Pros Android market that seamlessly integrates with all Google Products (voice, gmail, talk, contacts, maps, navigation, listen, etc) | Battery Life | Good wi-fi & 3G speed | Sturdy build (nothing cheap about it) |
Cons The only con I have found in my 3 full days of use is that it sometimes stalls when you have multiple apps running in the background at the same time (like Pandora, Skype, mp3 player). Those apps are memory hogs, so it's expected from the 1 GHz Proc
Summary Why everyone doesn't purchase this phone outright and use it on Cricket's reliable 3G network for a $55/month unlimited, no contract plan is a mystery to me.
I demo'ed the voice & gesture search to my uncle today (who travels constantly with his iPhone 3G S) and he was very impressed. I was getting 3 bars of service in B.F.E. and using the GPS Google Sky app and he was getting nothing at all...and at the same time, he was very impressed with the speed and the nexus theme. I even linked it to his Infinity M35 through Bluetooth and played Pearl Jam on the way home.
I didn't have my expectations too high when ordering this phone. I previously dated an iPhone but hated being a contract slave and paying more than I felt was responsible every month, while also envying the Android platform. I thought this was a phone (and a plan) I wouldn't have to make a commitment to -- and that after a month or two, I would settle into a long term relationship with a better Android product.
I don't know if I'm still wearing beer goggles -- or I just woke up beside a 10. Either way, we're both having fun and seem to get along quite nicely. Maybe she's the one???
If you're doing your research before investing in this hand candy, take the plunge. The water's fine. This cheap date is one you can have a ton of fun with...and then proudly show off to momma.
Pros Comparing the ZIO (Cricket's other Android phone) to the Huawei Ascend isn't even fair. The screen on the Huawei is far more responsive, apps run much faster and it feels like a quality phone in your hand where the ZIO fails on all accounts.
Cons So far, after two weeks, I am still very impressed. Added a 16gb card still no slow response times. The same 16gb card made my ZIO chug and freeze-up.
Summary Compared to the ZIO, the Huawei is a slam dunk!
Pros Most reasonable plan anywhere and I am so sick of making those big, fat executives at AT&T richer. Excellent phone and 3G reception. Android platform flexibility! Great looking phone, great screen at an excellent value that exceeded my expectations.
Cons The only negative thing about this phone is having to teach people how to say Huawei. , "Wah-way...(insert friend's dog-like sideways head tilt here---and repeat)...WAH-WAY!" You kinda sound like Gilda Radner's impersonation of Barbra Walters.
Summary Android everything with a super excellent value phone and plan. Much more than I expected. And I am getting great reception in Kansas City. My roomies T-Mobile phones have issues in my house so I was anticipating issues and was very curious to see what sort of reception this Cricket Ascend would have - but no problems here.HELLO? HELLO? People! If you haven't figured it out yet, this no contract $130 phone is not a $500 phone with every conceivable feature. It does not have an 8mp camera for instance, and you can not do the whole "face-time" see and talk stuff like on the iphone - which unless you are in LOVE and *****, why on earth would you want to be seen and see everyone you are phoning? I don't want people I'm talking to know that I'm surfing the net, doing the dishes, eating the morning oatmeal or enjoying the regularity all that fiber provides while I'm on the phone with them. It is a great value for the money, speedy enough for me and serves my purposes as a smart phone with a flexible phone platform such as Android.
There is also a little known advance payment benefit that Cricket offers...if you pay three months in advance you get one month free. Not sure why this is not advertised widely, but about a year ago I got a text on my old Cricket-flashed Palm Pre about getting one month free if I paid for three months in advance. IT'S AWESOME!!!! I ask each time I go to pay my bill if the offer is still good and it is. SO---that means my $55 monthly unlimited talk / text / internet plan goes down to $41.25 (plus taxes) per month. Isn't this unbelievable?
And, btw, who needs insurance?! I got mine online for $129.99. At $5 a month for insurance ($60 a year) why not just buy a new one IF you need to. And as far as that goes, a year from now I might want a different phone...and since there is no contract I can upgrade myself WHENEVER I WANT and sell my old phone on craigslist or something.
Updated on Oct 29, 2010
Pros Everything you could ask for comes inside the phone. Fast web browsing, web pages are crystal clear, the call quality is great and with a bluetooth device even better. Does not feel cheap at all like described by other sites
Cons The only thing I do not like is the 2.5 mm jack. I would have liked to have plugged it into my aux in my car and take my music on the go but I'll get the MIFI that they have and connect my Ipod that way so it's no big deal. Sucks but oh well
Summary Overall the Huawei Ascend is a great phone and the price makes it even better. I would have preferred a 3.5 mm jack on the phone so maybe the next one they come out with will have that but overall, two thumbs up to Huawai for making a great phone and having it run on Android 2.1 is even better.I feel that the ratings on this phone by cnet is horrifically biased so I am here to give my own review after having had the phone nearly a month now. I do agree with cnet that the phone should have a 3.5 mm jack instead of the 2.5 mm jack, HOWEVER, you can get a jack converter from Radio Shack or Best Buy and plug it into your car radio or AUX in your system BUT I do agree a star should have been taken there for sure. The phone itself exceeds all of my expectations. The touch screen is surprisingly responsive and I am able to use multiple apps with no problem and the battery life is actually longer than the blackberry I previously owned. Call quality is descent and with a bluetooth attached the sound is better, plus you can use the speakerphone which is also pretty descent. I have seen other phones from At&t that have gotten better ratings and I feel those are biased especially since they are NOT android phones. Cnet get it together, this phone in my book deserves a 3.5 or higher.
Updated on Nov 10, 2010
Pros Relatively responsive Android device for low cost. Intuitive design and function. Runs Android 2.1 OS and has full access to Android marketplace.
Cons Some physical components of the phone feel a little cheap. Moderate Lag from the processor (only time I have incurred was while installing new shortcuts to home screen or running more apps than I needed to be).
Summary The main reason I bought this phone was to because most of my online organization is run through google (gmail, google calendar, google maps, etc.). After 3 days of use (so far), I haven't found much that has made me regret buying it.
Prior to buying this phone I heard some negative input about the overall construction of the phone. The body of the phone itself feels pretty solid. The back plastic casing picks up finger prints like you wouldn't believe and feels slick to the touch after holding in your hand for a while but the overall rigidity is fairly strong. The only thing that concerns me about the construction of the phone, at this point, is the unorthodox "pressable" buttons that surround the roller ball (below the touch-screen). These buttons are a single, flat, plastic panel that resembles brushed aluminum. It is flexible enough to "receive" the input you are attempting, but this flexibility makes it feel like you could pull it off of the phone without much effort. There is also a gap between this panel and the touch-screen that is liable to collect some dust-bunnies and crumbs over time. The volume rocker, camera button and power switch are all located on the side of the phone and seem pretty functional. I like that the micro-USB port is covered but it's location at the top of the phone, along with the fact that it is concealed within the same port cover as the headset-jack, seems a little cumbersome.
The performance of the phone is surprisingly good, given the phone's price-point. As you probably know, it runs on Android 2.1. As I mentioned before, the only lag I have gotten from the processor is while accessing the menus required to install a new shortcut to the home screen. Other than that, even with 8-10 apps running, I have not incurred much lag.
The battery life of the phone is also relatively extensive. The fact that I have limited phone usage probably doesn't make me the best judge of battery life, but I have made it through the day with 50% battery life remaining after 10 hours.
Interactiion with the phone is very intuitive. The screen and keyboard are extremely responsive and accurate. The keyboard rotates from "profile" to "landscape" view within a single second of rotating the phone itself (compared to an I-phone and it even seemed to rotate faster). When viewing web pages it seems to take a little longer to "organize" all of the items on screen after rotating. The phone also vibrates slightly when you are typing, which is a nice little feature.
The camera seems decent. The quality of picture is good (in adequate lighting). The lens is concealed in a housing that will probably attract debris.
Usually the phone function of a device like this is the first thing that would be mentioned in a review like this. For some reason I am getting to it last (sign of the times). The sound quality of a call is slightly "tinny" but this does not seem to affect clarity. The call functions are simple until you reach the time where you have to end a call. The only function I have found to hang up is to select the "menu" button on the press button panel and wait for it to load the "end call" function. This has left my voicemails with 4-5 seconds of empty space at the end, but it's not a big deal and I'm sure there might be a more intuitive function to end calls that I am just not aware of. Overall, it hasn't been a big enough issue to even be considered an annoyance.
Finally, one word about cricKet and their infamous customer service. I know that their (outsourced) service personnel is a controversial topic. I, however, haven't had a single issue with them to date. They were extremely helpful in getting my phone number ported over and explained to me every step necessary to reset the device after my number was successfully ported. This isn't to say that I won't run into customer service issues down the road, but so far, they have been nothing but helpful.
In summary, for a price of $150 retail, this phone actually goes beyond what I expected. Only several minor hitches prevent it from getting a full five-stars.