I jumped into the smartphone world just before Christmas after a longtime of avoiding it and then deciding what phone to get, it’s now been about a month since I started using it.
The phone I got is a San Francisco by Orange – or given it’s real name a ZTE Blade. This is one of the cheapest phones on the market, it cost me 99 pounds. It has a lovely 800×480 3.5″ OLED screen and a reasonable 600mhz processor. I won’t go into the full details but you can see a good review of the phone below by Paul at MoCaDo (full details & review here).
The Blade is incredibly easy to jailbreak. You can generate a free unlock code from a tool on the net, install various versions of Android, new ROMs and ditch all the Orange stuff that slows the phone down and also costs you money (email app has a charge for use!)
The community that has sprung up around the SF / Blade is rather large due to it’s price and high spec for the money. Many of these people are new to messing around with these sorts of devices, like myself. I’m not a techie but I can follow instructions and understand the basics of what bits do what but I’m not going to develop my own ROM. If you like to customize your phone I’d recommend you get one of these.
The downside is that it has poor battery life. It will last all day but if you use it for heavy browsing, videos etc it will die after about 5 hours. Me, I’m not out and about that often so it works fine for me where I can have it plugged into the charger while driving.
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