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Review: Orange Stockholm

Back in July Orange announced the Orange Stockholm a budget Android PAYG handset continuing in the vein of their successful San Francisco model. The Stockholm features Android 2.2 (Froyo), a 2.8” capacitive touchscreen, FM Radio, GPS, 3G, and supports Orange Maps for Sat Nav functionality. Priced at only £79.99 + £10 top up credit – how good could this handset be?

Hardware

The Stockholm is tiny, in the days of large 3.7″ – 4″ – 4.3″ screen devices, it quite refreshing to pick up a small rounded phone, although if you’re used to these sized screens working on the small 2.8″ screen is quite an adjustment. Because of the small size, there are 3 soft buttons – Back, Menu and Search and underneath them a larger physical Home button.

The top has a power button and 3.5mm headphone socket, the right side has the volume up and down buttons, and the bottom as the Micro-SD charging and data connector. The back on the Stockholm has a 3MP camera and speaker grill. Photos taken on the camera are acceptable, but switching to video recording produces very low quality VGA samples that simply aren’t worth bothering with.

Every edge and side is smooth rounded plastic and the Stockholm really is a pleasure to hold in your hand, and the plastic keeps the weight down (120g).

orange stockholm with iphone 3gs side view

There is a 1,200mAh battery on board which powers the phone quite adequately given the smaller screen size and reduced power consumption. Accessing email and social networking sites over 3G will still be a drain though and the Stockholm will safely get you through a full day but not a second so you’ll still end up charging this overnight or at work the next day.

Software

This is a full Android experience phone, you get 5 home screens, access to Android Market, GPS for Sat Nav and so on.

You can load all Apps from the Android Market, although some are better suited for the smaller display than others.

The Orange customisation is actually quite nice, the main screen has a large analogue clock, and every page has 4 shortcut icons for fast access to applications. There is a communications widget giving one touch access to turn or or off the various widgets such as GSM, WiFi, Bluetooth and brightness adjustment.

Orange Signal Boost technology is included which allows you to use your home wireless network to give the Stockholm improved reception

There is a Gestures widget allowing you to setup custom ginger gestures/swipes which the phone will recognise and perform the associated action.

Orange Maps is included, but this requires constant data to pull in maps for navigating whereas the built in Google Navigation App is a better choice thanks to the route map caching giving you offline access when in poor signal areas.

I had a quick look at the Orange App Shop, which has a number of Apps and Games available, some like Angry Birds seem to be duplicates from the Android Market, but there are phone enhancements like ringtones and wallpapers too. Most of the apps were expensive though, with many costing around the £3 or £5 mark.

Unfortunately none of the Orange Apps can be removed, so you’re stuck with some of this un-necessary duplication.

Overall

The Stockholm is a great little phone, and if you’re after a budget Android handset and can handle the smaller screen then for the price there really isn’t a better Android handset available.

Apologies for the picture quality of some of the photos, my regular camera was unavailable.

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