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Orange Unveils Monte Carlo, Barcelona & Stockholm Smartphones

After last year's success of its own-brand handset, the Orange San Francisco (AKA ZTE Blade), the mobile phone operator has officially presented three new Android-based handsets; the Monte Carlo, the Barcelona and Stockholm.

The two last handsets will be available immediately with the Monte Carlo being brought to market later this summer; Barcelona and Stockholm run on Android 2.2 while Monte Carlo runs on Android 2.3.

The Barcelona combines a capacitive touchscreen with gesture recognition technology, a QWERTY keyboard and a 3.2-megapixel camera not unlike the Blackberry Curve or the Nokia E71.

It combines three proprietary technologies from Orange; Signal boost, push email via Orange Email and HD Voice; it will be available from £99.99 on Orange PAYG and also available on contracts from £10 a month.

The Stockholm is a smaller version of the San Fancisco; it keeps the same camera, a 3.2-megapixel model, but cuts the screen size and resolution (2.8-inch QVGA) and adopts a glossy black colour screen with a chrome compact exterior. Like the Barcelona, the Stockholm comes with Orange Signal Booster, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and an FM radio. It is available from Orange for £79.99 on Pay as you go.

As for the Monte Carlo, formerly known as the Skate, it is a significant upgrade to the San Francisco. It boasts a higher definition camera (five megapixel), a Qualcomm MSM7227 SoC clocked at 800MHz, a bigger 4.3-inch capacitive touchscreen, Orange Signal Boost, HD Voice and DNLA compatibility.

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 ITProPortal.com 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.