Sold from 29th August 2014 in both Japan and the USA (on Sprint), the Aquos Crystal is the first of two Sharp smartphones to see international release, also marking the completion of SoftBank's acquisition of US carrier Sprint.
In Japan, on SoftBank, the phone model is 305SH, whereas in the USA, on Sprint, Virgin Mobile, and Boost Mobile, the model is 306SH. The SoftBank version is SIM-locked as usual, no unlocking available*, but the US model can be officially unlocked after expiry of the contract.
The Aquos Crystal has a 5.0-inch S-CG Silicon HD (1280 x 720) LCD, where the display is a new general "Crystal Display" that is cut at the edges for a frameless LCD panel.
This, however, is just about the only truly impressive thing about the Aquos Crystal. To power it, Sharp have decided to utilise a Qualcomm MSM8926 quad-core processor clocked at 1.2 GHz, add just 1.5 GB of RAM, and 8 GB of on-board storage, where the size of the user-accessible storage is 3.87 GB. Storage can be expanded using microSDXC cards of up to 128 GB (a sample 4 GB card is included at the time of purchase).
The camera isn't amazing either: the main one is 8 megapixel, but comes with the NightCatch II technology for taking quality pictures in dark environments, supports continuous shooting (by pressing and holding the shutter button), and the Framing Advisor that helps you shoot the best possible image. The camera also supports a "Search Finder" function that lets you search for a keyword, which can be recognised using the camera on printed text. Also available is "Translation Finder" which will translate (into Japanese) any photographed text. Unfortunately, Sharp have decided to not include the essential image stabilisation function. The secondary camera is 1.2 megapixels.
The Aquos Crystal is capable of playing quad HD videos, and allows for zooming on a portion of the screen just like on a webpage or a still image.
Other functions include: easy screenshot by sliding your finger right from the display's top left edge; one-hand assist, which allows downsizing the active screen so that you can reach everywhere using one hand only; and a quick lancher, accessible from the menu shortcuts.
The Aquos Crystal flaunts a "Crystal Sound" function that uses Harman Cardon sound processing technology to deliver unmatched immersive music experience when using headphones or Bluetooth connected speakers.
VoLTE (Voice over LTE or the so called HD Voice) is supported for high quality voice when talking on the phone.
To aid the voice clarify function is Direct Wave Receiver, something Sharp first implemented in two years ago but have not equipped all models with: the technology to transmit the incoming signal using vibration of the body, not using airwaves. This allows holding the phone as convenient, without worrying about the position of the earpiece, which is no fully eliminated.
Unfortunately, the Aquos Crystal is not water- or dust-proof. Also unavailable are Infrared, DLNA, Full or OneSeg TV, that are standard features of Japan-targeted Sharp smartphones. Bluetooth is ver. 4.0. Supported Wi-Fi standards include a / b / g / n.
At the time of purchase, the Aquos Crystal comes with a Bluetooth speaker by Harman Cardon.
The phone weighs in at 140 grams and measures 131 x 67 x 10 mm. It is available in white, black, pink, and blue.
Supported radio frequencies include GSM (900/1800/1900MHz), 3G (900MHz/2.1GHz), 4G (FDD-LTE, 900MHz/1.7GHz/2.1GHz).
The battery (built-in) is 2040 mAh and Sharp claim that the energy save function can make the phone last more than three days on a single charge.
Various topics discussed here: http://forum.xda-developers.com/aquos-crystal/general
Although the 305SH was released before the new SIM unlock policy went into effect, the phone can apparently be unlocked. Some sellers on Yahoo Auctions Japan offer the unlocking service for 5500 Yen. But it is only done by sending the phone to the unlocker by mail.
Date added/updated: 14 February 2018 – 19:32
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