The Sharp Aquos Crystal is very close to being an Android nerd's dream device. It has virtually no bezel (except on the bottom) and comes with a stock version of Android 4.4.2. It looks unlike anything else on the market in the US today, and many Sprint customers will no doubt be happy to pick one up from the carrier starting today at $239.99 off-contract. People who prefer to walk out without putting any money down can get the phone for $10 a month.
Phones produced for the Japanese market are usually so radically different than the ones we're used to that you don't really feel like you're missing anything. However, the new Sharp Aquos Crystal may pique your interest. The difference is that you might have a chance to buy this one soon. This device comes in two sizes—5-inches and 5.5-inches. Both of them have teeny tiny, miniscule bezels. Almost none of the body peeks out from the edge of the screen.
We've been taking a close look at some of Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo's 2013 offerings: LG's flagship Optimus G Pro, Panasonic's similar Eluga X, and the dual-screen NEC MEDIAS W. DoCoMo announced three other phones at the same time, all of which are at the head of their manufacturer's lineups. We've already seen Sony's Xperia Z, Xperia Tablet Z, and Huawei's Ascend D2. Fujitsu's ARROWS X F-02E matches up to both, more or less.
Previously, most of these titles were restricted to Sony's own Android phones, but the company has struck a deal that will bring 30 new titles from a variety of genres to selected Fujitsu and Sharp smartphones as well. This may not be big news for stateside customers, but it's particularly significant in the Japanese market.
I know what you're thinking: "Oh no, not another Android skin!" That was my initial thought, too; after seeing what Sharp and frog (the design firm behind this skin) have done with Feel UX, though, I actually kind of like it.
First off, I think this is far different than any other Android skin we've ever seen. It appears to be highly functional, but still maintains a level of cleanliness that even the most meticulous minimalists among us can appreciate.
It's officially the 3rd day of CES, and I finally made it over to the giant Sharp
booth pavilion, where I was able to get a hands-on demo of the first and only 3D Android handset, which is currently only sold in Japan. Don't worry though - it's coming to the U.S. and possibly other locations this year. Perhaps you've heard of it - meet Sharp Galapagos 003SH, which is capable of not only showing 3D menus, pictures, and videos, but allows you to snap some as well.
MobileCrunch is reporting via Japanese site Sankei Digital [JP] that Fujitsu is planning on manufacturing an Android handset for the Japanese market. Apple currently dominates the smartphone market in Japan, largely because the Japanese smartphone market was fairly bland before Apple entered the foray.
Japanese phones have tended to focus on high portability, social connectivity, and gadgetry over advanced software or bigger displays. The iPhone changed all that, and created a market for devices with larger displays and modern smartphone operating systems.