As on its other own-branded Android phones, Orange has added it’s own skin over the top of Android and also installed a load of its apps too. These include both an App Store and a Navigation app, but seeing as these are both pretty poor you’re unlikely to be tempted away from the Android Market and Google Maps. Annoyingly, though, you can’t uninstall the Orange apps.
The small screen is another problem. At just 2.8inches it’s tiny, but the low resolution of 240×320 pixels is the real kicker. Text and icons look pixelated and blurry in the menus, but its negative effects are even more noticeable when you use the browser. Unless you’re zoomed in very close on a webpage, text is pretty much impossible to read and even when you are zoomed in close enough to actually read the text, there’s not very much of it visible at any one time. A knock on issue from the low resolution is there are several apps that will be unavailable to you in the Android Market. This is because it’s becoming increasingly common for developers to set a minimum requirement of a resolution of 320×480 pixels.
When it comes to the Stockholm’s camera, things couldn’t really be much more basic either. It’s got a 3.2megapixel sensor, but it lacks extras like autofocus and any kind of flash. The result is that the pictures it takes are pretty woeful. Unless you hold it very, very steady when you’re taking a photo, your pictures are likely to come out looking very blurry. In fact, even when you do manage to hold it steady enough, the images it takes have so little detail you’re likely to get similar results from the cameras you find on £30 PAYG handsets. In doors under low light conditions it’s unsurprisingly rubbish too, producing photos that are noisier than a drum kit falling down a stairwell. Certainly, if having a good camera on your phone is important to you, this is not the handset to buy.
The handset is not without its’ strengths though. Battery life from its 1200Mhz battery isn’t bad as you can expect to get around a day and a half’s worth of use out of it before it needs a recharge. Also, call quality was pretty good and there’s a neat application called signal boost that allows the phone to use your Wi-Fi network for making calls if the signal in your area is particularly weak.
We also like the gesture app that lets you assign onscreen gestures to quickly launch applications or dial numbers. For example, you can set a ‘W’ gesture to quickly launch the web browser or draw a triangle shape to dial a number.
The Orange Stockholm has it strengths, including its low price tag and pocket friendly size. However, the low resolution screen, sluggish processor and abundance of Orange bloatware means that it wouldn’t be our first choice if we were on the hunt for a budget smartphone. In fact, the San Francisco is still a much better phone than this one.
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