As chronicled in our liveblog this morning, Orange have now announced the new name for the 'Santa Clara' Intel power device - it is now known as the 'San Diego' and will hit stores on 6th June.
The new device has been 'coming soon' for a long time but we finally have specifics on the release... let's start by recapping the specs.
Specs / Hardware
The San Diego is of course the first Intel powered Android device in the UK and is based on the Intel reference design, manufactured by Gigabyte. The device uses an Intel Atom Z2460 processor at 1.6GHz (single core) with HyperThreading support, the GPU is a PowerVR SGX 540 @ 400 MHz. Of course, the CPU is the real difference from Android devices that have gone before, the other specs are as follows...
- Android 2.3 Gingerbread
- 16GB ROM
- 1GB RAM
- GSM bands 1900/1800/900/850 MHz
- HSDPA Cat 14 (21.1Mbps)
- HSUPA Cat 6 (5.7Mbps)
- UMTS bands 2100/1900/900/850 MHz
- GPRS / EDGE Class 10
- Bluetooth v2.1
- A-GPS support
- WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
- 4.03" 600x1024 screen
- 8 Megapixel camera with LED flash, 10 pictures per second burst capture, image stabilisation, scene detection & tuning, advanced high dynamic range, ultra low light capture
- 1.3 Megapixel front camera
- 1080p video capture
- HD voice
- HDMI out
[*}Dual mics for noise cancellation
- 5.4 Whr battery
- 123mm x 63mm x 9.99mm
Not bad. The only real downer I guess is the lack of microSD expansion, but that does really seem par for the course at the moment. The use of a 1024x600 screen is very unusual and is something we've seen only on tablets up to now.
Design wise, the device is shiny black on the front, with a matte black finish on the back and matte silver finish around the edges of the device. The front has 4 capacitive buttons (back, menu, home and search), the power button and 3.5mm socket is on top of the device, the speakers and microUSB output are on the bottom, the right hand side of the device has a camera button, volume buttons and the microSIM tray and the left hand side has the HDMI port.
Overall, the device feels very nice in the hand. Not 'cheap' - it feels like a premium device. The back of the device has the 'Intel Inside' logo proudly displayed, something Orange are going to be making a big deal of!
In the box
In the box you'll find the device, a mains USB adaptor, microUSB cable, headset, quick start guide, orange services guide and SIM tray pin.
The San Diego ships with Android 2.3 Gingerbread with an update to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich currently in testing. This doesn't mean it's imminent though, although there is not an official date, I did hear October mentioned.
As you would expect for an Orange own-brand device, the software build has been somewhat 'orangeified'. That said, this was primarily in the form of the launcher and a few additional Orange apps, so I would imagine it could be easily de-orangified again... although I'll reserve judgement until i've had a proper play!
I know you guys would expect me to take a picture of the software version information screen... so I did. :)
The device is running Gingerbread version 2.3.7 (the latest) and kernel version 126.96.36.199.
It feels smooth navigating around the device in the brief time I had with it, no complaints there. The camera app is pretty fully featured and the 'burst mode' on the camera is particularly impressive... 10 pictures in a second!
Some readers might be concerned about incompatibility with apps optimised for ARM - The San Diego uses binary translation to run ARM apps (and can run 'just about everything' so we're told), with minimal performance deficit. Intel are also very keen to point out that they've worked very closely with Google to optimise Android for the Intel platform.
I was chatting to MoDaCo team member Flibblesan earlier this week about likely pricing for the device earlier this week, and said I expected it to be around £200 (ideally £179.99) on prepay and very cheap on a contract. Turns out I was pretty much spot on.
The San Diego will be £199.99 on Prepay (with a £10 topup) and free on a £15.50 24 month contract. Users buying on Prepay will receive 12 months of free 250MB/month mobile data.
The launch of the San Diego will be supported by a multi million pound advertising campaign across TV, outdoor, print and online - the first time an Orange own-brand device has been featured in TV advertisements and by far the highest marketing spend on an ODM device to date (no doubt thanks to some of Intel's cash). The device will get a full month of primary in store advertising, which is also unprecedented for an own brand device.
Hackability of the San Diego is a great unknown at the moment! We don't know how locked down it will be, we don't know what form the bootloader will take on the Intel chipset and, well, we don't know anything.
I will be getting one and having a poke around though as well as writing a full review, watch this space! :)
I'm actually impressed having seen the San Diego in person. The screen, with that unusual 1024x600 resolution on a 4" panel, looks very nice indeed. The materials seem good and it feels well built. All of this adds up to shelf appeal in store - something that Android also adds - so I think the handset will do well.
I've been trying to decide if it's going to be another 'Android fan hit' in the style of the San Francisco and while I think there's a chance of this, I can see 3 potential issues. 1 is the lack of ICS, the second is the 'unknown' around hackability and the third... sadly, is the price. While £199 is pretty decent, the (admittedly inferior in many respects) Ascend G300 from Huawei is literally half the price... it's a shame the San Diego couldn't have landed at £149.99 perhaps.
I'm really interested to see how this one is going to play out... Intel have arrived... let the fun begin! ;)