HANDS ON: Orange San Diego

We’ve just been at the official launch of the Orange San Diego, where Orange and Intel joined forces to unveil the 1.6GHz-packing Android Gingerbread smartphone.

Orange is forging ahead in the affordable smartphone arena, with the San Diego the latest and highest spec in its range of low-cost own-brand smartphones and tablets. Like the Orange San Francisco II, the San Diego manages to squeeze an impressive feature set into a well-built chassis for mere wallet fluff (well, almost). At £199.99 on pay-as-you-go, though, we say an eight-megapixel camera, HD video, NFC and a speedy four-inch touch-screen ain’t bad.

Check out our preview to decide for yourself. 

Orange San Diego

The body is made of a sturdy, matt-feel plastic that has a nice heft in the hand. At 117g, it’s fairly lightweight, with a 10mm thickness and a four-inch touch-screen sitting inside a 123x63mm front body.

Orange San Diego - side

The display supports 16 million colours at a decent resolution of 1024x600 pixels – movies and web will be rendered more than adequately.

Under the hood, the San Diego has 16GB of user memory, A-GPS for fast sat nav, Wi-Fi and HSDPA internet, and a 1.6GHZ single-core Intel Atom Z2640 ‘system on a chip’. An Intel spokesperson said that power consumption has been optimised for energy efficiency, with a battery life of 14 days on standby, or eight straight hours of talktime, or six hours of straight HD video playback.

Orange San Diego - screen

It runs on Android Gingerbread, kitted out with a suite of Orange apps and widgets, including the Orange Wednesdays app. Intel has worked with Google to create a range of Intel-optimised apps that will run best on this phone.

Orange San Diego - camera

On the back is an eight-megapixel camera with burst mode, allowing about 10 quick fire shots in a second.

Orange San Diego - camera

In our quick test, the shutter snapped almost instantaneously and reproduced bright colours nicely. There’s also a front 1.3-megapixel camera for video calling.

A 1080p video recorder and HDMI out let you record HD content and play it back on an HDTV or HD monitor. And the San Diego also supports HD Voice, a service Orange rolled out last year for ‘crystal-clear call quality’ – though this hinges on the person at the other end of the call also having an HD Voice-enabled phone.

The Orange San Diego launches on 6 June – and we’ll have the full review on the site very soon.

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Mobile Choice

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