Another Huawei model, the 845 is small but fairly chunky - it's 14mm thick - and has an unusual button layout for an Android phone, with home and back incorporated into one key, which makes navigating direct to the first of the seven home screens a little tricky. There's no hard search button, though it's present in a tool bar on the screen.
The 845 has Android 2.1, but the processor is rather sluggish and it can be frustratingly slow at times. The touchscreen is resistive rather than capacitive which is always a little disappointing to use as the sensitivity just isn't there, particularly on a smallish 2.8in screen like this one.
Fortunately, the optical trackpad in the middle of the button array is very sensitive and makes getting around a lot easier. There’s also a middling 3Mp camera with no flash. Better still, the 845 is a cheap as chips.
Reg Rating 65
Price Free with £15-30pm contract
More Info Vodafone
Chinese manufacturer ZTE chose Three as the Trojan Horse to smuggle its first Android phone into the UK - it’s since been joined by the Orange San Francisco - and a decent first effort it is too. There are touch-sensitive home, return and menu buttons beneath the 2.8in touchscreen, which is resistive rather than capacitive. It runs on a near-vanilla Android 2.1 with very little input from Three and features - surprise - three home screens.
The 600MHz processor and 256MB Ram keeps things nipping along nicely but the tiny battery doesn't quite stand up to some of the others, and you'll be lucky to get a full day's use out of it. There’s a 3.2Mp camera with no flash, and it’s available in black or white.
Reg Rating 70
More Info Three
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.