AzoftSpotlightOrange San Francisco — an Androidphone for £99

Orange San Francisco — an Androidphone for £99

By AbyssMoon on April 20, 2011
OSF Black Orange San Francisco — an Androidphone for £99

Recently I was faced with a problem choosing a new phone. I focused on Androidphones as this platform is available in a rich variety of phones and at reasonable prices.
First my attention was drawn to the LG Optimus One, but lucky I found the Orange San Francisco on the Internet, which costs just £99 in England and technically it exceeds all smartphones on the market in the price diapason up to £200
I'd like to share with you my experience with the Orange San Francisco and hope you will find my story useful.

I checked some information about the smartphon – the device is produced by a Chinese company ZTE and initially it was called ZTE Blade. Orange like many other operators just bought devices for its brand by ZTE, changed the hardware and added their software.
Orange San Francisco is available in two color solutions: Black & White. Many shops call the black model Gray, though they sell the black one. Because of that you may fall into delusion that the smartphone has three color versions.
The device has a sim-lock for the European Operator Orange, probably that's the secrete of it's low price, the operator probably plans to profit from contracts, and not from the device sales, though it's also doubtful, because on the Orange official web page you can purchase a code for unlock for £4 or you can use one of plenty sites with unlock generators, there is you can purchase an unlock for free.

Technical featrures:

OS – Android 2.1 Eclair. An update to Android 2.2 Froyo is available
CPU – Qualcomm MSM 7227 600MHz
RAM & ROM – 512 Mb
Screen – 3.5'', 480×800 pixel, OLED or TFT
Cam – CMOS 3,2 Mega pixels, photo up to 2048 x 1536
Wi-Fi, 3G/HSDPA, Bluetooth v2,1 + EDR, GPS
Sensors – accelerometer, compass, closeness and light sensors
Battery – 1250mAh, 4 hours in the talk mode and till 9 days in the waiting mode
Size and Weight – 116 x 56.5 x 11.8 mm -  Weight 130 gram
Slot MicroSD Card (up to 32 Gb), FM Radio

As you can see it from the technical characteristics the device is with a complete staff, the only thing that can be a subject to criticism is the battery. Having the size of 1250mAh it won't work long. As to my experience, being actively used the smartphone works up to 2 days, which is actually not too bad. If you listen to music, surf the Net and play games on Smartohone, the battery will be empty in the evening, thus you will have to charge it each night.

comparison Orange San Francisco — an Androidphone for £99

If you've paid attention to the screen type, you've probably noticed that the device has two types of screen — AMOLED and TFT, unfortunately the AMOLED was supplied only in the early consignments till 2011, today you can buy only a used device with the AMOLED screen on ebay, and prices of such devices are higher than a price of a new smartphone with TFT screen.

The device has three standard buttons. At the first look you can decide that they are sensor like in
Acer Liquid, but actually all buttons are hardware. There is no search button but I don't consider it to be a shortcoming, I don't really think this button is useful.


bottomleftstack Orange San Francisco — an Androidphone for £99

The device has a camera 3,2 Mega pixels with an auto focus, anyway it makes quite good photos, to my mind it's not worse than the iPhone 3Gs. Though the cam quality is not enough for printing the pictures, but it will help you to portray some important moments when you have no photograph at hand. Unfortunately there is no cam button.

Examples of photos which I made with this smartphone:        

sfsample5 1 Orange San Francisco — an Androidphone for £99    

sfsample6 Orange San Francisco — an Androidphone for £99 

sfsample7 1 Orange San Francisco — an Androidphone for £99     

There is no wide packaging arrangement but there is practically all necessary – memory card 2GB microSD (is inside the phone), quick start guide in English, a cable for microUSB to USB synchronization, 1250mAh battery, a headset 3.5 mm, charger with a UK plug,  SIM card with a  prepaid card for £10 (is usefull only in England), and a colorful booklet with smartphone possibilities description.


contents Orange San Francisco — an Androidphone for £99

My opinion is, there are only two important things missing – a protector film for the screen and a boot – you can buy them separately.

The device is made excellently – nothing is crunching or squeaking. The only trouble may be the rear lid. If you will open and close it often it can come loose a bit with time.


Soft part

I recommend you just after buying to install the JOHN77_V5 (based on Jellyfish RLS9). After that you will have the Android 2.2 Froyo OS.

Pros and Cons


  • The main advantage of the device is it's low price
  • Excellent

    appearance and size

  • Good technical features
  • The Smartphone is unique


On the other hand


  • It has a weak battery
  • There are some difficulties with ordering the phone from England
  • Firmware after buying is suggested
  • No guarantee obligations inspite of England territory


The author of this post successfully bought the phone twice: via the and

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