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back to article Orange Barcelona Android Qwerty phone

HTC's ChaCha aside, BlackBerry-style Android messaging phones are a rare and unimpressive breed. And I, for one, am not all that sure about the look, price or point of the Facebook-centric ChaCha. Orange Barcelona Android Qwerty smartphone Changing the Android Qwertyphone landscape? But Orange, which has a track record for …

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Great

These Orange phones are great once you removed the Orange's guff ... Cheap & usable!!!!

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The most annoying thing about the phone...

I own this phone and do agree the screen real estate is extremely limited. The most annoying thing about the phone is that Orange (in their infinite wisdom) have placed a permanent notification item in the notification bar. There is no way to dismiss or remove this (that I have found). The notification icon for this is the up and down arrow. While this is not a big issue for a big screen device, this takes up valuable screen real estate in the notification bar when it is pulled down. It leaves room for only 1 more row of notification which is plain silly.

Using SuperOneClick v2.1.1, I rooted the device and used Titanium Backup to freeze most of the Orange bloatware. Be careful not to freeze the Orange setup or Orange homescreen (if you do and carry out a factory reset, it won't be able to find those during the restart and it'll fail to boot).

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@technohead95

"Using SuperOneClick v2.1.1, I rooted the device and used Titanium Backup to freeze most of the Orange bloatware. Be careful not to freeze the Orange setup or Orange homescreen (if you do and carry out a factory reset, it won't be able to find those during the restart and it'll fail to boot)."

Well said Sir, you will almost certianly save some people some undue stress.

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Anonymous Coward

Couple of things...

Argos 'Special offer' is now 6months free Internet, doesn't say how much data you are capped at though

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FAIL

Device Encryption

I've been looking for a nice QWERTY phone to replace my work WM6.5 device. Unfortunately my organisation doesn't support Blackberry so Android would be nice (I use a Desire as my personal phone).

However the top, key issue is that Android (2.2, 2.3 etc) does not support Device/Storage Card encryption as enforced by Exchange Activesync in many organisations. So essentially in my large org, we can't use Android. The NHS which uses Exchange, can't use Android.

Bad times, so my handset choice is WM6.5 (WM7 doesn't support it either!) or iPhone 3GS onwards.

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The Touchdown mail app for Android supports SD card encryption. Not the most beautiful UI in the world, but it's definitely a business ready app.

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Does a Nokia E6 not fit the bill?

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We've just started using Good, which is an app for iOS or Android which runs email, calendar and contacts in its own encrypted shell. Seems to work very well.

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from the author

I was in two minds about mentioning the fixed data notification. On the one hand it takes up space, but on the other for anyone on PAYG or with a limited data plan the option to always see - and quickly disable/enable - the data link could be rather handy. Either way the option to remove it would have been nice.

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Fandroids

Cue fandroids whinging about how come this phoen gets 70% when the iphone get 90% and how El Reg is biased against the Android phones.

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Facepalm

Paranoid BoreDroids

Cue paranoid boredroids whinging in anticipation of fanboys whinging, even when it doesn't happen, and missing the irony completely.

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WTF?

Come off it. Android fans are perfectly aware that 320x240 screen res is an automatic 10% loss, Orange app infestation another automatic 10%.

For gamers that res is an automatic 'don't buy'. This gamer and Android fan thinks 70% is pretty generous... but I don't rate physical size or that keyboard format as highly as others ;)

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Fandroids consider something like the Samsung Galaxy S2 to be comparable to the iPhone. They also point to the fact that mid-market models such as this phone exist, whereas they don't on Apple.

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Trollface

RE: Fandroids

you used the wrong icon. see the icon to the left of this post.

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Anonymous Coward

Two questions - can this be unlocked for use with an O2 sim?

And if so, can anyone please point a complete noob to android (ie. me) to a site with some foolproof steps in how to do this.

@technohead95 - any tips on using SuperOneClick? I have no idea by what's meant by "freezing" bits of the Orange setup

anon 'cause I should've moved off my S40 Nokia many moons ago!

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Look into a SE X10 Mini for the same price, or o Pro for another 20 quid or so. Same res screen as the Orange, comes unlocked at CPW. Not saying buy one, just have a look

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SuperOneClick is an application that will gain root access on many phones including the Orange Barcelona (http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=803682). Once you've rooted the phone, you can use Titanium Backup (available in the Android Market) to "Freeze" applications. Freezing an application will move the app into a state that seems as though it is uninstalled but the application file is still present on your phone. You won't be able to launch the app, see it in the menus or in the list of installed apps. However, you can unfreeze it at anytime to bring it back. It's better to freeze the Orange bloatware rather than to uninstall it so you can bring it back later.

However, as I mentioned before, if you choose to uninstall the Orange bloatware. Do not uninstall the Orange Setup and Orange Homescreen. Either keep them installed or just freeze them. If you freeze them, then make sure you unfreeze them before doing a factory reset otherwise you'll brick your phone and will have to find a stock ROM to bring it back.

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@Disintegrationnotallowed - The Reg always gives budget Orange Android Handsets a very favourable review.

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Meh

Camera spec?

You initialy on the crib spec sheet state the camera is 1.3 and then later on mention it as 3.2Mp.

I recently looked at a cheap android phone myself and did look at this one and found the niceness of the keyboard outwayed by the real-estate loss on the screen. I ended up getting a unlocked samsung galaxy mini from CFW for the following reasons:

1) Unlocked version off the shelf

2) Larger screen

3) Samsung update there phones with firmware and not newer models

4) real GPS and not some aGPS

For me those were the main swaying points along with that Orange pissed me off year ago by dropping signal due to basestaion fault for a week and telling me its fixed now and how lucky I was to have a week of no contact and if I wanted to complain I'd have to speak to somebody who wasn't an Orange employee in the Orange store. This limited my dealing with Orange to 0 and carries on to this day.

Currently trying out GiffGaff having been on O2 for a year and finding it nice, £10 package that included unlimited internet (no sniff of any cap I've seen yet) and those call minutes and textx bundels as well.

SO would I get a barcelona - seemed nice but felt too cheap along with the other shortcommings hence for me and I'm sure many others Samsung galaxy mini is probably a better deal, especialy when CPW do a unlocked one for people upgrading which was a very plesant experience compared to locked in telco upgrades - I didnt even have to top the phone up - just SIM details/number/address and that was it for my £30 saving over the new ones with SIM's and as I said a 99£ unlocked phone which so far has proved better than my initial play with it were it beat the other options on show around the numerous phone shops in the town were I live. Ironicly we have more CPW shops than there are starbucks, how that works out I'm not sure but I never did care for starbucks burned tasting coffee over Nero's.

Still it's a ok phone and if your somebody who realy wants a keyboard over screen pecking and you don't want a blackberry then the barcelona for the price range would be the one to get, if not probably the only one to pick from. But if you want software support then you need to be looking into the phones and previous manufactures phones updates and if there lacking then you know your's will be as well.

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WTF?

What is wrong with a phone having the possibility of using the mobile network to aid it in locking a GPS signal?

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Indeed

For the ignorant out there aGPS is better than normal GPS as it uses BOTH the GPS and Mobile signals to work out it's location.

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Megaphone

It also uses a data connection unlike basic GPS that dosn't. So if your on Orange and want to keep costs down without touching that data connection fee every day/time you use it then I can understand the desire for GPS over aGPS which may very well use the cell tower locations, BUT has NFI were those cell towers are unless it gets that data which it does over a data connection.

Ignorant - no -- tight - oh yeah :)

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Anonymous Coward

The extra data fee as aGPS uses a data connection to find out were the cell towers is located. Also I've not seen a aGPS based phone that lets you disable that aspect and checking the spec for it quickly does tend to indicate that it can't, which may explain why its the cheaper phones that tend to have aGPS instead of normal GPS.

Whole thing with GPS is the initial time to lock on location due to getting sat orbit data, aGPS gets this from the data network, so is quicker. Now if you get yourself some of these fancy GPS systems they cache that sat orbit data and indeed its only in cold boot up were you get the delay in getting that data, beyond that its quick.

that all said I'm still at a loss why GPS which just recieves a signal(s) can realy kill your battery on most phones.

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Anonymous Coward

aGPS vs GPS

http://www.diffen.com/difference/A-GPS_vs_GPS probably explains it better for the, ermm ignorant :p.

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WTF?

Nokia

I'm assuming then that you have never looked at a Nokia then. My old N85 had the option to disable aGPS, and should you want to, the internal GPS as well and use a dedicated bluetooth GPS job. My N8, and the wife's C7-00 and the mates C6-01 allow you to choose from the following list of ways to secure the position of the phone:

1) Assisted GPS

2) Integrated GPS

3) Bluetooth GPS

4) Wi-Fi/Network

5) Network based

You can have all of these or any combination you so wish.

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Anonymous Coward

Galaxy Pro

Looks like a Samsung Galaxy Pro in Orange Clothing, even though the HTC cha cha is nicely spec'd, the facebook button and build quality put me off it, the Samsung is nicely built but the screen res and lack of LED flash is a downer, whatever happened to the Motorola Droid Pro is it ever coming out in the UK.

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Re: AC

Don't know about SuperOneClick but all phones can be unlocked - for a cost. The easiest is just to search eBay for the phone name. Unlock codes are usually about £8-10 and the process is simple. Stick your new SIM in. Start it up. When it asks for the unlock code, enter it and press OK.

There are more complicated, cheaper and riskier methods but the unlock code is the one I usually stick to.

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Anonymous Coward

SuperOneClick

SuperOneClick is NOT an unlocking tool, its a rooting tool (gives root access so you can do things you can't normally do). If a phone is locked then it will remain sim-locked after rooting.

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Holmes

Rio

This looks and sounds functionally like an Orange Rio. At £35 a bit cheaper. But then, I'm sure someone is going to tell me the differences ;)

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