool tho...

Now if this is priced as a mid range phone ill jump all over it and ditch my M8. I used the new line of G Pads over the weekend with the S400 and 720p screens and those things are fast, very fast, i was shocked.

Not sure I want this as a phone, but if they built it as Android Wear I would be quite tempted. A bigger version of this on your desk or in the middle of the room and it would be a great device to display notifications and other relevant information. While blending into the environment quite well. Put a sensor on it so it light up with a clock when you get "close enough". Would in my personal opinion be a pretty cool device =)

Hmmmm ... Yeah I'd at least try it out .. Ear speaker is confusing lol where the f is it ? I'll be following this device to see what happens ....Snapdragon 400 tho? Eh 801 would be more of a selling point. Pass

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Well, somebody decided to leapfrog everyone with the easist design victory in the smartphone world. It appears that the dream of the phone without bezels is about to be come reality. Sharp never sticks with anything in the mobile space. But, if this releases, it will change to mobile world for good (in both senses of the word).

Beautiful!

I hope people aren't looking at this render and thinking this phone's going to be see through because.... It won't.

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This thing is going to be difficult to use one handed. I have a G3 and it is difficult to use one handed sometimes because the bottom of my palm touches the bottom screen when I try and stretch my finger across. With no bezel like that it is going to suck.

I WANT to know how they are gonna be able to cram ALL the Hardware and Battery into the base with the given size of ALL of the Components in ANY of the Smartphones or even in the Dumbphones.
It looks like a Dream, but just may be a Scam.
As the Old saying goes; If it Looks Too Good to be True, then it's NOT TRUE!
Also; Don't Believe Anything of What You Read or Hear, and Only Half of What You SEE!

It's a midrange phone... Yet with a great price point... No one's disappointed here... But you could always take a look or wait for the big brother which is the X model coming in Dec.

The Video on Softbank's Sharp Aquos Crystal, is just a Phone with an Extremely thin Bezel and NOT what the Picture makes you Think it is.

I already have trouble with my hand or fingers wrapping around my S4 a little too far and activating stuff by accident. I don't want a smaller bezel!

Coming from Sharp, this will barely be noticed in the US. But if it works in a year or two one of the big-name manufacturers in the US will appropriate the idea and release something similar with better specs. In the US, Sharp is best known as a second-tier TV brand.

Right now Sharp is just saving Samsung/HTC/etc the trouble of doing the proof-of-concept work.

Very true, a lot of features that are appearing now on Touchwiz and Sense were already present a while back on Fujitsu and Sharp Android phones. But they're sold mostly in Japan, so no one was aware of them, and they don't have the presence or marketing knowledge to reach out to other countries.

"The 5.5-inch model will have a 1920x1080P display, 2GB of RAM, 32GB on board storage, and a Snapdragon 801 chip clocked at 2.3GHz. Both versions will come with Android 4.4.4 out of the box. To make the device even more attractive, they have teamed up with Harmon Kardon to enhance the speakers on the device. However there is no word yet on a US release date." - Android Headlines

Also, http://www.androidheadlines.com/2014/08/sharp-announces-aquos-crystal-wo...

This reminds me of when smartphones all had recessed screens until the first one came out with a flush screen like everyone clamored for (was iPhone first?). At any rate, then lots of folks clamored for cases that would provide a lip so screens wouldn't touch when placed face down. LOL. Once bezel-less screens take off lots of folks will be looking for the perfect case that provides sufficient bezel to hold the phone easily without activating the screen.

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I've tried the 4.5 inch version of this in Japan, the Sharp Aquos Mini XX. It was very close to perfect, with a 1080p display too! Only drawbacks were an old Android version (4.2.x) and I'm not sure how the battery life would be on it.

That said, it was a joy to hold and use. The "chin" is actually a really good idea because it gives you a good place to grip without palming the display accidentally. On my Galaxy S4 I constantly hit the bottom corner of the display with my palm when using one handed.

Sharp really should sell these worldwide.

Isn't the point of smaller bezels to reduce the overall footprint of the phone and still offer a large screen? They just relocated the top bezel to the bottom of the device.

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Not to mention, good luck finding a case to offer decent protection AND full visibility. I'd definitely want a case on this, I imagine it's more prone to screen damage than other devices.

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how about a tempered glass case that completely surrounds the entire phone?
not as much protection as a traditional phone case, but I can't think of any
other solution.