Sharp Aquos Crystal: Unboxing & Review

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Hey guys Mike here the Detroit Borg with a look at the very unusual Sharp Aquos crystal which is being sold in the US as a sprint exclusive is also available on their MVNOs like Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile for 150 dollars off contract so it's being sold as a prepaid phone so obviously the big standout feature here is that edgeless display so you can see there's virtually no bezel surrounding part of the phone but of course there is a fairly large chin bezel housing some of the sensors the front-facing camera now in order to achieve this unique design they've eliminated the earpiece and replace it with a direct wave

Receiver now that means it vibrates the glass panel to act as your speaker so when you place it next to your ear it sounds like a regular speaker so it's very interesting technology now in terms of specs this is a fairly low-end phone this is got a Snapdragon 400 clocked at 1.2 gigahertz we have one and a half gigs of RAM eight gigs of internal storage standard with a 120 gig SD card slot for expansion we also have an 8 megapixel camera on the back good for 1080p HD video at 30 frames per second and a 1.2 megapixel camera on the front and of course we're going to demonstrate

Those in this video all right so let's get into this unboxing of course this is a prepaid phone with a traditional prepaid packaging so I have a little tab up here to pull so now we can just slide it right out alright so we get this little blister pack here and we have our paper works we have a Quick Start Guide obviously produced by Sprint so we're going to go through a lot of the features in this video some important regulatory information all right so you can see some of the accessories in the back here which includes a USB cable you're recycling bag for your old phone

And it looks like some more paperwork let's go and crack into this right here alright so there is the phone and you can see I have the black version here which is I believe unique to the Sprint carrier so there we go very nice looking film or any press rail a very compact four five inch phone so let's set that aside for just a moment get these contents all the way so as you can see here with the universal wall adapter with a USB port on one side along with our micro USB charging cable pretty basic stuff and then we have some paperwork explain how to remove the back

Panel and that sort of thing and then we have our recycling bag for recycling our old phone if we want alright so there is our phone with a piece of plastic covering it we're gonna take this off there we go that really nice edge to edge glasses plate very unique definitely unlike any phone I've handled before all right so let's get this started going to tap and hold the power button at the top here so we can start taking a look around so there we go let's take a close look at the hardware design as you can see the big story here is at edgeless display

Very unique certainly unusual to handle if you're used to smartphones you never handle anything quite like this before now the crystal gets its name for the way the cover glass is cut and beveled at the edges and that merges perfectly with the metal frame of the phone very nice looking design very high quality that feels really nice in the hand because you have that seamless design it just looks very unusual and I like the weight kind of reflects the display it's actually kind of similar to the Moto 360 which also has a beveled edge around the glass panel now instead of at the top at

The bottom you'll find the front-facing 1.2 megapixel camera so it's kind of an unusual position so we're going to explore how this works then we have our ambient light sensor our proximity sensor and an LED notification light now at the bottom of the phone you'll find a micro USB charging port as well as a microphone which is your mouthpiece now on the right side not much going on here but on the left side you'll find your volume rocker which is a little too flush a little more recess and I'd like to see doesn't feel quite as tactile that's also true at the top of the phone

We will find the power sleep/wake button which again is a little too recessed not as tactile as I'd like to see and then we have our 3.5 millimeter headphone jack so on the back we have a dimpled matte plastic removable back panel which is black on Sprint white on Boost Mobile and I believe virgin as well alright so let's go ahead and peel off this back panel here which is pretty basic just a simple piece of thin plastic that's rigid once attached there's no NFC or anything that's built into that back cover now you can see we have our sealed in 2040 milliamp hour battery so you

Can't replace that now this phone uses a nano SIM and then we have a micro SD card slot which again supports 128 gig cards now down here below you'll see our loudspeaker which is sealed up behind that back panel all right so let's go ahead and seal up this back panel you really have to make sure it's sealed up there's a lot of snaps here alright so let's take a close look at the interface again this is Android 4.4.2 you can swipe to the right here on the launch screen to activate the camera of course we're going to take a close look at the camera app in detail you can swipe down

To get to your notification panel with your expandable notifications tap up here to see all your quick settings and jump to your Settings panel here which has a few modifications we're going to take a look at in just a moment you can also use a two-finger gesture to get to your quick settings again they're pretty basic here toggle on your brightness we do have auto mode in here as well in terms of the app selection you can see it's pretty much stock android with google apps as well as a few third-party apps so you'll see a sprint app for voicemail the voice

Dialer you also see this voice assistant which is an alternative to Google now now to get to Google now you just swipe up from the home button or any of these buns takes you right there and of course you can say okay google what's the weather like tomorrow in Rochester Hills tomorrow's forecast for Rochester Hills is 66 degrees with a chance of showers of course you can folder items just by dragging and dropping over each other again pretty stock stuff you can also tap and hold anywhere on the home screen to edit your wallpapers we also have our recent apps and as you can see here

Pretty familiar stuff very little is different from stock Android now there are a few unique features here to the sharp so we can go under settings to find some of them which includes Harman Kardon audio so basically this is a way of improving audio thanks to the processing of clarify audio clarify will improve the performance of compressed audio over Bluetooth audio or headphones not over the speaker we also have the clarifying visualizer which pops up anytime you're playing audio so we're going to take a look at that in just a moment we also have live stage this

Again is another way of improving audio depending on the way you're listening to it so either headphones or Bluetooth audio so when you're watching or listening to anything with audio when you hit the volume button you get to this little control panel which pops up here so this allows you to enable this little visualizer here which is always present when you're listening to audio but if you tap on it you can close this or you can disable clarify like so so if you're not listening to anything currently you can see that control panel disappears but when you activate

Anything with audio it comes back now this film does have a few interesting tricks here one of them is the ability to just swipe across a lock screen to wake it up and then you can unlock it you can also just shake the phone like so to relock it so again swipe across the screen unlock it shake to lock it again so it's a very nice effect you can also see that when I wake up the screen you get this little flash which is a feature that is available under settings as well so the settings here go to display under frameless effect you have several

Options here under display light on so you can see we have flow ambient and diffusion or you can turn off entirely you can also enable a flashing alarm effect so it flashes the edges of the screen when an alarm is going off and when you start charging you get this low effect here that swipes across the screen and also under display is our screen on/off by motion gestures here so we have the sweep on effect for waking up the device the shake off effect for putting to sleep and then you have something else called the stay on effect which will prevent the display from

Going to sleep if you're handling the phone and then if you place it flat on a table it will automatically turn off and when you pick it up again it'll turn back on we also have a little screen grab utility also available under settings which you can toggle on and off it's under device it's called clip now so you can turn this on basically what it does if you swipe across the top of the screen like so does a little screen grab and you have some control over it so you can tap and hold on it and if you want to confirm it to swipe like so alternately just have them hold the

Power and volume down button to do the same thing now personally I prefer to disable this feature because I'm accidentally triggering it all the time when they just mean to bring down the drop down shade now the camera is pretty full features that we can snap a photograph we can tap anywhere on the scene to adjust exposure and focus and you can see it's definitely not the quickest AF out there it's also not the quickest to take photographs you can pinch in and out to zoom and of course that's just digital cropping you can toggle between video and photo mild care

You can start recording your video and you can snap a photograph long recording video and stop it when you're done now you do not have pause here and you can see it goes right into our gallery and you can see that effect is a little slow understanding you'll see things like our white balance you can set to auto or select one of the other conditions we have our mic setting so you can turn it on or off if you want we also have our focus settings for AF and macro and that sort of thing so again lots of controls we also have our anti flicker so we can change that from auto

To 50 Hertz to 60 years so it depends on if you're looking at a display or something like that that might be flickering we also have our time lapse setting so we do have time lapse with several options now in still mode we have our ISO white balance our shutter mode shutter mode include smile detect and turnaround detect we also have our self timer touch screen shutter so if you want to take a raph when you touch the screen you can enable that as well we also have our timer and then we have our auto focusing

Selections here so you can select af Center AF macro AF that sort of thing we also have anti-shake which is digital stabilization and then we have anti flicker again for 50 Hertz or 60 hurt refresh rates we have some other interesting tricks up here so you can see our resolution options so if you want a 16 by 9 aspect ratio you have to downgrade to 16 or 6 megapixels instead of 8 megapixels 8 megapixels is 4 by 3 we also have our gridlines and there are a variety of gridlines you can select these are basically guidelines for framing your shots you'll see things

Like the golden ratio the triangle the golden section triangle – and quite a few others now in terms of quality as camera is actually pretty decent in bright sunlight or ideal conditions so delivers pretty sharp results better than I expected color accuracy is pretty decent a little under saturated but it's definitely not as bad as I expected now it's definitely much worse in low-light conditions this camera is almost unusable has a hard time focusing and when it processes the image everything comes out very soft now in terms of video quality again this

Camera maxes out at 1080 P resolution which is to be expected with a budget phone now the quality is actually pretty decent under ideal conditions it does tend to underexpose just like it does with the photographs and white balance tends to get a little out of hand tends to go all over the place trying to adjust for the scene it also has a hard time finding the right exposure tends to underexpose or overexpose depending on the light conditions and tends to bounce around quite a bit so again this is a budget phone with budget specs and budget processing power so that's to be

Expected here but it's a little better than average now because our front-facing camera is at the bottom of the phone when using it in this orientation it's basically pointing up at your chin which isn't very flattering so when you activate the camera and actually coaches you to flip it upside down so when you flip it upside down again acts more like a traditional front-facing camera alright guys Mike here dd4 testing out the front-facing camera of the sharp aquos crystal we're just doing a pretty poor job exposing the scene here as you can see I look

Pretty dark so again underexposed just like the rear-facing camera again fairly mediocre results this is 720p you can see there's a lot of color noise a lot of distortion again I'm recording at 720p of course you can record to VGA or less this is to be expected with a low budget phone again not great optics not a great sensor now what not a lot of light going into that sensor from those optics and as you can see I'm kind of straining to hold it far enough away from me to fit into the to fit into the image just because the lens is it well optimized

For this front-facing mode here so definitely not the best front facing camera are going to get so don't buy it if that's important to you now sharp has done a very nice job with this LCD IPS display excellent effects is viewing angles fairly bright with bright vivid colors and generally looks really good especially outdoors Texas sharp even though it's not the highest resolution display still pretty sharp my only complaint here is that it's not quite as bright whites are not quite as crisp as I'd like to see but generally speaking is simply a really attractive display

Now there are two issues with this display one of them is stuck pixels I've noticed a few of them right out of the box which is not entirely uncommon on lower-end devices I've noticed it for example on the Moto G I reviewed recently but the other issue here is perhaps more of a nuisance and that is light leaking along the side you can actually see the backlight of the display when you pitch the phone at certain angles now the chamfered edge of the glass seems to reflect it more at certain angles and then when you look at an extreme angle you can see it again

Now it seems to be more prominent on the left-hand side the my device but you can see it again as well on the right side of the device but again more prominent on the left-hand side but generally speaking it's not a huge nuisance here but simply going to be noticeable for a lot of people now with a Geekbench three squares you can see obviously much lower performance than something like the iPhone 6 but of course huge difference of pricing as well now because we're running Android 4.4 in The Fairly stock configuration the performance on this device is really smooth and quick

Despite its low-end specs that tends to be the case for a lot of low-end phones running stock Android of course we have that 720p display so there's not all pixels to push here so it's able to keep up pretty smoothly now certain EPS will choke the camera app could be a little quicker and sometimes when you're scrolling through a website has a harder time keeping up with only 1.5 gigs of ram now in terms of that direct wave your piece technology that turns the glass display into a speaker it sounds better than you expect although it's definitely not as good as a traditional

Speaker it's not quite as loud not quite as clear and tends to be much higher and prone to high-end frequency distortion the benefit of this technology however is that no matter where you place the device on your ear any part of the screen it works the same so that means audio quality is consistent no matter where you place the phone on your ear now very life is actually pretty decent here after one day in 12 hours of use with about three hours of on-screen time a little more than three hours of on-screen time at maximum brightness our battery was down

To about six or seven percent so pretty decent results overall now I really like the form factor of this phone thanks to its very compact bezel list design of course you have this fairly large bezel at the bottom which seems a little off balance but the rest of the phone perhaps a little bigger than it should be but it does provide a nice surface area to grip the phone when you need to handle it in landscape orientation but because this phone isn't razor thin it's got a nice angled edge along the side you do have a lot of area to grip onto the phone without touching the display

If this phone was even thinner you probably run into issues where you have to grip the phone by touching the edge of the display which will cause problems so here it seems to be just perfectly design it's got a nice curve on the back it's the right weight the right thickness so generally speaking I'm pretty impressed by the overall form factor now in terms of the rear facing speaker definitely not a highlight here this tends to sound very tinny pretty low-pitched and definitely not as full as most rear facing speakers on premium phones so again this is prone to

Positional distortion but the speaker is loud and generally decent enough for most uses so in the end this phone is very interesting for a number of reasons mostly for its design and its pricing there's a pretty decent phone for its price and it's definitely a standout design in a crowd of pretty forgettable prepaid options so without a doubt the Aquos although not a high-end phone by any means definitely provides an option for those looking for a budget smartphone so that's going to do for me in this video thanks for watching and I'll see you again in the next one

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Sharp Aquos Crystal: Unboxing & Review

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