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Photos: Orange's San Diego, the UK's first Atom smartphone

Europe's first device running Intel's Atom will go on sale exclusively from Orange on 6 June, bringing with it a decent spec list and a middle-of-the-road price tag – just don't expect a full range of apps
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By Ben Woods on
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1 of 5 Ben Woods

Orange's San Diego Intel Android phone display

Orange has unveiled the San Diego, the first Intel Atom-powered smartphone to go on sale in the UK.

It will be available in the UK from a range of retailers as well as Orange's normal sales channels on 6 June, the company confirmed on Thursday. The device has been seen in the wild before: ZDNet UK got its first sneak peek preview of the Android device back in February.

The San Diego, formerly known as Santa Clara, is a follow up to the popular budget San Francisco handset launched in 2011 but swaps the processor for Intel's Z2460 1.6GHz processor, formerly known as 'Medfield'.

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Orange's San Diego comes with an 8-megapixel camera

Key specs of the device include an 8-megapixel camera, with a burst capture option capable of taking 10 shots in under a second.

The San Diego will also support 1080p video capture, which can be played back on a larger external screen using the micro-HDMI, like the Motorola's revamped Droid Razr.

The Orange device also has a front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera for photos and video calling.

The handset comes with a 4-inch 600 x 1024 pixel display, 1GB RAM and 16GB of internal storage; it can also support NFC features such as contactless transfer.

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Orange's San Diego is lighter than the Galaxy 'S3'

Design wise, the handset takes cues from the current crop of smartphones on the market, including Apple's iPhone 4S. It measures 123mm by 63mm by 9.99mm and weighs 117g; by way of comparison, the Galaxy S III is 8.6mm deep and weighs 130g.

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Orange's San Diego can use 70% of the apps on the Android Play market

Given that it uses the Android operating system, it's no surprise to learn that the San Diego comes with access to the Google Play app market. However, an Intel spokesman confirmed that the handset will only be able to run "about 70 percent" of the apps on the store — all those that use the Dalvik virtual machine.

According to AppBrain, there are around 450,000 apps on the Google Play market, meaning around 135,000 of them won't work on the device.

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Orange's San Diego is available on PAYG and monthly contracts

The handset is fairly well specced given its price point — free on a 24-month £15.50 contract, or £199 on pay as you go — but disappointingly it will arrive running Android 2.3 rather than the operating system's most recent Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) build.

A spokesman for Orange confirmed to ZDNet UK that ICS should arrive for the San Diego by October.

"It's a timing thing," he said, with the operator wanting to get the handset on the market as soon as possible. "We're working on it now and if we can deliver it before October, we will."

The Orange spokesman also confirmed that the company has no plans to deliver an Intel-powered tablet device in the near future.


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