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OPR: Post your 'One Paragraph Review' of the ZTE Skate / Orange Monte Carlo in here

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#1
PaulOBrien

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I thought it would be kinda fun to start collecting 'One Paragraph Reviews' for devices from users... to give people a way to scan through a topic and get people's honest, concise opinions.

Good idea? If so, please leave yours... here's mine! :)

P

ZTE Skate / Orange Monte Carlo OPR

At £150 it's reasonable to expect that the Orange Monte Carlo will have to cut some corners and let's say it from the start - the CPU and internal storage are lacking. The device packs an unquestionably old school ARMv6 MSM7227T processor running at 800MHz which means no Adobe Flash support and average at best performance in power hungry apps. An internal data partition of only 162MB means space for apps is tight (A2SD is a must here). The total available RAM of 431MB is acceptable. So that's the bad, what about the good? There's no question that the screen - while not up there with the AMOLED panels of this world - is pretty decent, especially when cranked up to the higher brightness levels. The 4.3" size is excellent at the price point and makes web browsing a far more pleasant experience than on it's San Francisco predecessor. In use the device feels fairly fluid, especially when you lose the Orange home screen and revert to the stock Gingerbread launcher. A host of other Orange bloat is included, but with the simple to install root process it's easily removed or disabled. The device features UMA (Orange Signal Boost) capacity for WiFi enabled low signal areas and HD voice as rare treats for Orange customers. The 5 Megapixel camera with flash uses the standard Gingerbread UI and is not bad, althought it does have some oddities such as no 'auto' mode for flash (it's only on or off) as well as video capture being limited to VGA (a side effect of the slow CPU no doubt). With root and clockworkmod recovery already available for the Skate it's likely to become a hackers favourite at the price, so it hopefully has a decent future ahead for tweaking and improving. Hardware wise the shiny, fingerprint prone device feels good in the handy, pretty solid and with positive, clicky buttons. All in all, if you can live with the slow CPU (and that's a big IF), it's a bargain. The device ships SIM locked as you would expect, it's early days and as yet there is no SIM unlock solution (but it's only a matter of time)!

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#2
causeway

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For 130 pounds (with discount) this is a great value piece of kit. The screen is very bright and suitable for outside viewing (unlike my nexus one), there is a small amount of ghosting however, especially noticeable in menus. The touchscreen will track 5 fingers and doesn't suffer from flipping axis problems unlike many other phones. The extra screen estate does indeed make the web and typing a much more comfortable experience. The orange skinned 2.3.4 version of android isn't terrible but I'm sure Paul et al will improve upon the experience. WiFi reception is certainly better than the blade and i have suffered no dropouts thus far. This phone is a smudge magnet and i can guarantee that you will drop it at least once, so bloody slippery! Quadrant score for me was 970. Typing this in landscape has produced some erratic behavior on text selection. The XT9 keyboard autocorrects and supports swype style text entry. GPS took a while for first fix but it has the accuracy pretty damn close. The speaker is as loud if not louder than the blade, 10 times better than my old nexus one. All in all this is a solid device which just needs unlocked and some serious DEV love. Hope this helps!

EDIT: GOD DAMN AUTO CORRECT

Edited by causeway, 10 August 2011 - 06:06 PM.

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#3
nash1977

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Con: an ugly looking thing.

Pro: but big enough to throw at a police man's head in the riots.

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#4
Shieraz Shah

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Con: an ugly looking thing.

Pro: but big enough to throw at a police man's head in the riots.


bigger is better!

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#5
Christian Edwards

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After discovering the Blade in March, I got a bit over excited when the Monte Carlo came out and missed the Orange Customer discount, still at £150 plus £10 top up, it's well with the extra over the Blade. I love the bigger & brighter screen, the louder speaker and headphone driver, also the Orange Signal Boost App works well too. I have to say it's as fast as the Blade ever was and you can't really expect a much faster processor for the money.
I quickly ran out of space for Apps which never happened on the Blade but I did go to a Custom ROM on day 1 with that. Really need to get ride of those annoying trial games and other orange bloatware (Signal Boost not included) so it's Custom ROM time.

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