The Orange Rio II runs a custom OS that bears a passing resemblance to Android, but lacks that operating system’s advanced features. There’s a very basic web browser as well as dedicated apps for Facebook and Twitter. Naturally, you can use the handset with a range of different email providers.
You can add some limited widgets to the homescreen, in much the same way as you can on Android devices. However, this is definitely no smartphone as the functionality of the OS is rather basic and there’s no app store. The handset also tends to feel quite sluggish, especially when moving between apps, but also even sometimes when just moving around webpages in the browser.
When it comes to multimedia, there is a basic video player that works fine for mobile 3GPP format videos, but little else. There’s also an MP3 player app, although to really make use of it you’ll need to insert a memory card into the MicroSD slot, as there’s only enough internal memory to store a few tracks. The music player is functional, but quite basic. However, sound quality isn’t bad, and another positive the included FM tuner.
The Rio II doesn’t have Wi-Fi onboard, so you’re completely reliant on Orange’s network for data access, which could be tricky if you don’t have great reception in your home or office. It also lacks GPS and its battery life isn’t great. If you do a lot of web browsing or Facebooking you may not make it through a single day without a recharge.
The camera is nothing to write home about. It uses a 3-megapixel sensor, has a fixed focus lens and doesn’t have a flash. It’s hopeless in low light, producing shots that are pretty much just seas of black. However, when there’s enough light in a room, or it’s working outdoors, the results aren’t too bad by budget standards. That said, colours aren’t all that accurate. Purple flowers in one shot looked quite blue, for example.
The Rio II looks much more expensive than it really is and has a decent line up of features for the money. However, it’s quite a quirky phone to use as the touchscreen is unresponsive and its user interface lacks the finesse of, say, Samsung’s Genio range. It’s cheap, but we’re not convinced that it represents really good value for money.
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