Orange Berlin Review


Not long ago I looked at Orange’s own-branded Tokyo mobile phone. I said then that it was one of a series, all named after world cities, and designed to give Orange a portfolio of devices that no other operator could lay claim to.

I wasn’t too impressed with Tokyo. I liked its small size and the general design, but the features weren’t really up to what I’d expect for a £160 PAYG handset. Berlin is a whole lot less expensive at £50 on PAYG, and so I am prepared to accept rather lower grade features.

So to find right off the bat that Berlin is quad-band GSM with 3G where Tokyo is dual-band GSM; that it has a 2-megapixel camera where Tokyo has 1.3-megapixels; and that it has an FM radio where Tokyo doesn’t is a pleasant surprise. True, there is no front-facing camera for two-way video calling, but on paper Berlin does look like a better deal than Tokyo.

Berlin is a slider and while it is not as small as the very smallest of sliders it’s 95 x 45 x 17mm dimensions make it quite comfortable in the hand and in the pocket. It grows to 125mm when the slider is open, and weighs 95g.

The phone’s casing is made of black rubberised material which feels fine to hold. The left and right side buttons are silver. On the left are two-volume keys and on the right are three media playback control keys (pause/play, forward and back), with one of these doubling as a camera control.

There is a small curved ridge beneath the screen which you can push against when opening and closing the slide. I found this was a bit too close to the navigation button and often ended up hitting the ‘up’ button by mistake, which was a bit of a nuisance.

The navigation button is surrounded by six other buttons. There are two softmenu keys, Call and End keys, a menu key and a back key.

The screen looks a little lost in its surroundings. It couldn’t be much wider but there is a fair amount of space above and below it. It delivers 176 x 220 pixels and is quite clear and sharp.

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