There is a new contender in the race for the best smartphone. Sharp has announced its Aquos Crystal handset. Sharp is best known for their TVs but they are now trying their hand at mobile handsets. Teaming up with the Japanese company SoftBank, parent company to Sprint, the new phones are expected to hit Japanese stores by the end of August. There is no word yet on when the phone may come to the United States.
The Aquos Crystal will feature a crystal-clear screen with almost no bezel, making it easier to hold. The 5-inch screen has an unimpressive resolution. At only 1280 x 720it leaves much to be desired. However, the sound quality is expected to be top notch for a phone in its range, given the Harmon Kardon involvement.
The early reviews on the technical specs are uninspiring. The phone’s low resolution combined with the 8-megapixel camera make it less attractive to the high-def photo-savvy crowd. Perhaps the next model, with a proposed 5.5 inch 1080p screen, will also feature a better camera.
Sharp is a well-known maker of handsets in Japan, though it has not yet made an impression on the international markets. The company is second only to Apple in terms of shipments within Japan. With this mid-range phone, perhaps they can break into farther markets. Their previous forays into the mobile phone business were met with quiet defeat on US shores. By partnering with Softbank and Sprint, Sharp may be able to step back into the game as a major contender.