Orange Barcelona hands-on

Orange enjoyed surprise success with the cheap ZTE-produced Orange San Francisco back in 2010 and they're looking to repeat the success with another Orange branded Android device. Bringing it home to Europe, the next device from Everything Everywhere under the Orange brand will be the Barcelona.

The Orange Barcelona will be a reskinned Huawei Boulder. Of course here we see it pictured before it gets the Orange logos front and back and when it comes to market it won't have the Huawei branding in place.

The Orange Barcelona measures 63 x 115 x 9.9mm, so is slim. It's light too at only 115g. Specs are restrained, hitting the entry level, with a reported Qualcomm MSM7225 processor clocked at 528MHz (not confirmed by Orange, but those are the specs from the Boulder) and a 3.2-megapixel camera around the back.

The main interest however will be that this is a touch-type device, offering a 2.6-inch touchscreen (supporting multitouch) as well as the full QWERTY keyboard beneath it. As such it is something of a rarity in the UK market, going up against the likes of the HTC ChaCha. The keyboard has the same tactile finish as the Motorola Dext, slightly rough, but the travel on the keys felt good enough in our quick play.

The resolution of the screen is a little low and the size means that you don't get as much out of the Android interface as you do on a larger device, but we're impressed with the overall look and feel on first impressions.

Some tweaks have been made to the fairly native Android 2.2 (Froyo) interface, with shortcuts down the right-hand side of the display and it will come with a number of Orange apps pre-installed, a similar makeover as we saw on the San Francisco, with Orange wallpapers, features and icons.

The Barcelona supports a couple of network features from Orange, the first being HD Voice and the second being Signal Boost, or UMA, meaning that you'll be able to connect to friendly Wi-Fi networks and receive your voice calls and messages via Wi-Fi rather than over the 3G network.

The pricing hasn't been announced as yet, but Orange told us to expect it to be along the lines of previous own-brand devices, so it should be excellent value. 



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