Offering an affordable alternative to the BlackBerry Bold 9900, the Barcelona comes with a 2.6-inch touchscreen and portrait QWERTY keys
Editor's Review of the Barcelona
The ZTE-made Orange San Francisco was a surprise triumph, having sold over 2 million units worldwide. Here comes its successor - the Orange Barcelona - which the network is hoping will continue this success.
Detailed by Orange as "sleek and ergonomic", this re-branded Huawei handset immediately comes across as a cut-price alternative to the BlackBerry Bold 9900. It's by no means as "pretty" as RIM's latest offering, although it manages to weigh in at just 9.9mm thick - just a touch chunkier than Apple's iPhone 4. It's light too, at only 115g.
It may not be as "pretty", but it certainly seems as functional. Within its streamlined casing sits a 2.6-inch multitouch display, with a full QWERTY keypad coupled beneath it. This places the handset up against the Samsung Galaxy Pro and HTC ChaCha, although it's keypad proved much more tactile and much more comfortable.
However, the resolution of the screen is pretty low - just 320 x 240 pixels, in fact. Given the small size of the screen this isn't too much of an issue, but you don't get out of its Android interface as you would on a larger-screened device. Speaking of Android, the Orange Barcelona runs Android 2.2 (Froyo) OS - which comes complete with the usual shortcut keys: Home, Menu, Back and Search.
As well as the usual Google goodies, the Barcelona comes equipped with a bunch of Orange apps (Wednesdays, App Store, Messenger). More interestingly, it also supports HD Voice, which uses noise cancelation tech for crystal clear calls. Of course, you'll also have access to the Android Market, where there's a choice of over 250,000 more apps.
Media-wise, the Orange Barcelona sports a 3.2 megapixel camera (without flash), capable of capturing video footage. Its lack of flash means snaps are by no means fantastic - but they're decent enough for sharing on Facebook and Twitter. If that's not enough to keep you entertained, there's also also a bunch of pre-installed Java games, a built-in MP3 player, an FM radio, and a 'high volume' loud speaker for listening to your tunes.
With a focus on web-savvy teens and keen social networkers, we're glad to see the Barcelona comes with HSDPA and WiFi speeds. Surfing the web can feel slightly crammed on the 2.6-inch screen, but we never encountered problems when waiting for pages to load. Of course, Facebook and Twitter apps come pre-loaded, so you don't have to make to with the onboard Android browser.
The Orange Barcelona is by no means perfect. But then again, neither was the San Francisco. We honestly believe this could be the network's next best-selling handset - thanks to its intuitive keyboard and Android smarts. What more could want for just ninety-nine pounds?
Orange Barcelona News
The Orange Barcelona has finally gone on sale, and is available to buy for just £99. Back in June, the network revealed that the Barcelona would fetch £139.99 on pay as you go, which’ll bag you £20 free top-up. However, Orange has now listed the handset with a tiny £99 price-tag – exactly the same [...]
Orange has confirmed that its Barcelona handset will go on sale ‘imminently’, suggesting that a June release could be on the cards. Speaking to SoMobile, an representative at the UK network let slip that “the Orange Barcelona will be available imminently”. No exact release date has yet been confirmed, although it’s expected toÂ startÂ shipping before the [...]
Orange has revealed the pricing for its newly-announced Barcelona handset, confirming its place within the network’s ‘budget’ line-up. The UK network will be offering the handset for £139.99 on pay as you go,Â for which youâll also get a free £20 top-up. Alternatively, you can grab it for free on a 2 year £15.00 per month [...]
Orange has outed its latest homegrown handset – the Orange Barcelona – an Android Froyo QWERTY/touchscreen hybrid. Sporting similar specs to the BlackBerry Bold 9900, the super-skinny Barcelona rocks a 2.6-inch touchscreen and a portrait QWERTY keypad. Unlike RIM‘s upcoming handset, the Orange Barcelona comes running Android 2.2 (Froyo) OS, complete with the usual array [...]
Orange Barcelona Specifications
115mm x 63mm x 9.9mm
Full capacitive touch screen
Type: TFT LCD
Size: 2.6 inches
Resolution: 320 x 240
External: microSD up to 32GB
GPS with Orange Maps
Wi-Fi: IEEE 802.11 b/g/n
Audio: 3.5mm stereo jack
Data: Standard microUSB
GSM 900 / 1800 / 1900
A2DP for wireless stereo headsets
3.2 megapixel camera
Battery Capacity: 1200 mAh
Talk Time: 420 minutes
Standby Time: 480 hours
Radio: FM with RDS
Audio supported formats
Playback: MP3, M4A, MIDI, WAV
Video supported formats
Playback: MP4, H.263, H.264