Mobile Technology

Sharp's new phone has an edge-to-edge display ... as long as you ignore one edge

Sharp's new phone has an edge-...
Sharp announced the Aquos Crystal smartphone, a mid-ranged handset with (3/4 of) an edge-to-edge display
Sharp announced the Aquos Crystal smartphone, a mid-ranged handset with (3/4 of) an edge-to-edge display
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The Sharp Aquos Crystal has a 5-in (720p) display, which is framed differently than most smartphones
1/5
The Sharp Aquos Crystal has a 5-in (720p) display, which is framed differently than most smartphones
The phone's bezels are very slim on three sides
2/5
The phone's bezels are very slim on three sides
You can't tout the Aquos Crystal's "edge-to-edge" display without pointing out its considerable "chin"
3/5
You can't tout the Aquos Crystal's "edge-to-edge" display without pointing out its considerable "chin"
Another look at the trim bezels
4/5
Another look at the trim bezels
Sharp announced the Aquos Crystal smartphone, a mid-ranged handset with (3/4 of) an edge-to-edge display
5/5
Sharp announced the Aquos Crystal smartphone, a mid-ranged handset with (3/4 of) an edge-to-edge display

In the future, it's possible that our smartphones and tablets will have edge-to-edge screens. Most devices we use today fall far short of that, but a new phone from Sharp takes us a little closer ... sort of.

If you don't count its Jay Leno-sized chin, the Sharp Aquos Crystal is nearly bezel-free. While most phone-makers position screens with symmetrical bezels above and below, Sharp basically slid its screen up. So while that considerable chin doesn't allow us to swallow the "edge-to-edge" and "frameless" PR spiels for the Aquos Crystal, its display does live up to that billing on three sides.

Another look at the trim bezels
Another look at the trim bezels

The 75 percent frameless display is the big draw here, but otherwise we're looking at a sleek and solid mid-ranged smartphone. That display measures 5 inches diagonally, with a mediocre (at least by today's standards) 720p resolution. The KitKat-running handset sports a non-descript quad core processor, clocked at 1.2 GHz, 1.5 GB of RAM and 8 GB of internal storage. There's also a microSD slot to help expand those tight quarters.

If those internal specs dampen your excitement, perhaps the Aquos Crystal's pricing will get your motor running again. The Sprint (US) version will ring up for just US$239 off-contract (there will also be subsidized plans available). If you're an off-contract bargain hunter, that puts the Aquos Crystal in a middle ground between the high-end Nexus 5 ($350) and the budget Moto G ($180). If you fancy its 3/4 edge-to-edge display, and can live with those less than mind-blowing internals, it could end up being a good value.

The Sharp Aquos Crystal has a 5-in (720p) display, which is framed differently than most smartphones
The Sharp Aquos Crystal has a 5-in (720p) display, which is framed differently than most smartphones

The Sharp Aquos Crystal launches in Japan on August 29 and in the US "soon." It's exclusive to SoftBank-owned carriers: SoftBank Mobile in Japan and Sprint (along with Boost and Virgin Mobile pre-paid) in the US. You can learn more in the promo video below.

Product pages: Sharp, Sprint

2 comments
Derek Howe
looks nice, but it looks pretty thick. lack of bezels on the sides will take a little steam out of apples iphone 6...since its rumored that its sides have no bezels. It'll be nice once phones have no bezels on all sides...but it does make me a little more nervous about dropping it.
DonGateley
I have yet to see an article on this that specifies the actual screen resolution. Something tells me it is nothing they are proud of, rather the contrary. 720p is sorta vague and they won't sell many at all at that. That's so far behind the curve that I gotta wonder what they're thinking.