Last year, Orange unleashed the best budget Android phone on an unsuspecting market place in the form of the Orange San Francisco. It offered a high resolution screen, half decent processor and a new-ish version of Android for just £100 on PAYG. Now the company is back with another budget Android offering, the Stockholm, which continues Orange's obsession with naming its phones after cities, but this phone comes with an even cheaper price tag of just £80 on PAYG. However, while the San Francisco was manufactured by ZTE, this model is a Huawei design, so the question is just how well does it stack up against its older sibling?
Like the Vodafone Smart, the Stockholm is quite dinky and one of the more pocket friendly Android handsets around at the moment. It stands just 104mm tall and is fairly narrow too at 56mm wide. It feels quite light, but unfortunately also relatively flimsy, especially compared to higher-end Android phones. The plastic battery cover has just a little bit too much flex for our liking and we're not fond of the loose feel of the home button either.
In fact, we don’t even like the placement of the front buttons. Beneath the screen there are three touch buttons for back, menu and search, with the home button mounted beneath them. Because the home button on most Android phones is posited directly beneath the screen we found ourselves often pressing the menu button instead of the home button when we wanted to exit the App Drawer, for example. The buttons also take up a huge amount of room on the front of the phone, as there's over three centimetres between the bottom of the screen and the bottom of the handset, which makes the design look more than a tad unbalanced.
Elsewhere, though, the phone takes a pretty traditional approach. The standard 3.5mm headphone jack is positioned at the top of the handset, while the microUSB port is on the bottom. There's a power button/lock switch at the top too, and a volume rocker switch on the right hand edge. However, as with a lot of today's Android handsets, there's sadly no dedicated camera button.
The Stockholm only has 256MB of memory built in, but it comes with a 2GB microSD card pre-installed in its card slot. Unfortunately, the card slot is placed beneath the battery so you can’t hot swap cards - an admittedly minor inconvenience.
Rather than the Android V2.3 common on many phones, this phone comes with the older V2.2 version, which is equal parts surprising and disappointing as V2.3 has been out for quite some time now. The Stockholm also uses an older first generation Qualcomm chip that's clocked at 528Mhz and has an ageing Adreno 200 graphics co-processor. The upshot of this is that the phone feels quite sluggish to use as it sometimes pauses for thought when loading apps, or moving through menus. The processor also hasn’t got the grunt to run Adobe Flash, so you can’t uses services such as the BBC iPlayer (without the app), which are available on higher end handsets.