Just yesterday, Sharp announced the Sharp AQUOS Crystal smartphone for Japan, and today, Sprint announces that they’ve gotten the first Sharp AQUOS phone in the US. We were actually talking about this internally yesterday. Seeing as Softbank in Japan is a big partner with Sharp, it wouldn’t be hard for Softbank to get Sharp onto Sprint since they do own 80% of the company, and what do ya know. Here it is.
The Sharp AQUOS Crystal will be available at Sprint for $0 down and $10/month for 24 months. Or if you prefer Virgin Mobile or Boost Mobile, you can pick one up for $149.99, which is the full retail price. So as you can tell it’s not a real flagship, but it’s one of those phones that we’ve never had here in the US, so we gotta check it out. So far no word on release date, but hopefully it’s soon. We’ve got Sprint’s full press release down below.
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.comand 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 new Sprint 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 speeds5for 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.