• Full Review
  • Specifications

Full Review

It's interesting how much you can get for 100 quid nowadays, especially if you're after a smartphone. One of the best on the market is the Orange San Francisco – it's just a shame that it is full of all manner of junk apps from Orange, which all seem to be designed to get you to spend more money with Orange.

Looking good


The phone certainly looks more expensive than its £99 pricetag would suggest, thanks to its stylish design and matte rubber back in charcoal grey. You'll be able to pinch and zoom because the 3.5in display is of the capacitive sort and boasts a very decent 480x800 pixel resolution.


The snapper, like many on Android handsets, is pretty average, despite having autofocus, LED flash and 3.2 megapixels


Music fans will be pleased to see a 3.5mm headphone jack so you can use your own headphones, but beware that if you want to store music you will need a microSD card as there is only 32GB of onboard memory. You can use cards of up to 32GB and the slot is well positioned, which means you don't have to take out the battery to swap cards. The good news is that the phone also comes with a 2GB card.

Back to basics


The operating system for this reliable phone is Android 2.1, which is a reasonably recent version. You have the benefit of contact/mail/ calendar sync, push email, and access to the Android Market's 100,000 apps as well as being able to view web pages as you would see them on a desktop. Sat-nav comes courtesy of Google Maps.

You can add widgets and shortcuts to the five home screens; one of them enables you to tweak GPS, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, sync and display settings. At the top of the display, you'll see notifications for new events, messages and mail. You can also drag these down in order to read your alerts and a tap will take you to the appropriate app.


At the bottom of the screen is a toolbar that offers access to the inbox, contacts book, dialler and programs menu, regardless of what homescreen you are in.

Calls and texts are simple thanks to the responsive display and the fact that you just need to start inputting a contact 's name for it to bring up their phone number.

Because Android 2.3 is not far away, the San Francisco may seem a bit behind the times, but 2.1 is perfect for its abilities – we suspect it might fall at the first post if it tried to run Flash player 10.1 in the browser, which is one of 2.3's standout features. As it stands, the battery has enough stamina to cope with 3G, GPS and wi-Fi.

It's just a shame that Orange has seen fit to cram the device full of apps that only serve to double up on what Android already offers. Orange maps, for instance, can't compete with Google Maps. The app shop is not only more expensive than the Android Market, but also fails to compete on quality with the Android apps. Orange Mail, meanwhile, will cost the user an extra pound a week, unless you have a Gmail account.

All these Orange extras come preloaded on the five homescreens and it's a bit of a pain to delete them and reload the superior Android versions. The only truly useful app is Orange Wednesdays, which offers two cinema tickets for the price of one to customers on the Orange network.
Verdict

Get rid of Orange’s bloatware and you'll have an excellent handset. It can hold its own in the company of pricier smartphones and is far superior to other handsets in its price range. Just make sure you dump the junk software first

Specifications

Specifications

 

Type of phone:

Smartphone

Style:

candy bar

Size:

116 x 56.5 x 11.8 mm

Weight:

110g

Display:

262,000 colours

Resolution:

480x800

Camera:

3.2 megapixels

Special Camera features:

LED flash, auto focus

Video recording:

Yes

Video playback:

Yes

Video calling:

No

Video streaming:

Yes

Music formats played:

MP3, eAAC+, WAV

3.5mm jack port:

Yes

Handsfree speakerphone:

N/A

Voice Control:

No

Voice Dialling:

No

Call records:

Practically unlimited

Phonebook:

Practically unlimited

Ringtones customization:

N/A

Display description:

LCD capacitive touch-screen

Website:

www.orange.co.uk

SAR:

N/A

Portfolio:

N/A

Standard color:

N/A

Launch Status:

Available

Ringtones:

MP3

Radio:

Yes

Operating system:

Android

Connectivity:

Bluetooth, MicroUSB, Wi-Fi

Announced date:

October 2010

What's in the Box:

N/A

RAM:

512MB

International launch date:

November 2010

Battery life when playing multimedia:

N/A

CPU:

N/A

FM Radio Description:

Stereo FM radio with RDS

Internal memory:

150MB

Memory Card Slot:

microSD

Messaging:

SMS, IM, MMS, Email

Internet Browser:

HTML, WAP 2.0, XHTML

E-mail client:

Push email, IMAP4, SMTP, POP3, Attachments

GPS:

A-GPS

Java:

Yes

Games:

Yes

Data speed:

HSDPA, EDGE, GPRS, 3G

Frequency:

Tri-band

Talktime:

240 minutes

Standby:

192 hours

Display size:

3.5 inches

Keypad:

N/A

Audio recording:

N/A

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