Orange has announced the launch of an own-branded, ZTE-manufactured, Google Android handset targeted directly at the low-to-mid range.
The San Francisco, priced at £99 on pay-as-you-go, is aimed at potential customers wanting to get in on the Android action, but without the need to sign up to a monthly commitment.
Being an Android device — 2.1 AKA Eclair nonetheless — , the handset comes preloaded with the usual Google goodies, as well as Orange specific apps such as Orange Maps, Messenger (powered by Windows Live) and Orange Wednesdays.
Hardware-wise, the San Francisco offers a 3.5-inch (480x800 pixel) touchscreen display, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS and a 600MHz processor. It also features a 3-megapixel camera and HSDPA connectivity.
The Tri-band device also comes with 150MB internal memory which can be bolstered by using a microSD card up to 32GB.
The company say that the handset will go on sale priced at £99 — with a 2GB microSD included in the box — without a contract later this week, via its online and brick-and-mortar outlets.
Three announced in July that it too was launching a £99 Eclair-based Android phone manufactured by ZTE.
Called the Racer, it is built upon an ARM11-based Qualcomm MSM7227 chipset, which is unable to run Flash 10.1 even if the handset were to receive an update to Android 2.2, known more commonly as Froyo.