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Orange San Diego review

We get our hands on the UK's first smartphone with Intel inside
Tue Jul 03 2012, 17:31
Orange San Diego three quarter view

Product Orange San Diego
Website Orange San Diego
Specifications 1.6GHz Intel single-core Atom processor, 4in 600x1024 display, 16GB internal storage, 8MP rear-facing camera, 1.3MP front-facing camera, GSM/HSPA+, 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, microUSB port, 1460mAh battery, Android 2.3 Gingerbread, Orange custom user interface, 123x63x9.9mm, 117g
Price £200 on pay-as-you-go


THE ORANGE SAN DIEGO smartphone isn't your average network branded handset with a cheap price tag. It is, in fact, the first phone to arrive in Europe with an Intel processor, and the chipmaker is promising that the handset will be just as speedy as its more expensive rivals. Read on to find out whether the phone lived up to Intel's bold claims.

Design
The design of the San Diego overall is fairly uninspiring. There's a glossy black front paired with a matte, soft touch back panel, which although it feels nice to hold in the hand, won't be turning any heads. However, the chrome edging around the phone gives it an expensive look that contrasts with the handset's budget £200 price tag.

Orange San Diego back

Although nothing special to look at, the device's design gives it an air of usability. In terms of size the San Diego is pocket friendly, measuring 123x63x9.9mm and weighing just 117g. There are handy ports and buttons on board too, including a volume rocker, headphone jack, HDMI connector, microUSB slot and dedicated camera key. Unfortunately though, the battery in the device isn't user removable, which means you'll have to make do with the 1460mAh battery.

Performance
The real selling point of the San Diego is its processor. It's the first phone to arrive in Europe packing an Intel chip, a 1.6GHz Atom Z2460 single-core processor that the chipmaker claims is "optimised for Android", supposedly matching the performance of its dual-core rivals.

On paper, it certainly manages to keep up with the competition. Using the Antutu benchmarking app, the San Diego scored a reasonable 5590, besting the Sony Xperia P and Samsung Galaxy Nexus, which scored 5150 and 3862, respectively.

These impressive results were echoed in the handset's performance, as the San Diego proved responsive throughout our hands-on testing. Swiping through home screens was noticeably quick and web pages loaded in a matter of seconds. We were also impressed by the device's video capabilities, both in terms of speed and viewing quality.

We must note, also, that we found that all apps we wanted to download were able to run on the Orange San Diego, despite reports that the Atom processor wouldn't be able to handle around 30 per cent of Android applications.

Screen
The screen on the Orange San Diego took us by surprise, as it's very good compared to other £200 phones. The handset features a 4in 600x1024 display with 297 pixels per inch (PPI), which while it doesn't match the Samsung Galaxy S3's AMOLED display, manages to produce vibrant images and natural colours.

Orange San Diego three quarter view

Viewing angles are also good, and we found the screen reasonably bright when viewed in direct sunlight.

 

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