6.9/10
Informr score
The Sharp Aquos Crystal currently has an Informr score of 6.9 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 17 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

What's good

  • Price
  • Edgeless design
  • Battery life
  • Android 4.4.2

What's bad

  • Non-removable battery
  • Tinny call quality
  • Light bleeding on display
  • Front-facing camera placement
  • Weak cameras

It’s been quite some time since anyone’s seen a phone release from Sharp. Not only are they jumping back into the mobile arena, they’re doing so with gusto. The new Sharp AQUOS Crystal is turning heads at first glance with its bezel-free design, but does the rest of the phone live up to the hype? Let’s check out some reviews!

For first things first, this is an mid-tier phone in pricing. So while the screen might offer some rather cutting edge features, the internal specs are firmly average. Fortunately, Sharp has matched this with extremely competitive pricing. With that out of the way, we’ll look at some deeper details.

The chassis of the phone is purely plastic. While reviews of the phone’s feel and design were generally positive, a few reviews pointed out how cheap the rear cover felt and how the lightness of the phone comes off as less than premium. However, there was plenty of praise as well. Engadget noted, “the Crystal feels surprisingly small when you're holding onto it” and went on to say that it “delivers a lot of style for a reasonably low price.”

The front of the phone is almost entirely taken up with the edgeless 5-inch 1280-by-720 pixel display. While the resolution might be a little low for the flagship market, it holds up well in the mid-tier. Reviews of the display’s image quality and edgeless design were wholly positive, with CNet stating, “Gimmicky or not, I really like it.” Engadget went as far as to call it “the only phone I've ever tested that prompted random bystanders to either gawk or give it a double take as they walked by.”

Powering the phone, you’ll find a quad-core 1.2GHz Snapdragon processor with 1.5GB of RAM. Nothing incredibly impressive or disappointing. Again, right in line with the mid-tier pricing. Engadget put it through its paces and found “It's plenty snappy, but easy to stymie if you're willing to try.” PhoneArena stated, “navigating across the interface and opening apps are handled in a smooth manner.”

Combining the mid-range display with a similar processor has allowed Sharp to pull some seriously battery life out of its small 2040mAh battery. Reviews on battery life were all positive. Some even found they could make it multiple days without charging. In all, Engadget summed up findings best, stating it has “enough juice for your routine and then some.”

Unfortunately, there are a few things about the phone that reviews didn’t like. The 8MP camera with flash with 1.2MP front-facing camera at bottom of phone both received lackluster reviews at best. While it performed fast for most reviewers, image quality was lacking and colors were muted. You also have the issue with the placement of the front-facing camera. With no upper bezel on the handset, the front camera was relocated to the bottom bezel. While some reviews didn’t mind, most were leary of the move. TechRadar said using it was “far from an ideal experience.” IGN was more critical, calling both cameras “mediocre and unimpressive.”

Another compromise for the sake of the edgeless screen is the phone’s earpiece. It uses technology to send audio through vibrations in the screen in place of the speaker. While reviews indicate that it works, most noted a few clarity and volume concerns. CNet said, “Audio quality was poor. My calling partner's voice was thin and hollow” and IGN described call quality as “Well below the high-fidelity audio heard with newer technologies.”

The Crystal comes with 8GB of internal storage, of which, 4GB is available for use. If you plan to store music, movies or play games, you’ll probably want to take advantage of the phone’s MicroSD card support.

Overall, Sharp appears to have not only turned heads, but offered enough to keep people’s attention as well. If you’re willing to deal with the slight negatives on the phone, reviews agree that it is a solid device. CNet declared, “Among devices in its class, the phone is a worthy buy.”


Operating system
Android
Processor
1.2 GHz
Screen Size
5"
Camera
8+ MP


What the Critics Are Saying...


Good Housekeeping

SHARP's return to the smartphone market didn't make quite the splash it maybe deserved. The AQUOS Crystal is actually a very cool-looking phone, nearly bezel-less on three sides. Aside from its snazzy looks, most other aspects are pretty run-of-the-mill. The phone has a 720p display, which won't loo...

- The Good Housekeeping Institute, Good Housekeeping
AndroidPIT

Once you get past the fact that the Sharp Aquos Crystal isn’t as high-quality that it appears, and view it for what it is (a low-cost device), you realize how much it has to offer.It has very little competition in the entry-level category and, at 129 USD off-contract, what else can really comp...

- Scott Adam Gordon, AndroidPIT
Reviewed

At the end of the day, bargain hunters will be happy with the Sharp Aquos Crystal. Though this mobile definitely doesn't do much to set any performance records, it provides the basics without really becoming much of a liability in other areas. While that probably doesn't sound exciting, it's high pr...

- Chris Thomas, Reviewed
Brighthand

The Sharp Aquos Crystal is undeniably a distinctive option, and that isn’t terribly common when it comes to wallet-friendly smartphones. If you want a very unique-looking phone that’s totally unlike those of all your friends, surely Sharp’s handset can fill that role.But we don&rsq...

- Brighthand Staff, Brighthand
Android Authority

The Sharp Aquos Crystal is an interesting device that features a unique design and impressive hardware for its price of $150. The camera could use some work and the display isn’t the best out there, but these are minor knocks on an otherwise very good phone.We can highly recommend the Sharp Aq...

- Nick Sarafolean, Android Authority


Prices (Where to Buy)




Common Questions


Sharp released the Aquos Crystal on October 9, 2014.


We've got you covered! Download a free PDF copy of the Sharp Aquos Crystal user manual here.


Sharp backs up the Aquos Crystal with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.


If your Aquos Crystal has problems and is still within its warranty period, you could contact Sharp support or the retailer you purchased the phone from. You'll find Sharp's contact information here. If your phone is off warranty and needs repair for a physical problem such as a broken screen or bad battery, you should visit an authorized service centre or a local phone repair shop. You can also connect with others in The Informr Community Forum to find and share answers to questions.




Resources


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Quick view

Screen Size
5"

The Sharp Aquos Crystal's screen size is 5 inches with x pixels resolution.

Processor
1.2 GHz

There is a Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8926 Quad core 1.2 GHz processor (CPU).

OS

The phone runs on proprietary operating system firmware.

Camera
8+ MP

You can take photos or capture video with the phone's onboard 8+ megapixel camera.

There is also a secondary front facing camera with 1+ megapixels resolution.

Storage
8 GB

Internal memory is 8 GB. An external, MicroSD, MicroSDHC, microSDXC (up to 128 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.

Battery
2040mAh

The phone is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 2040 mAh battery.

Aquos Crystal Specs

Overview
Release date October 9, 2014
Regions available USA
Networks
CDMA:
800/1900 MHz
LTE:
1900/800 MHz
Data:
1xRTT, EV-DO, LTE
SIM card Yes
Dual SIM No
Operating System

Compare Android Smartphones

Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8926 Quad core 1.2 GHz
Internal Storage 8 GB
RAM 1536 MB
ROM No
GPS Type A-GPS
Digital compass Yes
Flightmode Yes
Hearing Aid Compatible Yes
TTY/TDD Yes
Noise Cancellation No
SAR Head: 0.94 W/kg
Body: 0.63 W/kg
Languages No
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included AC Charger, Manual, Standard Battery
Power & battery
Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity 2040 mAh
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Video Playback Time Unknown
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Unknown
Internet Use (Celluar) Unknown
Talk Time Unknown
Standby Time Unknown
Physical Characteristics
Design type Bar
Multi-Use Smart Phone / PDA Yes
Material Plastic
Colors Black, White
Dimensions [H x W x D] 13.1 x 6.7 x 1.0 cm (5.2 x 2.6 x 0.4 in)
Weight 141 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Unknown
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Antenna Type Internal
Changeable Faceplates No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology LCD
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution x pixels
Pixel density 294 pixels
Size 5 inches
3D No
Secondary Display No
Sensors Ambient Light, Proximity, Motion / Accelerometer
Graphics Yes
Themes Yes
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock Yes
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features Capacitive touch screen, S-CG Silicon
Input / Navigation
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key No
Mute Key No
Input Type Touchscreen
Navigation Type Touchscreen
Predictive Text Entry Yes
Physical keyboard No
Voicemail Key No
Any Key Answer No
Voice Commands Yes
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
External Media Playback Controls No
Fingerprint Sensor No
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling No
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) No
Contact List Capacity Depends on system memory
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Email address, Other fields
Contact Groups Yes
Auto Answer No
Voice Activated Dialing Yes
Photo Caller ID Yes
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, SMTP, Microsoft Exchange
Additional Email Features Gmail
Messaging SMS, MMS, Google Talk
Push-to-talk (PTT) No
Connectivity
USB Micro-USB 2.0
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth 4.0
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, DUN, OPP/FTP, HID, HFP, HSP, PAN
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
WiFi Encryption No
Mobile Hotspot Yes
WiMAX No
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MicroSD, MicroSDHC, microSDXC (up to 128 GB)
PC Synchronization Yes
TV Out No
DLNA Support No
NFC No
UMA Support No
Data Tethering Compatibility Yes
Java Applications No
Brew Applications No
ECML / Digital Wallet No
PictBridge No
Camera
Main Camera
Aperture
Unknown
Resolution
8+ megapixels
Dual lens
No
Zoom
Yes
Flash
Yes (LED)
Additional Rear Camera Info
Auto focus, Face detection, Geotagging, ISO, Multi-shot, Night mode, Panorama, Smile detection, Scene mode, HDR
Video Recording Formats
3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4
Video Recording Parameters
Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels), 30 fps
Front Camera
Resolution
1+ megapixels
Zoom
Yes
Additional Front Camera Info
No
Video Recording Parameters
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats MIDI, MP3, eAAC+, AAC+, AAC, AMR, WAV, OGG
Radio Yes (FM)
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4
Mobile TV No
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers Yes
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Custom Ringtones Yes
Vibration Alert Yes
Downloadable Ringtones Yes
Ringtone Composer No
Ringer ID Yes
Haptic Feedback Vibration Yes
Speakerphone Yes
Apps
To-Do / Task List No
Calendar Yes
World Clock Yes
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch Yes
Timer Yes
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter No
Document Viewer Yes
Viewable document types DOC, DOCX, PDF, PPT, PPTX, XLS
Weather Yes
Stocks No
Maps Yes
NotePad No
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable ()
Included Software / Apps -
More
Additional comments Other Names (AKA): Sharp 306-SH

Related Links Quick Start Guide (PDF)
Manual (PDF)
Sharp Aquos Crystal Reviews
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Critic Reviews


Good Housekeeping

Great-looking, nearly bezel-less phone design

from Good Housekeeping

SHARP's return to the smartphone market didn't make quite the splash it maybe deserved. The AQUOS Crystal is actually a very cool-looking phone, nearly bezel-less on three sides. Aside from its snazzy looks, most other aspects are pretty run-of-the-mill. The phone has a 720p display, which won't...More

SHARP's return to the smartphone market didn't make quite the splash it maybe deserved. The AQUOS Crystal is actually a very cool-looking phone, nearly bezel-less on three sides. Aside from its snazzy looks, most other aspects are pretty run-of-the-mill. The phone has a 720p display, which won't look as crisp as high-end phone displays. The camera performance was also lackluster, and with only 8 GB of onboard storage, you'll probably need to buy an SD card for photos, videos, and apps. Nevertheless, we were impressed by SHARP's bold design, and we're looking forward what's next in store.

Read full review

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AndroidPIT

The best value handset on Android

from AndroidPIT

Once you get past the fact that the Sharp Aquos Crystal isn’t as high-quality that it appears, and view it for what it is (a low-cost device), you realize how much it has to offer.

It has very little competition in the entry-level category and, at 129 USD off-contract, what else can really compete? The closest for price is the Moto E, and it might not have Lollipop, but in all other ways the Aquos Crystal completely outshines it...

More

Once you get past the fact that the Sharp Aquos Crystal isn’t as high-quality that it appears, and view it for what it is (a low-cost device), you realize how much it has to offer.

It has very little competition in the entry-level category and, at 129 USD off-contract, what else can really compete? The closest for price is the Moto E, and it might not have Lollipop, but in all other ways the Aquos Crystal completely outshines it.

When you look at the downsides, there really aren't that many. Lack of NFC and a removable battery aren't exactly deal-breakers, and the rear design might even be all right with you.

The only real problem with the Sharp Aquos Crystal is that it initially fools you with its cool design. This isn’t an amazing new flagship; it’s an incredibly impressive value effort that will easily make its way onto “best cheap Android phones” lists from now on. It has to.

Read full review

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Reviewed

Radically designed for budget buyers

from Reviewed

At the end of the day, bargain hunters will be happy with the Sharp Aquos Crystal. Though this mobile definitely doesn't do much to set any performance records, it provides the basics without really becoming much of a liability in other areas. While that probably doesn't sound exciting, it's high praise for a device if all you're looking for is something to be your sidekick without too much fuss or fanfare. It's a $150 unsubsidized phone. It's basically impossible to ask for more for the money...

More

At the end of the day, bargain hunters will be happy with the Sharp Aquos Crystal. Though this mobile definitely doesn't do much to set any performance records, it provides the basics without really becoming much of a liability in other areas. While that probably doesn't sound exciting, it's high praise for a device if all you're looking for is something to be your sidekick without too much fuss or fanfare. It's a $150 unsubsidized phone. It's basically impossible to ask for more for the money.

To its credit, the Aquos Crystal is amazingly well-designed for a device so inexpensive. And even though it's not a flagship phone, it definitely looks the part—from the front anyway. The Sharp Aquos Crystal is easily the coolest-looking phone I've held in recent memory. Ditching the bezels is a stunning design feature, and the chutzpah to pull a move like that on a budget phone is deserving of nothing but praise.

However, with a low price that praise comes with caveats. It's definitely a great value, but this phone is certainly not the mobile you're going to want for the next few years. It's the quintessential budget phone outside of the design. Simply put: If you want great pictures, solid processor performance, or top-of-the-line screen performance, you're looking at the wrong handset. The Aquos Crystal absolutely checks all the right boxes for a value shopper, but despite its high-end appearance it'll only last the required two years most expect if and only if your mobile is primarily used as a phone.

It's tough to find competitors that meet the Crystal on price, but we stick by the Moto G with LTE as another solid bargain phone if you're willing to spend around $50 more. It's a lot like the Aquos Crystal under the hood—but instead of being limited to Sprint's CDMA network, it can be used with AT&T, TMobile, or Verizon—including a huge list of MVNOs. 

Read full review

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Brighthand

Eye-catching, but that’s it

from Brighthand

The Sharp Aquos Crystal is undeniably a distinctive option, and that isn’t terribly common when it comes to wallet-friendly smartphones. If you want a very unique-looking phone that’s totally unlike those of all your friends, surely Sharp’s handset can fill that role.

But we don’t buy smartphones and keep them around for a couple of years solely because the physical design is interesting. We rely on phones throughout the day to provide the information and entertainment we seek, and fill a vital role in communication and interaction. And in a few key ways, the Aquos Crystal falls short on these promises, even keeping in mind the $240 off-contract cost...

More

The Sharp Aquos Crystal is undeniably a distinctive option, and that isn’t terribly common when it comes to wallet-friendly smartphones. If you want a very unique-looking phone that’s totally unlike those of all your friends, surely Sharp’s handset can fill that role.

But we don’t buy smartphones and keep them around for a couple of years solely because the physical design is interesting. We rely on phones throughout the day to provide the information and entertainment we seek, and fill a vital role in communication and interaction. And in a few key ways, the Aquos Crystal falls short on these promises, even keeping in mind the $240 off-contract cost.

The form factor itself creates issues, particularly when it comes to the quality of the image seen on the display (thanks to those oddly-cut edges), accidental inputs along the sides, and poor-sounding calls. Add in middling cameras and performance dips, and the Aquos Crystal becomes a difficult phone to recommend, no matter how neat and different it might seem. 

Read full review

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Android Authority

Affordable phone with high style and powerful specs

from Android Authority

The Sharp Aquos Crystal is an interesting device that features a unique design and impressive hardware for its price of $150. The camera could use some work and the display isn’t the best out there, but these are minor knocks on an otherwise very good phone.

We can highly recomme...More

The Sharp Aquos Crystal is an interesting device that features a unique design and impressive hardware for its price of $150. The camera could use some work and the display isn’t the best out there, but these are minor knocks on an otherwise very good phone.

We can highly recommend the Sharp Aquos Crystal to anyone looking for a good mid-range phone or even a great back-up phone. 

Read full review

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Laptop Magazine

Easy on the eyes and your wallet

from Laptop Magazine

Sharp's Aquos Crystal is a simply stunning smartphone, offering a sci-fi chic design for a low price. I love the bezel-less display, and I was pleasantly surprised by the 8-MP camera. Although this handset doesn't have the fastest CPU, it generally provided smooth performance. There are some flaw...More

Sharp's Aquos Crystal is a simply stunning smartphone, offering a sci-fi chic design for a low price. I love the bezel-less display, and I was pleasantly surprised by the 8-MP camera. Although this handset doesn't have the fastest CPU, it generally provided smooth performance. There are some flaws, such as its below-average battery life, weak speaker and limited onboard storage, but the Aquos Crystal has something you rarely find in a phone at any price: personality.

Read full review

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Notebookcheck

Attractive design and display

from Notebookcheck

The display and design are the heart of any smartphone as they have a significant influence on user impression. This is what the Aquos Crystal does best since its avant-garde appearance is guaranteed to capture the attention of users who are out looking for a new or replacement model. The device becomes even more attractive once users find that its starting price is only $150 to $200 off-contract....

More

The display and design are the heart of any smartphone as they have a significant influence on user impression. This is what the Aquos Crystal does best since its avant-garde appearance is guaranteed to capture the attention of users who are out looking for a new or replacement model. The device becomes even more attractive once users find that its starting price is only $150 to $200 off-contract.

Despite Sharp's unique take on the bezel-free glass display, the Aquos Crystal is ultimately a budget phone. The chassis is plastic, camera quality is average at best, volume is low with static, and enthusiasts may be turned off by the entry-level Snapdragon 400 SoC, 720p display, and lack of both NFC and wireless-ac support. Look past its edge-to-edge screen and you will find a standard Android phone underneath.

Fortunately, the trimmed off features have no ill-effects on basic functionality. System performance and responsiveness are great for an inexpensive device and Wi-Fi calling is a very useful feature that is not as widespread as it should be.

Read full review

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Cnet

Ordinary features bolstered by a daring, edgeless design

from Cnet

For a phone that made such a splash at its August announcement, the Sharp Aquos Crystal doesn't sport the kind of powerful hardware you see in current flagships. But among devices in its class, the $150 phone is a worthy buy. Its stand-out design makes it one of the most unique-looking handsets available, the 8-megapixel camera takes good photos, and LTE data speeds were consistent in my real-world testing...

More

For a phone that made such a splash at its August announcement, the Sharp Aquos Crystal doesn't sport the kind of powerful hardware you see in current flagships. But among devices in its class, the $150 phone is a worthy buy. Its stand-out design makes it one of the most unique-looking handsets available, the 8-megapixel camera takes good photos, and LTE data speeds were consistent in my real-world testing.

I much prefer it over the LG Optimus F3. Even though that phone is $50 cheaper, the F3 has a smaller 4-inch display and runs an older version of Android. In addition, the Crystal edges out the dated ZTE Force and Warp Sequent. Both devices have the same $150 price tag, but the former has a slower processor and poorer camera, and the latter is only 3G enabled.

True, Sharp may not be a big player in the mobile industry, with its smartphone releases coming few and far between. But with its Aquos Crystal handset, it has proved that it can make a stylish and reliable device that can compete with the midrange phones of today. And with the Crystal's edge-to-edge touchscreen, the company knows what it takes turn the heads of even the most casual smartphone consumer. 

Read full review

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Android Authority

Bezel-less on a budget

from Android Authority

At just $150, this is certainly a very solid smartphone, and if you’re on a budget, definitely a device you should consider. It does have its fair share of issues in terms of camera performance and battery life, with overall performance also not the best. But what does the Aquos Crystal doe...More

At just $150, this is certainly a very solid smartphone, and if you’re on a budget, definitely a device you should consider. It does have its fair share of issues in terms of camera performance and battery life, with overall performance also not the best. But what does the Aquos Crystal does manage is to stand out in the overcrowded mid-range smartphone arena with its unique design language. While many manufacturers have been trying, Sharp has been the first to achieve something that should hopefully become the norm in terms of design in the near future.

Read full review

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PC Magazine

Absolutely beautiful and really stands out

from PC Magazine

You aren't going to find a prettier $149 prepaid phone than the Sharp Aquos Crystal, that's for sure. It turns heads. And if you primarily watch videos, play games, and send messages rather than talking, you'll enjoy the experience here. That said, we haven't found any low-cost phones with truly great voice quality on Boost.

Read full review

You aren't going to find a prettier $149 prepaid phone than the Sharp Aquos Crystal, that's for sure. It turns heads. And if you primarily watch videos, play games, and send messages rather than talking, you'll enjoy the experience here. That said, we haven't found any low-cost phones with truly great voice quality on Boost.

Read full review

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User Reviews


Horrible phone

Terrible cameras Edgeless is an annoying gimmick Runs at 50%+ memory usage at all times Vert little built in storage space available Can't install apps to SD (kit kat issue) Cheaply made Sim slot breaks on its own, rendering 4g unusable Screen scratches very easily Power button sometimes won't let you...More
Terrible cameras Edgeless is an annoying gimmick Runs at 50%+ memory usage at all times Vert little built in storage space available Can't install apps to SD (kit kat issue) Cheaply made Sim slot breaks on its own, rendering 4g unusable Screen scratches very easily Power button sometimes won't let you turn off the screen. No root (this phone is ridiculously locked down) Terrible screen response, you'll tap some things fifty times to get it to do anything and other times it pushes whatever it wants to. Worst customer service and attitude I've ever seen from a company. Don't buy this phone. Less
lily

Its fast the coolest phone i ever seen

Good quality except the camera

Aquos Crystal Videos