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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.
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.
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.
I kind of like how the headset jack straddles the top and back.
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.
I was aiming for the chiseled Captain Marvel. Instead, Mr. Bacon stole the spotlight.
The Ascend II did better than it could have with this scene. The focal field is a tad deeper than for some smartphone cameras.
Looking at this blurry photo of flowers, taken in early morning light, makes my eyes hurt. The color representation is good, though.
Here the leaves look better than the blooms, which I was trying to make my main subject.
The slatted chair-and-table combo outside CNET's office looked decent photographed with the Ascend II.
The Ascend II did OK with the standard studio shot, but not every object is in focus.