Oct 06 AT 12:19 PM Taylor Wimberly 45 Comments

Cricket Wireless launches cheapest Android phone, Huawei Ascend

Cricket Wireless’s first Android phone, the Kyocera Zio, was one of the cheapest models around when it launched earlier this year (at $249) and the low-cost carrier just announced a new phone that lowers the entry point.

The Huawei Ascend (which I belive is the U8230) is an entry-level Android 2.1 phone that Cricket will sell for $149 without a contract starting this October. The Ascend features a 3.5 inch HVGA display, 528 MHz Qualcomm MSM 7200A processor, and 3 megapixel camera.

The specs match those of the first-generation HTC G1, but it’s hard to complain about a new smartphone that only costs $149 and does not require a contract. Cricket also offers one of the cheapest smartphone plans, which runs $55 for unlimited talk, text, and web.

It is nice to see Cricket offer Android phones this cheap off contract, but I still wish more carriers would roll out tiered data plans to bring down the total cost of ownership.

Does the Ascend look like something you could recommend to a friend? What other features would you like to see in a low-cost Android phone?

Source: PCMag

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • asifriyaz

    cricket are moving in fast line
    good to see

    • Matt

      The Huawei Ascend is a cheap-ass, never-works-right, slow-loading, app eating, takes 30 seconds to make a phone call, frustrating, internet never works, rather have a $20 bar phone……motherfucking… PIECE OF GODDAMN SHIT!! Thank you for your time…and DO have a nice day.

  • http://Website JeffDenver

    Once again, no specs…what is the screen resolution? How much RAM does it have? Is it expandable to 32gigs via SD?

    Good to see low end Android phones though. Cricket is a great carrier if all you want is cheap unlimited everything. They deliver that. Just dont expect good customer service, and make sure you are ok with service being limited to major metro areas only.

    • http://Website skidroe

      You must not have cricket! I had T-Mobile for 2 yrs,(great serive though) left them for cricket and travel all over the East coast and my cricket service works everywhere Ive been from Michigan to Florida. And actually gets better reception in some places. But I bet you have Verizon or something, thats why youre trying to convince yourself and others they’re cheap and low end, just to make yourself feel better about being ripped off by Verizon, sprint or AT&t

  • http://Website Enea
  • http://Website JohnB

    Although I am normally easy on the low-end models, this one doesn’t cut it. All the latest low-end models use MSM7277 or MSM7255, which are MUCH superior to this ancient MSM7200 processor! And looking at the price range, I don’t think MSM7255 based phones will be all that much more expensive than this one. (Motorola Citrus anyone?)

    MSM72xx processors are much better:


    I’m not sure about this one at all.

  • asifriyaz

    does not have on cricket web side

  • http://Website dextermorph

    Not bad for cricket I’m an evo with root kinda guy, using desirehd Rom as I type this on it. But for ppl who either can’t or won’t sign a contract is recommend the Motorola milestone, they carry it on no contract necessary Cincinnati bell I believe this isn’t the Droid 1 look a like but a slate with an angled front view ….Google milestone on Cincinnati bell …..but I like ppl being able to get androids outside the major 4 …….

    Superevo with turbo kernel got 2440 quadrant standard score

    • http://Website kilari

      What you’re thinking of on Cincinnati Bell is the Motorola Milestone XT720. Good phone but sluggish at 720mhz I’ve read. I wanted one really bad last Spring, it had Tmobile 3G bands, but it never arrived so I went with a Cliq XT, then to a Vibrant, now I’m at the Mytouch 4G. Smooth as butter.

  • http://Website JJ

    I like the intercept with virgin mobile better. Plus virgin mobile has the best smartphone plan at only $25 a month for unlimited everything and 300 minutes. I would go to them before even thinking of cricket. It is $100 more but you get more phone plus better network.

    • http://Website Kilari

      Yes the Virgin Mobile Samsung Intercept is a GREAT phone for the money. For two years of Service through Virgin with the $25 a month 300 min plan it only costs $850 for two whole years of service and phone. The next cheapest of the big carriers is Sprint, for an Intercept plus 2 years of the 450 minute plan costs $1780. That’s a difference of $930. Whoever down ranked you is a poor idiot who knows nothing about saving money and still having Android. I have an Intercept now as my personal phone and a Mytouch 4G as my work phone. I use the Intercept just as much as my Mytouch 4G and honestly there’s something about it, I love the Intercept.

  • http://Website Vinc

    A friend just picked up His and Hers Ascends and they’re very decent phones. I think they’re a good deal. I’ve had a G1 and Samsung Vibrant. Benchmarks aside, the Cricket Ascend seems significantly better than my G1 was.

  • http://Website san

    Can I use microsoft outlook with this phone?

  • http://Website Jesus

    I love this phone, any one who doesn’t is just being to hard on this phone. You wouldn’t buy anything else at a low price and exspect so much. I think it runs fine, and the “Android Plan” by Cricket can’t be beat, plus no contract.

  • http://Website Jasper

    I love this phone all the different apps you can add are great…..Ive been waiting along time for cricket to come out with there own touch screen phones…..Of course we all have serv. issues at some point in certain areas…but overall i love it….and creating your own ringtones omg genius….plus speek to text wow…cricket has really stepped there game up….now lets work on the serv. areas guys

  • http://Website liz

    I love this phone. The price is right. Lets face it for the basic cricket customer who has been using the low line of phone they have had to this point having a step up is great. Lets not forget the fee for the service of 55$ for unlimited usage is great with lots of free apps. i give this thumbs up :)

  • http://cnet.com Jayce

    If you want to know about this phone check out this site

  • http://Facebook Shaina

    This phone works GREAT for the first three to four days. I’ve had it for about a month and it’s slow, and now it won’t let me type anything. I highly do not recommend to even buy a Criket phone.

  • http://Website Julie

    Phone works great. I am an entry level user of Smart phones. It browses nicely at 3g. I have only messed with Facebook however. The screen is super sensitive which sent my phone on a blitz trying to go ervery where it was touched in my purse. Not bad at all. iPhone watch out. Cost savings during these times will trump even you!

  • http://www.androidandme.com jenesa

    Nice ,affordable looking phone not bad for the price for being an android phone but one thing i wanted to know will this phone last for a long time .Don’t want to have to be fulled by how it looks..how it works is very important to so whoever knows can you please tell me ?

  • http://Website Naruto

    hey i think its an awesome looking phone and it has the latest android upgrade, plus a $55 plan? its perfect for a guy or gal looking for a cheap droid. kudos to cricket!

  • http://Website tammy spencer

    I am thrilled to see this type of technology at such a reasonable price without all the extra cost. They gave some reviews about the cheap plastic, or not having the “feel” of i phone? what? it is a piece of art..works perfect. LOVE IT

  • http://Website Steve New


  • http://Website Steve New

    When is 2.1 update going to b available for Zio as promised?

  • http://Website niles

    can we watch live stream tv

  • http://Website Drew

    I love the phone! I’m on it right now! The camera is not the best but it gets the job done to go have some beers with friends and snap a few pictures and send them straight to your facebook page. For the price I dont think you can do better. Would highly recommend!

  • http://Website Jason

    I just got the cricket two days ago and like it very much for 55 dollar plan you cant beat it. That is unlimited everything.

  • http://Website IDREAD


  • http://Website Keith

    The Huawei Ascend is a piece of crap and Cricket Communications/Leap Wireless isn’t much better. Every time I try to contact a customer service rep, I am routed to either Malaysia or India and it is impossible to reach a US-based call center. When you ask for a US call center, they become rude and tell you that this is the only call center they have….which cannot be true?

    I gave Cricket a chance after leaving “Satan’s spawn,” Verizon. However, I am regretting leaving Verizon now. Not only is the network a piece of junk, the Huawei Ascend is a horrible product. The phone seems to be possessed and performs applications on its own when I don’t even touch the damn thing. I contacted Cricket about getting a replacement phone as my phone does not work properly and they instructed me that I had to go to the manufacturer since it had been over 30 days since I purchased the phone. I’ve had the phone since Nov 5th and I’m ready to throw this piece of crap in the Allegheny river in Pittsburgh. After 40 days of having the phone, I wanted a new one and wanted to get completely away from Cricket’s attempt at providing a smart phone at a reasonable price and no contract. The hassle isn’t worth saving a couple of bucks, not to mention that their network is way too small and there are dead spots everywhere.

    It is disappointing that you cannot reach a US call center and actually understand the customer service reps. GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER, CRICKET/LEAP. You have an opportunity to corner the market with the skyrocketing cell phone plans out there, but if you can’t even have proper support, how can you call yourselves a premier provider in the wireless game. There are too many problems with the phone to list, but I HIGHLY recommend that you select another phone than the Ascend.

    CRICKET/LEAP/HUAWEI SUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You want to run with the big dogs, but you aren’t capable of it. DO NOT BUY THIS PHONE & DO NOT GET INVOLVED WITH CRICKET/LEAP.

    Just my humble opinion…

    • http://... April

      Think about it have you ever heard of/seen an ad for a cricket call center in the US? That would be because there is none. Cricket is cheap and that is part of why thy can stay that way. The countries they outsource to are happy and willing to work for dirt cheap and no benifits. Unlike us where we demand good pay and health care and 401k’s and such. As for the phone it’s really not that bad. I’ve had mine for a little while now and while it has it’s issues it’s better then not having a smart phone at all. I would call the manufacturer or just say you lost it and have them send you a replacement phone if it still messes up then take it to them and demand something better.

    • http://Website Jonny

      Yours does that too with the touchscreen? Maybe it was a manufacture malfunction, but I’m going into the store today to get it checked. I have insuance still, so they should do me good.

  • http://Website John

    Just remove the battery for a min or two to clear the memory on the phone when it becomes cluttered … solves alot of issues on most any phone same concept as rebooting your computer

  • http://Website jc7132012

    the ascend is a great phone all around. i highly recommend it to eveyone. cheap price and no contract

  • http://Website Brian Levine

    For the money, its a good phone. It does tend to slow down over time. I can click the dialer icon and it can take up to ten seconds for the dialpad to come up. I recommend shutting down and rebooting after several days of use, which seems to clear the problem up. Also, I haven’t figured out how to delete anything off the desktop, which would be nice to do.

    • http://Website Albert

      To delete something, hold the button down and drag it into the trashcan.

  • http://Website Pat

    When will Cricket be coming out with a new Smartphone? They employees have to know but they never tell the customers, one employee told me if they say when a new phone will be coming out nobody would buy the phones they’re selling now. So I guess leaving the customers in the dark is the best option!!

  • http://Website rasta

    Well sprint if full of bull crap with there updates, but I would never get cricket there androids are out dated. What can you do with a 528ghz processor when a low end android has a 600ghz. Well anyways none of you cricket trolls will make it to android os 2.2… have fun with your barbie fones. You started off behind (LMMFAO)

  • http://Website Selena Gomez

    It’s alright, well if you have sprint… I LOVE MY FANS , but if you don’t know me i am on Disney!
    Oh Justin just texted me, gotta go lov ya all,

    -Selena G.

  • http://Website yo momma

    everyone sucks on this website

  • http://Website jay

    .For all u haters out their dat just want to talk out da side of ur neck. I have da huawei ascend for almost 2yrs. And never. Had a problem. With service. ,customer service. Or even da phone. Itself. U ppl. R just hot cuz ur stuck. With, ur whack a## contracts dat u cant get out of. Listen up dont hate dat cricket is taking over its not too late. To jump on da ban wagon. U da same cat dat by 2morrow ill catch. In da cricket store. Jayroc1018 chilltown. J.C. Da heights baldwin. Ave.

  • http://Website Ash

    I DO NOT recommend this phone to anyone. The battery starts dying as soon as you take it off the charger even with the adv. Killer app. It types slow it downloads slow its all around slow its a shitty fone over all and isnt worth a penny I paid for it.

  • http://Website Linda

    Okay my question is about monopolizing. …I purchased a Huawie Ascend phone from Cricket and I moved to the east coast where Metro Pcs service is provided to the area..Metro Pcs sells the exact same phone Huawei Ascend but said I need to buy there phone meaning I loss $149.00 to buy there phone it cost $169.00 problem here is it is illegal to monopolize and these companies are doing so when you have to. Rebuy the same phone. …..see the law case..SLAUGHTHER HOUSE vs The State of Louiseanna

  • http://Website Ruben

    really slow ,doesn’t have a flash for the cam and the keyboard is really hard to type . another thing is the battery life is bad wont last a whole 24hrs even on stand by. good thing is its cheap and if u have tiny fingers and lots of patients ,then this is a good phone . cant wait till they come out with something better .

  • http://Website Samantha

    How come I can’t receive txt msgs and pic msgs from a specific number?

  • Mary Sauls

    I am upset that I purchased a new Ascend Android Phone two days ago. All my old apps were downloaded except the one that I wanted. Droid slot machine… I had 3 1/2 million points. I was 2nd out of 100 gamers. I really need to get the game back.. I was told that there was nothing that can be done. I am willing to pay again just to get that game back. I feel real sad.. I went back to my local cricket store, bu they said that they had sent it away after about 16 hours.. It probably is still in the bottom of the box. It took me a year to get that many points. HELP