Orange San Diego review

Is the future bright with this one?

Orange San Diego review
Intel is inside its first European handset, but is it any good?

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Intel says the Orange San Diego is a high-end phone that's being sold at a low price. Now we're not sure if high-end is really the place for the San Diego, but it certainly gives higher priced mid-range phones a run for their money.

It may be the first phone in Europe to run an Intel processor, but it certainly doesn't appear too shabby, with only some minor issues to report.

We liked

The Orange San Diego is a stylish phone, and while it may steal design cues from the iPhone 4S and Galaxy S2, it's certainly not a bad thing.

The handset runs smoothly, with slick web browsing and fluid running of applications making the San Diego a breeze to use.

With a £170 price tag the San Diego is also very reasonably priced, providing a well rounded smartphone experience with treats such as an 8MP camera and NFC technology.

We disliked

Intel has done very well with its first stab at a mobile phone, but it isn't perfect.

The biggest bug bear would have to be the app support, and although not every Android handset runs every app, we found several that were unavailable soon after firing up the San Diego.

Another annoyance is the camera app, which has the ability to be great, but the small, fiddly and obscure settings icons make for a frustrating user experience.


Orange has pedigree in own-brand handsets, with the San Francisco offering up an excellent mobile experience, although the San Francisco 2 did seem a little off the mark compared to its predecessor.

Thankfully Orange has managed to get back on the horse with its partnership with Intel, as the San Diego offers an impressive array of specs at its price point and challenges handsets that are £100 more expensive - and for that, we are awarding the Orange San Diego the title of Best In Class for a budget smartphone.

If you're looking at the more pricey Nokia Lumia 800, Sony Xperia P or even HTC One S then it is worth checking out the San Diego and possibly sparing yourself some cash.

The San Diego is a serious contender for anyone looking for a decent mid-range smartphone who doesn't want to break the bank for some flagship features.

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.