8000.00 KES Orange san Francisco Nairobi

Published date: October 10, 2012
Modified date: October 10, 2012
  • Location: Langata, Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya

The most striking thing about the Blade is its OLED display. In a time where manufacturers are being forced to switch to alternative display technologies such as Super-LCD, it is a miracle to see a device released with an OLED screen, let alone one at this price. At 3.5", the WVGA (800 x 480) resolution provides an exemplary 270 DPI pixel density, making text and images nice and crisp. Detractors of the PenTile screen matrix technology will be disappointed to find that it is employed on this screen as it has been on previous OLED Android phones, and if you look very closely you may see some fringing around white pixels. A certain pink-tinge can also be detected on whites and greys when coming from another device, but after extended use the tinting is not noticeable. Despite these negative points, the screen is very impressive overall, and is a welcome high-spec feature when a lower quality display could have easily been included.

The touchscreen is capacitive, with support for two points of contact. While it did display some issues with fingers crossing axes, the issue was infrequent and seemed related to the speed of movement - it only happened if you paused at the intersection on the axis. The occurrence frequency was certainly less than on the Nexus One's infamous panel. Multitouch actions such as pinch-to-zoom were smooth, but occasionally the device took issue with fast typing - a particular issue was the screen not registering the very first letter of a word. Below the screen are three hard buttons - Home, Menu, Back - which have a nice clickiness and work well in their intended capacity. Unfortunately the search key was omitted, which mandates the Google search widget on your homescreen and means a bit more digging for search in applications. The lack of a trackball also makes terminal work difficult, and users may have to resort to third party keyboards with on-screen arrows if they find themselves using the command-line frequently.

The device itself feels nicely made, with the body being made from soft-touch matte grey plastic, solidly constructed and lacking in tell-tale creaks. Inside we find the usual array of sensors and communication modules - WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, FM Radio, Accelerometer, Proximity, Light, they're all there.

The foundations of the device seem quite solid, then. Except for one thing: the processor. The Blade uses a previous-generation 600 MHz ARM1136EJ-S CPU, Qualcomm's venerable MSM7227 chipset. Despite its age and low clock speed, the CPU still powers the Blade fairly nicely. Coming from a feature-phone, the Blade is still quite zippy. Former Snapdragon users will notice some sluggishness, but that is to be expected.

Another problem presents itself when using the device as a day-to-day phone: the camera. "The best camera is the camera you have with you", as the tired, over-used smartphone cliché goes. Well in the case of the San Francisco's 3.2 MPx Auto-Focus camera, having a digital SLR with you might also be handy. While the photos themselves are of acceptable quality, the photo taking process is painful. The camera application takes too long to start, and this is matched by slow focus times. Attempts at macro shots were denied with frustrating stubbornness. Video, at QVGA, doesn't bear mentioning. It may improve with future updates, but don't hold out hope for a 720P hack any time soon.
Orange San Francisco/ZTE Blade Features/Specifications;

Android v2.1 E’clair (Upgradeable to v2.2)
600Mhz ARM 11 Qualcomm MSM7227 Processor, Adreno 200
3.5inch (480x800 pixels) AMOLED or LCD Capacitive touch screen
3.15 Megapixel (2048x1536pixels) camera, auto-focus
Up to 32GB MicroSD card, 150MB storage, 512MB RAM, 512MB ROM
7.2Mbps HDSPA, 5.76Mbps HSUPA, WiFi 802.11b/g, WiFi hotspot (droid v2.2)
Stereo FM radio with RDS, GPS with A-GPS support

Orange San Francisco/ZTE Blade Price in Kenya: Kshs.12,299 (at Orange retail stores)

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