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Orange Atlanta cheap pay as you go phone requires £50 top-up

Orange's tour of world cities continues with its budget Atlanta phone, but its £50 initial top-up requirement is quite frankly exorbitant.

Orange's tour of low-end and mid-range mobile phones named after world cities arrives in Atlanta.

The phone is definitely aimed at the budget market and there's nothing smart about it. Given Orange's butchery of Android on the San Francisco, that may be a good thing.

The Atlanta, manufactured for Orange by ZTE, has a small display (no touchscreen here) and physical numeric keypad. There's a paltry 2-megapixel camera which can be used to record video, plus a music player and multimedia capabilities. It almost goes without saying that the phone doesn't have 3G. You can tell a phone is lacking appeal when 'predictive text input' is listed as a feature.

The handset has little visual appeal although it's not as ghastly as the more expensive Vodafone Emporia RL1. The Motorola Gleam is better looking, if you like clamshell designs, and you can pick up the Android-laden Vodafone Smart for only a few pounds more.

The Atlanta can be had for free on all of Orange's pay monthly tariffs, but here's the stinger. If you want it on pay as you go, you'll have to stump up £39.99 for the phone and a minimum of £50 in top-up credit straight away. Ouch!

Presumably as the handset is relatively cheap, Orange wants to ensure it gets a decent chunk of revenue in advance. Whether this becomes a standard way of raising funds from pre-pay customers who buy basic handsets remains to be seen. If the phone was exceptionally cool we might consider it... but it's not. You can easily find a better handset elsewhere, particularly as there are some decent deals around for modest top-ups.

If you have an inkling as to who the Orange Atlanta might appeal to, do let us know in the comments below because we're struggling to see its attraction.