Smartphone Review: A First Look At The Huawei Ascend 2

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Should You Ascend To Number 2?

ascent ii front

Let’s talk phone upgrade. The second generation Huawei Ascend II made its debut on July 13, 2011. I will try to provide as much information as possible about the newest Cricket supported phone on the block. The phone was first mentioned in March 2011 at the CTIA when Cricket announced the imminent arrivals of both the Samsung Indulge and the eagerly anticipated Huawei Ascend II. Both were said to be ready to showcase their wares in the summer.

Design (5 out of 5)

Ascend ii back

So let’s look at the Huawei Ascend sequel. Viewed side-by- side the Huawei Ascend II (also known as the Huawei M685), is sleeker and lighter than the ‘First Ascend.’ It is 4.60 inches long by 2.40 inches wide and weighs 4.10 oz. The Huawei Ascend II comes in the color black which is fine by me as I am of the opinion that the blacker the phone the more expensive and professional it looks and you won’t get too much unwanted attention either. The back of the phone is white but will more than likely be covered when you purchase your Ascend ll case.

However, the color of a phone really comes down to individual preferences. Some people like it when their phone matches their outfit and hey, a colorful smartphone will make anyone’s hand appear rich.

The Ascend II has a candy bar body, a 600MHz processor, and resolution of 320 by 480 pixels, 262,144 colors and a screen size of 3.5 inches with HVGA display – Hhmmm, WVGA would have been nicer. It also houses a light sensor and proximity sensor. The phone now boasts the usage of the Android 2.3 Gingerbread 2.3 OS, which is another eagerly anticipated upgrade from the Android 2.2 which powered its predecessor. The phone has approximately 140MB of free memory and it comes with a 2GB MicroSD card

User Interface (5 out of 5)

Okay, so the Huawei Ascend II has the ‘High End’ look, but it is quite user friendly. The multimedia file comes equipped with a music player and yes – thank you for the applause – there is a 3.5mm headphone jack for those of us who need a symphony on the go. This omission did not sit well with users of the original Ascend.

The built-in camera/camcorder comes with a nice 5 megapixel resolution which is an upgrade from the 3.2 megapixels of the first, but the complaint is that it appears to be fixed-focus. The trackball and hardware navigation buttons gives way to four touch-sensitive buttons beneath the capacitive touch screen. Allow me to interject, I for one do not like the trackball feature – just give me a track pad that I can slide over. But hey, change is good for some. Our generation of social networkers will appreciate the fact that social networking websites load quickly and applications are easily managed, especially if you use a lot of applications at the same time. The text-o-holics and the text-maniacs, as well as the text-a-lots, will find this phone to be fun.

Features (4 out of 5)

The phone carries Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity and your friends’ updates appear in the address book. It has the standard icons and titles such as Messaging, Phonebook, Organizer, Settings etc. of a regular cell phone alongside the Android and Cricket applications. The screen has a low resolution and the processor is a bit slow, but since it costs approximately the same as its predecessor I would say it may well be worth the money. The Huawei Ascend II’s 5.0 megapixels camera takes beautiful pictures especially at daytime and makes videos seem sizzling. The USB port will come in handy to be able to quickly transfer data to and from your mobile and its expandable memory will enable you to add additional photos, videos, games etc. The Huawei Ascend II also has picture ID that will make it easy to identify the majority of your callers without trying to acknowledge the number.

Verdict (4 out of 5)

All in all the Huawei Ascend II is a very snappy happy phone and slimmer than its original counterpart. But it would seem as if the First Ascend, though a little bulkier than the Ascend II, appears to be more able to hold the hearts of smartphone savvy individuals better. Its greatest achievement is the honorable upgrade of the camera. Purchasing the Huawei Ascend II is still not a bad idea as far as emailing and browsing goes, and typing text is a breeze. The Huawei Ascend II can be had without a contract from Cricket for $180.00 with a monthly data plan for unlimited call, text and web access for $50. A prepaid package can be had for only $129.00.