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Orange Santa Clara packs Intel power, we go hands-on at MWC 2012 (video)

Mat Smith, @thatmatsmith
February 27, 2012
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Hot on the heels of Intel's big event, we've finally got our hands on Orange's Medfield smartphone. The Santa Clara is powered by the Intel Atom Z2460 processor, clocked at 1.6GHz. It does have 2011's Gingerbread kind of Android, but Orange is promising to bring ICS to the phone soon after launch -- in fact an Intel spokesperson told us that it's already had Android 4.0 running on these devices. There's a few differences between this and the Xolo X900 by Lava -- so we've given it a judicious investigation at Intel's big launch party. You'll find our hands-on video and impressions right after the break.

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In the hands, the device is smooth, but unfortunately plasticky -- which at least makes it light in your hand. The 4-inch screen's resolution (600 x 1024) and picture quality is also (perhaps obviously) lackluster compared to the flagship competition, but that's certainly not where this phone is pitched at; it's aimed at the same people that invested in Orange's preceding own-brand handsets, but it's hard to ignore the shaky build quality.

The device is manufactured by Gigabyte -- as several of Orange's previous partners have now decided to go it alone, with an eight-megapixel auto-focus camera at the back. It's able to handle 10 photos per second in its very own burst-mode -- something that Intel had a hand in creating on its premier mobile chip series. There's a camera button, but it's unfortunately the one-stage affair, while a microHDMI port will port HD content (there's 16GB of built-in storage) across to the big screen with another microUSB port for charging and data transfer. Hardware fittings are rounded out by a volume rocker and power switch decorating the 10mm perimeter.

Any Android fans fearing that the change in chipset will affect compatibility with Google's app library can rest assured that it ran several third-party games -- including Fruit Ninja and Angry Birds -- without a hitch. The phone will be released in a few months, initially on Orange's network in the UK and France. We're hoping to test those battery life boasts of 14 days' standby when it does eventually land.

Sean Cooper contributed to this report







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