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Orange San Diego Intel-based Android phone

First Atom-powered smart talker

Orange San Diego Intel CPU Android smartphone

Review If you own a smartphone then you are almost certainly using an ARM CPU. That’s good for ARM and its licensees but bad for Intel, as it wants a piece of the vast mobile chip market. Cue the San Diego, a retail version of Intel’s own Gigabyte-built smartphone reference platform built around a hyper-threading 1.6GHz Z2460 Atom processor.

Orange San Diego Intel CPU Android smartphone

Orange San Diego Intel CPU Android smartphone

Before we get into the technical long grass it’s worth pointing out that Orange has been clever with the San Diego’s pricing. At £200 on PAYG it slots in between the cheap, albeit very cheerful, £100 Huawei Ascend G300 and the likes of the Sony Xperia P which will set you back around £300.

There is direct competition at the price point from the HTC One V and Nokia Lumia 710 but both of those phones are vin ordinaire and pack nothing like the on-paper punch of the San Diego.

Orange San Diego Intel CPU Android smartphone

Sim slot on the side, but no micro SD expansion

To emphasise the point – besides an Atom CPU with 1GB of RAM – your £200 gets you a 4.03in 600 x 1024 screen, 16GB of storage, an NFC radio and an 8MP main and 1.3MP secondary camera. Sadly it’s also lumbered with Android 2.3 but Orange tells me an Ice Cream Sandwich update is due “shortly”.

Physically, the 10mm thick, 117g San Diego feels solid and well made and has a pleasantly tactile rubberised back. The front is devoid of any Orange or Intel branding, which I suspect will increase its appeal as will the slightly ICS-style capacitive buttons.

Orange San Diego Intel CPU Android smartphone Orange San Diego Intel CPU Android smartphone

Home screen and status

The black and silver body is smart rather than stylish and the screen bezel is a bit thick at the top and bottom. It’s a very functional design though, thanks to the physical camera button, micro HDMI port and punchy 0.3W speaker that projects through grills flanking the micro USB port.

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