Orange San Francisco II
Orange's latest budget smartphone steps things up from its predecessor with the most notable improvement, a fantastically crisp 3.5in display at a resolution of 480 x 800 with 267ppi. Looking schweet. Manufacturer ZTE utilises a previous gen 800MHz MSM7227T Snapdragon processor, which although a couple of years old now, performs meritoriously.
Although gesture support and the inclusion of a decent browser raises its profile, the San Fran II does remain slightly downmarket, with its 802.11g Wi-Fi being one example of corner cutting. It also feels tacky and bodies rarely rock up as glossy as this, so unless you can handle wiping away fingerprints at every given moment, you might want to look elsewhere. Still, if you're already locked-in to Orange and are on a shoestring budget, the San Fran II offers reasonable value for money and should just about satisfy your smartphone cravings.
Reg Rating 85%
More info Orange
Samsung Galaxy Y
Touted as the low-end replacement for the original Galaxy Mini, the Galaxy Y fares slightly better on the performance front – breaking the Qualcomm mould by utilising an 830MHz Broadcom BCM21553 chip. It also features a slicker design and is more pleasant to use, although that doesn't mean to say it fails to frustrate at times.
The Galaxy Y stays behind the curve with a 3in touchscreen and 240 x 320 pixel resolution that really puts the 'heap' in cheap. OK, times do move fast, but this level of quality fails to cut the mustard these days. A decent battery life is one of the saving graces of the Galaxy Y, however, I've several better handsets in front of me for the same outlay. Indeed, smartphones are all about multimedia and the ability to browse the net at convenience, but I'm not impressed when trying either of those experiences on this device.
Reg Rating 70%
More info Samsung
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Re: T-mobile Vivacity
Crap? Only if you're taking the same standpoint as someone who drives a high end car and looks down on those in hatchbacks. Given the difference in price versus the difference in performance/features a budget smartphone is an eminently sensible choice for those with a slimmer discretionary wad.
This may come as a bit of a shock, but, well, not everyone wants a bloody iPhone.
Re: Spend a little more.
And I would agree with you 100% if it weren't for the lack of MicroSD card suppport in the U. That just kills it for me. How can you really use it as a smartphone with only around 6GB? Most of the uses that define a smartphone require large amounts of storage.
Most of them seem to have been based on a rounded rectangle shape. Are they really iPhones in disguise ?
Erm... the 'going rate' for a two year old 3GS is still in the region of £150.