I work in the wireless industry. My 11 year old son wanted a smart phone like mine more than anything else for his birthday. I didn't want to get him a contract phone so I looked into prepaids. It seems like all the prepaid phones are lacking in some very important way. The cameras go up to 3 if you're lucky. Front facing camera? Forget about that. They all say $50 unlimited everything but then when you read the brochure, it requires an additional data plan that usually costs more than the carriers.
After a lot of research I chose the Mercury because it has an 8mp camera, a front facing camera, it's a hotspot and the overall look and feel of the phone seems to be more like your top of the line smart phone. I figured with this phone he would have what he needed and I wouldn't have to pay outrageous prices for a low quality phone.
After playing with it I actually like his phone better than my HTC! It's faster, big screen, vibrant colors, front facing camera... I offered to trade him but he refused. He absolutely loves it! At $200, and recently on sale at Target for $150, it's a steal. In my opinion it's the best prepaid phone on the market. I get no comission for promoting Cricket products, but this is an amazing value and perfect for kids or anyone who doesn't want a contract yet wants a top quality smart phone.
So far there have been no cons other than my son constantly losing it... But if he does, it's not like a contract phone that costs $800 to replace!
Crazy Little Thing Called Muve
It'll save me some trouble to simply rush headlong to the point; it's a hard life for wireless OEMs in North America; each company is under pressure to produce the Next Big Thing, and any of them can disappear in a flash. (Some, like Nokia and RIM, are just waiting for the hammer to fall.) Huawei is not known for their top-shelf devices; some of their stuff is bleakly utilitarian, and some of it has been simply awful, but if there's one thing that will eventually help them tear it up in the West, it's that they don't try so hard. To be clear, the Mercury is not a top-shelf device either; instead, it's a perfectly competent, sometimes surprising mid-tier phone at a perfectly reasonably low-to-mid tier prepaid price.
Like most techno-whores, I have one vision of the perfect phone, and I want it all; a luscious screen, a tight build, and an economical user-interface that doesn't bury essential functions beneath four or five unnecessary taps. The screen on the Mercury is not going to woo any Apple aficionados away from their iPhones, but its 480 x 800 pixels spread across 4 inches of LCD real estate provide a decent visual experience without sandblasting your corneas into mush.
The build quality is first-rate, though I must admit that I'm going slightly mad at the fingerprints that collect on the glossy rear panel; it wipes off easily enough, so don't lose your head if you're like me and smudges drive you stone cold crazy. (Smudges and fingerprints don't stop me now that I've gotten used to touchscreen devices, but who wants to live forever wiping off their phone?)
The miracle here is that Cricket and Huawei have proved that they can play the game, as they've crammed so much into such a diminutive price point; two hundred clams and fifty-five bucks a month gets you 1000 minutes, with unlimited text, data, and access to Cricket's impressive Muve Music library.
It's almost like it's a kind of magic.
AD reviews continues below...
hide detailed ratings
This is coming from someone who has been in the industry for over 10 urs now, I've had them all & worked for them all. People, lets make sure we know what we're reviewing. For anyone who would compare to a contract companies phones, this is a PRE-PAID COMPANY, I'd you want higher end, faster, or sturdier androids... GO SPEND thousands of dollars per year at Verizon our AT&T! As far as camera quality, you can't judge an 8mpx cameras quality to a 3.2mpx by looking at the screens resolution! And if you would rather use an android that's using 2 years ago 2.1 platform and not be able to move apps to your memory card thus bogging down your speed... More power to ya. This is an incredible phone for the money, and Cricket has lept into the REAL phone market with a smart, snappy android! Hoorah for Cricket and Huawei with faster and better things to come in the near future!
2 thumbs up for me!
This is my first smartphone/andriod with cricket and I've been with them for a long time now. This phone really has so much stuff to do, the more I use it the more I like it! I never new how much fun id have with a phone, being how my old ones were the real basic flip phones so this was a gamble purchase for me and it turned out to be a great Christmas present after all! Thanks Huawei and cricket!
Cricket's topof the line android
Huawei has released a middle entry level android cell. I've used both ascend android cells. The Mercury is definitely the best to date for Cricket.
The phone is beautiful.Feels sturdy in my hand. The shape if the phone feels good. The 4' screen is bright and visable. Easy to text on and browse the net. The 1 ghz processor is zippy and fast for 3g data. Rotating to landscape mode is excellent. Easy to text, surf, zoom in and out.
Pros; Sturdy feel, beautiful design. 4' scree. Fast processor. Value price. Decent on 3g. great sound quality. Alot of useful appss too.
Cons; fingerprint magnet. Solved by using a slim design plate. I use a Nillkin brand. The camera isnt great. In good lighting and daylight, can take great pictures. Not the best camera available. Not a big issue for me since I dont use it alot. The camcorder does average too.
Overall,this is a winner for me. It is an excellent choice of a pretty snazzy android cell phone. For the average consumer on a budget, the Huawei Mercury and Cricket is a good choice.
Some customers may disagree with me about Cricket Customer service. I've had Cricket Service over 4 years on and off. I've not had any issues that wasnt resolved in a professional manner. Great Job Cricket/Huawei!
This Huawei Mercury is going back to the stoe
I've had this phone for 24 hours now and I'm not impressed with it. I've arranged to take it back to the cricket store and reactivate my Huawei Ascend I.
The 8MP camera is barely better than the Ascend's. The sales Rep even tried the other Mercury they had on hand. We were stunned to see the inferior camera. Even the sound on video had marginal microphone pickup, though better than the horrible mic on the Ascend. We compared its cam to a 3.2MP Samsung smartphone and the Samsung blew it away in quality.
As far as the statement on the store ad that says "tethering capable", I'm wondering why because there's no app to do so.
And there's already slight yellowing at the top & bottom of the screen. I think cricket made a bad choice in contracting this phone maker to sell them inferior phones-even after all the issues with the Ascend I & II.
If this phone was only $125 instead of the $199 I paid(after the mail-in discount) I'd keep it. There will be a lot of cricket stores going out of business if they don't get a quality phone to offer its customers.