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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Orange San Diego review

The Orange San Diego stays true to the Android way of doing things when it comes to contacts, with the simple and effective Google operating system providing an easy way to manage your chums.

Orange has taken it upon itself to tweak the icons for the contacts and phone apps, offering up babyish orange-coloured (surprise, surprise) pictures. This design extends to a few other key applications, including calendar and messaging.

You can pull in mates from Google, Facebook, Twitter and various other networks and join contacts with their various accounts – although this has to be done on a contact by contact basis, which can be time consuming if you're a social butterfly, with no fancy HTC Sense wizardry to help you link things together here.

Although you can join your best buds with their social profiles, the San Diego won't pull through status updates or galleries, with you having to fire up the dedicated apps for that kind of info.


Orange San Diego review

The phone app (which is the same as the contacts app, just taking you to a different tab) is a dumbed down version of the standard Android offering.

There's no useful smart dialling option present, with just a basic keypad to work with, which is a little annoying as this feature is available on even the most budget of handsets.

The Orange San Diego boasts earSmart's Advanced Voice processor, which is also found in the Samsung Galaxy S3 and HTC One X, enhancing call quality on the handset.

During our tests we found the San Diego provided a louder than normal call volume thanks to the Advanced Voice processor, helping us to hear our contacts easier.

The clarity of calls was slightly improved over the San Diego's rivals, such as the Nokia Lumia 710 and BlackBerry Curve 9320, but it didn't knock our socks off.

Orange San Diego review

To really put the voice processor to the test we called our partner on their in-car Bluetooth setup as they bombed it along the motorway, and found the San Diego enabled us to easily hear what they had to say in the noisy environment.

We received positive feedback from other people we called, who said they could hear us clearly, and we didn't experience any signal issues or dropped connections.

Unfortunately, if you want to gaze lovingly into the eyes of the person you're calling, then you'll be out of luck with the Orange San Diego.

Even though it's got a front-facing camera, there's no option to video call a contact from their profile or from the dialler screen.

You can get around this by installing the free Skype application from Google Play, but this is far from useful and makes us wonder why Intel bothered to include the front camera in the first place.

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.