Feeds
70%
Orange Barcelona Android Qwerty smartphone

Orange Barcelona Android Qwerty phone

City slicker?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

Review HTC's ChaCha aside, BlackBerry-style Android messaging phones are a rare and unimpressive breed. And I, for one, am not all that sure about the look, price or point of the Facebook-centric ChaCha.

Orange Barcelona Android Qwerty smartphone

Changing the Android Qwertyphone landscape?

But Orange, which has a track record for bringing Android to the huddled masses that is already rather impressive thanks to its San Francisco and Monte Carlo handsets, has launched a Qwerty Android phone for a hundred quid.

Called the Barcelona - it’s the Huawei U8350 Boulder under the Orange trappings - it has a 41-button keyboard, a 2.6in, 320 x 240 capacitive touchscreen and runs Android 2.2.

Only 9.9mm thick, the Barcelona is dainty for a messaging phone, but though made entirely of plastic, it feels solid and durable. The absence of silly colour schemes and blue 'F' buttons has helped keep the looks restrained and businesslike.

Orange Barcelona Android Qwerty smartphone

The screen is a run-of-the-mill LCD, but it's still bright and colourful enough to satisfy most users. There's not much wrong with the its performance in sunlight, either, and even when held close, text appears acceptably crisp and sharp. Fire up the web browser and text reflows promptly. You get pinch-to-zoom too.

The plastic screen is satisfyingly reactive and accurate to the touch. Space may be a bit tight for a touchscreen UI but when you consider the plethora of control options offered by the various physical buttons, it makes more sense.

Orange Barcelona Android Qwerty smartphone

Under the Orange branding, Barcelona is a Huawei Boulder

Underneath the screen you'll find a physical five-way navpad surrounded by two large call keys and the four traditional Android buttons. It's a layout much like any regular Qwerty handset and renders the touchscreen almost superfluous.

The keys themselves are slightly domed and made of hard plastic which makes everything look and feel much like a mid-range Nokia messenger. That's no bad thing, and the Barcelona's keypad is pleasant to the touch, easy to use, and lacks obvious idiosyncrasies.

Orange Barcelona Android Qwerty smartphone UI screenshot

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

More from The Register

next story
Report: American tech firms charge Britons a thumping nationality tax
Without representation, too. Time for a Boston (Lincs) Macbook Party?
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
Child diagnosed as allergic to iPad
Apple's fondleslab is the tablet dermatitis sufferers won't want to take
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
For Lenovo US, 8-inch Windows tablets are DEAD – long live 8-inch Windows tablets
Reports it's killing off smaller slabs are greatly exaggerated
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.