Sprint today becomes the exclusive carrier of the Sharp Aquos Crystal smartphone, together with its prepaid brands Virgin Mobile and Boost Mobile. According to the official press release, this is "a monumental step in the Sprint and SoftBank merger" but, although pricing has been announced already, the availability of the device on the US market "will be announced at a later date."
These are the detailed specs of the Aquos Crystal:
- Processor: 1.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400
- Memory/Storage: 1.5 GB RAM; 8 GB internal storage and microSD support up to 128 GB
- Display: 5-inch frameless LCD touchscreen with 1,280X720 pixels and 294 ppi
- Connectivity: 4G LTE, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n with hotspot, Bluetooth 4.0 LE, GPS with A-GPS, micro USB 2.0
- Cameras: 1.2 MP front, 8 MP back
- Audio: Harman Kardon-enhanced (LiveStage and Clari-Fi) and HD voice technology
- Operating system: Android 4.4.2 KitKat
- Dimensions/Weight: 5.16X2.6X0.40 inches; 0.31 pounds
- Battery: lithium-ion 2,040 mAh
While the handset's colors are black, pink, blue and white, Sprint only announced the availability of the white and black versions in the beginning.
Sharp Aquos Crystal has a MSRP of $239.99 USD but can also be purchased as part of various plans, such as Sprint Easy Pay (24 monthly payments of $10 USD, but service plan required). We will get back to this attractive handset as soon as its exact availability is announced.
Sharp’s First AQUOS Smartphone Comes to the U.S. – Sharp AQUOS Crystal Arriving Exclusively at Sprint, Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile
This launch marks a monumental step in the Sprint and SoftBank merger by bringing this device to SoftBank in Japan and Sprint and its prepaid brands, Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile USA, as the exclusive U.S. carriers for this groundbreaking device.
AQUOS Crystal breaks the mold of traditional smartphone design. From its stunning picture quality and immersive, vibrant display to its sleek, 5-inch edge-to-edge HD screen, AQUOS Crystal revolutionizes the mobile phone experience. The chic, compact exterior houses a smartphone powered by Android 4.4.2 KitKat and supported by the ultra-fast Sprint Spark network. Showcasing incredible audio with Harman Kardon® technologies and HD voice, and a camera that can make any amateur look like a pro, AQUOS Crystal is truly technology without bounds.
Sprint will offer AQUOS Crystal in two color options (black or white). With Sprint Easy Pay, well-qualified buyers can purchase AQUOS Crystal with $0 down (plus tax) and 24 monthly payments of $101 (service plan is required). Customers can visit www.sprint.com/sharp for more information. Sharp AQUOS Crystal will be available in black at www.virginmobileusa.com and in white at www.BoostMobile.com, both for $149.99 (plus tax). Exact availability will be announced at a later date.
“The combined power of SoftBank and Sprint will bring our customers this high-end device for an extraordinarily value,” said David Owens, senior vice president-Product Development for Sprint. “We are thrilled to welcome Sharp to the U.S. wireless market. AQUOS Crystal will quickly become a must-have smartphone, showcasing Sharp’s strength in display technology.”
In addition, AQUOS Crystal boasts Harman’s Clari-Fi™ technology with the ability to restore and “rebuild” music fidelity lost during audio compression. Clari-Fi yields richer, deeper and clearer sound quality for compressed digital music (like MP3 downloads or streaming services such as Spotify®). The Clari-Fi experience includes low and high frequency extension, improved realism and fidelity, and wider sound stage.
Additional key features include:
- Harman’s LiveStage™ provides a more lifelike headphone listening experience by adding dimension to the sound
- Clari-Fi™ technology improves digital sound quality by restoring all types of compressed digital music
- Clip Now, which takes screenshots with one swipe and saves them with an embedded URL for easy sharing
- 8MP rear-facing and 1.2MP front-facing cameras
- Crystal clear HD Voice
- Embedded 2,040mAh battery
- 1.2GHz quad-core processor, 1.5GB (RAM) and 8GB (ROM)
“U.S. consumers have long trusted the Sharp AQUOS brand to deliver exceptional picture quality. We are thrilled to introduce the first smartphone from Sharp’s groundbreaking AQUOS line of devices to be available in the U.S., with the launch of the AQUOS Crystal Smartphone in the U.S. and Japan,” said Yoshisuke Hasegawa, Executive Managing Officer of Sharp Corporation. “The already successful AQUOS brand is taking another step forward among U.S. consumers by adding the Crystal smartphone, which marries innovative technology with a vibrant display, as customers have come to expect from Sharp AQUOS products. The AQUOS Crystal offers unique features and leading technologies, all incorporated in a beautiful edge-to-edge design.”
“App All You Want” with App Pass
Exclusive to Sprint in the U.S., App Pass is a subscription service that allows customers to access a hand-selected catalog of premium apps and games for $4.99 per month – after a 14-day free trial. App Pass offers unlimited access to these apps and games across two devices, and additionally, customers are given a $5 credit each month to spend on in-app purchases.
“Many customers find value in premium apps, but hesitate to make the purchase without knowing more about the app,” said Wayne Ward, vice president-business and product development at Sprint. “With App Pass, Sprint makes it easier for our customers to ‘app all you want’ with a curated list of popular premium apps.”
App Pass will host a curated selection of apps and mobile games from some of the world’s top developers including Gameloft and Oceanhouse Media. Select titles from other developers include OfficeSuite 7 Pro, Camera Zoom FX, Minuum Keyboard, CamScanner and Color & Draw for Kids.
App Pass, powered by Mobiroo, which develops and manages app subscription platforms globally, will be pre-installed on all new Sprint Android devices beginning Aug. 29. App Pass can also be found under the “Apps” tab of the Sprint Zone app, on supported devices, for current Sprint customers using an Android phone. After the launch on Aug. 29, Sprint customers can visit www.sprint.com/apppass to learn more and download the app. New apps and games will be regularly added to the storefront.
To receive the 14-day free trial, customers will need to open the App Pass app and then register by tapping on the menu button, then selecting ‘My Account,’ tapping on the ‘Sign up now’ button on the Featured page or tapping on the ‘download’ button on an App Details page. App Pass will not be available on prepaid devices.
Great Value for Prepaid or Postpaid
By bringing AQUOS Crystal to Sprint, Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile, customers have the choice of how they wish to finance their wireless experience with each brand offering its own unique benefits:
- POSTPAID (Sprint)
- It’s a new day for data in the wireless industry with the announcement of Sprint’s newSprint Family Share Pack – a new shared-data plan that offers double the high-speed data at a lower price than AT&T and Verizon Wireless. The Sprint Family Share Pack, offering double the high-speed shareable data2 for smartphones, basic phones, tablets and mobile broadband devices, will be available starting Aug. 22. To kick off Sprint’s “new day for data” campaign, Sprint is offering a limited-time promotion for the Sprint Family Share Pack: For a family with up to 10 lines, get 20GB of Shared Data and Unlimited Talk & Text for only $100 a month through 20153 – and, as an added bonus, customers will get an additional 2GB per line for up to 10 lines.
- NO CONTRACT
- Virgin Mobile USA’s smartphones can be paired with Virgin Mobile USA’s Beyond Talk™ No Contract plans with unlimited data4, and available 4G LTE data speeds5 for mobile phone service, including Android™-powered smartphones. Virgin Mobile Beyond Talk monthly unlimited data and messaging plans, which start at $35, are ideal for those smartphone users hungry for the most connectivity and the least amount of voice minutes.
- Boost’s Monthly Unlimited Select plans offer value-conscious consumers three easy-to-understand plans that all include unlimited talk, text and data.6 Each plan offers different data usage thresholds to help address the varying data needs of consumers.
The Speed of Sprint Spark
Sprint Spark provides the capacity to greatly improve the performance of video and other bandwidth-intensive applications while opening the way for futuristic applications. Sprint Spark is designed to support a new generation of online gaming, virtual reality, advanced cloud services and other applications requiring very high bandwidth.
Available today in 27 markets across the country, Sprint Spark is an enhanced LTE service that’s built for data and designed to deliver average wireless speeds of 6-15Mbps and peak wireless speeds of 50-60Mbps today on capable devices, with increasing speed potential over time. Sprint plans to reach 100 million Americans by year-end with the service.
Sprint (NYSE:S) is a communications services company that creates more and better ways to connect its customers to the things they care about most. Sprint served more than 54 million customers as of June 30, 2014, and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including the first wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; leading no-contract brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, and Assurance Wireless; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. The American Customer Satisfaction Index rated Sprint as the most improved U.S. company in customer satisfaction, across all 43 industries, over the last six years. Sprint has been named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) North America in 2011, 2012 and 2013. You can learn more and visit Sprint at www.sprint.com orwww.facebook.com/sprint and www.twitter.com/sprint.
About Virgin Mobile USA
Virgin Mobile USA offers millions of customers control, flexibility and connectivity through its Beyond Talk™ plans for data-hungry customers, Virgin Mobile Custom™, for the ultimate in personalized plans and parental control; and for prepaid Broadband2Go high-speed Web access on the Nationwide Sprint 4G LTE Network, all available without being tied to a long-term subscription contract. Virgin Mobile-branded devices are available at more than 40,000 retail stores, including Best Buy, RadioShack, Target and Walmart. Top-Up cards are available at approximately 150,000 locations nationwide. Experience Virgin Mobile on the Web at Facebook, Twitter, You Tube, and purchase Virgin Mobile USA products atwww.virginmobileusa.com. For more news, click here.
About Boost Mobile –
Boost Mobile offers wireless phones and services with no long-term contracts and national service on the Nationwide Sprint Network, reaching more than 279 million people, with no activation or long-distance fees. Boost Mobile offers a selection of quality handsets from HTC, Kyocera, LG, Motorola and Samsung, including Android™ smartphone devices available nationwide at nearly 20,000 major retail stores, including Best Buy, Kmart-Sears, RadioShack, Target, Family Dollar, Walgreens and Walmart, independent wireless dealer locations, and on HSN, a leading TV home shopping network. Re-Boost® Cards are available at approximately 100,000 locations throughout the United States. Experience Boost Mobile on the Web atFacebook and Twitter; and purchase products at www.boostmobile.com.
About Sharp Corporation
Sharp Corporation is a worldwide developer of innovative products and core technologies that play a key role in shaping the future of electronics. Not only being a leading Android device manufacturer in Japan, but as a leader in liquid crystal displays (LCDs) and digital technologies, Sharp offers one of the broadest and most advanced lines of consumer electronics, information products and electronic components, while also creating new network businesses. Sharp Corporation employs 50,253 people in the world (as of March 31, 2014) and recorded consolidated annual sales of 2,927,186 million yen for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2014. For more information, please visit Sharp’s Web site at sharp-world.com/index.html.
1Sharp AQUOS Crystal MSRP: $239.99
2To improve the data experience for the majority of users, throughput speeds may be limited, varied or reduced on the network
3The $100 offer is available Aug. 22, 2014 – Sept. 30, 2014 when customers switch to Sprint. It includes $15/mo./line access chargers waived through 2015. Valid only on 20GB or higher data allowance.
4Beyond Talk plans include 2.5GB/month of high-speed data. Video streaming may be limited to 3G speeds.
5 When in a 4G LTE coverage area.
6Includes respective 3G/4G high-speed data allotment applicable to monthly plan. Video streaming may be limited to 3G speeds.
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