Cricket launches the Huawei Ascend II: Android 2.3, 3.5 inch screen, 5 MP camera, $180 and no contracts

Cricket, one of America’s smaller wireless operators with just over 5.8 million subscribers, has just announced the Huawei Ascend II, the followup to the first Ascend that was launch in October of last year. It features a 3.5 inch screen with a resolution of 320 x 480 pixels, 5 megapixel camera, 600 MHz processor, it runs Android 2.3, and can be had for just $180. Unlike the major wireless players in America, Cricket doesn’t subsidize phones, meaning you pay a larger up front fee, but you’re not tied to a 2 year contract. Their $55 “Android plan” offers unlimited everything, so you’re looking to save quite a pretty penny. Now there’s not much else to say about this thing, except to remind you about what the competition offers. There’s the Motorola Triumph for Virgin Mobile, which is $300 up front, has the same no contract unlimited $55 per month plan, but it offers a 1 GHz processor, 4.1 inch screen with a much higher resolution of 800 x 480 pixels, 5 megapixel camera that can also do 720p video, but sadly it runs Android 2.2 Froyo. That’s a sacrifice we’re willing to make.

Boost Mobile looks to be in trouble here. They offer the Samsung Prevail for the same $180 as the Ascend II, but it has a smaller 3.2 inch screen, same resolution however, a pitiful 2 megapixel camera, Android 2.2, but on the bright side it’s running a faster 800 MHz processor. Boost does have a cheaper $50 per month unlimited plan … but we’d rather have a better device. Now if you’re looking for a low monthly bill, but want to use the most bad ass smartphone on the market, then Simple Mobile is your answer. They use T-Mobile’s network and offer SIM cards with either unlimited everything, including 4G data, for $60 per month, or unlimited everything, but 2G data, for $50 per month. Pop their plastic into anything you want, from an unlocked iPhone 4 to an imported Samsung Galaxy S II, and you’re good to go.

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