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Orange San Francisco Mobile Phone Review

The following post gives my thoughts and opinions about the Orange San Francisco mobile phone which I have now owned for 6 months. It was not my first smartphone as I had briefly owned a Nokia 5800 which was damaged by water whilst out in the mountains.

I’ve always been interested in technology and gadgets but was relatively slow in adopting a smartphone, largely due to their huge cost. I’ve never been a particularly heavy user of text or minutes and as such many of the contracts available for such phones don’t represent good value. Buying something like the Apple iPhone outright to then use on a PAYG (pay as you go) basis also made little economic sense.

At the time I bought the Orange San Francisco mobile phone I was on a Tesco PAYG plan which was decent value in terms of texts and cost per call minutes but not great for data which is what I now use most of. What finally prompted me to purchase this phone was the fact that the phone was selling for less than £100.00 PAYG and also the emergence of the network giffgaff which offered free data on very reasonable PAYG deals.

When doing the research for smartphones I had pretty much settled on the idea to get one that was powered by the Android operating system. I had been intrigued by some of the apps I had used on the Symbian powered Nokia I had owned but it was clear that the 2 biggest markets in terms of number of apps were the iPhone and Android platforms. At first it looked like I would be buying a HTC Wildfire which was selling at £160.00 at the time. HTC Sense was a selling feature but the low resolution screen was regarded to be the main weakness of the device. For those that don’t know Sense is like an Android theme that HTC phones use which make the Android implementation much more user friendly than on some other Android phones. Futher Google research began to reveal that the Orange San Francisco mobile phone was very well regarded, especially by its users and after weighing up the pros and cons I decided this was the phone for me.

Orange San Francisco Mobile Phone
Orange San Francisco Mobile Phone

Orange San Francisco Mobile Phone

The Orange San Francisco mobile phone is made by a Chinese company called ZTE. Indeed in many countries the phone is known as the ZTE Blade. In terms of specification and performance it’s generally thought that nothing can touch it for the price. I won’t list the full specification of the phone here as you can get that from other websites. Generally it scores highly in terms of the screen, value for money and general feel and usability. If I had to find a weakness it would be the camera which is low quality but then I own a digital SLR so would never consider any mobile phones camera to be good enough! I also found that the when used as an MP3 player the phone was not as loud as I would like, something I fixed by downloading the Power Amp application which comes with graphic equalisers which allow you to modify the sound. Battery life is also not great but not really any worse than other mobile phones.

Orange San Francisco Mobile Phone

One important point I should mention is how upgradeable this phone is. It came shipped with Android 2.1 operating system and was locked to the Orange network. I hate the Orange network after a miserable time trying to deal with their customer services some years ago. Unlocking can be done for free and it’s easy. I also upgraded from Android 2.1 to 2.2 which in the process gets rid of all the Orange ‘crap’ that they put on the phone. Upgrading does invalidate your guarantee but the extra speed and functionality you get with newer operating systems makes it worthwhile.

Now that I’ve owned the phone some time I could not imagine life without it. The ease with which you can integrate it with your Gmail account and Google Calendar has made me more productive on the move. Many of the apps available are incredibly useful and there are too many of them to list them here. I will do another post soon though about my favourite Android apps.

So if you have been considering getting a smartphone but you have a limited budget, take a look at the Orange San Francisco mobile phone, it’s the best £100.00 I’ve spent in ages!

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