Orange San Diego review

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Orange San Diego review
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As the Orange San Diego is an Android device, you're treated to the excellent Google Maps app, which provides you with all your mapping needs.

On top of mapping and directions, Google also handily provides free turn-by-turn navigation software, letting you get from A to B in no time at all.

Orange San Diego review

The San Diego was able to locate us in less than 10 seconds, which isn't the quickest time, but the time was reduced by a couple of seconds when Wi-Fi was turned on.

Maps rendered quickly, with hardly and hint of lag and panning around locations was smooth, with the Orange San Diego's display providing a clear and crisp image.

Once locked, the San Diego was able to keep track of our position easily, even in the furrows of the inner city.


On the whole applications opened quickly and ran smoothly on the Orange San Diego, however there is an Achilles' heel here when it comes to apps.

Orange San Diego review

Since the San Diego packs an Intel processor, some applications are not compatible with the handset, because a handful of developers have coded their apps to run specifically on ARM-based chips.

Intel stresses that the number of affected apps is relatively low, claiming it has successfully tested over 70% of the apps in Google Play.

That said, within a few hours of firing up our San Diego and installing our apps we found four apps that were not supported. They were the popular Temple Run game, ITV Player, Airport City and Men in Black 3.

Although not the end of the world, with trusty stalwarts such as Angry Birds, Skype and Cut the Rope running fine, this is certainly an annoying issue that will frustrate several people.

In terms of pre-installed applications, you get the usual amount of Orange bloatware including Orange Wednesdays, enabling you to read reviews, watch movie trailers and redeem 2-4-1 cinema tickets.

Orange San Diego review

It's a simple, easy to use application that offers a decent replacement to the Flixsterapp, as it also provides cinema listings and movie times.

Trailers start playing instantly after being selected, however the quality is not the best, with some heavy compression in action - providing a rather pixelated image on screen.

Assistant helps you set up certain features on the San Diego such as email and settings including time and date - perfect for someone who is new to smartphones, but pretty useless if you're someone who knows their way around Android.

As we mentioned earlier in this review, Orange's Gestures app is pre-loaded on the San Diego. It makes setting up gestures to perform certain functions easy, with the thumbnail view of shapes providing a clean and efficient interface.

We do however, question how useful Gestures is, and think it's more gimmick than killer app, but some may have fun with it.

Your Orange enables you to keep track of your data, calls and messaging allowances - making sure you don't go over your limits. It also offers a help section, which has a useful set of FAQs. Once again this is great for first time customers, but something that experienced users can gloss over.

Orange San Diego review

The Dailymotion app comes pre-installed, which is basically the poor man's YouTube. YouTube also has its app on the San Diego, providing you with a confusing double choice of video streaming services – a little unnecessary if you ask us, as YouTube usually fulfils our needs.

That said, Dailymotion is a slick app that groups videos into core categories; news, sport, music and so on - with a search option if you want to get to certain content.

Videos buffer quickly, less than two seconds for short clips (a few minutes in length), however longer videos - an hour or so in length - took longer to prepare, with a 10-15 second wait experienced.

Once playing, movements are smooth and colours are rich. You can share videos via social networks and other messaging options and if you login you'll be able to favourite and comment on clips.

Quickoffice Lite, now owned by Google, makes an appearance on the San Diego too, enabling you to view Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and PDF files on your phone.

Orange San Diego review

Its simple user interface will scan your device for compatible files, however if you want to edit the documents you will need to purchase the Pro version for £9.27.

As detailed in the media section, Orange has also included Double Twist on the San Diego – offering up an alternative music and video playing experience, if not still basic, unless you're willing to fork out for the premium version.

John McCann
Global Managing Editor

John joined TechRadar over a decade ago as Staff Writer for Phones, and over the years has built up a vast knowledge of the tech industry. He's interviewed CEOs from some of the world's biggest tech firms, visited their HQs and has appeared on live TV and radio, including Sky News, BBC News, BBC World News, Al Jazeera, LBC and BBC Radio 4. Originally specializing in phones, tablets and wearables, John is now TechRadar's resident automotive expert, reviewing the latest and greatest EVs and PHEVs on the market. John also looks after the day-to-day running of the site.