back to article Orange San Francisco 2

The Orange San Francisco was the smartphone bargain of 2011. For £99 you got a solid little handset with a 3.5in 480 x 800 screen, Android 2.1 and a 3.2Mp camera. The fact it was falling-off-a-wet-log easy to root and change ROMs – even I managed it – was the icing on the cake. Orange San Francisco 2 budget Android smartphone …


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  1. James Cooke

    Oh but for an ARM7

    Has ZTE bought the worlds stock of ARM6 processors? Would it be too much to ask for a 1GHz ARM7 then it really would be a cracking upgrade of the SF1.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I blame Adobe

      Nothing else seems to "need" an ARMv7 processor except Flash. Be nice to have but you pays your money... And this really isn't much money! My SF1 is still a great little phone, although as I'm no longer an Android virgin, it's going to be something chunkier next time. SGS2 - mmm!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        All apps benefit from the superior Armv7 instruction set over the slower v6

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

      3. Tapeador

        re: I blame Adobe

        I blame the BBC - when they withdrew Listen Again and Listen Live feeds in Realplayer, zillions of devices imho became obsolete. I think they partly did it to raise the price point of Listen Again access way above the cost of a digital radio - what would have been the cheapness of such access, probably imperilled continued takeup of DAB according to their projections.

        Which now I reflect on it is quite an elegant case for a complaint to the BBC Trust - if not the EU Competition Commission - on the grounds of anticompetitive price-floor maintenance.

    2. h3

      Orange could have had the armv7 version of the same phone (With the same case even). They just chose not to for whatever reason. (Softbank Japan has that phone for sale already). You can swap out the msm7227(or MSM7227T) for MSM7227A with 100% software and pin compatibility. (Even extending to support of the legacy arm abi).

      I am almost certain the choice was Orange's not ZTE's

  2. frank ly

    re. 'Home screen horror'

    Apart from the wallpaper, that home screen doesn't look too bad. I do like the clock, with alarm indicator, though the day text could be bigger. Does anyone know of a good looking analogue clock with day/date (one that doesn't need internet access or permission to send SMS messages, etc)? I ask because I can't use the HTC analogue clock when I use Launcher Pro on my Incredible.

  3. Buzzword

    HD Voice?

    I can understand losing Orange SignalBoost when you change the ROM, but surely HD Voice is just a standard built-in phone feature?

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Needs to be enabled in OS too

      If we're talking about Cyanogen, try this and see if it works...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Does anyone use, or even care about HD Voice?

      I've not missed it.

  4. Richard Wharram


    The patch I downloaded to enable Flash on ARMv6 for my OSF should work on this I'd have thought.

    Any word on how easy this is to unlock and root?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Care to give a little more info on this?

      I wouldn't mind giving this a crack on my v1.

      Dunno what the article is going on about when it mentions flash hiccuping on the original, I've never had that issue, but then I binned the orange rom straight away.

      1. Richard Wharram

        1. Al Taylor

          For what ir's worth...from the author

          I tried various Flash players on the SF2 and not one of them would play video in the browser. Not saying it can't be done, just that I didn't manage to get it to work.


  5. ChrisPW
    Thumb Up

    head over to modaco for unlock info

    I flashed a new ROM onto mine on day 1 & repartitioned it to allow for more app space.

    I'm happily running an ARMv6 version of flash also, can't remember where I got it from now but likely on the modaco forum somewhere.

  6. Chris 171

    Infrastructure Wifi for tethering?

    Im looking for a cheap driod device purely to use for tethering, Ad Hoc is no good to me, will this run in infrastructure mode?

  7. Jacqui


    untried and not sure if the wintel site is safe.

  8. andy gibson

    Orange Monte Carlo

    I noticed this alongside the Orange Monte Carlo. Although it's £119 in the Orange stores, is currently on sale at Argos for £80 (if you can still find any in stock that is). I'm a little confused at why Orange has released this model, unless the Monte is too "big" - the screen does look rather huge alongside it.

  9. Jacqui

    comparison images

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    iPlayer prevents my buying this

    Agree totally with Tapeador - the engineered-in inability of IPlayer to work - even for RADIO the purpose I want - is what blocks me from purchasing this phone, or it's T-Mobile equivalent, or any budget Android phone for that matter, tomorrow.

    So I stick with Symbian.

    I'm too lazy to lodge a complaint with the BBC Trust, but wish someone would!

    1. Paul Shirley

      iPlayer does 'work' on ARM6

      iPlayer is filtered from the Market for ARM6 devices but it will happily sideload if you can find the APK. It works (for certain values of 'works') on our OSF so it should on OSF2 or any other ARM6 device.

      ...after trying it you may decide it was right to filter it from the Market. Even on minimum bandwidth it's struggling on the OSF and OSF2 is only a little faster.

      A 1GHz ARM7 performance much better than 800Mhz ARM6+25%. A year ago the OSF was a good deal, times change, prices fall, specs improve and OSF2 now looks like a distinctly average phone for its price.

  11. stickman

    eh? what?

    I love the original but does the II actually have some VOLUME???

  12. Jon Massey

    Loose? Loose?!

    "Lose", you cretinous oaf!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Oh calm down FFS.

      It's a common enough typo to make / miss.

  13. JDX Gold badge

    As a smartphone noob...

    Would I be right to think the best thing to do would be buy one of these and then leave it in the box until an idiot-proof way to install ICS is nice and polished? Would ICS run properly on this - is it more bloaty than Android 2.x?

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    If you fancy one of these (or any other phone offered by Orange) and work for the NHS, take some ID and your last payslip down to the Orange shop for a pretty hefty discount.

  15. h3

    re: Iplayer - the iplayer Android situation is terrible yes (Doesn't even support offline or 3g or honeycomb). i.e all the use cases when you would actually want it.

    re: ICS - Don't bother Qualcomm has not even finished off the armv6 support and I dunno if they ever will. (Without proper ICS graphics drivers it is unlikely it will ever be working 100%). The manufacturers are lazy (Especially ZTE and Huawei).

    It is not certain either that such as Motorola / Sony Ericsson / HTC will do the job properly for ICS (i.e full new style audio not the dodgy hack that Qualcomm uses for most right now).

    (Not even sure it will work that well on my Xperia Play that is supposed to have SE provided ICS).

  16. windy_miller
    Thumb Up

    BBC Radio

    If you just want BBC radio stations, you don't need iPlayer, just install the Tune In Radio app. This also gives you access to just about any radio station you can think of from anywhere in the world.

    I have unlocked and rooted my SF2 and installed a custom ROM (Fish & Chips - available on the Modaco forums). It runs so much smoother without all the Orange bloat. That ROM comes with Flash and iPlayer included, but I removed them as I would prefer not to have flash on my phone.

  17. Patrick 14


    Just get the Sony Ericsson live comes with music, aka WT19i, Orange do it in the UK for £129 (argos) plus topup, three do it for £99.99 plus topup and this has the same cpu/gpu as the Xperia play just the lower 3.2" 480*320 screen, but does flash and has xloud stereo speakers. great little phone and runs most games too. it was able to run gta too but that was pulled for this phone as the makers made the mistake of allowing it to be installed on any handset wether it worked or not on the launch day but it did work and yet they still pulled it, also Sony's launcher is pants launcher pro is better and faster. Only sold mine because I got a used open Atrix for £175

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