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First Look: Huawei Ascend (Cricket Wireless)

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First Look: Huawei Ascend (Cricket Wireless)

2:00 /

Snapping up the Huawei Ascend was a good move for Cricket Wireless. The Android 2.1 phone is a solid entry-level phone for a great price.

-I'm Jessica Dolcourt for cnet.com taking a first look at the Huawei Ascend. The Ascend is an entry-level Android phone running Android 2.1. It costs only $150 for the hardware and that's without a contract. So, let's go through the phone. The Ascend here is a touchscreen device for the pretty solid construction, although the back cover is a little bit plasticky for our taste. It has a 3.5-inch HVGA touchscreen, but you can also navigate with the trackball and with 4 hardware buttons. These aren't touch-sensitive, so you really have to press down. Note that there is no search button as part of the navigation keys unlike on some other Android phones. You'll notice that Huawei has added its own flair as phone manufacturers often do. The onscreen navigation tool bar has buttons to open you app or launch the phone, open contacts, compose a text message, and there's one final button that opens a grid view of your home screens. There are 9 here. Count them up. The Ascend gives you 3 screens to swipe through horizontally and 3 to swipe through vertically. We think that 9 is a little overkill, but to each their own on this one. The Ascend's exterior features include the power button and a MicroSD card slot that holds up to a 16-gigabyte card. There's also a camera button, the volume rocker, and on the top, a micro USB charger port and a 2.5-mm headset jack. We'd rather have a 3.5-mm jack of course. On the back is a 3.2-megapixel camera. Overall, we're pretty happy with the way this phone looks, feels, and functions. Call quality was our biggest complaint. It was pretty poor during our test with a lot of muffling and white noise, but to be fair, we are outside of Cricket's coverage zone here in San Francisco, so your experience could be a little bit different. If you can overlook potentially about the call quality, the Huawei Ascend is a great value Android phone for only a 150 bucks without a contract. I'm Jessica Dolcourt for CNET and this has been the Huawei Ascend.

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