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Sharp’s on-trend, bezel-free Aquos Crystal 2 smartphone launches in Japan

Remember the Sharp Aquos Crystal from last year? It was something of a trendsetter with its bezel-free touchscreen, and now Sharp has announced a sequel, just as other manufacturers are bringing out their own smartphones with edgeless screens. Currently, the Aquos Crystal 2 is an exclusive to the SoftBank network in Japan, but there’s a chance the phone may come to the SoftBank-owned Sprint network in the future, just like its predecessor.

The frameless screen makes its return, and measures 5.2-inches with a 720p resolution. The frameless aspect only covers three sides of the display, and the bottom of the display is connected to a main section of the phone containing the sensors usually found above the screen.

Related: We review the first Sharp Aquos Crystal

Disappointingly, it’s a Snapdragon 400 processor running at 1.2GHz powering the phone, and accompanied by 2GB of RAM. While still a decent chip, the 400 has been superseded, putting the Aquos Crystal 2 at a disadvantage when comparing specs with other hardware. There’s an 8-megapixel camera on the rear, a 2-megapixel selfie cam, local 4G LTE connectivity, and Android 5.0 installed as standard.

Other features include a MicroSD card slot to boost the 16GB of internal memory, and a small 2,000mAh battery. However, despite the battery’s low capacity, the 720p screen and low-power processor should mean the phone is relatively energy efficient. SoftBank will put the Aquos Crystal 2 on sale in mid-July.

Sharp Aquos Xx  in red

Sharp Aquos Xx in red

If you’re looking for a more powerful Sharp smartphone, the Aquos Xx may fit the bill. Another sequel to an existing device, the Aquos Xx can’t quite match the Crystal 2’s frameless screen, but the bezels are still very slim. The screen measures a massive 5.7-inches and has a 1080p resolution, while a Snapdragon 810 octa-core processor and 3GB of RAM provides the power.

The camera has 13 megapixels on the rear and 2 megapixels on the front, plus other features include a 3,000mAh battery, Android 5.0, 4G LTE, and 32GB of internal storage space with a MicroSD card slot for good measure. SoftBank will sell the Aquos Xx alongside the Crystal 2 from July.

The Crystal X was never released internationally, and the same fate may await the Xx. However, will Sprint, Boost, or Virgin decide to take on the Aquos Crystal 2 this year, or will the tepid response to the original see it stay in Japan? We’ll keep you updated.