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Teaser: That Aquos Crystal is SHARP. Take the edge off.

Posted by lilotimz , in Author: Tim Yu 17 August 2014 · 17,838 views

Sharp Triband Spark LTE Softbank
Teaser: That Aquos Crystal is SHARP. Take the edge off. by Tim Yu
Sprint 4G Rollout Updates

Monday, August 18, 2014 - 8:14 AM MDT

[Update] Sprint has announced the Sharp Aquos Crystal which confirms our findings and theories this certified device is indeed the Sharp Aquos Crystal.

While rummaging through recent FCC OET (Office of Engineering and Technology) authorizations on a hot evening in late July, S4GRU staff noticed a curious new entry. It was a smartphone that supports the full spectrum of tri band LTE for Sprint Spark and, of course, CDMA2000 capabilities for native and roaming CDMA1X/EV-DO networks. However, tri band LTE has become commonplace among Sprint handsets over the past year. That was not the interesting part.

Rather, what was most intriguing about this entry was the manufacturer: SHARP CORPORATION.

Sharp, as a cell phone maker, is almost non existent in the North American market. Sharp doesn't even come across the public's mind when people think of an Android smartphone, but here it was -- confusing and exciting at the same time. S4GRU staff raised numerous questions and theories on what exact device it was until just a few hours ago when Sharp, along with SoftBank JPN, announced the Aquos Crystal smartphone in Japan. Additionally, tomorrow August 19th in New York, Sprint is holding a "Take the Edge Off" event, which S4GRU has been covering in The Forums since around the time of the FCC OET filing discovery late last month. How could both developments not be connected?

The FCC authorization documents for this Sharp smartphone show a cross section diagram and diagonal of 14.5 cm that measure extremely close to that of the 5.0" display model, making it highly likely that this mystery Sharp smartphone is indeed the recently announced Aquos Crystal smartphone.

Posted Image

The Japanese version is being released on August 29th. Below are its specs:

Dimensions: 67 mm x 131 mm x 10 mm
Weight: 140 g
OS: Android 4.4.2
SoC: MSM8926 1.2 GHz (Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 quad core)
Display: 1280 x 720 (LCD)
ROM: 8 GB, expandable to 128 GB (mSDXC)
RAM: 1.5 GB
NFC compatible
SoftBank LTE FDD * AXGP (i.e. LTE TDD band 41)

For the Sprint variant, the FCC OET docs make no mention of hardware (e.g. processor, display, memory), as that is not the RF purview of the FCC. But the hardware specs are likely to be the same as those of Japanese version, the primary differences being the band/band class support for Sprint. And below is a cursory look at the Sprint variant maximum ERP/EIRP figures:
  • LTE FDD band 25 (LTE 1900): 25.82 dBm
  • LTE FDD band 26 (LTE 800): 19.72 dBm
  • LTE TDD band 41 (TD-LTE 2600): 25.43 dBm
  • CDMA2000 band class 0 (CDMA1X/EV-DO 850): 18.62 dBm
  • CDMA2000 band class 1 (CDMA1X/EV-DO 1900): 23.28 dBm
  • CDMA2000 band class 10 (CDMA1X/EV-DO 800): 18.98 dBm
It's nice to see Sharp coming back into the game in the North American market, and what better way to do so then by taking the edge off and using it to cut into the competition.

Specifications from Sprint

  • Sprint Spark™, a unique combination of advanced network capabilities built for data delivering peak wireless speeds of 60Mbps today on capable devices
  • Android™ 4.4.2, KitKat
  • 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm® Snapdragon® processor
  • HD Voice, virtually eliminating background noise and sound quality is dramatically enhanced on a call between two Sprint HD Voice-enabled devices on upgraded areas of the Sprint network
  • Wi-Fi Calling allows users to use their voice and messaging services over existing home, office and public Wi-Fi networks
  • 3G/4G mobile hotspot capability supporting up to eight Wi-Fi®enabled devices simultaneously
  • Wi-Fi® (802.11 b/g/n)
  • Google Mobile™ services including Google Play™, Google Search™, Google Maps™, Google Navigation™, Google Talk™, Google Calendar™, Google +™, Gmail™ and YouTube™
  • OfficeSuite: Easily edit every Microsoft® Word, Excel and PowerPoint document using the AQUOS Crystal, so you can work on the go, whenever you might be
  • Speaktoit Assistant: Speak to Assistant just like you’d talk to a person: update social media statuses, manage notes, search for interesting places and let Assistant get to know you to better anticipate what you’ll need
  • Harman Kardon’s LiveStage™ provides a more lifelike headphone listening experience by adding dimension to the sound
  • Clari-Fi™ technology improves digital sound quality by restoring all types of compressed digital music
  • Clip Now takes screenshots with one swipe and saves them with an embedded URL for easy sharing
  • Dual Cameras: 8MP rear-facing camera with flash (3,264x2,448 photo resolution; 1080p@30FPS video resolution) and 1.2MP front-facing camera (1,280x960 photo resolution; 720p@30FPS video resolution)
  • Advanced photo features such as night catch to brighten both subject and background for those tricky nighttime shots, sequential shots to catch rapid movements by using a simple button hold, and shutter detect makes it easy to capture unforgettable moments with your friends and family by automatically taking a photo when it detects a smile
  • Google Play™ with more than 1 million apps, millions of songs and books, and thousands of movies
  • App Pass – a U.S. Sprint exclusive subscription service that allows customers to access a hand-selected catalog of premium apps and games for one low monthly fee
  • Stereo Bluetooth® (4.0 + LE) wireless technology support
  • 3.5 mm stereo headphone jack
Specifications
  • Dimensions: 5.16 x 2.6 x 0.40 inches
  • Weight: 4.97 ounces
  • Display: 5-inch HD frameless LCD display (1,280x720)
  • Battery: 2,040mAh Lithium-Ion battery
  • Memory: 1.5GB RAM; 8GB ROM; SD card up to 128GB (sold separately)

Sources:
FCC
SoftBank JPN
Pictures
Sprint




Now we just need Sony to enter the CDMA market, too!

I wouldn't mind seeing an Asus cdma/LTE device on Sprint also.

 

Anyway, this one is nice I have to admit. I'm curious to see the hands on reviews of it. 

Cool! So no band 4/12 support?
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WiWavelength
Aug 18 2014 08:14 AM

Cool! So no band 4/12 support?

 

No.

 

AJ

No.

 

AJ

Aww. Oh well. Still looks awesome!

 

But I'm not giving up my N5's outrageous band support any time soon.

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The_Chemist
Aug 18 2014 08:43 AM

Thanks for the ERP/EIRP figures.  I'm glad to see they were included in the teaser!

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WiWavelength
Aug 18 2014 09:01 AM

Thanks for the ERP/EIRP figures.  I'm glad to see they were included in the teaser!

 

You are welcome.  Since I have been named technical editor, I may not write as many handset articles as in the past.  But my responsibilities include overseeing all articles, and I will see fit that they include certain core info, such as ERP/EIRP, if available.

 

AJ

This is great news! Hopefully softbank gets us some great japanese phones. 

Sony Xperia series...maybe just maybe...

I like the uniqueness of this phone. The screen is unbelievable but the camera on the bottom? Just looks really sleek.

Not giving up my N5 now that I have it, but it's nice to see some more promising options potentially on the horizon. Hope to see some good reviews in the next few weeks after it comes out in Japan.

Hopefully the mid-range Aquos phone ends up in the $250-$300 price range, priced for market penetration rather than luxury. If carriers are going all-in with the whole phone installment deal, they need to get phones on the market that don't increase customers' bills by $30 per month to pay the device off. Looking at you, Apple.

Now we just need Sony to enter the CDMA market, too!

I would jump to the Xperia Z1 Compact so fast if that happened. The only reason I get big phones is because they have the latest and greatest hardware on them, but I hate how huge they are. Sony's the only one who gets it, but unfortunately, no CDMA... yet?

 
This article actually has some info! Usually they will write 3 articles with almost no new information before anything good.  Price below $250 outright! $150 for prepaid & free with 2yr! I'm not usually one to get excited about a mid-range phone, but those are reasonable numbers and I think will make the other manufacturers eventually follow suite.  I could afford a new phone every year and never have an installment fee or contract with phones around this price.  
 
One thing I wanted to know was from the video, it looked like they were using a similar earpiece technology like keyocera does with their 'sonic receiver'.  But I have not been able to find any specs supporting this yet.  
I am also not sure how the front camera at the bottom would be to use, but I'm sure you would get used to it.
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MrZorbatron
Aug 19 2014 01:57 PM

I was really hoping for a high end Sharp phone...  This is disappointing that we get the gimped model.

 

That 1920x1080, IP57, 2.x GHz model looks far more desirable and I probably would buy it as my next phone.

I was really hoping for a high end Sharp phone...  This is disappointing that we get the gimped model.

 

That 1920x1080, IP57, 2.x GHz model looks far more desirable and I probably would buy it as my next phone.

 

There's a high chance they will have a high end Sharp phone in the future as well. I doubt they'll bring the crystal X to america as it'll be quite dated in the sea of 805s and 2 carrier aggregation devices that will be popping up in the fall and winter of this year. 

 

This is only just the beginning. 

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nomoresoupforyou
Aug 19 2014 11:18 PM

This is the first phone since the nexuses (nexi?) to make me rethink my move from android to iPhone. Looks pretty nice.

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MrZorbatron
Aug 21 2014 12:40 PM

There's a high chance they will have a high end Sharp phone in the future as well. I doubt they'll bring the crystal X to america as it'll be quite dated in the sea of 805s and 2 carrier aggregation devices that will be popping up in the fall and winter of this year. 

 

This is only just the beginning. 

Not the Crystal X.  Look up the 302SH.  I want that one.

 

http://www.phonearen...e-world_id54850

 

http://www.doi-toshi...flagship-world/

Not the Crystal X.  Look up the 302SH.  I want that one.

 

http://www.phonearen...e-world_id54850

 

http://www.doi-toshi...flagship-world/

 

Actually our initial speculation was that was the device. 

 

Thing is in Japan the flagships are released literally every 6 months so there will probably be a successor to the crystal soon enough anyways that Sprint may get.

 

I believe the plan for Sprint and Softbank is to utilize their combined synergies along with Brightstar to acquire unique devices for Sprint. Sony and Sharp and possibly Fujitsu will probably be the major ones in the coming years as they try to break out of the Japanese market into the NA market. 

 

Exciting times. 

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MrZorbatron
Aug 21 2014 07:16 PM

I don't think the Crystal, or even Crystal X, is a flagship class device in Japan.  The 302SH is a better device, even though it's several months older.  I think it's more like the GS4 Mini compared to the GS4, though perhaps not quite so badly decontented.

I don't think the Crystal, or even Crystal X, is a flagship class device in Japan.  The 302SH is a better device, even though it's several months older.  I think it's more like the GS4 Mini compared to the GS4, though perhaps not quite so badly decontented.

 

The Crystal X should be the successor to the 302. It's releasing in December which is right at about the 6 month mark. 

 

Japans market is quite different from ours so what we may think of being a flagship class device may be wildly different.