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Review: Huawei Ascend

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The Cricket Ascend is a decent smartphone, but when you figure in the low price of $130 at print time with no contract required, it's even more impressive. It was a nice phone to use, and even though some features fell flat, the phone overall was a capable and (almost) full featured Android device.

The camera is lousy, and touch response on the screen can cause problems, especially while typing. But most features that Huawei skimped on, like a proximity sensor or multitouch, didn't cause any real problems. Even better, some of the interface enhancements, like the nine panel homescreen grid or the improved theme in the settings menus, were actually a nice touch for any Android device, let alone the most affordable Android on the market.

Don't expect too much out of the box. Messaging features and music playback are mostly stock Android, but that's not bad, and the phone has the full power of the Android App Market behind it to fill in the gaps in instant messaging, social networking and so on.

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Best of all, in some key ways, like call quality and the overall look and feel of the device, the Huawei Ascend doesn't feel cheap. If you're a Cricket fan, or a contract hater, looking for a real smartphone at a reasonable price, the Huawei Ascend is an easy phone to recommend.

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