Holding out for a Hiro: Orange debuts two own-brand Androids for Europe

Orange has added a pair of smartphones to its own-brand range, to be launched in a handful of European countries.

Orange Hiro Front with Homescreen in Easy Mode
Orange's Hiro. Image: Orange

Orange has added two new smartphones to its own brand range in Europe.

The Yumo, a 4G-compatible Android-based smartphone, is available in Spain and Romania.

The device is powered by Jelly Bean, and has a 5-inch screen, dual-core 1.2Ghz Qualcomm processor, 8GB of onboard storage, and an 8-megapixel camera. It will be priced around €216 SIM-free.

The Hiro is a slightly smaller device aimed at first time smartphone users, which will be made available in France, Spain, Slovakia, and Romania.

Like the Yumo, it will run Jelly Bean, but will have lower specs in line with its smaller price tag. Its camera is five-megapixels, there's a 1.3Ghz Mediatek processor, and 4GB of storage. It will cost around €100 SIM-free, and be launched next month.

Both will feature Orange Assistant to ease those new to smartphones into using the device, including running them through set-up procedures and demonstrating gestures needed to work the device.

According to Yves Maitre, Orange's EVP of devices, the decision to not launch the two devices in the UK was taken due to the culture of offering handset subsidies in the country.

"Most European countries are going away from subsidies to a SIM-only device market," he said. "The price gap [between Orange handsets and branded smartphones] is more obvious in those countries – you have the Hiro for €200 including VAT street price, compared to competitors' phones which are €500. If you have an Orange Yumo for €1 and an iPhone for €1, people are going to turn to the branded device."

There are no plans to take the Hiro and Yumo to Africa either, Maitre said, citing the lack of 4G coverage on the continent in the latter's case.

Across Europe, sales of Orange-branded devices are up 20 percent year on year, with Spain, Romania, Slovakia and Portugal among the largest markets.

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