Positioned as a low-cost device, the Ascend won't wow in the features department, but it comes with all the usual Android offerings, such as Wi-Fi, a 3.2-megapixel camera, an MP3 player, Bluetooth, a MicroSD card slot, and support for the carrier's 3G EV-DO network. We're glad to see that it runs Android 2.1 (Eclair) rather than the 1.6 version of the OS that came on the Zio.
The design is equally simple, though that's hardly a bad thing. It lacks a physical keyboard so the 3.5-inch screen will be your main interface point for accessing the menu, dialing the phone, browsing the Internet, and using the various features. Naturally, you'll need to use a virtual keyboard for e-mails and messages.
The Ascend will be available later this month for $149. That's a very fair price given that Cricket does not require contracts. The $55 per-monthfor voice, text, and data is equally affordable.