Jul 15, 2011

Huawei Ascend II on sale now, brings off-contract Gingerbread to Cricket for $180

We gotta say -- we dig where this is headed. Between Virgin Mobile's Intercept, Boost Mobile's Prevail and Cricket's Ascend II, it's getting harder and harder to justify a mid-range smartphone on a post-paid carrier. Huawei's latest prepaid smartphone has just landed on Cricket, quite a few months after we first touched it at CTIA. What's wild isn't the predictable design or middle-of-the-road 5 megapixel camera -- it's that $179.99 off-contract price tag coupled with a copy of Android 2.3. Gingerbread is proving tough to find even on the big boys, so having a prepaid option is all the more surprising. You'll also get a 3.5-inch HVGA touchpanel, WiFi, a microSD slot and a 600MHz processor. Granted, you'll likely experience plenty of lag when trying to multitask, but with an all-inclusive $55 / month plan (which includes unlimited talk, text, 411 information, international text, data and video picture messages), what's to kvetch about?

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