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Orange San Francisco 2 budget Android smartphone

Orange San Francisco 2

More hails of the city

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All mod cons?

Keeping all the hardware in step is Android 2.3.5, which is fair enough at this price point, given that Ice Cream Sandwich is still a rarity away from Nexus-branded handsets. I suspect it’s rather unlikely that the SF2 will ever get an official ICS upgrade but the folks over at Cyanogen Mod will no doubt have an ICS-based ROM working on the SF2 in the not too distant future. Rooting instructions and stock ROMs are already easy to find.

Orange San Francisco 2 budget Android smartphoneOrange San Francisco 2 budget Android smartphone

512MB of system storage vanishes quickly – the AnTuTu score reflects the 800MHz CPU and £99 price tag

Of course, if you do re-ROM your phone you will loose Orange’s HD Voice and Signal Boost tech. Losing the former is only a problem if you talk to other HD Voice users, but the latter – which uses the phone’s Wi-Fi connection to hook up to Orange’s cellular network in areas of poor or no reception – is rather handy.

As with other Orange own-brand Android handsets there is a fair amount of bloat and the launcher is as pleasant to look at as one of Hieronymous Bosch’s more disturbing canvases but you can fix that with a third party launcher.

Orange San Francisco 2 budget Android smartphoneOrange San Francisco 2 budget Android smartphone

Homescreen horror and web browsing

Two hardware improvements do stand out on the SF2 – the 5MP camera and flash combination (up from 3.2MP and no flash) and the forward-facing VGA web cam. Sadly, the latter doesn’t currently work with Skype video calling which is a missed opportunity.

Orange San Francisco 2 budget Android smartphone

Remote control for virtualized desktops

Next page: Good call

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