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Orange Gova brings 4G to Europe's technophobes

The Orange Gova is a 4G phone, coming to Europe, stuffed with software designed to help even the most hardened technophobe get to grips with smartphones.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

European mobile network operator Orange has a new own-brand handset, the Gova, that will be coming soon to parts of Europe. The Android phone is the first phone from Orange that comes with 4G LTE connectivity. The Gova also sports software designed to teach the basics of smartphone usage to those who are just taking their first steps away from older feature phones.

The first time you turn the phone on, you'll be given the option of going through the setup lessons. There's about 8 steps in total, but each one teaches you basic things such as how to press and hold on an item to bring up information, or how to pinch to zoom in and out of photos. If you're familiar with your Samsung Galaxy S4 then these steps might seem laughably basic, but Orange is hoping to attract users who are still using older feature phones and want to take advantage of the apps on smartphones, but feel overwhelmed by the wealth of new information they need to learn.

Once setup, if you're still uncomfortable with using an Android device, the Gova lets you switch the homescreen to an "easy mode", which puts the essential tools -- phone, texts, browser etc -- as large icons on a restricted homescreen so you don't need to go diving around the app menus to find the thing you need.

Andrew hoyle/CNET

Orange has also added a handy ability to perform tasks by drawing gestures on the screen. Drawing, for example, a U shape on the screen can launch any of your installed apps, call a contact or even bring up a Google Maps search showing directions from your location to your house, making it super quick to get directions home in a hurry. It's very easy to customise what the gestures do, as well as come up with your own gesture patterns if you don't like the ones Orange has set.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

The rest of the phone isn't much to get excited about, but it's not terrible. It's got a 4.5-inch display with a 960x540-pixel resolution, a 1.2GHz quad-core processor and a 5-megapixel camera. Orange's own-brand phones are aimed at central Europe -- the Gova will be available in Spain, Romania, Slovakia, Poland, Moldova, Luxembourg, Tunisia and Mauritius. The EE network on the Gova pictured here is for testing only -- the phone won't be available in the UK. Orange hasn't officially announced how much the Gova will cost, but it's expected to be free on contracts at around 30 Euros per month. The Gova joins the Orange Reyo, released late last year. The Reyo packs the same helpful software as the Gova but has a lesser set of specs and doesn't come with 4G connectivity.