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Orange San Francisco 2 budget Android smartphone

Orange San Francisco 2

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

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

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

Next page: Good call

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