rejoice bezel-haters. Sharp has a new handset that will take you one step closer to the bezel-less utopia you have been dreaming of for like forever and the smartphone that took this giant leap to the applause of the bezel-hating community is the Sharp AQUOS Crystal. as we all know, reduction in bezel size is like the holy grail of a handset design, but minimizing bezel can only be done on the long sides, never on the top where the mandatory earpiece resides, or the bottom where the microphone calls home. with the Sharp AQUOS Crystal, things work a little differently. not only has Sharp trimmed the bezel on the sides to near nothing, it has also done the same with the top and in the process, ditching the traditional earpiece altogether.
but how the hell do you listen without an earpiece, you ask? well, here’s where the technological marvel of Direct Wave Receiver comes in. with this technology, the whole front panel vibrates to recreate the sound which is then transmitted to your ear. so yeah. it is only as effective if the handset touches your face, but according to the Japanese electronics maker, you can put your ear anywhere on the display and you will be able to hear the conversation. as a boon, if the other party screams, all you have to do is to lift the phone away from you face and you won’t hear a ding. details are pretty scant, but our guess is, it probably works along the line of bone conduction technology which as been around for quite sometime. that said, it could also mean that phone conversation in noisy environment is possible, though we are not sure about the other end.
anyways, beyond the lusty bezel-less design, the Crystal is quite full on features too. it comes fitted with a 5-inch HD display and powered by a 1.2GHz quad-core processor with 1.5GB RAM and 8GB storage (meager for sure, but expandable up to a whopping 128GB with microSD card). further details includes, Harman’s LiveStage that promised a more “lifelike headphone listening experience”, Clari-Fi technology for improved digital sound quality (it basically restores compressed digital music to recreate the hi-fi sound), Clip Now for taking screenshots in a swipe and saves them with an embedded URL for easy sharing, a 8.0MP main camera, a 1.2MP front-facing item, Crystal clear HD voice and a 2,040 mAh battery pack.
now for the good news, well, at least for U.S. customers. thanks to the acquisition of Sprint by Japan’s Softbank, the Sharp AQUOS Crystal smartphone is available in the U.S. through, you guessed it, Sprint for $0 down and $10 per month under a two-year agreement. however, if Sprint isn’t your cuppa for whatever reasons, you can also pick up one from Virgin Mobile or Boost Mobile for $149.99. Sprint is marketing both the black and white versions, while Virgin only carries the black model and Boost, the white model. just thought you should know. oh and the device is, naturally, available in Japan too from, who else? Softbank.