back to article Orange outs budget Android 2.1 handset

Orange has launched what it says will be the "first in a series" of low-cost Android smartphones. Orange San Francisco Dubbed San Francisco, the £99 pay-as-you-go handset runs Android 2.1 and packs in a 3Mp camera, GPS, Wi-Fi, an FM radio and HSDPA 3G connectivity. You don't get much on-board storage for your money - just …


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  1. JaitcH

    A minimalist smartphone for $99. Good Christmas deal.

    Advantage Android!

    Since manufacturers don't have to pay for software development, only the human interface, it means costs are substantially reduced. Given that so many million are using (and testing) the OS, reliability is improved.

    Likely it will access to Google Apps which further enhances it's value. Great present for children at Christmas as they can use pocket money to buy time.

  2. umacf24

    Wrong metric

    4hrs talk time -- but will it go all day looking at your Twitter timeline every 15 minutes, and reading the BBC (and the Reg) on the train.

    Who talks on one of these?

  3. Lottie


    I can see this chewing through PAYG credit very quickly, but DAMN! the quality of cheap-assed mobiles is really getting good these days.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Dear tptb,

    Now can you please divert resources into branding your own handsets and stop messing around with non Orange phones like the HTC desire or Samsung galaxy s. We don't want your bloatware!

  5. Anonymous Coward

    Behind with Android update

    Android 2.1, why are Orange behind with their version of Android? I'm still waiting for an update on my Htc Desire.


  6. Ian Yates

    Battery life

    I think we need a new standard for measuring battery life.

    Always-on Internet-enabled handsets, such as Android, can never hit the fabled "standby mode", without disabling all of the selling-point features.

    My Desire has a touted standby battery life of 360 hours; but even without making any phone calls or direct browsing of the 'nets, I'd be lucky if it didn't need charging at the end of the day.

  7. thesykes

    Any more details

    I tried to go to the Orange website to check out the details of the phone... gave up even trying when I got there... Every other phone operator has a site dedicated to providing info on their services and products... What are Orange doing???

    Anyway... back to the phone... anyone any idea how it compares with the ZTE Racer on 3? That's a tenner cheaper online at DSG, and comes with free Skype to Skype calls (UK only). Also, it has no operator crap dumped on it, just plain Android 2.1

    I'm too tight to pay more than that for a phone, plus, I hate bulky phones.

    1. paulf

      Re: Orange website WTF

      One word answer Ananova

      and yes I agree!

    2. Ashley Stevens
      Thumb Up

      Better than Racer

      This is better than the ZTE Racer because it has an 800x480 OLED screen vs QVGA LCD on the Racer and capacitive vs resistive touch screen on Racer.

      1. thesykes


        Eventually tracked the info down, looks a lot better spec. Some reports say the Qualcomm MSM7227 chipset can run Froyo and Flash 10.1, others say that it can't... anyone know one way or the other?

        Strangely, despite the press release, video on YouTube and news articles, Orange haven't got it on their website. Looked on PAYG, contract and coming soon... nothing.

        1. fattybacon

          Outside sucks

          I believe they are available in Orange stores already.. but that counts me out, I can't face walking into one of those places. According to the Orange newsroom article they will also be available online this week. I think they throw the poor sods in the shops a bone and give them a couple of days exclusivity.

          Hope it appears online, I want some quidco love.

  8. Jason Hall


    Any idea on the type of screen?

    Capacitive (hopefully)?

  9. Bill 2

    The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits

    This is now getting to the point where i might actually buy one - please do some comparison reviews of cheap assed android phones soon eh Reggie?

  10. Daniel Owen

    ZTE Blade

    It's basically a ZTE Blade, looks a very tasy phone for £100

    Could be a big winner for orange

    I might take a look at one for myself if the screen is any good.

  11. thesykes

    Shame it's Orange

    And their pathetic 100MB / month data allowance on the Dolphin PAYG bundle. The Racer is on Three, who give you 500MB per top up (£5 minimum).

    Another choice is the Huawei Ideos, 2.8" QVGA capacitive screen, Android 2.2, not yet signed up by any operator, although estimates are of a similar £99 price tage. The Ideos has the bonus of vanilla Android, so, no waiting for the manufacturer to release a new version, just download 2.3 when it arrives.

    So, the Racer's data allowance, the San Francisco's screen and the Ideos' Android... now, we're talking.

  12. Daniel Owen

    Had mine since friday :D

    Treat myself to one, put my orange contract SIM in, 500MB of data.

    MCR rom coming soon, if not already released, to strip all the orange rubbish off.

    Screen is amazing, had it next to an Iphone 4 earlier and I couldn't decide which I prefered, colours were better (IMO) than the iphone, with a slightly worse res.

    All in all for £80 (nhs discount), unbelievably good phone.

  13. Daniel Owen

    MCR released

    And an unlock is available for using on other networks for circa £3.

  14. andy gibson

    Also bought one

    Its an amazing phone for the price, and many who own the closest rival - the LG 540 Optimus - have said the Orange phone is better.

    If you're buying one ask to see the "discount leaflet" that Orange produce (but don't hand out), it gives details of which workers can get a discount in store. Public Sector workers get 20% off (take your wage slip in store)

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