Orange San Diego review

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Orange San Diego review
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We're now accustomed to a range of messaging options on smartphones these days, and the Orange San Diego doesn't falter in this respect.

Orange San Diego review

There's a couple of emailing applications, with the Gmail app dealing solely with Google accounts, while the more generalised Email app enables you to add a host of third party accounts.

The messaging app has a very basic design to it, with little to inspire us. It's clean and functional and Orange has not made any attempt to jazz it up.

As we say, it's easy to use, but it makes the phone look cheap and we feel this section has been overlooked by the Orange interface design team.

There's nothing in the way of social networking messaging options on the San Diego, with no hub or even dedicated apps pre-installed on the handset.

Orange San Diego review

This seems to be a bit of an oversight by Orange, since social networking is one of the big things people do on their smartphones, and it's a shame this hasn't been addressed.

A quick trip to Google Play saw us quickly stick Facebook and Twitter on the San Diego, but those who are fans of Samsung's Social Hub or HTC's Friend Stream apps, which pull all your feeds into one place, will be left disappointed here.

The San Diego uses the standard Android keyboard, which while functional, we find to be a little cramped for our liking, with the risk of hitting the wrong key always playing on our mind.

HTC seems to have nailed the keyboard, with its Sense UI providing a pleasant typing experience on the likes of the One V and One S.

Turn sideways and the keyboard becomes a little more manageable, with keys growing in size, but you lose sight of the message you're replying to for this extended layout.

Orange San Diego review

You can opt to change the input method to Swype, which enables you to slide between characters and the San Diego will build the words for you. It's very much a Marmite feature: you'll either love it or hate it.

The San Diego does enough to provide a positive overall messaging experience, but we'd recommend popping over to Google Play and downloading a different keyboard if you're a text-heavy user – Swiftkey X is our favourite.

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.