LG Optimus GT540
LG has been lagging behind the curve with its last few handsets, and the Optimus GT540 doesn't do much to move it forward. While all but the cheapest Android smartphones are employing capacitive touchscreens, the GT540 is stuck with a particularly insensitive resistive model that becomes increasingly frustrating to use as you once again have to double or triple press to bend it to your will. No multi-touch function either.
It comes with Android 1.6, almost a legacy version of the OS and there’s a choice of the standard Android UI or a slightly augmented one from LG with the option of three, five or seven home screens. There's a 600MHz Qualcomm processor on board but that doesn't seem to help it run particularly quickly, though the 3Mp camera isn't bad and includes face detection. Unusually, it can play Xvid and DivX movies.
Reg Rating 60
More Info LG
Orange San Francisco
It’s Orange by name, but Chinese manufacturer ZTE is the build behind the brand. This is a significantly different device to the ZTE Racer available on Three. It’s considerably longer and has a bigger, 3.5in capacitive OLED touchscreen. It’s arguably classier looking too with its slimline design and minimalist button layout - sliver-like home, menu and back. The OLED screen looks beautifully sharp and crisp, has multi-touch capability and is nicely responsive too.
There’s a choice of UIs with this Android 2.1 device: vanilla Android or Orange flavour, which features five home pages and a few extra nick-acks like Orange’s App Shop - games and ringtones, mostly - contacts backup, Orange Music Store, Orange Maps, a photo slideshow widget and Orange Wednesdays, which gives you some special offers on cinema tickets. The camera is 3.2Mp with autofocus but no flash – decent enough quality though nothing special.
Reg Rating 85
More Info Orange
Next page: Samsung Galaxy Europa
I find it very surprising that you have rated the HTC Wildfire at £230 above the Orange San Francisco (ZTE Blade) at £100. Having tried both, the ZTE Blade leaves Wildfire distinctly poor. Not only is the OSF 2.3x cheaper than the HTCW, it also has a 600MHz CPU vs. 528MHz, and 512MB of RAM vs 384MB. Most importantly of all, HTCW has a 320x240 screen vs 800x480 on the OSF!
How on earth could you rate the HTCW at 90% and OSF at 85%??? There's just no contest between the two.
The other thing that really should be mentioned is community support. In general, the cheaper the phone is, the more it is community hacked and the more available useful things like custom root roms with extra features are. And given it's high spec and unbelievably low price, the OSF seems set to be the most community-loved Android phone for a long time to come.
Orange San Francisco
But surprised to hear the SF described as it was. All the reviews I've seen so far have descibed the screen as comparable to hansets costing much more,and given the price for 2.1 and OLED ,plus payg availability it's the handset I'm planning to get. In video test it aslo seems pretty nippy.
Come on, 800x480 oled screen with gps as well for 99 quid !
Don't have to use Orange
You can unlock the San Francisco for free - there is a code generator in the public domain. Else you can pay £1 on ebay. So, do what I did and choose another operator which charges sensible prices - e.g. T-mobile - 600 minutes, 500 texts, unlimited landlines and 3GB internet on 12 month SIM only contract for £7.50 per month. Or, if you don't want to use it as phone, and can live with a maximum of 384Kbps and 1 gig per month get a PAYG SIM from T-mobile and buy a six-month internet top-up for £20.
PS San Francisco is so much better than the other phones, so review flawed, particularly in relation to the amount of RAM and the OLED high-res screen. And going to a decent Orange-free ROM is a fifteen-minute job for a Reg reader.
The SanFran is also easily unlockable and rootable with a decent community behind it, which are already working on a 2.2 ver.
Resistive vd capacitive
I really don't understand the continual bashing of resistive screens (beyond the fact that resistive is not the Apple way).
I use both, and I far prefer the resistive.
So far the only con I have found to resistive is it can't do multitouch, fair enough, as the user interface isn't designed to take advantage of such a feature, it's not an issue.
The pros are huge. I can use it wearing gloves. If you have finger nails then you can still use it without having to angle your fingers in a way would would be a bit odd when holding the phone.
When you're not wearing gloves, the benefits starts to really appear - accuracy.
You can click on a 2mm high text link on a web page, amongst a sea of other text links, and get it 99% of the time, because you are using a narrow tapping thing like your finger nail.
Plus you can see what you are tapping right up to the point you hit it, because said fingernail is fine and narrow. Not got fingernails, well pick up anything you like from your desk. Biro lid, matchstick, car keys, anything you like, it'll work (taadaa!).
Take a capacitive one, requiring the contact of a squashy finger tip, and you'll be hard pushed to hit anything smaller than the size of a bus with any accuracy. Is it any wonder that the way to navigate "back" is such an easy gesture?
The iPhone4 might have a seriously impressive number of pixels per inch, but you can't use them to resize a webpage to tiny proportions if it has a lot of links close together, the most you can do with it is enjoy some nice font anti-aliasing.