Disclosure: I participated in an Influencer Activation Program on behalf of Influence Central for Sprint. I received a sample device to facilitate this review.
With three boys in our home, it’s easy to forget that not everyone has, needs or wants the top of the line smartphone. Apple this and Galaxy that. The big players in the smartphone market have created demand with kids and beyond. In a world of $700+ smartphones that are indeed the envy of many, especially kids and teens, Sharp and Sprint have decided to do battle with a mid-range handset.
At first glance, the Sprint LTE powered handset looks much more expensive than its obtainable price suggests. The minimal bezels on the 720P 5 inch screen make the phone smaller in both appearance and in the hand. The sleek, clean lines extend to the side and top with easy to access power and volume controls. Standard 3.5mm headset jack sits on top and a micro USB opening dead center on the bottom. Underneath the user-replaceable battery, you find a MicroSD slot – for up to 128gb cards.
The phone comes with mid-range specs for memory, processor, and front and rears cameras. But that misses the point as the phone performs very well and has an outstanding battery life.
While the rear camera wasn’t up to par with the latest from Apple or Samsung, it works well enough and is easy to get the shot you want. Front-facing more than adequate for the obligatory selfie or Google Hangouts call.
The phone fires up quickly and handled nearly everything we threw at it. My Google Play account is stocked with HD games, music app and other apps that can push a phone hard. The Aquos only stumbled with some of the most recent HD games. Music and video apps ran fine. You will want to use earbuds as the single speaker, like most phones is only useful for the occasional speakerphone call.
Sprint included a fair amount of software beyond the standard Google and each user will decide whether these apps work for their needs. My only complaint is that many of these apps cannot be removed by the user. So, they will take up precious space on a phone with a limited 8GB of onboard memory. There is that microSD lost but that cost additional money for a card.
Finally, the Sprint LTE powered Sharp Aquos has a battery that seemingly runs forever. As phones have come with an endless parade of new features, the one that hasn’t improved much is battery life. The Aquos ran a full day with email, music streaming, navigation and game playing. And we still had a solid 30% left. Enough to feel secure that all but the most phone-obsessed can get a complete day away from the charger. Of course, your mileage may vary but we were impressed with the stamina of the Aquos.
The Sharp Aquos is ideal for first time users and anyone that needs the basics but doesn’t need every bell and whistle. It is a great mid-range performer with a long battery life.