Not that different from its predecessor, the stylish, in-vogue handheld marginally ups the display size and performance ante.
With the utopian dream of a completely bezel-free mobile gadget crushed by pragmatic constraints and practical sensor or front-facing camera needs, the best compact device lovers can realistically hope for is a screen-to-body ratio circling 80 percent.
Sharp, which specializes in LCD panel production for third-party use but occasionally dabbles in full smartphone assembly as well, came phenomenally close to the aforementioned figure last year, with a 5-inch Aquos Crystal that’s roughly 78.5 percent screen.
Typically, the Japanese outfit’s gear solely addresses a domestic audience, but since this Aquos Crystal was so flamboyantly designed and unique, it pursued its American dream, with Sprint and Boost Mobile’s support.
Now, it’s time for a rehash, and although the Aquos Crystal 2 looks to be headed squarely to Softbank Japan, something tells us the US Now Network will soon pick it up for its own on-contract and prepaid launch.
Why wouldn’t they, given the Crystal 2 is better than its forerunner? Slightly larger, at 5.2 inches, friendlier to multitaskers, courtesy of 2 GB RAM, splash-proof and LTE-capable. Sure, the hardware upgrades aren’t radical, but most likely, that means a sub-$200 no-contract price tag is again eyed.
Aesthetically, the 5.2 incher is the textbook definition of “more of the same”, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Measuring 136 x 71 x 11 mm and tipping the scales at 154 grams, the Crystal 2 is as “chin-tastic” as the first-gen. There’s virtually nothing to the right, left or on the top side of the 720p display, but underneath it, an imperative border holds a 2 MP selfie cam and a bunch of sensors.
It’s really a love-or-hate type of design, with white, black, pink and turquoise offered as color choices. Other features include a mediocre quad-core Snapdragon 400 CPU, 16 GB internal storage, 8 MP rear camera, 2,030 mAh battery, microSD card slot and Android 5.0 Lollipop software.