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Orange Barcelona and Orange Stockholm: Hands-on gallery

Alongside Orange’s recent announcement that they’ll be bringing Kineto’s Smart WiFi technology to a range of handsets this year, Huawei was also in attendence with two of their new, so far unseen, phones available for some hands-on time.

The Orange Barcelona (formerly the Boulder) was spotted earlier on Orange’s own online store, whilst the Stockholm is an entirely new handset, originally named the Huawei Ideos X1.

Both phones will arrive with Orange’s Signal Boost app, which was demonstrated last night.

Utilising the Signal Boost app and your wireless internet router, the service allows all your phone functions, like SMS and phonecalls, to be sent with a strong signal through your internet connection. Your phone will switch through to the WiFi connection, saving battery drain on running both a 3G and wireless signal.

The service is already available for a handful of Android and BlackBerry smartphones, like HTC’s Desire S and ChaCha and LG’s Optimus Me. You can expect to see more phones added to Samsung, Huawei and ZTE.

The Barcelona, above, packs both a 2.6-inch touchscreen and physical Qwerty keyboard.

There’s also a five-way joystick stuck between the two, which made selecting small links and editing text a doddle. During our play with the phone, we also spotted several features we’d seen before; Orange Gestures and Live Wallpaper.

We were wowed by the build of the handset; for a competitively priced smartphone, it’s both thin and lightweight but also retained a reassuring feel.

The Orange Stockholm is a small pebble shaped Android phone, running Android Froyo, and that means it comes with all the features you’d expect from a smartphone. Recombu were told that the Stockholm would be priced below the keyboard-toting Barcelona- and that’s seen in the lower resolution screen.

Its not hard to tell it comes from the same family as Vodafone’s Smart (also from the guys at Huawei) although at the time of our hands-on, the Stockholm wasn’t running any of Orange’s extra features like Gestures.

Both phones look set to be pitched as an Android introduction phone; and we’re especially intrigued by the Barcelona. Reviews to come later this summer. Until then, click on for some more on these two new phones.

Orange’s Gestures interface, on top of the typical Android homepage, offers a simple, swift, intuitive shortcut to apps and more. You can assign different squiggles to different shortcuts and functions. See our full coverage and impressions here.

Orange’s Live wallpaper has been expanded since we saw it last, with new features including a ‘firefly’ forest where the number of glowing insects represents your phone’s signal strength.

We missed on the shutter here, but tapping the screen lights up the forest in the background. That’ll be the signal-boosting app in action then.

The Qwerty keyboard is reminescent of the BlackBerry’s, with raised buttons just about the right size for speedy mesaging. Above the keys, you’ll find the typical four-key Android bar, and set in the middle is the five-way keystick to navigate text and menus.

There’s also the option of using the touchscreen, of course.

The Huawei branding will disappear when the phone arrives on Orange. Expect to see an Orange logo somewhere here, and Barcelona emblazened above the front-screen.

The camera is a 3.2-megapixel affair, able to record video.

The picture doesn’t do the Barcelona justice; it’s incredibly thin.

At the top, you’ll find the headphone jack, microUSB port and screen-lock/ off switch.

Say hello to the Orange Stockholm; another Android smartphone from Huawei. Our initial impressions remind us of  Android Gingerbread-powered Vodafone’s Smart, although the Stockholm will arrive running Android 2.2 (Froyo).

On the right, you can pinch to zoom out and see all your homepages at once.

The Orange Stockholm goes for the three-button Android bar, with a physical button below.

At the top, the silver-finished edging houses the power switch and headphone port.


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