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ZTE Skate hands-on photos kickflip the new Orange San Francisco

You've probably never heard of ZTE, but it's the company behind the wildly popular Orange San Francisco. It's back, with a new affordable Android 2.3 smart phone.

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Luke Westaway
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Remember the Orange San Francisco? We do, and loads of other people do too, judging by how well it sold. Well, in case you've forgotten, it was a rather brilliant budget phone. It was made by ZTE, who's back with a new mobile, the ZTE Skate. It received an official unveiling at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Eager beavers that we are, we've already published a full preview on the Skate that tells you everything you could possibly need to know about this great big Android phone. But we also took a load of hands-on photos, and we thought we'd share them with you. Click through the gallery above to examine the Skate's every nook and cranny.

The Skate's headline feature is its absolutely enormous display. It's screen measures 4.3 inches diagonally, which is the same size as the HTC Desire HD, another whopper of a phone. It has a resolution of 480x800 pixels, and when we checked out the display we thought it looked sharp and clear.

The Skate is running on Android, Google's mobile operating system, version 2.3 Gingerbread to be precise. That's the most recent version at the time of writing, and it brings a truckload of benefits, like access to the Android app store, dynamic widgets for the Skate's homescreen and the ability to play Flash video in the phone's browser.

With Wi-Fi and 3G on board too, that should make the Skate a great device for Web browsing, especially with that huge screen, perfect for big Web pages.

Now, there are a few compromises -- the Skate's processor runs at 800MHz, which isn't particularly fast. It's not cripplingly slow though, and there are other goodies to balance that out, such as a 5-megapixel camera on the back of the phone, and an FM radio on board.

Budget Android phones are a wonderful thing, putting a brilliant operating system in your pocket for a modest amount of cash, and this is the biggest yet. The Skate is due to hit the UK in the coming months, and ZTE informed us it will be available on all major UK networks. Stay tuned for the full review.

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