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