Huawei Orange Stockholm in-depth review -

Look and feel

Well-built for an entry-level smartphone. Beautifully rounded and buffed to within an inch of its life. Expect to be fondling it in your pocket

Ease of Use

No problems at all when it comes to 'regular' phone functions - calls, texts, emails - but the 2.8-inch touch-screen makes viewing web pages frustrating

Features

As you'd expect from a handset running Android, you can set the phone up exactly as you want it.  First-class internet connectivity means you shouldn't miss a thing

Performance

The processor can keep pace with Android 2.2 with smooth scrolling, but you're always going to be wishing the 320x240 screen had a higher resolution

Battery life

As we've come to expect from a smartphone, the Orange Stockholm's going to need charging each night

 Huawei Orange Stockholm Review -
3

Review by Sunetra Chakravati,12/12/2011 4:01:46 PM

8

out of 10

Performance

8

out of 5

Look and feel

6

out of 5

Ease of use

8

out of 5

Features

6

out of 5

Battery life

Pros:

Orange's cheapest Android yet, excellent connectivity and it's easy to use

Cons:

The low-res QVGA display is no Retina screen

Orange is building up quite a portfolio of smartphones for under £100 and the Orange Stockholm is their cheapest Android handset yet. For a smartphone with a price tag of less than £80, you might be expecting more Skegness than Stockholm, but Orange has done a pretty decent job with this handset. 

Aesthetically pleasing

Despite being all-plastic, the first thing you're going to notice is how tactile it is.  The Orange Stockholm is so rounded and high-gloss it's like caressing an oiled-up eel. A shiny black shell with a chrome accent, at 104x56x13mm it's relatively compact and weighs in at 130g.

 

Underneath the Orange peel, it's a Huawei U8180 handset which has been tweaked so you're in no doubt what network you're using. On the front of the phone the sole button takes you 'Home' and above that you've got three touch sensitive keys for Back, Menu and Search. The rest of the front is taken up by the 2.8-inch capacitive touch-screen. Compared to its stablemates the San Francisco and Monte Carlo, this is much smaller, but still acceptable. The power button and 3.5mm jack is on top and there's a volume rocker on the side.

Pin sharp?

Pressing the power button on the top of the handset, you're immediately going to notice the major budgetary constraint on the Stockholm. The QVGA screen means you're only getting 320x240 resolution. Its 65,000 colours aren't exactly shabby, but try viewing a video and it's like watching with a stocking over your head.

 

The Stockholm ships with Android 2.2 OS (Froyo), which means endless customisation and over 400,000 apps waiting for you in the Android Market. The bad news is that your QVGA screen is going to limit some of your choices. For example, Google Earth or Google Goggles won't be available for the Stockholm but then this is a budget smartphone, not a high-end tablet.

Well connected

The beauty of Android is that with one swipe of a finger a home screen shortcut is consigned to the trash. There's plenty of room for a dozen or so shortcuts on each homescreen but widgets are going to fill up that screen very quickly. Talking of filling things up, Froyo was the first Android release to give you the option of saving apps to the microSD card, which takes some of the pressure off the 120MB of internal memory.

 

When it comes to texting or writing emails, a QWERTY keyboard fills half the display in either portrait or landscape mode, allowing passable results despite the smaller screen. You've got the choice of a couple of keyboards, both up to the job.

 

As far as connectivity is concerned, the Stockholm's tooled up to the teeth, with GPRS, HSDPA, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1.  It even boasts UMA to give your signal an extra lift. As with most smartphones, don't expect to get more than a day out of the battery between charges. There's a 3.2-megapixel camera but as is customary for phones in this price bracket, no flash. The quality isn't bad, not that you'd know on that QVGA screen. 

Conclusion

If this is your first foray into the world of Android smartphones, you'll be impressed, but compare it to even the marginally higher-end Orange San Francisco and it'll feel like watching VHS compared to Blu-ray. However, in this price bracket, impressive connectivity and solid social networking possibilities make the Orange Stockholm well worth its £80 tag.

Michael Wilson