The new Orange Android phone (San Francisco) £99...but a Question??

Soldato
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So £109.99 for an Android 480x800 OLED phone (compulsory £10 topup)!!.... its already getting a lot off attention on the net but as a total noob to Android a question please?

Would I only be able to download apps that the Orange store support.... as they dont seem to do many for any phone really!

I glean that there will be ways of "opening" this phone up, its already been rooted etc. and no doubt it will be unlockable soon....

But in the meantime, would I be limited to only the meagre the apps Orange sell??

Thanks guys!

Disclaimer - All information lifted from the Modaco ZTE Subforum, kudos and thanks to the original contributors in the linked threads. All I've done is collate their findings, insights and useful information in this post. Everything links to Modaco threads as files are updated often, so deep linking is pointless.

:: Orange San Francisco Android Smartphone ::

sfmainshot.png


First stop for anyone wanting to know more beyond the below is the Modaco ZTE Blade subforum.

Spec

  • Android 2.1 Eclair
  • Qualcomm MSM7227 600MHz processor
  • 512MB RAM
  • UMTS 900/2100 MHz
  • GSM 900/1800/1900 MHz
  • HSDPA (3G+)
  • 3.2 megapixel camera with autofocus
  • 3.5" WVGA (800x480) OLED capacative touchscreen
  • WiFi 802.11 b/g
  • Bluetooth
  • FM radio
  • GPS
  • Accelerometer
  • Digital compass
  • Light sensor
  • Proximity sensor
  • 116mm / 56.5 mm / 11.8mm
  • 130g
  • 4 hours talktime (lol - agreed!)
  • 9 days standby (lol - agreed!)
Full review here.


Unlocking

Everything you need in the link below, didn't want to cross link on this site as I'm not sure if it breaks the rules or not.

Full details found here.

Process:

  1. Use the dialler and enter this to see your IMEI: *#06# (don't press Call!).
  2. Get your unlock code from the site above.
  3. Double-check you used the correct IMEI number -- it's free to retry!
  4. Turn off your phone.
  5. Open the back.
  6. Remove the battery.
  7. Remove the (Orange?) SIM card.
  8. Insert a SIM card from a different operator.
  9. Replace battery.
  10. Replace back.
  11. Turn on phone.
  12. (If prompted, enter any PIN number that you may have set on the new SIM.)
  13. Now you should be prompted to enter the unlock code. Do it carefully!


Superboot/root

Rooting is the process to gain full control over the phone, and allows you to install applications that require root access and those not signed or approved by Google. This is similar to the iPhone jailbreak in a way. Other things you can do once rooted include Apps2SD, tethering, backups, custom ROMS... blah blah.

More information here explaining why you should root, and here.

How to full details here.


  • Download r3 Superboot for ZTE Blade - DOWNLOAD (ROMraid Load Balancing) - MD5: 03105bbbf5120535c8921075822a1b67
  • Download fastboot if you do not have it already.
  • Turn off your phone and take out the battery. Unplug the phone from the PC / charger.
  • Replace the battery and turn the phone back on with 'volume up' held. The device will stay at the 'green android' screen.
  • Plug the phone into the PC.
  • Extract the fastboot zip file.
  • From a command prompt (at the directory containing these new files!) run 'fastboot-windows flash boot boot.blade.superboot.mcri.r3.img' (subsituting 'fastboot-mac' or 'sudo fastboot-linux' as required)
  • When this finishes, from the command prompt run 'fastboot-windows reboot' (again substituting 'fastboot-mac' or 'sudo fastboot-linux' as required)
  • Done!

Clockwork Mod Howto

Clockwork Mod is a means to backup and restore your phone to/from SD. It's also a very good mechanism for apply ROMs, updates and patches. It is heavily used in deployment of custom ROMs on Modaco.

Full details and guide here.

Custom ROMS and Installation

Master thread of custom ROMS and Guides - Great thread!

Direct links to ROM threads, highly recommend reading the above thread through as it links to them all. The choice of what you go for is entirely up to you, so people have more luck with some ROMs than others. The Modaco ROMs seem to be most popular, but development appears to have slowed a little (until the 2.2 release yesterday 01/12/10).

Direct links to ROM threads.

2.2
Modaco 2.2 Alpha r2 (warning, alpha!)
FLB's 2.2 Beta
Frankish 2.2

2.1
r4 Modaco 2.1 ROM
BladeVillain ROM
Hungarian Hedgehog 2.1 ROM
Stock ROMS

Other Stuff

USB Drivers
Cases + Screen Protectors
HTC IME Keyboard Repack
 
Soldato
Joined
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Kent
So your not compelled to go via an Orange "pruned" version of Market or anything?

Im wary due to a couple of comments ive read that infer you are limited to the Orange Marketplace.... and wary of Orange full stop really!!
 
Soldato
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London
Last edited:
Soldato
Joined
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Posts
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Location
Kent
Yep, thats where ive been reading about it, over at Modaco.... but can anyone confirm that Orange cant restrict it to only being able to get apps from their own marketplace?

I dont trust Orange, and being an Android noob.... im a little paranoid!
 
Soldato
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Kent
thanks for help there, much appreciated!

So will an app designed for an Android phone work on them all, or will some be specific to types of phone, if only due to the res of the screen, say?

May well pick one up tomorrow. I'll try a smartsim in it, as it *seems* it works on the phone.
 
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Soldato
Joined
1 Jun 2007
Posts
4,168
thanks for help there, much appreciated!

So will an app designed for an Android phone work on them all, or will some be specific to types of phone, if only due to the res of the screen, say?

May well pick one up tomorrow. I'll try a smartsim in it, as it *seems* it works on the phone.

Most apps have mutli res support (it's xvga anyway, the highest supported by android atm)
 
Soldato
Joined
8 Nov 2006
Posts
21,388
Location
London
thanks for help there, much appreciated!

So will an app designed for an Android phone work on them all, or will some be specific to types of phone, if only due to the res of the screen, say?

May well pick one up tomorrow. I'll try a smartsim in it, as it *seems* it works on the phone.

As mentioned apps have multiple resolutions often. Even if they didn't you'll be glad to know that the 800(854)*480 resolution is the most widely available on android phones at the moment. So apps are made to be optimal at this resolution these days.
 
Soldato
Joined
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Posts
4,470
Location
Kent
Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions guys, as always, ocuk comes up trumps.

Thanks again!

Well, ive ordered a smartsim (very cheap) but will hold off getting the phone until someone confirms this method of unlocking works with it I think.

If it can be unlocked (heck, someone'll figure that one out), it looks like I have finally found a phone I want, and can afford to upgrade to!

Almost considered getting a secondhand iphone but even then, the prices really put me off. I'm just not an Apple man either, no offence to those that are.
 
Soldato
Joined
4 May 2004
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3,270
It looks really interesting since it's the same sized screen as the T-mobile Pulse but they managed to increase the resolution from 320x480 to 480x800.

The Pulse was on offer for £74.99 +£10 topup with a £10 Amazon voucher a few days ago but now it's back up to £99, so the San Francisco is the only one worth considering now for a budget Android (whenever it goes on sale online).

The only drawback I see is the 600MHz cpu will limit it from being upgraded to 3.0 Gingerbread which needs 1GHz.
 
Caporegime
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Hmmm I could do with a stop gap phone untill next year when my contracts due up.

This looks like a good shout.
 
Associate
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The phone has a capacitive OLED screen with multitouch, lots of ram for apps and a decent processor. For £99 this phone competes very well with far more expensive phones.
This phones raises the bar significantly in the budget Android market.
 
Soldato
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On my way home on a train, and after a days use, as an owner of a hero and pulse previously, this is amazing.

Orange launcher can be removed with a home selector provided by orange. The two installed are default orange and vanilla android 2.1. Im using launcherpro which works fine.

Full impression and bugs when i get home. The screen is gorgeous and better than high end phones like the x10. Pixel density helps conceal pentile matrix concerns as well.
 
Soldato
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London
Ok, my opinion.

The screen is fantastic. 800*480 oled display in 3.5 inches makes for a brilliant image. It's advantage over bigger amoled phones is that the pixel effect is much reduced. The phone runs android 2.1 which can very easily stripped back to vanilla android + orange apps which you can choose to ignore (and remove once root is enabled). The processor is fast enough for the job although snapdragon/hummingbird/OMAP users will feel a step down. The camera is okay in good light and poor in bad light. The screen is multitouch although a bit unresponsive. Pinch to zoom isn't as smooth as in higher end phones. The phone feels solid even though it is made of plastic.

Problems include what i found to be a weak 3g signal and the glass (if it is) I don't think has a fingerprint resistant coating. 150MB spare space left after orange apps and android OS which is a massive step down from the 2GB and 8GB I had in the X10 and Galaxy S respectively. However, this is what other people have been putting up with anyway. The keyboard typing could be a bit faster as well, although I've only used the stock android keyboard so far.

To clear up a few issues, you can install whatever apps you wish and there are no restrictions put in by orange.
 
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