Orange Monte Carlo review

Can Orange's new low-cost Android handset match the San Francisco?

Orange Monte Carlo
The definitive Orange Monte Carlo review

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With no Facebook or Twitter integration built into the Orange Monte Carlo out of the box, you've got none of the fancy social media integration you get with some smartphones.

Out of the box, then, messaging boils down to email, SMS and instant messaging via Orange Messenger (powered by Windows Live).

Orange Messenger charges its Pay As You Go customers the princely sum of 5p per message sent.

If you fancy trying it, then you can sign in to Hotmail, MSN, Live, Orange or Wannado accounts and trial Orange Messenger for a rather ungenerous three free days.

Orange monte carlo

When it comes to texting, there's a predictive text system going on to help speed up typing.

We found we didn't resort to it very often, though, because the keyboard is extremely comfortable, speedy and responsive in both portrait and landscape modes.

Orange monte carlo

Threaded messaging is supported, and if you switch into landscape mode you see less of your messaging history, but the keyboard is bigger and easier to use, and the predictive text line is still present.

Orange monte carlo

If you want to set up a non-Gmail personal email account to access, you may want to use the pre-configured settings for a number of popular email providers, including Sky, TalkTalk, Tiscali, and even the Orange-bought Freeserve. Does anyone still have a Freeserve email account?

Orange monte carlo

Initially, it seems as though email is divided into the two usual Android pockets of Gmail in one app and email from the rest in another app. There are separate icons for each of these in the apps list.

However, things aren't quite what they seem. Hit the Gmail icon and you do indeed simply get to view your Gmail messages. Opt instead for the Mail icon and your inboxes are aggregated so you can switch between them.

So, that's Gmail in two separate places on one handset, then.

Orange monte carlo

A word of warning about all this. Enter email addresses via the Settings area rather than in the Mail app itself. If you do the latter, it seems Orange sets you up for a trial of Mobile Mail, a service that starts charging you for use after a trial period. Very naughty, Orange.