A light, compact touch-screen device that looks as though it might run on Windows Mobile – it doesn’t. However, it feels surprisingly well made for such a cheap handset.
The Orange Vegas is designed to introduce users into the world of touch-screen phones, so it is deliberately easy to use with a simple feature set.
The handset offers a camera, music player and GPRS data speeds, albeit these are all mediocre, but you can’t really expect any more from a budget phone.
The touch-screen is reasonably receptive, although inputting text is fiddly. Internet speeds are fast enough for limited browsing, but the camera has no flash and produces low quality pictures.
Battery life is average; it could be better when you take into account the lack of features to run it down.
A nice introduction into the world of touch-screen phones that, for the price, is difficult to find fault with.
Review by Sunetra Chakravati,12/12/2011 3:55:29 PM
Look and feel
Ease of use
Pros Compact and cute design, bargain price and decent touch performance.
Fiddly text input, below average camera and rough sounding music player.
Launched earlier in 2009, the LG Cookie was the first handset to bring a touch-screen phone to the prepay masses. Priced at just under £100 it represented fantastic value, and LG has already sold over two million handsets and counting, worldwide. Under-cutting the Cookie by £50, and looking to emulate its immense popularity, is the Orange Vegas. This handset may not have the Cookie’s sleek design, but its bargain price is sure to tickle those on a tighter than tight budget.
At first glance, the Vegas could easily have rolled off the HTC production line. It has the look of a Windows Mobile smartphone despite not running on an operating system, but that’s where the similarities end. The Vegas is easily the most compact, bijou and lightest touch-screen device we’ve handled, and is also surprisingly well made for a prepay budgeteer. If phone spotters are interested, the Vegas is essentially the ZTE X760 finished in either black or pink.
Punters buying this bargain basement offering are probably going to be touch-screen first timers, so Orange has made the transition easier by offering alternative operation techniques. In addition to the 2.4-inch touch-screen is a five-way navigation pad and mechanised soft and call keys. A ludicrously tiny stylus is also on hand to ease users into the world of touch-phones.
A large dialer icon sits at the centre of the home screen, ready for you to tap out phone numbers on the spacious number pad, while a quick swipe of the large clock reveals eight customisable shortcuts for basic features. The main menu is accessible by the left-hand soft key and is pretty straightforward to negotiate.
Three sliding screens consisting of four icons can each be accessed with a sweep of the finger or by tapping the relevant menu icon at the bottom.
Because the touch-screen is resistive and not capacitive like the iPhone, the Vegas’ touch performance, unsurprisingly, lacks the guile of its higher end buddies. It can certainly be erratic and occasionally stubborn, but it’s mostly receptive to your taps and swipes if you apply enough pressure, delivering haptic feedback as you go. We rarely had to resort to the five-way navigation pad, which suggests the touch-screen is of adequate quality.
The Vegas does struggle with inputting text. The traditional keypad method is your best bet and is quite speedy. Handwriting recognition using the stylus is painfully slow and hard to master, and the on-screen QWERTY is so minute you’ll need a magnifying glass and pinpoint stylus accuracy to get any joy.
The 1.3-megapixel camera is quick to fire up via the dedicated side shutter key but is bereft of auto-focus and a flash. It does feature a smattering of photo mods like white balance, scene modes, effects and brightness settings, although changing them on screen using the titchy icons is challenging without the stylus. Photo quality is good enough for MMS and wallpapering.
The music player offers a seven mode equaliser but tinkering with this does little to boost the harsh sounding player. If you do decide to use it as your principle music player, you will need to buy a 4GB microSD card to store your tunes. With only sluggish GPRS data speeds at the helm, full fat web browsing is certainly off the menu, but basic WAP sites load pretty quickly and it is fine for portal browsing and mobile websites like the BBC.
The Vegas represents a great introduction to the world of touch-screen phones. It’s strictly an entry-level handset with features to match, but at this giveaway price it is hard not to recommend the Vegas for those on a pocket money budget.