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Your basic Android smartphone

Design

Typing troubles

Top view

Photo test

Focal foul

Toys

Flower power?

Also unfocused

Table

Studio shot

U.S. Cellular recently picked up the Huawei Ascend II, an entry-level Android 2.3 Gingerbread smartphone that doesn't stray far from the basics.
Updated: / Caption: / Photo: James Martin/CNET
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Your basic Android smartphone

Design

Typing troubles

Top view

Photo test

Focal foul

Toys

Flower power?

Also unfocused

Table

Studio shot

The Ascend II's design is attractive enough, with smooth round lines and a grippable soft-touch back cover. It's fairly petite without being tiny, so it's easy to cart around.
Updated: / Caption: / Photo: James Martin/CNET
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Your basic Android smartphone

Design

Typing troubles

Top view

Photo test

Focal foul

Toys

Flower power?

Also unfocused

Table

Studio shot

The 3.5-inch screen isn't too shrunken on its own, but typing was tough on the default keyboard, especially without Swype or other keyboards preinstalled to help out. I made a lot of errors.
Updated: / Caption: / Photo: James Martin/CNET
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Your basic Android smartphone

Design

Typing troubles

Top view

Photo test

Focal foul

Toys

Flower power?

Also unfocused

Table

Studio shot

I kind of like how the headset jack straddles the top and back.
Updated: / Caption: / Photo: James Martin/CNET
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Your basic Android smartphone

Design

Typing troubles

Top view

Photo test

Focal foul

Toys

Flower power?

Also unfocused

Table

Studio shot

First, the compulsory note: All photos were taken with automatic settings. While they have been resized, they are otherwise unaltered.

The Ascend II has a 5-megapixel camera, which certainly isn't extravagant, but could be capable of producing great pictures. It doesn't. Without a flash or autofocus, taking photos was a crap shoot.
Updated: / Caption: / Photo: Jessica Dolcourt/CNET
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Your basic Android smartphone

Design

Typing troubles

Top view

Photo test

Focal foul

Toys

Flower power?

Also unfocused

Table

Studio shot

I was aiming for the chiseled Captain Marvel. Instead, Mr. Bacon stole the spotlight.
Updated: / Caption: / Photo: Jessica Dolcourt/CNET
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Your basic Android smartphone

Design

Typing troubles

Top view

Photo test

Focal foul

Toys

Flower power?

Also unfocused

Table

Studio shot

The Ascend II did better than it could have with this scene. The focal field is a tad deeper than for some smartphone cameras.
Updated: / Caption: / Photo: Jessica Dolcourt/CNET
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Your basic Android smartphone

Design

Typing troubles

Top view

Photo test

Focal foul

Toys

Flower power?

Also unfocused

Table

Studio shot

Looking at this blurry photo of flowers, taken in early morning light, makes my eyes hurt. The color representation is good, though.
Updated: / Caption: / Photo: Jessica Dolcourt/CNET
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Your basic Android smartphone

Design

Typing troubles

Top view

Photo test

Focal foul

Toys

Flower power?

Also unfocused

Table

Studio shot

Here the leaves look better than the blooms, which I was trying to make my main subject.
Updated: / Caption: / Photo: Jessica Dolcourt/CNET
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Your basic Android smartphone

Design

Typing troubles

Top view

Photo test

Focal foul

Toys

Flower power?

Also unfocused

Table

Studio shot

The slatted chair-and-table combo outside CNET's office looked decent photographed with the Ascend II.
Updated: / Caption: / Photo: Jessica Dolcourt/CNET
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Your basic Android smartphone

Design

Typing troubles

Top view

Photo test

Focal foul

Toys

Flower power?

Also unfocused

Table

Studio shot

The Ascend II did OK with the standard studio shot, but not every object is in focus.
Updated: / Caption: / Photo: James Martin/CNET
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