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Orange Barcelona Android phone appears on beautiful horizon

The own-brand Orange Barcelona Android smart phone is a modest, BlackBerry-esque handset landing in Britain soon.

Andy Merrett
Andy Merrett has been using mobile phones since the days when they only made voice calls. Since then he has worked his way through a huge number of Nokia, Motorola and Sony Ericsson models. Andy is a freelance writer and is not an employee of CNET.
Andy Merrett
2 min read
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The Orange Barcelona, like a jewel in the sun, has the look of BlackBerry to it, but in fact runs Android 2.2. The network has just added the Catalan-themed own-brand smart phone to its shop.

If slim's your thing you'll be happy to hear its body is less than one centimetre thick, so it'll look great as you amble down Las Ramblas. It's 115mm tall by 63mm wide and weighs in at 115g.

The Barcelona's modest specs include a 2.6-inch touchscreen, a physical Qwerty keyboard, a 3.2-megapixel camera, FM radio and video calling/messaging capabilities. Naturally it's 3G and Wi-Fi enabled, and though the specification list doesn't mention Bluetooth, we'd be surprised if it was missing. It also features UMA Signal Boost and HD Voice technology.

It's not the first Orange-branded phone to be named after a city. We visited the reasonably priced San Francisco last year. That hugely popular handset, featuring a 3.5-inch touchscreen, was slightly let down by a huge amount of confusing and potentially expensive bloatware sitting on top of Android.

We don't yet know whether Orange has learned from its mistakes with the Barcelona. If not, the handset may feel less like a chic Euro city, and more like the Orange Basingstoke.

The eagle-eyed among you will see it doesn't run the latest version of Android, 2.3 Gingerbread. We presume this is down to hardware limitations, though we don't know what processor powers the Barcelona.

The phone will be available free on pay-monthly contracts and also on pay as you go direct from Orange. We don't have a price or availability dates, but we expect it to be modestly priced and landing later in the summer.