If you’re going to make your debut in the world of smartphone manufacture, you really do need to make sure you’ve got a strong team on your side. It is, needless to say, quite a competitive market. That’s why we were more than intrigued to see that Orange’s first foray into actual phone production would be done in association with computer processing monsters Intel. The result is the San Diego.
The spec for this model made pretty interesting reading. With Intel’s input (try saying that five times fast), many were expecting an absolute monster of processing to rival the Galaxy SIII’s quad-core titan. However, what they actually received was a mid-priced (around $25 per month on a two-year contract) model designed to offer stability and performance. It’s actually a wise move, as an attempt to compete with the Apples and Samsungs on their debut could have provided some serious problems for Orange and Intel. Using a single 1.6 GHZ processor (known as the Atom) and 16GB internal memory, the San Diego has everything it needs to get the job done. But does it?
At first glance, the aesthetics of the phone are standard smartphone fare. There’s nothing here that’s going to make users drool, but there’s also nothing to make them bring up last night’s Pizza. In short, the San Diego is a black, average-sized smartphone, the like of which we’ve seen hundreds of times before. The one physical aspect worth noting is the rubberized back, which is a good security measure for the butterfingers out there. Other than that, the SD is no-nonsense all the way.
The screen itself is certainly pleasing: at 4.03 inches and with a resolution of 1024×600, making it perfectly pleasant to view if you’re someone who uses their phones to watch a lot of films, TV shows and random YouTube rubbish. Obviously, it doesn’t compete with the absolute statuesque beauty of the AMOLED Samsung displays, but at this price point it can hardly be expected to.
So, then, how does the processor hold up? With the knowledge that Intel will have had a fair amount of input here, it’s probably the feature that will be most stringently examined. However, those expecting either complete genius or utter disaster will be left rather disappointed. Like the rest of the phone, the processor seems to be more than efficient at the standard smartphone task, without hoping to compete with those models higher up in the market. There is some lag if you try and do a ton of tasks too quickly, yes, but the chances are that those who seek to do so will be spending more anyway.
Overall, then, the San Diego is a fine and understated debut from both Orange and Intel. It’s likely that they’ll both attempt more powerful models in the future, but this remains an excellent way to start.
Charlotte Daniels is a freelance writer and tech fanatic, she has a great deal of knowledge on mobile technology, in particular T-Mobile prepaid cell phone plans