Disclosure: I participated in an Influence Activation Program on behalf of Influence Central for Sprint. I received a sample device to facilitate this review. As always, all opinions are mine alone.
Christmas is in just one week. If your house is anything like mine, your kids Christmas wish list is probably full of fun tech items. I know most teens and preteens are probably wanting a new phone if they don’t already have one. Even my youngest ones have a few tech items on their list.
If you’re on the market for an affordable entry level smartphone, the Sharp AQUOS Crystal is a great option. When I first opened the box for this phone, I was immediately struck by how different it is from other touch screen phones. The edge to edge screen makes this phone stand out so much from others on the market and it’s eye catching, to say the least.
Aside from the impressive screen, this phone boasts another feature that makes it truly unique. Wi-Fi calling. No more worrying about going over your minutes, if you’re using a Wi-Fi connection your calls and texts will be sent over that connection. Perfect whether you’re at home, work or even connected on a hot spot in public areas.
The camera is an important feature no matter what phone I test, so of course that was one of the first features I check into. This phone has an 8MP rear-facing camera with flash, as well as a 1.2 MP front-facing camera. I love that there are advanced photo features like Night Portrait, Food or Scenery. Each feature has a short snippet on how it works best and they are all so useful.
Another feature I truly enjoyed was App Pass. It’s a U.S. Sprint subscription service that allows you to access a hand-selected catalog of premium apps and games that are available to one low monthly fee. You’re given a 14 day trial before you subscribe so I downloaded a few of the apps, like Paper Camera and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and really enjoy them.
The Sharp AQUOS Crystal operates on Android™ 4.4.2, KitKat, and like most Android run phones it comes with Google Mobile services. This includes Google Search, Google Maps, Google Navigation, Google Talk, Google Calendar, Google+ and YouTube. Of course, the one I use most often is Google Search and YouTube looks amazing on the 5 inch edge-to-edge screen! The business side of me loves that this phone comes with Office Suite, so I can work on the go.
*As part of Sprint’s offerings on this new device, the Sharp AQUOS Crystal smartphone will have the added benefit of running on the Sprint Spark network, which enhances the phone’s LTE service, allowing for high quality video.
The Sharp AQUOS Crystal is a great, entry-level phone and I think it’s perfectly suited for first time touchscreen users or as a first device for a teen or preteen. It’s a great phone for the budget conscious as it comes with a lot of great features that match some of the more expensive phones out there, but for a fraction of the price. The edge-to-edge screen is the standout feature for me, with the Wi-Fi calling coming in at a close second. For more great features check out the Sharp AQUOS Crystal Fact Sheet.