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Orange Santa Clara: Hands-on pictures, video and first impressions

We got to have to hands on time with the Orange Santa Clara just now at Intel’s stand at Mobile World Congress. 

First impressions remind us a lot of phones like the Orange Monte Carlo (not just because of the name). There’s the same Orange custom UI, basically stock Android 2.3 Gingerbread with smattering of Orange apps and features such as Orange Gestures. The Orange Santa Clara has a solid, blocky feel in the hand. It’s not necessarily a premium feel, but it’s the most polished Orange-branded phone we’ve seen yet. 

And it’s easily the most powerful. There’s an 8-megapixel main camera which has a neat burst mode. It takes ten pictures in a single burst which Intel’s Tom Foldesi demonstrates in our hands-on video below. Round the front there’s a 1.3-megapixel camera for videocalls and whatnot too.

The 1.6Hz Atom Z2460 processor supports accelerated graphics, meaning that games like Gameloft’s Asphalt 5 don’t look half bad. The Orange Santa Clara isn’t a cutting edge phone but it’s got some decent features.

The 4-inch screen has a high 1024×600 (WSVGA) resolution, meaning your pics and games look sharp and detailed. The micro USB port has MHL connections so you can hook your Orange Santa Clara up to an HD TV if you wish.

The Orange Santa Clara is coming to Orange in the UK and France in the summer. We were also told that an upgrade to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich is in the pipeline too.

Foldesi said he wasn’t at liberty to discuss which manufacturer was making the hardware for the phone. But given the history we’d say that ZTE was a firm favourite.

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