Cricket launching no-contract $149 Android phone

The Ascend handset from Huawei runs Android 2.1

Cricket, a U.S. mobile operator that uses pay-in-advance monthly plans, will sell the Android-based Ascend smartphone for $US149 without a contract when it hits stores in the next two weeks.

The Ascend, made by Huawei Technologies, has a 3.5-inch touchscreen and runs the Android 2.1 operating system. It will be the third smartphone and the second Android device from Cricket, which sells voice and data services on a no-contract basis and has about 5.3 million subscribers across the U.S.

Cricket will offer the Ascend with a $55-per-month plan that includes unlimited talk and text-messaging and no cap on data use. The phone will be able to use EV-DO Revision A (Evolution-Data Optimized) data access across Cricket's own network, which reaches about 94 million U.S. residents, and have voice and text service through roaming partners in other areas of the country, said Matt Stoiber, vice president and general manager of device development at Cricket. The EV-DO network has a maximum speed of about 1.4M bps (bits per second).

As smartphones based on Google's Android OS have proliferated over the past several months, the cost of the handsets has come down. Several carriers in Europe have recently introduced Android phones, including some from Huawei, priced below $150 without a contract. Cricket so far has offered the Android 1.6-based Sanyo Zio smartphone for $249 and the BlackBerry Curve for $299.

The Ascend has a 528MHz CPU and will come with a 2GB removable storage card, Stoiber said. Cricket will be showing it off privately during the CTIA Enterprise & Applications conference this week in San Francisco.

Huawei is also supplying two other devices coming soon from Cricket. The M750, a feature phone with a touchscreen, will run on Cricket's CDMA2000-1x (Code Division Multiple Access) network, which runs below 200K bps. It will use a proprietary operating system but will include e-mail and Web browsing. The M750 will go on sale next month for an undisclosed price below $150, Stoiber said.

Within the next two weeks, Cricket will also start selling the Crosswave, a portable Wi-Fi hotspot that uses the EV-DO network to link to the Internet. Users can connect as many as three Wi-Fi devices at a time to the Crosswave, Stoiber said. It will sell for $149. Cricket will offer its standard data plans for the Cricket, ranging from 2.5GB per month for $40 to 7.5GB per month for $60.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Huawei Technologiestelecommunicationconsumer electronicsapplicationscricketsmartphonesPhonessoftwareMobile operating systemsmobile

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Stephen Lawson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?