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Orange San Francisco 2 review

Can Orange replicate the success of its budget San Francisco?

Orange san francisco 2

We really, really liked the original Orange San Francisco, and it became out benchmark for budget mobile phones throughout 2011. We thought the Orange San Francisco 2 might become the one to beat in 2012. But having spent time with this sequel, we aren't so sure.

Budget smartphones such as the HTC Wildfire S, Samsung Galaxy Y, BlackBerry Curve 9300 Huawei Blaze and Motorola Atrix 2 have proliferated over the last year, and to lead the pack a phone has to be really special. The Orange San Francisco 2 does move things on from its predecessor, but not hugely, so it doesn't sit head and shoulders above the rest as the original Orange San Francisco did.

We liked

The touchscreen is sharp and clear - 480 x 800 pixels in a 3.5-inch screen are bound to deliver well.

Battery life is pretty good, although as ever we temper that comment with the fact that your own pattern of use might drain it relatively quickly.

We disliked

We wanted the Orange San Francisco 2 to be more of an upgrade than it is, so we feel a bit let down overall.

The build isn't as great as we'd have liked. The Orange San Francisco 2's shiny black plastic is so-so, although we haven't seen the white version, so that may be a nicer-looking handset.

The absence of Twitter and Facebook clients and the lack of integration of their contacts is a big chasm in functionality.

The Orange San Francisco 2's touchscreen feels a little unresponsive to us, especially when entering text.

Final verdict

Small, neat and affordable, the Orange San Francisco 2 is far from being a bad buy. But Orange set the bar very high with the original San Francisco, and this follow up just doesn't represent a giant leap forward.

That's got to be good news for the competition, whose budget Android handsets have been overshadowed by the Orange San Francisco for many months. So come on, everyone, the field is now wide open.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen
TouchscreenYes
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
USBYes
Contract TypeSIM-free
Maximum Memory Card Size Supported16 GB
Built-in Memory512 MB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyHSDPA, EDGE, GPRS, HSUPA
GPS ReceiverYes
Multi-SIM SupportedNo
Near Field CommunicationNo
Integrated TV TunerNo
Product FamilySan Francisco II
Cellular Generation3G
Cellular Network SupportedWCDMA 1900, WCDMA 2100, GSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 900
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Rear Camera Resolution5 Megapixel
Number of SIM Card Supported1
Front CameraYes
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD
Phone StyleBar
ColourBlack
Operating SystemAndroid
Brand NameOrange
Battery Talk Time1 Week
Screen Size8.9 cm (3.5")
Screen Resolution480 x 800
Touchscreen TypeCapacitive
Weight (Approximate)120 g
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 2.1
Operating System VersionAndroid 2.3 Gingerbread
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging
USB StandardUSB 2.0
Pixel Density267 ppi
Height117 mm
Width58.5 mm
Depth10.6 mm
Radio TunerYes
Battery Standby Time4.50 Hour
ManufacturerOrange Broadband
Product NameSan Francisco II from Orange in Black
Processor Speed800 MHz
Product LineSan Francisco II
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeDigital Compass, Proximity Sensor, Accelerometer
Manufacturer Part NumberOZTN4954
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.orange.co.uk
Marketing Information

San Francisco II from Orange in black

Take your digital life to another level with the San Francisco II, exclusively on Orange.

This stylish smartphone will keep you connected with email, high-speed internet, WiFi and GPS. Watch your favourite videos on the brilliant 3.5-inch TFT widescreen display, or shoot the action on the 5 megapixel camera - great for snapping and sharing shots on the move.