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Orange Drops San Francisco Price To £70

Orange has cut the price of the San Francisco, otherwise known as the ZTE Blade, to a mere £69.99 (with a compulsory £10 topup), making it the absolute best smartphone deal currently on the market.

Available both in white and in grey at Orange online (opens in new tab)only, the handset caught our attention because it was the first handset under £100 to come with a 3.5-inch AMOLED screen with a WVGA resolution, at a time when most entry level handsets have HVGA or even QVGA resolutions (like the HTC Wildfire).

Its affordability, combined with some great specifications, meant that it has acquired a loyal following and added many cookie points to its manufacturer's reputation.

The phone is powered by a Qualcomm MSM7227 system on chip clocked at 600MHz, which is the same that equips the HTC Wildfire and scores of other smartphones on the market.

It has 512MB RAM, a 2GB microSD card bundled, a 3-megapixel camera, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a SatNav, FM Radio, USB compatibility and offers a talk time of up to four hours.

Although it runs on Android 2.1 Eclair, there are loads of tutorials to guide customers willing to upgrade to Android 2.2 Froyo or even Android 2.3 Gingerbread; ZTE, we understand, is currently looking at this upgrade closely.

Users may also wish to unlock the phone, something that can be easily done using key generators widely available online.

Désiré Athow
Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.